Afraid of the Bern? From Merkel to Google, Media Bias Tries to Hide Sanders’ Popularity

Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel

I was angry when TIME declined to name U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as 2015 Person of the Year despite his two-to-one victory over his nearest competitor in the media outlet’s public poll for the honor.  I was angrier still when he did not even make the cut of eight finalists, a group which included fellow presidential candidate Donald Trump.  I scoffed this morning when I discovered that Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, was named TIME’s 2015 Person of the Year.  Though I have nothing against Merkel, it is hard to ignore the fact that she seems to be a rather close proxy for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders’ rival for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

TIME did not name Bernie Sanders to its group of eight finalists for Person of the Year, despite his winning the public poll by almost twice as many votes as second-place Malala Yousafzai of Syria.  Donald Trump, who was included among the eight finalists, only received 1.8 percent of votes cast, compared to more than 10 percent for Sanders.  Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, whose seventh largest political donor is Time Warner, the parent company of TIME, only received 1.4 percent of the vote.  Perhaps unable to name justify naming her as a finalist, the vaunted publication decided to tip the playing field in her favor by removing Bernie Sanders from the group of finalists as well.

Then, to get people thinking positively about Clinton, they went and chose the finalist who most closely represented the former Secretary of State.  Merkel, who holds political power in the center of Europe, is widely hailed as the most powerful woman in the world.  Vox defends the naming of Merkel as TIME’s 2015 Person of the Year, and its description of her power and influence reads very closely to Clinton’s previous role as U.S. Secretary of State.  In sum, TIME named the closest substitute for Hillary Clinton as the 2015 Person of the Year.

Frankly, it is media biased at its worst.  A political donor to Hillary Clinton snubs her chief rival and gives the honor that should have gone to him to Clinton’s European lookalike instead?

Then, The Washington Post suggests that Google is somehow trying to rig the Internet in favor of Bernie Sanders.  The clickbait title, which suggests a bit of digital malfeasance, implies that Google is unfairly boosting Sen. Sanders at the expense of other presidential candidates.  When you read the article, however, you discover that the alleged bias comes from the fact that most news coverage of Bernie Sanders is positive rather than negative.  Google is only revealing the positive coverage of Bernie Sanders, not generating it.  Unfortunately, the article’s misleading title suggests otherwise, and perhaps even taints Sanders’ reputation a bit.  Could WaPo be insinuating that Sanders and his campaign are in cahoots with Google to paint him in a more favorable light?

With news articles continuously touting Clinton’s lead in the polls, using adjectives that reinforce the notion that she is the inevitable nominee, it is hard to remain positive.  We supporters of Bernie Sanders must redouble our efforts to popularize our candidate and his brand of democratic socialism.  If we cannot rely on the mainstream media to give Bernie fair treatment, we must learn to live without them.  Spread the word!


Calvin Wolf

By day, Calvin Wolf is a high school social studies teacher. By night, he is a freelance writer and novelist, penning political thrillers and commentary on politics, education, economics, foreign policy, and culture. In the past, he's worked as a professional cartoonist and as a backpacking guide. He once stood between a mother bear and her cub and emerged unscathed!

5 thoughts on “Afraid of the Bern? From Merkel to Google, Media Bias Tries to Hide Sanders’ Popularity

  • December 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Time Warner is one of Hillary’s largest donors

  • December 9, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Agreed. There’s no doubt the mainstream corporate media is skewing its coverage heavily in Hillary’s favor, to Bernie’s detriment. Though corporate media bias has been apparent for many years now, I’ve never before seen it manifested as blatantly and unashamedly as it is now.

    Two commentators in particular who get deeply under my skin are Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post, and Chris Matthews of MSNBC – two of the worst Beltway Establishment apologists of the bunch. It’s getting so that perusing the headlines each day in search of fair and balanced Sanders campaign news has become an exercise in futility. Better to use that time and energy toward activities that are more likely to actually get Bernie elected, than to read skewed and distorted reportage and commentary about him.

  • December 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I absolutely agree. It’s why i spend a lot of time volunteering for Bernie. I obviously can’t expect him to get by on the paltry news coverage he gets. I loved his comment when the idiot reporter asked him why he wouldn’t speak about ISIS when he was holding a press conference in a black community that suffers 50% unemployment, terrible schools, and unnecessary infrastructure failures. He admitted that ISIS was important, but that so was income inequality, unemployment in minority communities and educational failures. What the MSM doesn’t get is that the American people don’t vote on the problem du jour. They vote on the whole package, the myriad problems that face us. Most of us will never have a problem with ISIS, but the same can’t be said for income inequality, health needs, educational needs, and infrastructure.

  • December 16, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Absolutely the truth. Bernie Sander’s supporters are not happy about the deception within the election process and unfair presumption that we will automatically get behind Hillary Clinton. Supporters of Bernie Sanders for president resent the DNC limiting the debates,, the public servants within the democrat party making remarks about Bernie Sanders, and the corporate media ignoring him. We have an honest and authentic leader in Bernie with no scandals the republican parties can use against him during the general election. It is time the democrat leaders get behind Bernie Sanders because many people have committed to writing his name in during the general election even if he loses the primary.

  • December 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Great Article. Thank you. I’m trying to get it on reddit.

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