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!