The New York Times Public Editor has determined that the paper’s coverage of Bernie Sanders has been ‘mocking’ and ‘dismissive in its tone.’
Last week, The New York Times Public Editor issued a response to the thousands of comments calling for the paper to stop excluding the Bernie Sanders presidential run from their reporting. Five days later, she determined the paper’s coverage thus far has been “dismissive in its tone” and “mocking at times.”
Despite Bernie Sanders sitting at the number one slot for being the most searched term on the Times‘ website, Margaret Sullivan concluded that Bernie Sanders has been the subject of 59 articles with only 12 being straight news coverage.
In the month of August alone, there have been 54 articles on Hillary Clinton and only 14 on Sanders.
Over the past few months, Sanders has faced the media and challenged them to do a better job. He asked a Times Magazine writer if she had any serious questions for him, he faced a group of reporters and asked them if they care about the real issues, and on several television appearances he has reiterated he will not attack his opponents.
It now seems a few people at the Times are starting to realize there may be some serious truth to these claims. Sullivan said the paper “has not ignored Mr. Sanders’s campaign by any means, but it also hasn’t always taken it very seriously.”
She went on to focus on the bigger issue. Not only has the Times failed to take the Sanders campaign seriously, but the considered long-shot candidate on the Republican side couldn’t have a brighter spotlight.
Sullivan asked Carolyn Ryan, who is one of the top political editors at the Times, for a response to her findings. Ryan said she stands by the coverage and is puzzled as to why readers would be upset.
“One of the strategies of Sanders supporters is to relentlessly agitate for more favorable coverage from the Times and other outlets,” Ryan said.
The Times’ executive editor, Dean Baquet told Sullivan he wants to focus more heavily on Sanders in the coming weeks and months.
“Candidates like Mr. Sanders – no matter how electable they prove to be – can and should be a part of that,” Sullivan writes. “Times readers are completely within their rights to expect and demand it.”
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