As Sanders Surges, Cable News Runs Prison Reality Show, Jesus Documentary
By Adam JohnsonOver the past week, Bernie Sanders racked up six wins out of seven primary contests, winning 92 delegates more than his rival Hillary Clinton to chip into her pledged delegate lead. While not an existential shift in the race, the momentum has changed in Sanders’ favor, especially since he won the last three primaries—Hawaii, Washington state and Alaska—with between 70 and 82 percent of the vote.
You, however, would hardly have noticed had you been watching cable news the night of the Saturday primaries. Both MSNBC and CNN forwent live election coverage on arguably Sanders’ biggest night of the year, instead deciding to air a normally scheduled prison reality show and a “documentary” on Jesus. As The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel noted Saturday night:
The networks cared so little for Saturday’s primary results that the Hawaii results, which in fairness came in around 2:30 am, were totaled by online volunteers and revealed to the public using a Google Doc.
The race is far from over, yet most of the major cable networks have all but moved on. Clinton’s lead, while considerable, is far from insurmountable. Indeed, the netting of 66 delegates Saturday night pulls Sanders to within 268 pledged delegates of the former secretary of State—with 2,073 delegates yet to be awarded.