Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are clashing with CNN, claiming the channel is censoring them and building a false narrative that Hillary Clinton won Tuesday’s presidential primary debate.
The current dispute begins with the Tuesday night presidential debate. Since the debate was co-hosted by Facebook, CNN showcased a Facebook poll in its post-debate coverage that suggested Sanders won the debate in a landslide.
But since that one television appearance, the poll has not appeared on CNN, and has also disappeared from its website. In addition, CNN has put out several articles touting Clinton as Tuesday’s big winner, while downplaying Sanders’s performance and ignoring other polls suggesting Sanders was the real winner.
Supporters of Sanders accuse CNN of pushing a narrative that Clinton won despite the facts.
Of course, CNN has a ready-made defense (which it hasn’t used, though Slate has): Online polls are not scientific and can easily be stuffed by a small, passionate group of activists, so online poll results can hardly be used to crown a debate’s winner.
But that quibble hasn’t stopped Sanders supporters from deluging CNN’s Facebook page for the past day, spamming every single article posted with hundreds of comments attacking the network, regardless of what the article is about:
According to the blog Media Equalizer, Sanders backers are seeing some of their comments get deleted, but that has hardly slowed them down as they continue to relentlessly comment on every article.
The Sanders supporters accuse CNN’s owner, Time Warner Inc., of being in the tank for Clinton, because the company’s employees are one of Clinton’s largest donor groups. One relatively in-depth but still representative comment was this one, posted by a Facebook user named Malcolm Reynolds:
#cnniscorrupt who did better in the debate? Bernie Sanders or John Stamos?
Time Warner Inc owns CNN.
Time Warner Inc is Hillary’s 7th biggest financial supporter.
CNN is posting all over that Hillary won the debate.
CNN’s own polls show that 81% of their viewers think Bernie won.
CNN will not even post the results of their own poll.
#FeelTheBern #BernieSanders2016 #DemDebate #CNNisCorrupt#ConfrontCNN
1. C-SPAN: Sanders (7.2k) |Clinton (938)
2. TIME: Sanders 60% | Clinton 12%
3. CNN: Sanders 81% | Clinton 12%
4. Drudge: Sanders 61% (126,448 votes) | Clinton 6.74% (13,925 votes)
5. Dailykos: Sanders 59% (7,970 votes) | Clinton 34% (4,659 votes)
6. Slate: Sanders 75% | Clinton 18%
7. Syracuse: Sanders 78.11% (3,190 votes) | Clinton 15.77% (644 votes)
8. Fox5: Sanders 77.35% (30,248) | Clinton 15.86% (6,204 votes)
9. MSNBC: Sanders 81% | Clinton 12%
10. Wishtv8: Sanders 77.65% | Clinton 13.15%
11. Advocate: Sanders 77% | Clinton 19%
12. Nationalreview: Sanders 558 votes | Clinton 39 votes
13. 9news: Sanders 8.9k votes | Clinton 2.2k votes
14. Wwnc: Sanders 78% | Clinton 15%
15. Philadelphia.cbslocal: Sanders 81.03% | Clinton 14.56%
16. Postonpolitics: Sanders 84% | Clinton 10%
17. AJC: Sanders +225 -20 | Clinton +62 -108
18. Controversialtimes: Sanders 84.42 | Clinton 10.39
19. Tcpalm: Sanders 74% | Clinton 18%
20. WRIC 8NEWS: Sanders 75% | Clinton 6%
21. WGY: Sanders 68% | Clinton 12%
All three focus groups declared Sanders the victor.
1. Frank Luntz Focus Group: “The participants agreed overwhelmingly that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the big winner at the first Democratic debate.”
2. Fusion Focus Group: “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the most popular candidate among a group of young registered Democrats responding to Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. The panel voted 8 to 3 for Sanders against the runner-up Hillary Clinton, with one panelist saying it was a tie between the two.”
3. CNN Focus Group: “Majority of CNN Focus Group Think Sanders Won First Debate”
Others are passing around an image link showing CNN sponsored a post (essentially a Facebook ad) touting an article critical of Sanders, saying it is further proof of CNN’s biased intentions.
In a related effort, thousands of disgruntled people are signing a Change.org petition calling CNN corrupt and ordering them to admit Sanders was the real debate winner.
This report, by Blake Neff, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.