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They Think You Are Dumb: Networks Continue Spin of 2020 ‘Moderate’ Dems

by | Mar 3, 2020

By Scott Whitlock

The journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday waved goodbye to Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 campaign with one last disingenuous claim that the liberal Democrat is a “moderate.” This weekend, all three networks cheered mysterious “moderate” alternatives to Bernie Sanders. Apparently, all you have to do to be a centrist is simply not take a vacation to the Soviet Union like Bernie Sanders.  

CBS’s Dean Reynolds offered this howler about Buttigieg’s just-ended presidential bid: “The 38-year-old former Navy officer and one of the youngest presidential candidates in modern history rose to the top of a crowded Democratic field with a moderate platform.” That’s just blatantly false. The Democrat vigorously supports abortion at all levels. He actively endorses new gun control legislation and he’s also endorsed packing the Supreme Court with liberals. How is any of that moderate? For examples of his liberal stances and past “moderate” spin, go here.

Here’s a montage from this weekend of attempts to call various 2020 Democrats moderate: 

Reynolds ended the segment by citing CBS analyst Joel Payne who talked of pressure to “let a single moderate candidate solidify support.” 

This kind of talk isn’t exclusive to CBS. On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd questioned Joe Biden: “Are you concerned, though, that Michael Bloomberg, and in your candidacy, you’re appealing to the same group of voters, the same sort of moderate, centrist pragmatists?” 

On Monday’s Today, Geoff Bennett said of Buttigieg: “His exit helps consolidate the moderate vote and establish former Vice President Joe Biden as the main alternative to frontrunner Bernie Sanders.”

On Sunday’s Good Morning America, Dan Harris fretted over the threat that Sanders poses: “But for the anti-Sanders, moderate Democrats, Democratic establishment, this has to be worrying I would imagine. Isn’t it possible that Bernie could emerge from Tuesday having a lead that’s really insurmountable?”  

Back in September, CBS’s Ed O’Keefe praised Buttigieg’s “moderate” health care plan as “sounding pretty good.” The journalist hyped, “[Buttigieg is] hoping to gain support for sure and definitely wants to talk up this idea because he sees it as a more moderate alternative to Medicare for all.” (The plan isn’t moderate. By Buttigieg’s own admission, it would likely lead to government-run health care.) 

In November, the networks wondered if the “moderate” Bloomberg will harm “moderates” Biden and Buttigieg. What are these candidates moderate on? Not being an official, announced socialist seems to be about it. The real problem for the networks is a fear of Sanders losing in a landslide, should he be the nominee.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Media Bias