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15 Jan, 2020 16:26

#CNNisTrash unites political rivals after network hammers Sanders in Democratic debate

#CNNisTrash unites political rivals after network hammers Sanders in Democratic debate

It’s not just the right who accuse CNN of peddling ‘fake news’. After the network’s treatment of Bernie Sanders in a recent Iowa debate, the left joined them on Twitter.

With the field of Democratic hopefuls whittled down, six frontrunners took to the stage in Des Moines on Tuesday night, with polls putting four of them as frontrunners: Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Hosted by CNN, the debate was the final Democratic head-to-head before next month’s Iowa caucuses.

Tensions between Sanders and Warren were high from the outset. A sheet of talking points to be used by Sanders’ volunteers leaked over the weekend, encouraging these volunteers to slam Warren for “bringing no new bases into the Democratic party.” This was followed by a CNN report on Monday that suggested Sanders told Warren in a private meeting he didn’t believe a woman could win the election.

CNN moderator Abby Phillip wasted no time getting to the controversy, and evidently sided with team Warren.

“You’re saying that you never told Sen. Warren that a woman could not win the election?” she asked Sanders. “That is correct,” Sanders replied.

“Sen. Warren, what did you think when Sen. Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?” she asked Warren, as the audience and Sanders laughed.

As the debate dragged on, CNN’s moderators hammered Sanders for his Medicare For All plan, suggesting it would "bankrupt the country,” despite not mentioning the price of America’s Middle East wars once. Anchor Wolf Blitzer also compared Sanders’ proposal to bring home American troops to appeasing Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The controversy only continued at the closing of the debate, with Sanders and Warren sharing a terse conversation, after Warren apparently refused Sanders’ outstretched hand. 

In a post-debate recap, CNN declared Warren a “winner,” and Sanders a “loser.”

Sanders’ supporters were furious, and took to Twitter to vent about CNN’s apparent one-sidedness. Republicans joined in too, reminding the left that they’ve been saying the same thing since 2016.

Despite his hostile reception, Sanders managed to land record donations on Tuesday night. During the first hour of the debate, the Vermont senator received 15,000 contributions, a rate of 250 per minute. A campaign staffer said that it was the “single best fundraising hour of any debate so far.”

Prior to Tuesday’s debate, Sanders topped a poll of Iowan voters, beating out Warren, Biden, and Buttigieg. Though his supporters may cry foul at CNN’s moderators, negative coverage is unlikely to dent his popularity, or lessen his favor among voters.

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