TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Supporters of Taiwanese-American presidential candidate Andrew Yang have taken to Twitter to protest his exclusion from a graphic showing support levels in Iowa and what they perceive to be a snubbing of Yang by U.S. media outlets.
Over the weekend, MSNBC broadcast a graphic showing the latest poll results from potential voters in the Iowa 2020 Democratic Caucus, including candidates with support levels as low as 1 percent — but excluding Yang, who garnered 3 percent. Supporters criticized the move as the latest example of an ongoing media blackout of Yang, which has allegedly been underway since at least June.
In June, writer and Yang supporter Scott Santens posted a screenshot of an MSNBC advertisement that included photos of all 20 candidates, except for Yang. An angry Santens took to Twitter and wrote:
"Holy s***. They did it. The crazy bastards did it. @MSNBC created a graphic with photos of the 20 candidates to appear in the first debates, and they actually went so far as to remove @AndrewYang and include someone who didn't even qualify. This is shameless in how brazen it is."
In August, CNN's coverage of the Quinnipiac University poll included lower-ranking candidates, such as Beto O’Rourke, who had just 1 percent support, while excluding Yang, who had 3 percent support. Soon, the hashtag #YangMediaBlackout began trending on Twitter.
Screenshot of CNN graphic of Quinnipiac University poll posted by Twitter user Scott Santens.
In September, Yang tweeted a screenshot of an NBC graphic for the Sept. 12 debate that listed all 10 candidates, except himself, saying NBC "may have miscounted." NBC News senior producer Michael Hopper initially claimed the image was doctored, only to later realize he was wrong and then issued an apology.
Screenshot by Yang of NBC graphic excluding Yang in September.
Several other exclusions have been subsequently committed by major news outlets, with the latest being a depiction of a survey of potential Iowa caucus participants. In the graphic, despite having 3 percent support, Yang is excluded, while Michael Bloomberg and Michael Bennet, candidates with only 2 percent and 1 percent support, respectively, are shown.
Supporters used the hashtag #YangMediaBlackout to excoriate MSNBC for yet again excluding the Taiwanese-American candidate. Santens then sarcastically wrote: "MSNBC: We're getting a lot of complaints that we shouldn't exclude any of the candidates, so let's show everyone who polled above 0% in Iowa, except @AndrewYang at 3% of course. We just don't have room for that guy in this graphic."
Screenshot of MSNBC graphic posted by Twitter user Scott Santens.
Twitter user Steve Marchand then incredulously wrote: "How is this even possible? Michael Bennet's 1% makes the @MSNBC graphic, but @andrewyang's 3% does not? The #YangMediaBlackout is real...which is unreal." Many also accused MSNBC of being racist, with a tweet by Yang expressing the sentiment of many: "We're just going to call MSNBC 'the anti-Asian racist network' until they provide a better explanation for this bulls***."
Twitter user Maxcina Njoroge created a collage of even more MSNBC graphics excluding Yang:
Image posted by Twitter user Maxcina Njoroge
MSNBC has yet to issue an explanation or apology for excluding Yang from the graphic.