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The Media Vs. #YangGang

The overall interactions between 2020 democratic primary candidate, Andrew Yang, and mainstream news organizations have been contentious at best. Multiple online scuffles between his online supporters, #YangGang, have created a flurry of anger and frustration for his supporters and a fair share of grief for news outlets.

1. How a CNN Graphic Sparked the #YangMediaBlackout Controversy Online – Vox News

The first story we are going to work through is Vox’s article about the #YangMediaBlackout. Business and Politics reporter Emily Stewart has been working with Vox News for just shy of two year now and has 87 web pages filled with articles. Though this article in particular doesn’t display Vox’s patented liberal ideological bias, her Twitter demonstrated her ideologies line up with her employer. But that doesn’t mean the piece is hard news. With a surface level read, her offhand comments about Yang’s campaign leave a disheartening taste in a viewers mouth. She referred to his online supporters as the “so-called #YangGang” and presented his online supporters with a negative connotation gave at least an impression this piece could be opinionated. But the biggest two indicators to me was her conclusion and including a segment of her piece on the support Yang received from some white-supremacists. Yang did indeed get support from self-identifying white-supremacists. It is also a fact he renounced any support from white-supremacists. Ultimately it is not only besides the point of her article, its nowhere near the scope of relevant. As Vox has a strong liberal leaning, tying Yang’s campaign to the archetypal enemy of the left creates a strong bias in the viewer directly caused by an opinion shared with the author. Her conclusion further drives this point him, not by supporting the #YangMediaBlackout or backing up CNN’s stance, but by dismissing the controversy all together.

Check out my response to Vox and see if it gets any traction.

2. The Surprising Surge of Andrew Yang – Politico

Politico senior staff writer, Michael Kruse, follows the Yang Campaign throughout a day in Beaufort, South Carolina and gives commentary on the state of the campaign, Andrew Yang as an individual and provides reasoning to explain the campaign’s success. The article’s neutral stance on the campaign, the lack of opinionated statements and varying testimonies strengthen the validity of the article and makes it appear more like hard news than Vox’s article. Though his diction reads as more non-chalant than political articles are expected to read, he stays on the beaten path and plainly describes Andrew Yang’s campaign and personality.

3. Why Andrew Yang Matters – New York Times

The New York Times’¬†opinion columnists, David Leonhardt, gives his opinion on the “dark horse” candidate and why he believes Yang’s campaign for pushes substance based policy decisions onto the more prominent democratic figures. As to whether or not this piece is opinion, it clearly is earmarked for the practice. His conclusion is indeed of an opinion: one dismissive of Yang supporters yet grounded in pragmatism.

4. Andrew Yang “The American Dream is Dying by the Numbers.”

This piece is the most plain spoken news story out the four. Business and Economic journalist for CBS, Anthony Mason, reports on Yang’s assertion that the probability of living the American Dream, defined by him as the probability of having a better life than your parents, as a 50/50 shot, as well as other defining policy for the Yang campaign. His article reflects the interview the two sat down for, and encapsulates the core of their discussion without offering a supportive or negative assertion. At the same time, the key to this article’s objectivity is the way he questioned Yang on the merits of his Universal Basic Income plan, quoting and giving context to an economic institution that claimed the math behind his assertion didn’t add up. Then Mason doesn’t paraphrase Yang’s response, adding credence to his article.

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