The Hightower Report

Why have major TV networks pulled the plug on Bernie?

Let's go to the scoreboard to see who's winning the exciting game of "Presidential Election Media Coverage."

A nonpartisan media-monitoring firm that has been tracking the nightly news broadcasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC reports that Trump is tromp, tromp, tromping over the airtime of everyone else. From last January through November, these dominant flagship news shows devoted 234 minutes of prime-time coverage to the incessant chirping of the Yellow-Crested Birdbrain, with no other contender getting even a fourth of that.

Take Democrat Bernie Sanders, who's stunning the political establishment with a fiery populist campaign that's drawing record crowds. Indeed, Sanders' upstart campaign is getting higher poll ratings in the Demo­crat­ic contest than Trump is getting in the GOP race. And – get this – polls also show Bernie topping the Donald by 10 points if they face each other in November's presidential showdown. So surely he's getting a proportional level of media coverage by the networks on our public airwaves, right?

Ha, just kidding! The ABC, CBS, NBC devotion of 234 minutes to all-things-Trump was "balanced" by less than 10 minutes for Sanders. Most egregious was ABC, the Disney-owned network. ABC's World News Tonight awarded 81 minutes of national showtime to Trump last year – and for Bernie: 20 seconds.

How self-serving of the media moguls! The one candidate who is effectively rallying large numbers of voters to oppose the rise of corporate oligarchy – including in the media – has the plug pulled on him. Of course, this only amplifies the truth of what Sanders is saying about the villainy of corporate profiteers, and it fuels a greater determination by his millions of grassroots supporters to end the reign of greed in America. For information and action, go to

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Bernie Sanders
Whole Foods’ Labor Market
Whole Foods’ Labor Market
U.S. Sens. Sanders, Warren probe Austin grocer’s labor relations

Mike Clark-Madison, Oct. 26, 2018

Meet Our Revolution’s New Class of Bernie Spin-Offs
Meet Our Revolution’s New Class of Bernie Spin-Offs
Can they turn Texas blue?

Michael King, Dec. 22, 2017

More The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The Donald Show

Jim Hightower, July 10, 2015

The Hightower Report
The Hightower Report
The damning nuttiness of the GOP's "Hell No" faction

Jim Hightower, Aug. 15, 2014


Bernie Sanders, ABC, Donald Trump

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle