Here we go again. The media might be able to pretend like Bernie doesn’t exist for certain events, etc., but they can’t avoid reporting his 3rd Quarter fundraising totals. Since he knocked it out of the park with the highest quarter of any campaign EVER, well, you know there’s got to be shade, spin and LYING. Taking the latter first, let’s talk about the lies.
A mid-morning, MSNBC segment takes Bernie’s total $25.3 million and shaves it to $24.3 million on the graphic (and shaves to an even lower $24 million by the segment host). Additionally, one of the graphics includes Second Quarter totals. In doing so, because they’ve misrepresented the numbers, it looks like Mayor Pete had better numbers in Q2 than Bernie has in Q3. This is not true. They’ve removed Bernie’s record distinction of having better totals than any other candidate. EVER to date. Since this is a common pattern & always goes in one direction, it’s clearly not an honest mistake, but an intentional, flat out lie.
In addition to outright lying, we have the framing which always seeks to diminish Bernie’s successes, in instances when they can’t be outright ignored. Of course this is the time when we again get the “fundraising doesn’t really matter so much” take. We’ve had this show up before when Bernie’s numbers are particularly good, but fundraising is always recognized as an important metric except on weeks when Bernie is breaking new ground.
Both TV punditry & the online pundits have engaged in this diminishing framing. Nate Silver, of 538, is known to be particularly anti-Sanders in his takes. He did not disappoint in coming up with a bad take to meet a good Bernie story. Nate said basically that if numbers are bad, that’s bad, but if numbers are good, that’s not *necessarily* good. Got it? Bad is bad, but good is not good.
This flies in the face of his tweet less than a year ago which said fundraising, especially small dollar fundraising is the most predictive measure of who’s going to win.
It also flies in the face of what data folks agree–fundraising is indeed one of the most predictive factors of all, often the primary predictor.