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Andrew Yang ratchets up his ‘boycott MSNBC’ war, apology demands

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A tell-tale sign that a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate may be floundering is when that candidate starts lashing out and blaming others for their demise.

This was seen recently when Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., blamed a racist and sexist nation for not embracing her struggling campaign, and now Andrew Yang is coming forward to target an unlikely fall guy — MSNBC.

Yang took to Twitter on Saturday to voice his dissatisfaction with how the network has treated his candidacy — he has a point — and demand an apology, and appeared on rival CNN to hit MSNBC.

“I’d be remiss if I did not mention you were also invited on MSNBC this weekend and you turned that down and instead took to Twitter to slam the network, a decision that could be seen as risky during a Democratic primary,” said CNN Newsroom host Ana Cabrera, during that appearance.

“Americans tuned in to the debate earlier this week and they saw I got called on less than any other candidate – including candidates I am polling higher than – and the questions I did get had virtually nothing to do with the core ideas of my campaign,” Yang said.

The candidate also said MSNBC has “omitted me from over a dozen fundraising and polling graphics.”

One such graphic is seen here:

“I’m not the kind of guy who takes offense easily but at this point you have to call it like you see it,” he said.

A New York Times analysis of the debate showed that Yang spoke for 6 minutes, 48 seconds, substantially less than any other candidate on the stage — most candidates spoke for more than 10 minutes. The only other candidates who spoke for fewer than 10 minutes were Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and billionaire Tom Steyer.

When asked why he thinks he’s not getting fair coverage, Yang told Cabrera, “It’s a bit of a mystery to me.”

“I hope that when they come clean and acknowledge that they have been suppressing and ignoring me and my campaign for months,” he said, “maybe they’ll actually share with us what the rationale is.”

Cabrera did point out that as of now, six candidates have qualified for the next debate in December, which will be on CNN, and that Yang, who raised $10 million in the 3rd quarter of 2019, is not one of them. He responded to express confidence that he will meet the requirements in time.

Earlier in the day, Yang tweeted his demand for an apology and said his campaign does not “need” MSNBC.

He tweeted: “Was asked to appear on [MSNBC] this weekend – and told them that I’d be happy to after they apologize on-air, discuss and include our campaign consistent with our polling, and allow surrogates from our campaign as they do other candidates’. They think we need them. We don’t.”

A short time later, as the fallout increased, Yang came back to offer some specifics and to say that “people are smarter than MSNBC would like to think” — the problem being that the smart ones aren’t watching the network to begin with.

“They’ve omitted me from their graphics 12+ times, called me John Yang on air, and given me a fraction of the speaking time over 2 debates despite my polling higher than other candidates on stage. At some point you have to call it,” Yang tweeted.

“The whole time we have gotten stronger,” he said in a second tweet. “This is actually bad for MSNBC. It will only get worse after I make the next debates and keep rising in the polls. The people are smarter than MSNBC would like to think.”

Yang spoke for less than half the time as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and it’s not like he’s any less radical, having proposed a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for every American adult over the age of 18.

The “Yang Gang” responded to the controversy by calling for a boycott of MSNBC.

Tom Tillison

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