By Nicholas Fondacaro
On Friday, Minnesota Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips threw his hat into the presidential race to challenge President Biden in the Democratic Party primary. And despite their broadcast competitors finding some time for it on their morning and evening newscasts, ABC’s Good Morning America and World News Tonight refused to give Phillips’ campaign any oxygen. Likely hoping it would suffocate before the caucuses and primaries kicked off next year.
World News Tonight didn’t want to give their viewers an opportunity to think about voting for Phillips over Biden, but they did find time to hype how you could vote to name a baby emperor penguin at Sea World! They spent 1 minute and 31 seconds on that story. They also allocated 15 seconds for rivers on Mars and 17 seconds for Taylor Swift becoming a billionaire.
Over on CBS Mornings, they spent 3 minutes and 39 seconds on Phillips’ challenge to Biden but Democratic donor and co-host Gayle King scoffed at him and even insinuated he had no campaign staff. “[H]e showed us that he’s got at least two friends. I’m sure he has more than that. Does he have a campaign staff? Does he have a following?” she jabbed.
By the time CBS Evening News rolled around, they were tired of Phillips and chose to dedicate 24 seconds to local weather reports.
Now, you might be thinking that 24 seconds wouldn’t be enough time for a broadcast network to report on someone challenging an incumbent president of the same party.
Well, it was more than what NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt gave Phillips. Holt sprinted through this three-sentence news brief in all of 18 seconds:
Tonight, President Biden has a new primary challenger. Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips formally announced his candidacy today. The 54-year-old Democrat saying it’s time for the torch to be passed to a new generation of American leaders, and that Republican front-runner Donald Trump can beat President Biden.
Holt failed to mention that Phillips made it on the ballot in New Hampshire, while President Biden did not.
Fox News Channel’s Special Report gave Phillip’s campaign launch a solid 2 minutes and noted that he had a habit of pushing for younger blood in Democratic Party leadership positions. “The 54-year-old Phillips called on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to step aside last year. This presidential quixotic quest mirrors that,” reported senior congressional correspondent Chad Pergram.
Pergram also highlighted the internal struggle Democrats were having over who they wanted to be their nominee. “An early October Fox News poll of registered voters found 53 percent wanting someone other than President Biden as the nominee,” he noted. “Phillips runs because he believes another Biden candidacy could inadvertently elect former President Trump.”
After noting the “shadow campaign” of California Democrat Gavin Newsom, Pergram concluded: “The entry by Phillips into the presidential sweepstakes reflects Democratic fractures. The Democrat’s left-wing coalition is splinting over support for Israel.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and reposted with permission.