MSNBC is widely considered to be the the most left-leaning cable news outlet in the United States. One Washington Post writer referred to MSNBC as the “face of the Resistance.”
However, it’ll be challenging for MSNBC to resist Donald Trump’s declarations of “fake news” if the network doesn’t figure out how to make accurate graphics. I’ve been attempting to keep track of MSNBC’s frequent errors, and I’ve listed some of them in this article.
As you look at the graphics below, notice that every error related to Bernie Sanders is to his detriment. Isn’t it odd that an MSNBC error never benefits Bernie Sanders? Similarly, Kamala Harris has been portrayed negatively on more than one occasion due to these errors.
The Graphic: Second Quarter 2019 Fundraising Numbers
- Bernie Sanders raised $18 million in Q2. MSNBC was off by $6.2 million.
- Kamala Harris raised nearly $12 million in Q2. MSNBC was off by about $7.5 million. MSNBC also used a comma instead of a decimal point for some reason.
- Cory Booker raised $4.5 million in Q2. MSNBC was off by $600,000.
- Minor nitpick: There’s absolutely no consistency in the alignment of the numbers. Some are centered, some are aligned to the left, and many aren’t horizontally centered.
It’s pretty easy to see what happened here. Whoever created the graphic gave Harris’s numbers to Sanders, Booker’s numbers to Harris, and Klobuchar’s numbers to Booker. Whoops!
The Graphic: April Monmouth University Poll Results
- According to this poll, only 25% of non-white voters said they supported Biden.
By misreporting the numbers, MSNBC viewers would be led to believe that Former Vice President Joe Biden had the most support among non-white voters surveyed in this poll. If you look at the crosstabs of this poll, you’ll find that Bernie Sanders received the most support among non-white voters.
This graphic is also slightly misleading because Don’t Know (21%), Kamala Harris (11%), Beto O’Rourke (5%), and Cory Booker (3%) had more non-white support than Pete Buttigieg.
The Graphic: May Quinnipiac Poll Results
- Bernie Sanders was +5 in this poll, not -5 (11% -> 16%).
You can quickly confirm this for yourself by visiting Real Clear Politics and comparing Quinnipiac poll results from 4/26 – 4/29 to Quinnipiac poll results from 5/16 – 5/20.
The Graphic: July CNN/UNH New Hampshire Poll Results
- Warren and Sanders are tied at 19% in this poll. Here are the full results.
- The margin of error is 5.8%. Even if a small number of respondents said they prefer Warren, the two candidates would be statistically tied.
MSNBC must know that Warren and Sanders are tied in this poll, considering they aired two separate graphics accurately representing the results.
The Graphic: June UC Berkeley Poll Results
- This graphic doesn’t accurately represent the poll because 13% of respondents said they support Kamala Harris. Why was Harris excluded from the graphic?
The Graphic: June Change Research Poll Results
- This graphic doesn’t accurately represent the results of the poll because Bernie Sanders had more support among black voters than Cory Booker. Why was Sanders excluded from this graphic?
The Graphic: Post-Debate Morning Consult Poll Results
- 6% of respondents, not 3%, said they support Pete Buttigieg in this poll.
- If Pete Buttigieg had dropped from 6% to 3%, the third column should’ve said -3.
- The resulting error led MSNBC to place Pete Buttigieg below Cory Booker in a poll showing Buttigieg has twice as much support as Booker. Whoops!
The Graphic: Q3 Fundraising Numbers
- Bernie Sanders raised $25.3 million, not $24.3 million, in Q3.
- Pete Buttigieg raised $24.8 million, not $24.9 million, in Q2.
Half of the figures in this graphic are wrong. Oops!
MSNBC vs. Andrew Yang
While Bernie Sanders has been the victim of a series of inaccurate graphics, Andrew Yang has often been erased from MSNBC’s reporting. Universal basic income advocate Scott Santens has done an excellent job documenting how Yang is often left out in MSNBC’s reporting of the Democratic primary.
Perhaps the most egregious error by MSNBC was referring to Andrew Yang as “John Yang.”
The error? That’s not his name.
— Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) September 10, 2019
Is it too much to ask of a major news organization to double-check the data they put in their graphics? These errors are easy to spot and could be easily fixed.
Did I miss something? Leave me a comment down below if there’s a graphic that needs to be added!