Andrew Yang Demands Apology From MSNBC, Accuses Network of Ignoring Supporters

Businessman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang went on the offensive against MSNBC Saturday, rejecting an appearance and accusing the cable news network of frequently denigrating and outright ignoring his campaign.

Yang, whose hundreds of thousands of supporters trended the #YangMediaBlackout hashtag in August, chastised MSNBC while speaking to another news network he has also criticized for a lack of coverage, CNN. Yang said MSNBC has repeatedly left him out of fundraising charts and polling graphs while also throwing inane questions at him during last week's Democratic debate. The New York entrepreneur has stressed the devastating impacts of automation on humans in the workforce while touting reforms of an increasingly technological economy so it benefits average workers, families and young people moving forward.

"[There's] millions of Americans who know we need to rewrite the rules of the 21st century economy to work for us," Yang said of his supporters, while speaking Saturday on CNN from Sioux City, Iowa. "Think about those people donating $10 to $20 of their hard-earned money to put a candidate on the stage and then have MSNBC virtually ignore me for 32 minutes or when they tune into MSNBC to see how we're doing in the polls. It's like I don't exist."

Yang's campaign has repeatedly accused so-called "mainstream media" outlets including MSNBC and CNN of disregarding his campaign -- which has gained significant fundraising and polling traction over the past several months. He got a chance to offer this criticism directly to the source on Saturday night.

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

"Americans tuned in to the debate earlier this week and they saw that I got called on less than any other candidate, including candidates that I am polling higher than. And the questions I did get had virtually nothing to do with the core ideas of my campaign," Yang, 44, said.

"And if this were an isolated incident that would be one thing. But if you go back over the last number of months, MSNBC has literally omitted me from over a dozen fundraising and polling graphs," he continued. "Which, it's not about me, it's about the 300,000-plus Americans who have donated to and support my campaign."

Yang's campaign has gained massive support among younger Americans, with social media accounts gathering tens of thousands of comments and shares while promoting his platform. He frequently embraces humorous stunts with celebrities and provides witty criticism of current events.

"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," Yang wrote in a Saturday series of tweets criticizing MSNBC.

"Yes @cnn may have fixed their graphic after our outcry yesterday but this has been happening for months. We can't allow a #YangMediaBlackout. Check this out from a few months's amazing the momentum we've built when it took MSM a while to even acknowledge his existence," read an August tweet from the popular "Yang is how we beat Trump" handle.

Yang appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe earlier this year, a program which has been accused of favoring former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign, and received the following chyron that many of his supporters labeled as dismissive: "2020 Democrat: Give Everyone $1,000 A Month."

In an August statement to Newsweek, Yang 2020 Press Secretary Randy Jones said it is "inexcusable" for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC to have mentioned his name far fewer times than almost every other Democratic candidate.

"With that being said, our supporters consistently highlight any inaccuracies from the media or elsewhere and we are proud to have the strength of our numbers. If an outlet or group intended to work against Andrew in a calculated or organized way without reprisal, I would simply say good luck and tread lightly."

Yang concurred with Jones' August statement and a corresponding New York Times report during his Saturday CNN interview, "You can go through the records and you can see they've done it to me over and over again. And I'm not a guy who takes offense easily, but at this point you have to call it like you see it."

andrew yang msnbc media blackout
Businessman and 2020 Democratic candidate Andrew Yang went on the offensive against MSNBC Saturday, rejecting an appearance and accusing the cable news network of frequently denigrating and outright ignoring his campaign. Screenshot: CNN