As Bernie Sanders took the stage on Tuesday night, the cable networks continued doing what they do best -- talking.
Fox News, CNN and MSNBC all declined to carry Sanders' speech, instead offering punditry about the evening, with the chyrons promising, "AWAITING TRUMP" and "STANDING BY FOR TRUMP."
Hillary Clinton last week got similarly dissed by the networks in favor of Trump.
Earlier Tuesday, The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone reported that the media have collectively given Trump some $2 billion worth of free air time.
Thanks to Trump's ability to drive ratings and generate controversy, as well as his unmatched accessibility -- notablyby phone -- TV networks have covered the candidate nonstop since he entered the race last summer. Numerous rallies and press conferences have been aired live, while sexist and bigotedremarks typically result in a flurry of TV interviews. After canceling a rally Friday night, Trump dominated cable news by calling into CNN, MSNBC and Fox News for a total of 48 minutes in under an hour.
Sanders' Tuesday speech was available online from CSPAN.
"What I said is that corporate media talks about all kinds of issues except the most important issues. OK? And time after time I'm being asked to criticize Hillary Clinton. That's the sport that you guys like. The reason this campaign is doing well? Because we're talking about the issues that impact the American people. I've known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I like her. I respect her. I disagree with her on a number of issues. No great secret," Sanders told reporters at a campaign stop
in Dubuque, Iowa.
"But this is what I worry about. In terms of campaign coverage ... there is more coverage about the political gossip of a campaign, about raising money, about polling, about somebody saying something dumb, or some kid [who] works for a campaign sends out something stupid on Facebook, right? We can expect that to be a major story," Sanders said in an interview on CNN
"But what your job is, what the media's job is, is to say, look, these are the major issues facing the country. We're a democracy. People have different points of view. Let's argue it."
"But this campaign I am running -- let me reiterate -- is not against Hillary Clinton or anybody else. It is for an American people who are sick and tired of seeing the middle class disappear and huge numbers of people living in poverty. And as a candidate, what I am going to do, Andrea, is focus on the real issues facing the American people: why we are the only major country on earth not providing family and medical leave, the only major country not guaranteeing health care to all people, the need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years."
"Are you and the media prepared to allow us to engage in that serious debate, or do I have to make media attention by simply making reckless attacks on Hillary Clinton or anybody else? I don't believe in that," Sanders said on CNN
's "State of the Union."
Win McNamee via Getty Images
"One thing that has disturbed me is how the media treats campaigns," Sanders told a crowd in Salem, New Hampshire
, recalling how Sen. Marco Rubio accidentally hit a child
in the face with a football and "that will get more coverage than Marco Rubio's position on Social Security."
When asked about Hillary Clinton's commitment to fighting income inequality, Sanders refused to comment on her stance.
"Wolf, you're going to have to ask Hillary," Sanders told
CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I don't work for her, I don't know."
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
"Politics is not a soap opera. We should not be going around making terrible attacks on each other. Let's debate the issues. If Joe [Biden] comes in, that's what I will do," Sanders told
reporters outside a campaign stop at a school in Conway, New Hampshire. "What impact it will have on the race I honestly don't know. I mean, I wish I could tell you, but I don't. Will it help or hurt me? Will it help or hurt Hillary Clinton? I just don't know."
Congressional Quarterly via Getty Images
"When the media worries about what Hillary's hair looks like or what my hair looks like, that's a real problem," Sanders said in an interview
with the New York Times Magazine. "We have millions of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, who want to know what candidates can do to improve their lives, and the media will very often spend more time worrying about hair than the fact that we're the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all people."