by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
So favorable was the coverage of Warren in the early months of her campaign that supporters of Bernie Sanders felt shortchanged. The progressive magazine In These Times was so annoyed by the liberal media’s more favorable approach to Warren that they studied MSNBC’s coverage and found that “Warren had the lowest proportion of negative coverage of all three candidates (just 7.9 percent of all her mentions) and the highest proportion of positive mentions (30.6 percent).” …
… Warren’s journey to oblivion pained reporters. As Annie Linsky and Amy Wang of the Washington Post wrote in the immediate aftermath, “Elizabeth Warren attracted big crowds. She won rave reviews in nearly every debate. Her organization was second to none. She developed plans, a strategy and a message. Yet when voting started, she not only lost, she lost by a lot.”
The media class that had spent a year celebrating Warren almost perfectly reflected the average Warren supporter. FiveThirtyEight’s Clare Malone noted matter-of-factly that “the media and its dominant demographic group (college-educated white people) are Warren’s base.” To a media establishment still nursing its wounds over Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in 2016, she seemed like a political Athena, sprung fully formed from the Senate and armed to wage a kinder, gentler form of class warfare than Bernie Sanders while simultaneously breaking the presidential glass ceiling.
The tenor of the response among Warren-supportive media outlets demonstrates the extent of their misguided overinvestment in her—an investment that didn’t extend to other female candidates such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar.