Two NBC News journalists apologized to Andrew Yang on Sept. 6 after the Democratic presidential hopeful called out an on-screen graphic that omitted his name when listing candidates participating in the upcoming Sept. 12 debate.
Yang tweeted an image of the faulty graphic, saying NBC “may have miscounted.”
NBC News senior producer Michael Hopper initially responded to Yang by telling him the image was “doctored.” However, Hopper eventually realized he was the one who was wrong and apologized.
NBC News national political correspondent Steve Kornacki also apparently responded to Yang’s tweet.
“There’s no excuse for it and it’s my responsibility to check any graphic that I go on-air with, so I apologize for this screw-up…I owe viewers, candidates, and their supporters information that is 100% reliable,” Kornacki wrote.
Yang accepted the apology. He added that though “honest mistakes happen” on occasion, “NBC and MSNBC seem to omit” him on a regular basis. Yang sent a series of tweets about the way he’s treated by NBC News and even included a video with “more examples.”
Late last month, CNN removed a “New Day” graphic of the top-performing presidential candidates in a recent Quinnipiac poll that excluded Yang in favor of a lower-polling candidate.
The network showed Rep. Beto O’Rourke polling at 1 percent, but not Yang at 3 percent.
“When the inexcusable graphics were brought to our attention, we immediately reached out to CNN,” said Randy Jones, Yang’s campaign spokesman. “They responded quickly, pledged to remove the incorrect graphics, and offered a sincere apology.”
The graphic was one of several that prompted Yang’s supporters, known as “the Yang gang,” to use the hashtag #YangMediaBlackout in accusing the mainstream media of conspiring against Yang by not covering his campaign.
According to an analysis by Axios released last week, Yang ranked 14th (out of the field of 19) in terms of articles written about his candidacy and 13th in cable news mentions. He ranked fourth overall in Twitter mentions during the first two debates.
Not only has Yang already qualified for the Sept. 12 debate, he has also qualified for the October debate. Despite all of that, Yang is getting far less media attention than other candidates who are polling lower and not making those debate stages. The same Axios report mentioned earlier suggested the same and pointed to the coverage of Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, wrote, “[Yang] should be getting more attention. If the 2016 election taught us anything, it’s that voters are very sick of the status quo and politics as usual.
Writing off Yang’s candidacy because of his lack of political background or willingness to talk about less high-profile issues isn’t a mistake we should make.”
Yang’s campaign—which rose to prominence largely by gaining support on social media and not by being covered on traditional cable news networks—is maintaining an upbeat and positive message.