March 28, 2016

CNN misreported Bernie Sanders' ethnic support in three primaries

Alternet - CNN attributed the Vermont senator’s primary wins over the weekend to the “largely white and rural” makeups of Alaska, Hawaii and Washington—demographic claims that are exaggerated.

In an article titled “Takeaways from Western Saturday,” CNN’s Chris Moody wrote, “These caucus states—largely white and rural—are the type of places Sanders traditionally does well. In order to win the nomination, he must replicate this success in other, more ethnically diverse states that hold primaries, as he did in Michigan last month.”

There is a key problem, however: the claims are not true.

While Alaska is majority-white, one-third of its population is comprised of people of color, with a large native population (14.8 percent). CNN’s own Mona Basu noted in January that the diversity of some Alaskan neighborhoods “may surprise folks from the lower 48 who picture Alaska as a largely homogenous and snowy American extremity. But Alaskans are quite proud of their distinctive demographics.”

According to the latest data from the U.S. Census, just 26.7 percent of Hawaii's population identifies as White. Meanwhile, 10 percent are native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 37.5 percent are Asian, 23 percent are mixed race and 2.5 percent are black. “More than any other state, Hawaii stands out when it comes to its racial and ethnic diversity,” Pew Research Center wrote last year. “The Rainbow State has never had a white majority.”

Meanwhile, Washington is the seventh most diverse state in the country, according to this list.

Time Warner, which owns CNN, is a major donor to Hillary Clinton, fueling concerns about CNN’s fairness to Sanders in its election coverage.

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