- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 26, 2019

New York Times columnist David Leonhardt says “centrist bias” at “non-Fox” media outlets appear to be hurting Democratic presidential hopefuls such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernard Sanders.

The newspaper’s former Washington bureau chief recently penned a column titled “How ‘Centrist Bias’ Hurts Sanders and Warren,” which proposes “centrist zealotry” as an obstacle for Democrats vying for the White House in 2020.

“The overwhelming majority of journalists at so-called mainstream outlets — national magazines, newspapers, public radio, the non-Fox television networks — really are doing their best to treat both parties fairly,” he wrote Dec. 22. “In doing so, however, they often make an honest mistake: They equate balance with the midpoint between the two parties’ ideologies.”

Mr. Leonhardt’s piece piggybacks off similar claims by Politico’s John F. Harris, who confessed to a “pretty strong bout” of centrist bias in November.

“Once you start thinking about centrist bias, you recognize a lot of it,” Mr. Leonhardt wrote. “It helps explain why the 2016 presidential debates focused more on the budget deficit, a topic of centrist zealotry, than climate change, almost certainly a bigger threat. … The world is more surprising and complicated than centrist bias imagines it to be. Sometimes, people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are right.”

The writer concluded by saying both politicians “deserve the same skepticism that other politicians do — no less, no more.”

Media watchdog NewsBusters responded to the piece on Wednesday by calling it “an unconvincing stab at portraying [Mr. Leonhardt] as moderate.”

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