Mainstream media falsely labels Buttigieg, Klobuchar as 'moderates,' report suggests

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., have seen a recent surge in the 2020 race after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, but a new report suggests that the way mainstream media outlets describe the two candidates is not accurate.

The Media Research Center's NewsBusters project collected some examples of the news coverage Buttigieg and Klobuchar have received in recent weeks that depicts them as "moderates" and juxtaposed those clips with ones that describe their policies.

"Bernie Sanders won the progressive primary there in Iowa and Pete Buttigieg won the moderate one," MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd said, later adding that Buttigieg "took votes" from "other moderates" Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden.

"Buttigieg is a moderate running as a moderate," MSNBC host Chris Matthews had said.


Meanwhile, Buttigieg himself has declared that he would be "the most progressive presidential nominee we've put forward in a generation."

After being labeled as a "moderate" by other outlets, Buttigieg is seen in a clip raising his hand at the first Democratic debate when the candidates were asked whose health care plans would cover undocumented immigrants.

Klobuchar, who had a strong third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary this week, earned similar coverage by the media.

"Because she's a centrist, because she's a moderate, because she builds coalitions, I've always thought that there could be a lane for Amy Klobuchar," CNN anchor Don Lemon said.

However, Kobuchar told CNBC that she "supports capitalism but not unbridled capitalism," and in an interview with CBS called for "universal health care."

Other positions that have been taken include Buttigieg's support for a "wealth tax" and to "end the electoral college," as well as Klobuchar's support for the Green New Deal.

NewsBusters is self-described as "America’s leading media watchdog in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias," according to its website.


The Washington Post editorial board also declared last week there were no "centrists" running in the Democratic primary.

"There are the policy moves that practically all Democrats agree on: giving legal safe harbor to the young immigrants known as 'dreamers'; reviving and expanding President Barack Obama's climate regulations; reengaging with Iran; raising the minimum wage; keeping abortion legal; cracking down on guns. In fact, every major Democratic candidate is running on an agenda to the left of Mr. Obama’s," the Post editorial board wrote.