The most astonishing thing about Bernie Sanders‘ visit to Greenville’s TD Convention Center today wasn’t the 2,800 people who turned out to cheer him on. It was our newspaper of record’s almost non-existent and effectively covert coverage of the rally prior to his arrival.
When I visited greenvillonline.com at six o’clock this morning, Bobby Jindal’s August 20 campaign stop at Wofford College was the lead story. Jindal currently ranks 14th in the Republican primary polls – .07% (CNN/ORC), to be exact.
Sanders, on the other hand, ranks 2nd among the Democratic candidates – 29% to Clinton’s 47% (CNN/ORC), and climbing. And while we’re on the subject of Sanders v. Jindal, nearly four times as many people attended Sanders’ July 26 rally in Jindal’s home state of New Orleans (Jindal is governor there, remember) as had attended Jindal’s candidacy announcement in that same venue a month earlier. Want more? 27,500 people turned out to see Sanders at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on August 10, a phenomenon symptomatic of what the national media has dubbed “Bernie-mania.”
Yet the entirety of Bernie Sanders’ pre-rally coverage in The Greenville News was a one-paragraph reference hidden – yes, I think it’s fair to use that word – inside an article titled “Some SC Democrats want Biden to run.” Anybody scanning the morning headlines for information about the Sanders rally would have missed it altogether.
Fortunately, I don’t rely on The Greenville News for much of anything that doesn’t pertain to downtown land development, so I knew about the rally and got there early enough to wangle a press pass. Sweet.
As to whether the Democratic Socialist’s reception here was newsworthy, taking place as it did in Lindsey Graham’s backyard and barely two miles from Bob Jones University, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
August 27 update: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump visited the TD Convention Center six days after Sanders. 1,400 people attended, but because Trump had booked a smaller room, it was described as a “sellout crowd”.