Accuracy in Media

As the Democratic Party presidential primary winnows its primary field of candidates, several months ahead of next year’s primaries, candidates have blamed a multitude of factors for the end of their presidential ambitions.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) dropped out of the presidential primary this week and blamed lack of fundraising for the end of her campaign before the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.

However, fellow primary candidate Julian Castro told the press that the media’s treatment of the Harris campaign was to blame for her campaign woes. BuzzFeed appeared to agree with Castro’s opinion in their article, headlined, “Julian Castro Said Kamala Harris’s Campaign Suffered Because The Media Holds Candidates of Color To Different Standards.”

Castro claimed that the media “held her to a different standard, a double standard, to other campaigns.”

BuzzFeed quoted Castro’s conversation with the media about Harris’s campaign and did not offer any counter-argument, based on the questions BuzzFeed asked Castro.

But neither Castro nor BuzzFeed addressed that Harris’s campaign was in disarray from the beginning, with competing voices and opinions on how to address key primary platforms such as Medicare for All and criminal justice reform.

Harris’s own missteps, such as failing to answer criticism about her record as a state prosecutor in California, her lack of fundraising, and her campaign’s flip-flopping on Medicare for All, most likely contributed to the end of her campaign. None of these factors made it into the BuzzFeed article, which would have been important to add context to why Harris ended her campaign.

Instead, BuzzFeed published Castro’s comments without context and left the reader with the belief that the Democratic Party primary system and the media’s treatment of Harris ultimately doomed her presidential campaign. BuzzFeed should have acknowledged the multiple factors that led to Harris’s withdrawal from the primary and not solely report on Castro’s comments.

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