On Thursday, all three network morning shows noted independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders entering the 2016 presidential race as a Democrat. However, NBC's Today left out any mention of the self-described socialist's radical left-wing views.
Today co-host Matt Lauer informed viewers: "Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will formerly announce his plans to enter that race. The 73-year-old is an independent, but he's going to run as a Democrat. That makes it easier to get his name on the ballot in all fifty states."
A clip ran of correspondent Andrea Mitchell interviewing Sanders for her MSNBC show. She similarly avoided his position on the hard left: "How do you, you know, justify running as a Democrat when are you an independent?"
By contrast, on ABC's Good Morning America, correspondent Jon Karl accurately labeled Sanders as "a self-described Democratic Socialist" and observed that "The 73-year old grandfather with that unruly white hair and far-left political views would certainly stand out on a debate stage with Hillary Clinton."
In brief exchange with Sanders, Karl invited the just-announced candidate to hit Hillary Clinton from the left:
KARL: Hillary Clinton, is she really beatable in a Democratic primary?
SANDERS: I think so. I think the American people have had enough of establishment politics.
KARL: It's a billionaire class Sanders says has too much influence over politicians, including Hillary and Bill Clinton, who took in hundreds of millions in speaking fees and foundation donations while Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State.
SANDERS: We are looking at a system where our democracy is being owned by a handful of billionaires. That is wrong.
KARL: And you think the Clintons are part of that system?
SANDERS: I think anybody now who is running for office, you know, with few exceptions, and I think I'm one of the exceptions.
CBS This Morning only provided a 34-second news brief on Sanders entering the race, with co-host Norah O'Donnell declaring: "The Vermont independent calls himself a Democratic Socialist. He says both parties are dominated by big money interests....Sanders says if elected he would raise the minimum wage and rebuild America's infrastructure."