CNN’s Chris Cillizza and Ryan Lizza Get Torched for Using Kamala Harris’ Fundraising Haul to Praise Mayor Pete


Journalists Chris Cillizza and Ryan Lizza found themselves in ratio hell for using California Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Kamala Harris‘ $12 million fundraising haul as an excuse to praise South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttegieg‘s $7 million total, which is five million fewer dollars.

As first quarter fundraising totals for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates came trickling out Monday and Tuesday, CNN’s Cillizza and Lizza got bizza with a pair of nearly-simultaneous tweets making the same point:

The reactions were unkind, to put it mildly:

While both tweets received plenty of negative feedback, Cillizza achieved an impressive 10-to-1 ratio of replies to retweets, known in the industry as a “Half-Cillizza.”

The Izza-twins weren’t alone in praising Buttegieg over Harris’ accomplishment. NBC News’ Jonathan Allen made a similar point, and The Hill declared Mayor Pete the “first winner in the fundraising primary:

Things got interesting when Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign released their $18 million first-quarter take, and CNN political director David Chalian responded with what could certainly be interpreted as a backhanded swipe at Cillizza and Lizza:

Sanders has an additional $14 million on hand that was left over from his Senate campaign, giving him a total war chest of $32 million.

A lot of criticism of the media’s Democratic primary coverage has centered around a “double-standard” in the way women and candidates of color are covered versus white men like Buttegieg and Beto O’Rourke, who has fielded many questions from the press on the subject.

As fundraising totals continue to roll out, it’s worth noting that disparities in coverage, in earned media, should also be evaluated when assessing those fundraising totals.

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