Part of the reason Hillary Clinton was able to achieve front-runner status and hang on to it in the 2016 campaign is that the media decided she would be the nominee.

Granted, the Democrat National Committee conspired with the Clintons to clear the field for Hillary, but the media let it happened and in fact promoted her as the anointed one. They have begun doing the same with Joe Biden, one of 23 candidates vying for the Democrat nomination. Bernie Sanders must be experiencing deja vu all over again!

The problem with the media picking winners and losers is that the media's picks don't always jibe with the voters' preferences. That helped to defeat Clinton in 2016 because as skeptical as voters were about Donald Trump, they generally didn't like Hillary Clinton and I think to some degree resented that the media helped her to defeat Sanders.

Ironically, the press anointed Trump as the front-runner for the Republicans early on at the expense of the other 18 or so candidates in the hunt for the nomination. That too was not fair. Donald Trump led every newscast in 2015 and 2016 and the other candidates were unable to compete with all of the free attention that Trump got from the media.

The press appears to be doing the same for Biden. The media types have apparently decided that Biden has the best shot at defeating Trump and they have placed him at the head of their coverage of the campaign. This unbalanced coverage helps Biden to rake in the cash needed to finance a campaign and starves lesser-known and lesser-heeled candidates of the money and attention they need to compete.

A fair warning to Biden: much of the country hates the news media and might not react kindly to the media meddling in the 2020 campaign as it did in 2016. This could backfire and have a negative impact on Biden down the road.

Trump's combative relationship with the media has helped him. It could work for him again in 2020, particularly if the media is perceived to have a horse in the race against Trump.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.