Media

The Washington Post’s War On Bernie Sanders

… AND WHY IT’S SO DANGEROUS FOR THE FUTURE OF “OBJECTIVE JOURNALISM” This website makes no claims as to objectivity.  We exist to shape your opinions.  And like anyone else with something to say, our effectiveness in convincing you depends on our ability to compete in the “marketplace of ideas” using facts,…

… AND WHY IT’S SO DANGEROUS FOR THE FUTURE OF “OBJECTIVE JOURNALISM”

This website makes no claims as to objectivity.  We exist to shape your opinions.  And like anyone else with something to say, our effectiveness in convincing you depends on our ability to compete in the “marketplace of ideas” using facts, numbers and arguments.

Other news outlets?

They’re the ones with the laminated credentials.  The sexy anchors.  The “access.”  The lofty claims of being “fair and balanced.”  Of course as we’ve already seen in this election cycle, these outlets are pushing agendas every bit as much as we are.

The latest example of MSM machination in the 2016 election?  The Washington Post – which fancies itself as “the dominant morning newspaper in the capital of the free world.”

According to the paper’s standards and ethics, as reprinted by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), the Post is “is pledged to an aggressive, responsible and fair pursuit of the truth without fear of any special interest, and with favor to none.”

“Washington Post reporters and editors are pledged to approach every assignment with the fairness of open minds and without prior judgment,” the mission statement added.

Lofty rhetoric … but is the paper living up to it?

No …

Beginning late Sunday evening and continuing through mid-Monday afternoon, the paper ran a whopping sixteen negative stories about Democratic presidential challenger Bernie Sanders.

Don’t believe us?  Here’s the list (as compiled by Adam Johnson of Common Dreams, a progressive website) …

“All of these posts paint his candidacy in a negative light, mainly by advancing the narrative that he’s a clueless white man incapable of winning over people of color or speaking to women,” Johnson wrote. “Even the one article about Sanders beating (Donald) Trump implies this is somehow a surprise – despite the fact that Sanders consistently out-polls Hillary Clinton against the New York businessman.”

Obviously the Post’s love affair with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is nothing new (we wrote about it all the way back in 2007).  But sixteen negative stories against her opponent?  In sixteen hours?

That’s ridiculous.  It’s also worth noting this full-court press against Sanders was launched in the run-up to the Michigan primary – where a loss to the heavily-favored Clinton could have effectively ended Sanders’ candidacy.

What gives?

Johnson has a theory … one rooted in the sale of the paper to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2013 for $250 million.  While that was chump change for Bezos (who is worth roughly $50 billion), it was about four times what major daily papers usually fetch.

Anyway, here is Johnson’s idea …

Despite being ideologically opposed to the Democratic Party (at least in principle), Bezos has enjoyed friendly ties with both the Obama administration and the CIA. As Michael Oman-Reagan notes, Amazon was awarded a $16.5 million contract with the State Department the last year Clinton ran it. Amazon also has over $600 million in contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization Sanders said he wanted to abolish in 1974, and still says he “had a lot of problems with.” FAIR has previously criticized theWashington Post for failing to disclose, when reporting on tech giant Uber, that Bezos also owns more than $1 billion in Uber stock.

The Washington Post’s editorial stance has been staunchly anti-Sanders, though the paper contends that its editorial board is entirely independent of both Bezos and the paper’s news reporting.

Bezos said he bought the Post to help usher it into the digital age and to transition it into a global newspaper.  And the media bought this spin hook, line and sinker.

“Every day begins with a blank screen, a room full of smart people, and a mission to find out how the world works and the motivations of its actors,” Bloomberg’s Brad Stone wrote in a fawning piece exploring Bezos’ purchase of the paper, saying this was a goal “even the crustiest journalists” could appreciate.

Apparently protecting Bezos’ government contracts had something to do with it, too.

Look, this website is no fan of Sanders.  We’ve mocked his socialism repeatedly, and we think he would be a disaster for America if elected president.  But at least Sanders is honest about his ambitions – and his plans.

The same cannot be said for Clinton and the “objective” newspaper currently doing her dirty work …

This is not journalism, this is political advocacy in support of a narrow special interest.    

Too often, we focus on corrupt politicians as what ails America.  But they are only a visible manifestation of the real problem.  As we’ve noted in the past, politicians are not corrupt in a vacuum – they are corrupt because they are allowed to be.  It’s hard enough to hold them accountable with the media doing its job – impossible if the media becomes their mouthpiece.

The Washington Post should be embarrassed by its ongoing subservience to its corporate masters – which runs explicitly counter to its public duty as well as its stated purpose.

***

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30 comments

Flip March 10, 2016 at 9:29 am

WaPo has been slanting conservative so naturally they would want neocon Hillary to be the Democratic candidate. They don’t want a true liberal in office.

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Bible Thumper March 10, 2016 at 9:32 am

This website makes no claims as to objectivity.
Does this mean, no article on today’s unemployment claims being the lowest in 20 weeks?

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Flip March 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

Lowest in 20 weeks isn’t a huge stat. Lowest in a few years would be good to hear.

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Bible Thumper March 10, 2016 at 10:14 am

Even though US population has grown about 100 million, the number of people on unemployment for the last year is at the lowest levels since the nineteen seventies.

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J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 10:27 am

The number of people in poverty in 2014 was nearly 46.7 million people, which is the highest figure since the Census Bureau started collecting the data in 1959.

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Flip March 10, 2016 at 11:25 am

Now that’s a good stat, thank you sir.

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Duke March 10, 2016 at 1:51 pm

just because you ended someones unemployment check does not mean they have a job

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Bible Thumper March 10, 2016 at 5:18 pm

I’d you divide the number of continuing recipients by average weekly claims, you get the average number of weeks of benefits. Ex: 2,225,000/259,000 = 8.59 weeks.
They are eligible for 26 weeks. So either they got a job, we’re fired for cause or were not doing the required job search.

http://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf

To look at South Carolina only.
http://www.oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/claims.asp

J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 10:01 am

Bernie Sanders-a conglomerate of Clinton, Pelosi, Gore, Obama, Carter, Reid, and Soros,Haley all rolled into one, Crazy, senile s.o.b.! That is about a clear of a picture you will ever get about Sanders. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FOR AMERICA!

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Jack March 10, 2016 at 10:08 am

Thank you Obama, from bringing us back from the hell hole the Republicans dug us into.

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J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 10:24 am

Dims Controlled the US Senate from 2004 until 2014.

Dims Controlled the House from 2006 until 2010 – THAT IS WHEN THE Recession started 2006.

But heh, Dims like you never tell the truth.

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Flip March 10, 2016 at 10:40 am

Whatever you say @ladybeater…

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Flip March 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

Obama did greatly improve our nation but we need Bernie to go further.

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J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 10:21 am

If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

Unemployment is between 20-37%.

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TroubleBaby March 10, 2016 at 11:22 am

We are definitely in a “boom” phase of the business cycle.

This is predictable from an Austrian business cycle theory standpoint as it’s a reaction to the years of QE and other associated monetary creation(fractional reserve/lending, etc.).

The question(s) are always:

1. How long will it last
2. How will price increases factor in and in what sectors
3. How bad will the bust be from the malinvestment created by the money printing

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J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 9:57 am

FitsNews shouldn’t defend a communist agitator and sympathizer like Sanders.Bernie Sanders is dangerous.

He’s offering the promise of hope that comes without paying a price.

Even if he doesn’t earn the Democratic nomination or get elected, his message of government socialism as a path to communism and attacks on capitalism plant the seeds in weak, illogical minds.

Just read 90% of your bloggers.It’s already working.

Reply
It's about media, da March 10, 2016 at 10:40 am

What you took from this post is that fits is defending Sanders? Mmmmkay. Seems someone has a one track mind and didn’t bother reading?

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Flip March 10, 2016 at 10:48 am

He’s high on Trump right now so his brain’s not all there.

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J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 10:02 am

Every one needs to stay away from Bernie Sanders.This

SOCIALIST is a VERY DANGEROUS person who is NOT

to be trusted.I liken him to Stalin and Putin.Do NOT vote

for Bernie Sanders.A vote for Bernie Sanders is a vote

for socialism and the LOSS of our Constitution and Bill

of Rights.A vote for ANY Democrat is a vote for SOCIALISM and the loss of our Constitution and Bill of

Rights.

Reply
Jack March 10, 2016 at 10:06 am

A new incarnation for Big T/grand tango/flip/pogo/etc etc I see. Has another personality emerged? Off his meds again? How many times will his posts get deleted, because he is a crazy nut?

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Flip March 10, 2016 at 10:41 am

He’s also a @ladybeater…

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J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 10:43 am

South Carolina

ARTICLE 17.

HARASSMENT AND STALKING

SECTION 16-3-1700.

CEASE AND DESIST.

Reply
Flip March 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

Don’t know what you are talking about @ladybeater…

Crooner March 10, 2016 at 10:40 am

Yeah, the newspapers are bought and paid for just like the politicians. But, really, isn’t that a logical if not expected result of a capitalist economy?

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Manray9 March 10, 2016 at 10:50 am

I was beginning to think only I noticed this. The WaPo, just like the DNC, is in the tank for Hillary. Bernie threatens the status quo.

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J.Smith and Jesus for Trump March 10, 2016 at 10:51 am

In a 1972 essay, presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) opined that men fantasized about women being abused. He also claimed that women fantasized about being gang raped. In an article entitled “Men-And-Women,” published in an alternative newspaper called the “Vermont Freeman” Sanders shared his thoughts on male and female sexuality in ways that would cause a media firestorm if it had been penned by any current GOP candidate. Even one with as little chance at grabbing his party’s nomination as Sanders currently has. “A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy,” wrote Sanders. “A woman on her knees. A woman tied up. A woman abused.”

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erneba March 10, 2016 at 11:01 am

The Washington Post, like every other liberal concern in this country, are beginning to realize that Bernie Sanders is not going to be an automatic pushover in the Democrat primaries. He has attracted a large loyal constituency, especially among the young people and this is keeping her campaign locked down in a fight for the candidacy for President in her own party.
Hillary would desperately like to rid herself of this this nuisance and get on about running against the Republicans. Bernie winning Michigan was not fatal for her campaign, just deeply embarrassing.

And besides, Hillary has other things to worry about besides Sanders or the Republicans that could derail her campaign.

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Nat March 10, 2016 at 11:35 am

Those articles (most were blogs) were all written the day after a debate that Bernie didn’t do so well in. WaPo even addressed FAIR’s complaint. Bernie wasn’t getting a lot of ink about substance in the early running of his campaign, mostly reporting about the size of his rallies. Now he is in the spotlight, just like the Trumper. Hillary has had plenty of negative articles, questioning her honesty, Benghazi, and email server.

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Eriksunflower March 10, 2016 at 5:15 pm

If you support Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for president, but do not plan to support Hillary Clinton in the fall, then let the DNC know by signing and sharing the petition below. The DNC, headed by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager Debbie Wassermann Shultz, has gone out of its way to tip the scales towards Hillary Clinton, they have limited debates, allowed the Clinton campaign to co occupy DNC offices throughout the country, The DNC has changed long standing campaign finance guidelines and funneled money from super packs directly into Clinton’s campaign, The DNC has at one point shut down Sander’s campaign access to its own crucial voter date. Democrats could be making a colossal mistake betting on Hillary’s superior electability this year. Many Bernie supports see Hillary a dishonest beneficiary and protector of a corrupted government and will not support her candidacy in the Fall. Bernie Sanders is winning amongst 18-29yo by huge margins, the same goes with independents as well, two demographics one needs to turn out to win a national campaign. Bernie is winning or coming within 3 points in states that are going to be essential to Democrats in the general election, whereas Hillary’s dominance comes from the deep south which traditionally votes Republican. Despite not having the help of billionaires, the DNC, over 500 super delegates and a southern “firewall” decades in the making, Bernie continues to be competitive, easily breaking records for individual donations, a sign that voters are much more enthusiastic about a Sander’s candidacy.

https://www.change.org/p/i-support-bernie-sanders-but-i-will-not-support-hillary-clinton-in-a-general-election

https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/phonebank

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MrDB_Cooper March 10, 2016 at 11:08 pm

Ha ha… for months and months the Sanders crowd cried about how their candidate wasn’t getting any press. Now he’s getting press and they’re crying about how much press he’s getting. What did they assume would happen? That the press would be their megaphone and sing his praises to the globe with the same rose-colored glasses they wear? Of course that’s what they assumed because rose-colored glasses.

You can’t cherry-pick a very thin data set — a few hours’ worth over the course of a long primary run — and lay claim to any reasonable conclusions about a bias. Statistics will cluster. Data is rarely going to be spread out evenly like peanut butter on a slice of white bread. So he’s getting attention — that’s good for him — and it’s not to their liking — and that’s not actually as bad for him as they might imagine.

I’m weary of their conspiracies and all their imagined slights as though he’s entitled to an easy yellow-bricked highway to the convention because he’s all that. Yeah, he’s not getting treated well but there are valid reasons. First, the rules he’s playing by are of his choosing — in that he’s an independent and he chose to enter the Democratic race and crash the party when he didn’t have to. Second, he bad mouths Democrats freely — which is everyone’s right and may be well-deserved, except that it’s a questionable practice if you’re in dire need of winning support from the Superdelegates who are actual, living, breathing people who self-identify as Democrats. In that situation, the cool reception from the party ranks is hardly a conspiracy — at least not without naming him as a key accomplice. Third, he has campaigned only for himself, not for other down ticket candidates or causes championed by Democrat-heavy constituency groups. Clinton has raised millions for these people and causes. Bernie? $0.00.

Sanders is running a horrid campaign yet, to his credit, he’s gotten a lot of mileage out of it. He probably should be getting op-ed pieces written and work the press — which is something he may be neglecting because the press neglected him. Anyway, it seems that he’s neglecting the press much as he has neglected the Superdelegates.

To the extent we’re going to draw conclusions from a cherry-picked slice of data, I’d surmise that the bias against Sanders has to do with a blind spot in Sanders’ campaign apparatus more than anything. If you look at the other blind spots his campaign has — and how they refuse to acknowledge them, preferring to imagine that there’s a conspiracy in place — it’s the most logical and obvious conclusion.

Sanders is not doing what he needs to do to cultivate important relationships needed to win the nomination. That’s to be expected from a man who has basically been a free agent for most of his political career. When the fruits of those uncultivated relationships aren’t there to be harvested, blame the farmer for not doing the things that must be done– and spare us, Bernie supporters, all of the absurd conspiracy theories in which the soil and the weather and tractor and MSNBC and the Washington Post are scheming against him as part of a secret cabal.

Reply

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