Despite being the recipient of adoring, positive press for pretty much anything he does, Bernie Sanders is hoping to preserve what he calls “real journalism”.
The socialist presidential candidate spoke out about journalism in a recent opinion piece — he labeled President Donald Trump as a major obstacle in the fight to preserve authentic news gathering. Other obstacles and attacks against pure journalism are not on the left, Sanders assures readers, but from Silicon valley and “billionaire businessmen”
Sander’s has frequently spoken out about the media — not about the typically fawning coverage he receives — but about his perception that it is somehow unfair and weighted against the left. His recent opinion piece appears in the Columbia Journalism Review. Sanders’ complaints revolved around publications like the Washington Post, which he feels does not represent true journalism. Sanders’ frustration stems from what he considers to be inadequate coverage of his campaign, pillars of “medicare for all,” and the “climate crisis”. He specifically calls out the Washington Post for failing to provide what he considers to be top news stories the coverage he feels they deserve.
“At precisely the moment when we need more reporters covering the healthcare crisis, the climate emergency, and economic inequality, we have television pundits paid tens of millions of dollars to pontificate about frivolous political gossip,” .
Sanders’ also criticized the way silicon valley is impacting coverage of his pet initiatives, despite the overwhelming support of progressive causes and candidates by Google, Facebook, and other tech sites:
“For example, two Silicon Valley corporations—Facebook and Google—control 60 percent of the entire digital advertising market. They have used monopolistic control to siphon off advertising revenues from news organizations. A recent study by the News Media Alliance, a trade organization, found that in 2018, as newspaper revenues declined, Google made $4.7 billion off reporting that Google did not pay for.” Sanders wrote.
“Today, after decades of consolidation and deregulation, just a small handful of companies control almost everything you watch, read, and download. Given that reality, we should not want even more of the free press to be put under the control of a handful of corporations and ‘benevolent’ billionaires who can use their media empires to punish their critics and shield themselves from scrutiny.”
While the press was the target of Sanders’ wrath, his favorite and oft-mentioned target and villain against the free press is President Donald Trump. He calls the president a “pathological liar who has spent his presidency trying to demonize journalists when they dare to debunk his lies.”
Although Sanders’ opinion piece is supposed to outline his plan for journalism, it focuses more on complaints against Conservatives in general and Donald Trump in particular. He also returns again and again to the flawed idea that brands like Facebook and Google, oppose fair press. Both of these organizations have been called out for censoring conservatives and favoring liberal candidates and initiatives.