Daily Tracking of Corporate and Independent Stories About Sanders 2020 Presidential Campaign
Bernie received a lot of attention in the news cycle in the last 24 hours so that also receives attention below, some election coverage updates on debates and policy, plus campaign events for the rest week.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com billionaire, owns the Washington Post; the Post covers Bernie badly since he always specifically mentions Bezos as the worst example of a bad billionaires — an irresponsible, morally-evil person taking advantage of everyone else.
This is pretty apparent. The Post fact checker often misrepresent’s Bernie’s policies; just a few weeks ago, the Post tried to smear Bernie as not paying his union employees a $15/hr wage (in fact, they were paid $18/hr).
CNN framed this critique as “Does Jeff Bezos tell Washington Post reporters what to write?” and then asked an editor to say “No he doesn’t.”
In the video, Sanders reiterates the entire reason this blog exist: billionaires own the media networks, therefore the media networks only publish stories that benefit the billionaires that own them. We all must remember this every day.
Of course, the pundit response was simplified as “Backing down from earlier claims” by the network pundits, bankrolled by the rolling class. We are now at a point in the narrative where 4 sources are in conversation trying to say the same thing, which is “Bernie = Trump because both say ‘Fake news!’”
To sell this narrative, MSNBC called in Neera Tanden, a frequent first-responder to Bernie Sanders. Tanden is President of Center for American Progress, which bills itself as a liberal think-tank, but is really a political dark money group that donates to pro-market causes and campaigns.
Here’s a video of the confusing and hard to follow segment explaining the “controversy,”
As Splinter News aptly points out, “Neera Tanden Is the Last Person You Should Ask About Journalistic Independence”
This story details this dreadful affair and mentions how much Neera Tanden really cares about journalistic integrity. From the 2016 Clinton email hack we learned,
…emails showed Tanden telling Clinton campaign chair John Podesta she would try to get ThinkProgress to change a headline on a story criticizing Clinton for making a “dishonest attack” on Sanders’ health care proposal.
“They are crazy leftists down there,” she wrote of ThinkProgress. The outlet ultimately changed the headline to something more innocuous.
Tanden follows many of the most vehement anti-Bernie accounts. MSNBC’s anti-Bernie media bias is not hard to see. Earlier today, they posted the one #MyBernieStory out of hundreds of thousands that was a literally-made-up attack on the candidate. Twitter user @realDavidOnline explains it well below,
Yet somehow, “the discourse” is now hyperfocused on the opinions of @HoarseWisperer, a person who pretends to be a horse online with two misspellings in their handle.
As the number of media outlets multiply, the corporate benefactors behind them will find ways to profit from the inherent bias of pro-money sources. The corporation that owns the Hill might be for Sanders today, because they can profit off the people who turned off MSNBC.
A non-profit, left-focused Common Dreams (a site frequently cited on this blog) explains, “Why Bernie Sanders Is Absolutely Correct About the Washington Post — and Corporate Media Overall”
The corporate class uses the media to broadcast information that will make them more money. It’s that simple.
Common Dreams details exactly where the media’s true loyalty lies, quoted below, with attribution links, from the Common Dreams story,
“This year, the Post has strained to throw negative light on Sanders’ campaign, whether focusing on Wall Street or Venezuela. Nor is the Post far afield from other powerful media outlets. For instance, the New York Times reportage has taken Sanders to task for alleged sins such as desiring to exercise control over his own campaign and failing to please Democratic critics who are actually corporate lobbyists but not identified as such.
Nor is the AT&T-owned CNN far afield from the baseline of cable news giants that supposedly provide a liberal alternative to the odious Fox News. Coverage from MSNBC — owned by Comcast, “the world’s largest entertainment company” — has provoked one assessment after another after another documenting the network’s anti-Bernie bias….
Journalists who have staked their careers on remaining in the good graces of corporate employers are certainly inclined to say in public that billionaire owners and huge corporations don’t constrain their journalistic work. And in their minds, they might be telling the truth. As George Orwell wrote, “Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.”
I went in-depth on this story because it’s the perfect example of what this project’s daily tracking is about, which is again, if I can reiterate —
NBC writes, “Cardi B grills Bernie Sanders on jobs and wages at a nail salon”
On Thursday, the video interview between the democratic socialist presidential candidate and one of rap music’s most popular acts talking about political economy at a Detroit nail salon will be published on the nail salon’s twitter account.
It cannot be reiterated enough that most Americans do not care what Neera Tanden’s saying on MSNBC at all — in fact, they don’t even have time to follow it.
But many do have an hour to listen to The Joe Rogan Experience, the most popular podcast on the internet, and they heard Bernie explain why he’s running for president.
This video has almost 9 million views, and that doesn’t count the amount of listens to just the audio podcast on iTunes and Spotify, where Joe Rogan’s show is the most popular show on the platforms,
On this independently produced podcast, Bernie detailed his conviction, plan and policy to end to federal cannabis criminalization.
USA Today details the executive order plan below,
At least 12 million people have seen either the Joe Rogan podcast or the Cardi B teaser video. Almost 9 million watched the first Democratic debates. As stories become more confusing, like the ones on CNN and MSNBC, or paywalled, like the ones on New York Times and The Washington Post, and obviously-transparent, it makes sense that Americans would prefer to get their information about the world from sources talking directly to them like Cardi B and Joe Rogan.
Issues — Medicare for All
Sanders keeps reiterating the greed of pharmaceutical companies gouging for drug prices, and now he’s teaming up with Maryland representative Elijah Cummings to use congressional power to make pharmaceutical companies release their reasoning behind charging the prices they charge for drugs.
The Hill reports, “Cummings, Sanders investigate three drug companies for ‘obstructing’ congressional probe”
Quoted from the story,
“Not only did your company’s apparent obstruction undermine our investigation, but it may have caused further harm to patients and health care providers by delaying the discovery of evidence about the companies’ price-fixing,” Cummings and Sanders wrote in letters to the firms.
Furthermore, obstructing or evading a Congressional investigation, including withholding or concealing information, is a violation of federal law.”
With Congressional power, the two congressmen can make these corporate drug manufacturers release the reason why they’re so expensive: it’s because they’re marking them up for huge profits since there’s no laws stopping them from doing so.
Healthcare is the resonant issue on the campaign, and this is what Sanders 2020 knows sets them apart as the most progressive campaign in the race.
This Week reports, “Bernie Sanders plans to rejuvenate his campaign by focusing even more on Medicare-for-all”
From The Hill,
“Sanders’ camp is banking on the idea that health care is the “defining issue” of the election cycle, and his staffers say that, so far, the strategy seems to be working. An analysis by FiveThirtyEight showed that the senator received the biggest polling bump following the second Democratic primary debate when he homed in on the topic.”
“These political superfans turn their activism into collectors items” by MSNBC
This was my favorite story today, and completely recontextualizes how some small number of people donate to political campaigns.
The story profiles Leslie Zukor (seen above) and other members of the American Political Item Collectors, an organization of folks who collect buttons, shirts, signs, stickers and more from political campaigns.
“Among the most famous of these political collectors? CNN’s Jake Tapper, who has a room full of memorabilia from presidential candidates who lost…Most campaigns with stores up — every candidate excluding Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Wayne Messam and Bill de Blasio — either declined to comment or didn’t disclose how much money they’ve made so far through just campaign merchandise purchases.”
Think about that: people are donating to loser presidential campaigns just to get the sticker so they can think back on these runs years later and laugh at them. However small, some small fraction of every candidate’s merch donations are just random folks buying it with full knowledge the candidate will lose, but keeping the button as a complicated form of mockery. I’m impressed. When a presidential campaign is polling at less than 1% of support, you wonder if these collectors might be the only people donating…
‘My Bernie Story’ is up from yesterday, the Free Social Search app records 157,900 posts up from 138,600 at time of posting.
The campaign has no scheduled, public events. Yesterday, Sanders was in Las Vegas, Nevada for the aforementioned labor speech and going to Los Angeles on Friday so it’s likely the campaign’s in the southwest.
Bernie was in New Hampshire. Here’s his speech at a Breakfast in Berlin, NH:
A speech later in the day in Littleton, NH
Coming up (repost from 8/13)
Bernie is on the ground in California this weekend doing 5 Barnstormers in 3 days. at a Barnstorm in Highland Park on Friday, another Barnstormer in South LA on Saturday, another one, south in Petaluma, CA. Back near LA in Montebello on Sunday then flying to San Francisco for a Barnstormer that Sunday evening.
Senator Nina Turner is holding round tables in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday, starting with a Millennial Roundtable, a volunteer appreciation drop-in, a roundtable on hate crimes, and a block party. Activists Shaun King and Phillip Agnew will speak at these round tables.
After that, the campaign returns to Iowa for the Field of Dreams Press and Staff Softball Game.
The campaign is hitting all four early primary states in one week, about half a year away from the primaries, then Bernie’s going to go play baseball. If you’re in these states, go see Bernie, and if you’re not in these states, get online and start volunteering!