Mass media narrative managers have been throwing a fit ever since Senator Bernie Sanders criticized The Washington Post for providing unfair coverage of him at a New Hampshire town hall on Monday.
“Anybody here know how much Amazon paid in taxes last year?” Sanders asked the crowd.
“Nothing!” the crowd answered back.
“See, and I talk about that all of the time, and then I wonder why The Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why,” Sanders said.
The reaction has been swift and furious. Outlets ranging from NPR to CNN to Fox News have claimed that Sanders’ comments are “Trump-like” and “echoing Trump”. CNN’s segment on the story insinuated multiple times that there is no evidence for Sanders’ claims of biased coverage by WaPo.
“Sen. Sanders is a member of a large club of politicians — of every ideology — who complain about their coverage,” reads a statement by WaPo Executive Editor Marty Baron. “Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor, Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”
All of these people are lying. During the hottest and most contentious point in the 2016 presidential primary, Fair.org documented the fact that The Washington Post published no fewer than sixteen smear pieces about Sanders in the span of sixteen hours. This sixteen-hour window included Sanders’ debate with Hillary Clinton in the tightly contested state Michigan, where Sanders went on to score a narrow but hugely significant upset victory. To say that WaPo has a history of bias against Sanders is not conspiratorial, Trumpian or lacking in evidence, it’s an intellectually honest acknowledgement of an undeniable and well-documented fact.
As of this writing I have not yet seen a single one of the outlets decrying Sanders’ comments about The Washington Post make any reference at all to those sixteen WaPo smear pieces in sixteen hours. This is journalistic malpractice, as is the suggestion that there is no evidence of bias in WaPo’s reporting about Sanders.
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Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.
Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.
After briefly asking his guest who she is and why she’s running for president, Colbert jumped right into it by immediately bringing up Syria and Assad, the primary line of attack employed against Gabbard by establishment propagandists in American mainstream media.
Colbert: Do you think the Iraq war was worth it?
Colbert: Do you think that our involvement in Syria has been worth it?
Colbert: Do you think that ISIS could have been defeated without our involvement and without our support of the local troops there?
Gabbard: There are two things we need to address in Syria. One is a regime change war that was first launched by the United States in 2011, covertly, led by the CIA. That is a regime change war that has continued over the years, that has increased the suffering of the Syrian people, and strengthened groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS, because the CIA was using American taxpayer dollars to provide arms and training and equipment to these terrorist groups to get them to overthrow the government. So that is a regime change war that we should not have been engaging.
Colbert: So, but if it is someone like Bashar al-Assad,
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