Sanders Campaign Takes Shots at Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post

Bernie Sanders, Jeff Bezos
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Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) presidential campaign took shots at Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post in the first edition of the Democrat candidate’s “Bern Notice” newsletter published Thursday.

The first edition, titled “BERN NOTICE: What We Cannot Discuss,” tackled Sanders’ longheld criticism of corporate media giants– particularly the Bezos-owned Washington Post:

“As Bernie Sanders has been rising in post-debate polls, why are elite media pundits particularly angry at him? The explosion of rage tells us a lot about what the corporate media says we can and cannot discuss — and how frightened the establishment really is,” the post begins, taking shots at “the billionaire-owned Boston Globe and New York Times” for “rehash[ing] an old media-manufactured trope pretending that Bernie Sanders doesn’t talk to people at parades and fairs.”

“This followed the Washington Post ignoring a slew of recent positive polls for Bernie and instead choosing to only publish a big story on one single bad outlier poll,” it continued:

In response, Bernie suggested that maybe the reason this keeps happening is because billionaire media moguls like Jeff Bezos and others don’t particularly like his agenda that would take power away from billionaires and corporations.

And yet, Bernie’s comments about media ownership touched off a full freak out by — shocker! — the Washington pundits who are paid by the corporations and billionaires who own the media.

David Sirota – the Sanders campaign speechwriter who authored the post – listed media pundits who took issue with Sanders’ remarks against corporate media giants, including CNN’s Chris Cillizza and MSNBC’s Brian Williams. He suggested that certain journalists take issue with Sanders because they are obliged to peddle the narrative of their billionaire superiors – like Bezos – who have a “corporate agenda.” The Bern Notice said Bezos and his Washington Post have a “very clear and aggressive political agenda”:

Bezos bankrolled the campaign to block lawmakers from raising taxes on billionaires, and as a Politico headline noted: “Bezos plays active role in tax fights.” More recently, Bloomberg News reported that “Amazon is flooding D.C. with money and muscle” as the company seeks to dominate Washington policymaking.

In the lead up to his company’s Washington lobbying blitz, Bezos told everyone he did not buy the Washington Post as some apolitical passive business investment. On the contrary, he publicly declared that he took an interest in it because of its power in our democracy.

And for all the claims that Bezos has no interaction with the Washington Post, Bob Woodward recently told a health insurance lobbying group that he spoke with Bezos about how he makes hiring decisions. Bloomberg has also reported that “every two weeks, Bezos holds an hour-long conference call with executives at the Washington Post (and) twice a year, the managers fly to Seattle for day-long strategy sessions with the Amazon.com founder.”

While Sirota affirmed the Sanders campaign’s belief that “great journalists are still doing great work,” he argued that “corporate and billionaire ownership help create a general framework of coverage.”

Prior to the release of the Bern Notice’s first edition, Sirota tried to draw a distinction between Sanders’ criticism of the media and President Trump’s.

“Worth adding: Bernie disliking that power-worshiping media culture & pushing for a better journalism culture is fundamentally different from Trump, who hates the free press & calls it the ‘enemy of the people,'” he tweeted.

“If you cant [sic] admit the difference, then you’re willfully dishonest,” he added:

As Breitbart News previously reported, the president has made it clear that he views the “fake news media” the “enemy of the people” – not the free press.

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