Bernie Sanders: On second thought, Jeff Bezos isn’t the reason the Washington Post is tough on me

Bernie Sanders made some interesting comments Monday during a stump speech. Sanders suggested that the reason he doesn’t get better coverage in the Washington Post is that Jeff Bezos is a big-time capitalist:

“I talk about (Amazon’s taxes) all of the time,” Sanders said in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. “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.”

The Post’s executive editor, Marty Baron, responded to Sanders Monday night: “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.”

Today, Sanders walked back his claim but still complained that the corporate media aren’t being fair to him:

“So this is not into conspiracy theory,” Sanders said. “We are taking on corporate America. Large corporations own the media in America, by and large, and I think there is a framework, about how the corporate media focuses on politics. That is my concern. It’s not that Jeff Bezos is on the phone every day; he’s not.”…

“I think if you look at the coverage that we’ve got, it has not been as fair as it might be. I think, often, the problems like any campaign has, that we have, get exacerbated, our successes get minimized,” he said.

“So all I’m asking is, you know, when you have a media, owned by large multinational corporations, I would hope that the media does the best that it can to kind of free itself from that corporate domination and cover campaigns as objectively as they can.”

A couple of points about this. First, what he said today is completely different from what he said yesterday. He insinuated he was getting bad coverage at the Post because Bezos didn’t like his views. Now he admits Bezos isn’t directing the coverage. That’s a complete walk-back of his main claim.

Second, as you’ll see in the clip below, Sanders is complaining that his message doesn’t get out because corporate media isn’t focused on the same things he is, such as income inequality. That’s true, but what I don’t think Bernie gets is that most Americans aren’t all that interested in his socialist pitch. Even now when socialism is having a moment, he’s in 2nd or 3rd place among Democrats. And needless to say, his views are far less popular on the right. So the reason the media isn’t focused on Bernie’s preferred issues is that most Americans aren’t either. He doesn’t have a media problem, he has an America problem.

There’s an old saying: If you’re explaining, you’re losing. I don’t know if Bernie is losing but he’s certainly off to a bad start this week.

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