RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Galindez writes: "Bernie Sanders continues to draw the largest crowds on the campaign trail. In poll after poll, he is the strongest candidate in the general election, polling better than Hillary Clinton against all of the Republican candidates. Bernie Sanders has more supporters in the polls than Donald Trump. So why does the media treat this race like it's Hillary Clinton v. the Trump-led Republican field?"

U.S. senator Bernie Sanders speaks to a crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center. (photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
U.S. senator Bernie Sanders speaks to a crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center. (photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images)

Despite Media Blackout, Sanders Gains Momentum

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 December 15


ernie Sanders continues to draw the largest crowds on the campaign trail. In poll after poll, he is the strongest candidate in the general election, polling better than Hillary Clinton against all of the Republican candidates. Bernie Sanders has more supporters in the polls than Donald Trump. So why does the media treat this race like it’s Hillary Clinton v. the Trump-led Republican field?

The media is not ignoring Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz, but they are ignoring Bernie Sanders even though he leads in New Hampshire and is within striking distance in Iowa. In both states Sanders is running ads with significant buys, he is drawing the biggest crowds, and he clearly has the enthusiasm factor on his side.

What Bernie is not doing is slinging mud, which would create ratings for the networks. And he is the only true anti-establishment candidate running for president. The “establishment press” doesn’t want Bernie to upset their apple cart. They control dissemination of information in America, and they want that to continue.

The so-called anti-establishment Republicans are not proposing anything the establishment isn’t comfortable with, so they are all acceptable to the owners of the establishment. Donald Trump is one of those owners.

The Sanders campaign is taking aim at the “establishment media.”

The corporately-owned media may not like Bernie’s anti-establishment views but for the sake of American democracy they must allow for a fair debate in this presidential campaign,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said in a press release.

The campaign cited reports that showed ABC’s “World News Tonight” has devoted 81 minutes of air time to the campaign of Republican primary front-runner Donald Trump this year, compared to 20 seconds to Sanders through the end of November.

It also pointed to NBC’s “Nightly News,” which has given the Sanders campaign 2.9 minutes of air time, and “CBS Evening News,” which has given Sanders 6.4 minutes of coverage.

So, if Sanders has received some of the largest crowds of any presidential candidate this election cycle, why does he fail to draw equivalent levels of media attention?

The crowds at Sanders’ events continue to be more energized and bigger than other candidates have attracted so far in this campaign. The turnout in Clinton, Iowa, for example, was bigger than the turnout earlier in the week for former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. I’ll bet MSNBC did not tell you that.

A crowd of 1,450 supporters on Saturday packed the gymnasium at Waterloo West High School to hear Bernie.

Earlier, at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, hugging the banks of the Mississippi River, Sanders drew nearly 1,000 supporters at the second of three town meetings. Over 600 people had turned out earlier in the day at a middle school in Clinton, Iowa.

In addition to the three town meetings, the day’s first stop was a forum on criminal justice in Anamosa, Iowa, a town that houses the largest prison in the state. Sanders called for a national discussion about the “destruction of human life” through incarceration.

“I’m a proud progressive,” Sanders said, “but any conservative should be listening … because the evidence is overwhelming that when you invest in children … you save substantial sums of money. At the end of the day, providing a path to go to the University of Iowa is a helluva lot cheaper than putting them on a path to jail.”

On Sunday, Sanders started his day at the church of supporter Dr. Franz Whitfield, a young black pastor who has led the congregation since he was 24 years old. Sanders met with the church elders at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church before addressing the weekly service.

“I don’t have to tell anybody in this room that our great country today faces many serious problems,” Sanders said at the beginning of his address. “We are the wealthiest country in history the world, but most people don’t know it. And people don’t know that because almost all of the wealth in America belongs to the people on top, while millions of other people are struggling to put bread on the table and take care of their families.”

As Sanders spoke, many in attendance responded as they would to a sermon.

“Being here in a church of God, I think what we have to understand is that greed, unquenchable greed, is destroying our country,” Sanders said. “And a few people cannot have it all, while children in America go hungry.”

Sanders called for a more compassionate society.

“We can create that kind of country, because at the end of the day, we are better people, better human beings when we care about each other rather than when we are greedy and want it all for ourselves,” he said. “ That’s what you’re doing here. That’s what religious people do all around the world.”

At Anamosa and other stops, Sanders also discussed how the news media fail to focus on issues that most working families in America face.

“They’d rather have us fighting against each other,” he said of the campaign trail coverage that makes network news instead. “Let’s ban all Muslims, let’s talk about that. Let’s not talk about how we all come together to create an economy that works for all rather than the top 1 percent.”

Dr. Whitfield also expressed his frustration with the media in an interview with RSN after the service.

Bernie finished his Iowa swing with stops in Mt. Vernon and Davenport.

The next day, a new poll in Iowa showed that Sanders had cut Hillary Clinton’s lead to single digits.

“We have come a long way in Iowa since we were at 5 percent in the same poll last January, and very few people knew who Bernie Sanders was or what he stood for. This poll shows there is a very clear path to victory in Iowa,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

“With big leads among young people and voters who would be first-time caucus-goers, our job is to do all that we can to make certain that voter turnout is high among less traditional voters,” Weaver said. “Clearly we have also got to make certain that seniors in Iowa understand that no one in Congress has fought harder to defend Social Security and Medicare and that, as president, Bernie will take on the pharmaceutical industry and lower prescription drug prices.”

Sanders then spent Monday and Tuesday speaking to large crowds in New Hampshire in the lead-up to Saturday’s debate in Manchester.

On Thursday the senator from Vermont stood with leaders of the Communications Workers of America, receiving the endorsement of the 700,000-member union.

“Brothers and sisters, let me thank the 700,000 members of the Communications Workers of America for their strong support,” Sanders said. “For decades you’ve been fighting for the rights of working families and I’m so proud today to be with you in that fight.”

“CWA members endorsed Bernie Sanders because he is the candidate who is talking about real solutions to make our economy fair again. Politics as usual has gotten working people nowhere. It’s time for real change. That’s what CWA members are saying, loud and clear,” CWA president Chris Shelton said. “Our members are ready to do what it takes to elect Bernie Sanders as the next president of the United States.”

Howard Dean’s organization, Democracy for America, endorsed Sanders Thursday after an online poll in which 87.9% voted for Sanders. DFA was a big force behind the movement to draft Elizabeth Warren.

“Bernie Sanders is an unyielding populist progressive who decisively won Democracy for America members’ first presidential primary endorsement because of his lifelong commitment to taking on income inequality and the wealthy and powerful interests who are responsible for it,” DFA executive director Charles Chamberlain said. “Throughout his campaign, Bernie has repeatedly said that the huge problems of income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism that our country must confront are bigger than a single campaign - they need a political revolution.”

“With today’s endorsement, DFA members are joining Bernie’s ‘political revolution’ and working to take it both to the White House and up-and-down the ballot, in races coast to coast,” Chamberlain said.

“I’m proud to have DFA and its one million members join our people-powered campaign,” Sanders said. “DFA’s tireless focus on bringing people together through grassroots organizing is the best way we can fight back against the billionaires and oligarchs who have rigged our economy. I also want to congratulate DFA for its principled support for grassroots democracy and for its internal democratic process. It is no secret that the founder of DFA – my friend and fellow Vermonter former Gov. Howard Dean – has chosen not to support my candidacy. Yet the leadership of DFA allowed a fair and free vote to take place, which we won. That’s pretty impressive.”

Well, maybe now that the union many members of the media belong to has endorsed Sanders, they will start giving him some coverage. One thing is clear, so far: the revolution will not be televised, but it will be streamed on the internet.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner
Email This Page


THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.