Sanders: Media 'Far Removed' From American People

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Sen. Bernie Sanders says that the media are "far removed from the reality of where the American people are."

Sanders said that in an interview on C-SPAN (it will air Sunday, June 26, at 6:35/9:35 p.m. ET) after being asked about early press reports that his campaign was a long shot and could have money problems and what had changed—he wound up pushing Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail and to the left on some issues and raised large amounts of cash in many small individual donations.

Sanders suggested that rather than anything changing, the media had gotten it wrong.

He cited David Brooks of the New York Times talking about how the pundits all got it wrong—Donald Trump's campaign was also given little chance by those pundits, and he is now the presumptive GOP nominee.

Related: No Matter Who's in White House, Relationship With Press Will Get Tougher

He said that despite what the establishment thought when talking with each other, it turned out the people wanted real change.

"There is an inside-the-Beltway bubble in which Congress, the media, the establishment, look at reality in a certain way." He said what has saddened him about the corporate media, and he said he used that term "very advisedly because people have to understand that when they look at network television and major media, these are owned by large corporations. They are not some folks coming down from the sky trying to give an independent or objective perspective. They work for large, multinational corporations."

He gave the journalists themselves credit for being smart and hard-working, saying he could not believe how much they produced. But, he said, there is a view inside the Beltway that what campaigns are about is about personalities, like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. "What about talking about the American people? But that is not part of what the media discourse is about."

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He said he held four press conferences in California in the run-up to the primary talking about issues—climate change, fracking, healthcare and economics. "You know how much coverage that got? Very, very little, 'cause that is not what the media is interested in."

He said looking at politics as a baseball game or a soap opera is not where the American people are.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.