Welcome to today’s stream-of-consciousness rant.
Here’s what happened on MSNBC this morning: Thomas Roberts was discussing the upcoming six (yay!) Democratic primary debates with a correspondent. Roberts then said, “Hillary will be debating nobody.” The correspondent reminded him that Bernie Sanders is running. “Oh, but he’s an Independent,” said Roberts.
1. Bernie Sanders isn’t “nobody.”
2. Bernie has said repeatedly he’s running as a Democrat. A “news” anchor should know that. Hell, I knew it! Why didn’t Roberts?
This was as demeaning as it was disrespectful to Bernie Sanders and to the Democratic primary process. Based on what I heard, Roberts appeared to be either willfully ignorant or biased, or both. He certainly wasn’t being responsible. Later in the conversation, Roberts mentioned that Sen. Sanders would indeed run as a Democrat, but cautioned that he better register as one, stat! or he’d be a goner in the debates.
Time to panic! Eek! Hurry Bernie, hurry! Or are you too “kooky” and oblivious to have figured that out on your own?
When a news anchor misleads, it’s obviously unprofessional, but he’s also influencing viewers, in this case, negatively. Viewers are also voters. Roberts sent an all too familiar message that Bernie Sanders is somehow not prepared to be included in the big kids debate with Hillary, that he’s “nobody,” that he’s not qualified– yet– despite the candidate’s statements to the contrary. That did us all a major disservice, especially to Bernie, who is more than qualified.
So many news agencies and commentators, even Jon Stewart, have already made Bernie Sanders out to be an eccentric punchline, a la Mike Gravel some years ago, when in fact, Bernie’s policies are sound, smart, and popular. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s Gravel:
If voters ignore this media BS and actually take the time to listen to the components of Sen. Sanders’ platform, they’ll realize how misrepresented he’s been by the “liberal media.” They’ll realize that being told repeatedly that Sanders can “never win” may not be a corporate media self-fulfilling prophecy after all. And then the unspeakable could happen: They might vote for him.
Bernie Sanders raked in over $1.5 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign. 175,000 have already volunteered to help him out. I’d say that shows him to be someone to be taken very seriously:
Now it’s time for news organizations to take him seriously.