News Release

Sanders, Bezos and the Washington Post

JEFF COHEN, jcohen at ithaca.edu, @Roots_Action
Cohen is founder of the media watch group FAIR, author of Cable News Confidential and co-founder of RootsAction.org.

He cited the new piece by his RootsAction colleague Norman Solomon, “Why Bernie Sanders Is Absolutely Correct About the Washington Post — and Corporate Media Overall,” which states: “Bernie Sanders set off the latest round of outraged denial from elite media this week when he talked to a crowd in New Hampshire about the tax avoidance of Amazon (which did not pay any federal income tax last year). Sanders went on to say: ‘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. But I guess maybe there’s a connection.’ …

“For his latest transgression, Sanders earned purportedly authoritative pushback from the likes of the Post‘s top editor, its media columnist and others with high media visibility. ‘Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor,’ Post executive editor Martin Baron declared, ‘Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.'”

Cohen said today: “The Washington Post‘s bias against Sanders has been unrelenting over the years — perhaps most acute in March 2016 when FAIR’s Adam Johnson famously wrote: ‘Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 Hours.’ Among the Post‘s headlines: ‘Five Reasons Bernie Sanders Lost Last Night’s Democratic Debate,’ followed an hour later by ‘Bernies Sanders’s Two Big Lies About the Global Economy,’ followed a few hours later by ‘Even Bernie Sanders Can Beat Donald Trump.’

“Imagine how quickly heads would roll at the Post in the fantastical event that it somehow produced even three negative stories about Post owner Jeff Bezos in a few hours. (And, of course, there’s much to investigate regarding one of the world’s richest men and Amazon’s tax evasionlabor exploitationCIA contractstaxpayer subsidies, etc).”

Also see the piece from FAIR: “Reposting Amazon Press Releases at Bezos-Owned Washington Post.”

Solomon is also executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.