News Release

Va. Attack: Media Slamming Sanders, Ignoring Russia Obsessing


newsrelease15ADAM JOHNSON, ahubbardjohnson at, @adamjohnsonnyc
Johnson just wrote the piece “With Sleazy Innuendo, NYT Lays Virginia Attack at Bernie Sanders’ Feet” for the media watch group FAIR.

Johnson writes: “New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor (6/14/17) started with a false premise and patched together a dodgy piece of innuendo and guilt-by-association in order to place the blame for a shooting in Virginia on ‘the most ardent supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders.’ …

“Left unmentioned in the piece were two entirely relevant pieces of context that would mitigate the burden of responsibility for Sen. Sanders and provide alternative theories of the crime. The first is Hodgkinson’s history of domestic violence — a common factor in most mass shootings (CounterSpin, 6/17/16). …

“The second — and perhaps most salient, given the tone of the piece — was Hodgkinson’s obsession with President Trump as a pro-Russian ‘traitor.’ His Facebook was filled with content calling Trump a ‘traitor,’ including a petition insisting ‘Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy’ and ‘It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.’

“Since Hodgkinson’s political leanings are being probed as somehow responsible for the shootings, it’s curious why the New York Times decided to highlight his pro-Sanders stance and not his obsession with Trump as treasonous pro-Russian agent — an accusation that Sanders has not aggressively pressed and, indeed, has sometimes been on the receiving end of. Why ‘Attack Tests Movement Sanders Founded’ and not ‘Attack Test Democrats’ Trump-as-Russian-Agent Inquiry’? Why note Hodgkinson’s support for Sanders but not his love for Rachel Maddow, more than half of whose show, one study found, is dedicated to the Russia/Trump story?

“The answer is that the former is easy — and convenient — to smear, whereas the latter implicates a whole host of powerful institutions: the Democratic leadership, most major media and, above all, the New York Times itself, which has published, and thus legitimized, the most extreme and irresponsible fringe of the Russia/Trump dot-connectors in the form of Louise Mensch (, 3/31/17).”