Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called the situation a “crisis.” He swears to “take concrete action” against “today’s assaults on journalism by Wall Street, billionaire businessmen, Silicon Valley, and Donald Trump.”
Newsroom employment is down about 25% since 2008, according to Pew Research. A number of trends have converged, showing there’s less involvement in the mainstream media news. Traditional advertising has withered so much that people have been laid off. New revenue sources are being studied. Some of those are in digital media, but about 60% of that goes to Facebook and Google.
Conservatives have been complaining loud and strong about that very issue but now that liberal news is being affected, suddenly, it’s a crisis.
“At precisely the moment when we need more reporters covering the healthcare crisis, the climate emergency, and economic inequality, we have television pundits paid tens of millions of dollars to pontificate about frivolous political gossip, as local news outlets are eviscerated,” Sanders writes.
Without local news outlets to come up with actual “news” stories, liberal media outlets wouldn’t have anything to write their propaganda around.
If elected president he’d require “major media corporations to disclose whether or not their corporate transactions and merger proposals will involve significant journalism layoffs.” Bernie’s next socialist proposal in Congress will likely be subsidizing journalists.
If the citizens are foolish enough to elect him, He promises to appoint an Attorney General who would enforce anti trust laws on Facebook and Google. The Federal Trade Commission would back up the AG. He’d appoint “new, progressive leadership at the FTC.” Gee, haven’t conservatives been calling for that since the great “purge” right before the 2018 election?
“Their monopoly power has particularly harmed small, independent news outlets that do not have the corporate infrastructure to fight back,” Sanders noted. Small independent conservative news outlets were forced out of existence.
Of course, he had to include a Workplace Democracy Plan in his schemes intended to help “those working in media to form unions.”
Mistrust of the media is all Trump’s fault, Bernie claims. By pointing out all the fake news, ratings of the liberal outlets have plunged. That, Sanders believes, “has helped the jobs to evaporate” as well. It’s getting dangerous to be a reporter in America. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has noted 27 attacks against journalists so far this year.
“We also know that Donald Trump is making things far worse. He is a pathological liar who has spent his presidency trying to demonize journalists when they dare to debunk his lies,” Sanders writes. “Worse, he has called the media the ‘enemy of the people’ in a deliberate attempt to destroy the very idea of a free press.”
“Trump’s authoritarian bullying of the media is totally unacceptable and it must be denounced and rejected. But let us be clear: that alone will not solve the journalism crisis. Moreover, a further expansion of oligarchic business models in the media industry could make matters worse.” It seems like he’s talking about the Murdoch dynasty over at Fox network with that one.
Sanders himself has had frustrations with media. He thought Jeff Bezos had influenced the Washington Post’s coverage of his campaign after Sanders blew the whistle that Amazon hadn’t paid much in tax this year. Tax is Bernie’s middle name.
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