Date: August 18, 2019
“If you’ve paid attention to the news in the last few days, you’ve probably heard about Bernie Sanders’s dangerous, scurrilous attack on the US media.
“Do you know how much Amazon paid in income taxes last year?” Sanders asked a crowd, prompting cries of “Zero!”
“I talk about it all of the time,” he continued, “and then I wonder why the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn’t write particularly good articles about me.”
The line instantly elicited a hurricane of denunciations from both the media and prominent Democrats. Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron dismissed it as a “conspiracy theory,” and various of the paper’s reporters chimed in to this effect, with one charging that Sanders “sounds a lot like Donald Trump.” MSNBC’s Brian Williams called it a “Trump talking point,” while Meet the Press (more specifically, its Twitter account) labeled it an attack on the free press, after assembling a panel to rubbish the remarks. One of the participants included the Center for American Progress’s Neera Tanden, who said that, at a time when Trump is attacking the press, lines like Sanders’s give Democrats a queasy stomach.