Sanders Clarifies: I Don’t Think Jeff Bezos Tells WaPo What To Do

2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) cleaned up his previous remarks about the Washington Post’s coverage of his campaign on Tuesday.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

As I posted earlier:


Sanders is a thin skinned old grifter who can’t take even the mildest criticism without blowing a gasket. God save us from these narcissistic populists.


“Do I think Jeff Bezos is on the phone, telling the editor of The Washington Post what to do? Absolutely not,” Sanders told CNN reporter Annie Grayer. “It doesn’t work that way.”

The Vermont senator said there was a “framework” under which mainstream news outlets like Washington Post and CNN operate that keeps reporters from asking hard questions about wealth inequality.

“But by not asking that question, does that make the media unfair?” Grayer asked.

“It does, in a way,” Sanders responded. “It does, in a way.”

“It doesn’t mean it’s unfair to me personally,” he continued. “But if those are the issues that I’m campaigning on, and those are the issues I cannot talk about, then what I’m trying to do does not get out to the American people.”

Well, he’s right of course. Of course Jeff Bezos is not on the phone dictating content. But everyone there is aware that he’s a fantastically wealthy rapacious rat-bastard who makes his money in part in paying craptastic wages; where’s the percentage, career-wise, in rubbing his face in it? And beyond that, the reporters and editorial staff are all upper middle class folk who don’t have a big gripe with the way things are. That’s why WaPo, and NYT, are always putting the finger on the scale toward those candidates are not going to fuck with the status quo.

If you think otherwise, you’re fooling yourself.


Amazon has announced plans to raise the company’s minimum wage in the US to $15, following sustained pressure from Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders. (BI, Oct 2018)

I don’t understand Bernie’s brain fart here. He did a solid, forced Bezos to institute a non-federally recognized “livable” wage (twice the federal wage), and then attacks Bezos for Amazon paying no taxes (like many many big corps) and Bezos non-influence on the independent WaPo.

Then Bernie does the mea culpa, kinda, after a day or two.
Biden does word flubs, and usually corrects them immediately.
Trump lies 12,000x and makes up shit on the fly.

Which old guy to vote for?


Why go after Bezos because of his ownership of WaPo? The paper is doing excellent work going after the Trump administration.

Is Bernie not allowed to finally get some criticism for his criticism?


To quote Josh

I assume that’s Prime material. So, Josh has sort of a concierge model where people who can afford it get extra, “inside” information. Does this strike you as a source that will support a radical approach to income inequality in this country?

Got a workable plan for that? Bernie sure doesn’t.


Well, of course that’s not what what Sanders did in this instance. He suggested that WaPo’s coverage of him was negatively colored by Bezos’ ownership of the paper. Does that seem an outlandish claim to you?

No, nothing Bernie says is workable. Medicare for all, free college, an end to endless wars - all of these things are impossible, impractical. And WaPo will tell you so.

Notwithstanding those things all are about the norm in every other wealthy country.


It certainly does, carlos. Bezos stays out of it. I read the article. Bernie has too much competition this time, and he can’t afford anything negative, even if true, so he hits back.

Not presidential material. We’re living that now.


Shorter version: Old man yells at clouds, then says it’s not the clouds’ fault after all.

Other short version: Pompous buffoon sinks further in polls despite desperate appeal to true believers.


TPM offers discounted Prime Memberships to students and low income folks. Contact 'em either here or here Surprise yourself.


carlos is welcome here when he admits that the Senate and judicial appointments need the focus.

Otherwise, he’s not worth listening to.

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Tell it to a host of industrialized country who 1) have universal healthcare, 2) have free or low-cost higher education, and 3) aren’t involved in endless wars. Then get back to me.

@chelsea530 I believe Carlos is a she.


Though, to be clear, Bezos is not above micromanaging. Excerpt:

When Amazon was granted a patent last year for a haptic wristband with a motion sensor designed to guide workers’ hands toward inventory items — or, as some darkly speculated, to buzz when they fall behind and need some haptic motivation to speed up — privacy advocates gasped. But such innovations, current and former workers tell me, would only augment existing tactics.

At a typical fulfillment center, certain workers unpack products arriving from manufacturers and suppliers; others stow them amid vast rows of shelves; and “pickers” fulfill orders by grabbing the correct items from the shelves and putting them in a tote, which is conveyed to “packers” who prepare the order for shipment. Workers log their interaction with each product and its location via a scanner, which almost every one of them carries.

If you’re a picker, your scanner tells you the location of the product to be picked and begins counting down the time it should take you to get there. If it takes you longer than the allotted time, the clock starts counting up , recording the amount of time you’ll have to make up later to stay “above rate.” When you arrive at your destination, you scan the shelf or bin, find the item, and place it in your tote. Then you get another location. This process continues until the products needed for the order — or some portion of an order or set of orders — is complete. You set the tote on a conveyor and the process starts again.


Those countries are not this one. But you knew that. And it won’t be easy or fast enough, especially when people turn their backs on those who could make a difference.


The post is about Bernie’s Washington Post comment, which in my view, was
fairly innocuous, but it is certainly grist for the Anti-Bernie mill, who will try
to whip it into a frenzy. That is why Bernie tamped in down a bit.

But really what these posts about Bernie reveal is an ongoing discussion
about the direction of the Democratic Party and the prospects for a
Democratic Victory against Trump.

So, in my view, without calling any of the candidates schoolyard names
(grifter, etc), I support Bernie for the following reasons:

  1. He is most aligned with my positions and overall analysis.
  2. I think he has the best chance of beating Trump.

Its the best of both worlds I support a candidate who I really like and
also has a good shot at winning.

Having said that if Biden or Warren win out, I will support them strongly against Trump.

1.Bernie consistently polls strongly against Trump, and importantly gets support from
independents. His “independent” identity, so controversial here, will only help him in the general election. Will he be attacked as Socialist. Yes. But to quote a former President, “that dog won’t
hunt” anymore. Biden is a gaffe machine. Warren is starting at low numbers against Trump.
Everyone is going to have a hill to climb. I

  1. A candidate needs a strong, exited base of support to win. Bernie brings that to the table. To a lesser extent so does Warren. t Biden? I don’t think so. Are there excited crowds greeting Biden?

In any case, I hope that whoever gets the nod will do a better choice of VP than Hillary did.
That choice was just a door shut to progressives.

The current situation? According to the reports from Iowa, Bernie drew the largest crowds at
the Iowa Fair. He as the largest donor base by far than anyone else in Iowa. And the poll that
I criticized was not Morning Consult but Monmouth. It is fair to look into the methodology, and
when I did that I found that oversampled older voters by double, and since Bernie consistently
polls best with younger voIters, I felt this poll may be an outlier. I am not “Trumpeting” other
polls but I mention them because they give the opposite result than the monmouth poll, and
there are several just coming out showing Bernie nationally a strong second and first in NH.

So we will see. I would like to have discussion here on TPM without resorting to
name calling.


If you’re explaining, then you’re losing.


Sanders was not suggesting that Bezos, Murdcoch-like, calls up to dictate headlines What he’s suggesting is fact that Bezos’ ownership colors the way they cover him. I don’t know why you’d doubt that; employees tend to know how their bread is buttered, and Bezos is not exactly a model of corporate largesse and neutrality. Zero paid in corporate taxes. Local govs browbeat to give the richest man in the world breaks. Workers trashed for organizing. He’s not my friend, nor any working person’s.

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Do have a good night.