Accuracy in Media

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) momentum as a 2020 presidential candidate continues after a strong electoral result in the Iowa caucuses this week, finishing second behind South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Despite Sanders’s surge in Iowa and New Hampshire polls, the mainstream media focused solely on his recent policy proposals while neglecting to highlight many of the self-declared democratic socialist’s past statements and political maneuvers.

Sanders served as Vermont’s congressional representative from 1991 to 2007 when he won his Senate election campaign. In total, Sanders is a federal political veteran of at least 29 years. But few media reports have dug into his political past or his past statements and political moves over the years.

Here are some of Sanders’s past which has gone unnoticed by the media:

  • While running for election in 1980 and 1984, Sanders campaigned for the Socialist Workers Party.
  • Sanders “proudly endorsed and supported” the group’s presidential candidate at the time, Andrew Pulley, and said in a press release, “I fully support the SWP’s continued defense of the Cuban revolution.”
  • In 1984, Sanders defended the Cuban regime under Fidel Castro and said, “Everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world…They forgot that he educated…kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.” He did not disavow his comments, though he agreed that the Castro regime was a brutal government regime.
  • During the 1970s, Sanders wanted to abolish the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), reduce the military and revert back to local militias.
  • He proposed a decrease of spending cuts of 50 percent in the Pentagon’s budget.
  • He floated the idea of primarying Barack Obama, the incumbent president, in 2011.

These are a few examples of Sanders’s history which has gone mostly unnoticed and under-reported in the mainstream media in the 2020 election cycle. Considering Sanders’s long history in politics, there could be more information to uncover and report on.

The media has been caught up in reporting about the current 2020 election cycle, recent policy proposals, polling results, primary election tallies, but has neglected to investigate Sanders’s past despite his long service in both chambers of Congress. It is an example of bias by omission, or neglectful or lackluster investigations, and the media should fix it by publishing more information on Sanders and the other candidates in the 2020 presidential primary field.

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