JTA — Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders accused The Washington Post of tilting its coverage against him because of his criticism of Amazon and its owner, Jeff Bezos, who also owns the newspaper.
During a stump speech in New Hampshire, the Vermont Jewish senator railed against the online megastore and Bezos, who bought the Post in 2013. Sanders has long criticized Amazon for paying little in federal taxes and believes that his public stand against the company has translated into intentionally negative coverage.
“I talk about that all the time 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,” Sanders, who is among the leaders in a crowded field of Democratic hopefuls, said Monday. “I don’t know why. But I guess maybe there’s a connection. I guess maybe we helped raise the minimum wage at Amazon to 15 bucks an hour, as well. Maybe that’s why the Washington Post is not endeared to me. I don’t know.”
In response, Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron sent a statement to CNN accusing Sanders of peddling a fantasy.
“…A guy named Jeff Bezos. We fought with workers at Amazon to get them $15/hour,” Sen. Sanders said at a rally in North Conway. “We have pointed out over and over again that Amazon made $10 billion in profit last year. You know how much they paid in taxes?” Sanders continues…
— Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) August 13, 2019
“Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor, Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest,” said Baron, who also is Jewish.
The same sentiment was shared by Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan, who tweeted that she had “never seen or heard a hint of @jeffbezos interfering in @washingtonpost coverage.”
Some journalists on Twitter compared Sanders to President Donald Trump, who is well known for his antipathy to the news media, which he has dubbed an “enemy of the people.”
today, a Sanders campaign co-chair bragged about crowd size, she and other top advisers raised doubts about public polls to reporters, and Sanders himself suggested he is not getting good coverage in the Washington Post because of Bezos's ownership: https://t.co/QXdPpGpuOA
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) August 13, 2019