July 12, 2015

CNN's Reliable Sources host, Brian Stelter interviewed The Nation's Editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, about a recent campaign stop where John Nichols introduced Bernie Sanders. Stelter said,

'But what's your reaction to the idea that someone who is interviewing Bernie Sanders shouldn't be up on the stage introducing Bernie Sanders?'

vanden Heuvel:So, first of all, The Nation has been up front since we were founded 150 years ago, up front about our values, our principles. We are independent.

We have called it like it is. We have criticized Democratic candidates, presidents. And John Nichols has introduced Bernie Sanders for over 25 years.

Bernie Sanders has been in Congress since 1990. He was on "Meet the Press" for the first time last year. John McCain sleeps at "Meet the Press."

Stelter wondered why things are covered the way they are. Katrina put him in check:

vanden Heuvel: Because there is a policing of the parameters of what is considered acceptable politics in this country.

She, along with many of us on the side of logic and reason, are tired of progressive candidates and policies being marginalized by the talking heads of the corporate media. Stelter acts as if no one has been discussing the issues that are so popular with so many Americans, and is shocked at his popularity. Katrina explains that for over 30 years, The Nation and other progressive outlets have been lauding the Vermont Senator for his common sense, and anti-one-percent philosophies. Many people have not been exposed to his simple brilliance, largely because of people like Brian Stelter.

Ms. vanden Heuvel explains that not only is The Nation covering Sanders, but they are also featuring the full gamut of Democratic candidates, and she is eager to hear Hillary's economic speech tomorrow. She proudly explains that they covered Martin O'Malley's plan to deal with Puerto Rico's crippling debt. She elaborates on what is lacking in the media:

But I do think Bernie Sanders speaks also to the prospects for progressive politics in this country.

It is an opening. When you have a pope traveling Latin America talking about unfettered capitalism, perhaps we're at a moment where people are looking beyond labels. Bernie Sanders is essentially, by the way, a 21st century New Dealer, all this socialism. He is essentially modernizing the New Deal.

But people I think are hungry, Brian, not for opposition ads. And, you know, at the end of the day, the airwaves -- this may be shocking and heretical, though Bernie Sanders talks about it, as do others -- the airwaves belong to the American people. We don't need the saturation of these warped attack ads. We need issues. We need discussion. We need debate.

STELTER: You're talking about the broadcast networks, the local stations...


The editor of The Nation explained that if the candidates are covered on the metric of how much campaign cash they have amassed, Bernie should have been covered far more extensively than Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. His money, unlike theirs, comes from small donors, not dark money. She explains,

'And I don't think a lot of people, with all due respect, in the mainstream corporate media have fully woken up to it, though There are some hardboiled correspondents, like Dana Milbank and Dan Balz, who are saying, hey, this may be a moment, what's going on here, and trying to check the barometer, thermometer of this country, a populist, economic populist ferment.'

Perhaps if the media started behaving itself and acting responsibly, giving equal if not MORE time to candidates that have a substantive platform and popular appeal, perhaps we wouldn't have these Republicans in charge. The media was absolutely complicit in the Teabagger wave which has caused untold suffering for millions of Americans. Thanks to the GOP-sensationalism in the Koch-ALEC-dominated media, our country succumbed to these frauds in the 2010 and 2014 Midterms. Let's demand more from our media and maybe we can move forward and disinfect our system from the Koch-roaches.

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