Senator Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary Clinton in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and deserves more media coverage, writes Courtney Baldwin.
Firstly, I want to thank those of you out there who have gone against the grain and have given Bernie Sanders fair, unbiased coverage. You are the real journalists and I humbly thank you for doing your profession justice; we need more like you. Many people have been very disappointed in the coverage (or lack thereof) of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. One can only assume the reasoning behind this is that the majority of the mainstream media is controlled by the same billionaires and special interests Sanders is rallying against. This is terribly concerning, and honestly rather insulting; as reporters it is your duty to be the eyes of the people and provide all information, in a fair and unbiased manner, so we citizens can make an educated vote based on all the facts – not the distorted opinions of a few. Bernie Sanders message has become wildly popular, especially with millennials, largely in part in thanks to the strongest grassroots movement this nation has ever seen; sparking new excitement for politics and hope for our future.
Currently, Sanders is leading Hillary Clinton in both key states, Iowa and New Hampshire, and quickly gaining ground all over the country – all while being ignored/dismissed by media and without Super PACS or corporate donors. Journalists have a responsibility to their readers/viewers and frankly, our country to report on Mr. Sanders and the issues that our generation holds near and dear. These include: income and wealth inequality, influence of money in politics, affordability of education and healthcare, climate change, reforming our criminal justice system, racial inequality and working toward a more involved democracy.
Many progressives have been following Bernie for years; he was a regular on the Thom Hartmann Show (Brunch with Bernie), the longest serving independent in Congressional history and has relentlessly fought for the middle class. His record will speak for itself regarding consistency and passion for decades on the same issues at the forefront of his campaign today. His inspiring stump speech, calling for a political revolution, that’s resonating with hundreds of thousands across the country echoes those he has given since the 80’s.
His supporters across the nation come from all walks of life, and are not partisan. He’s also received some notable endorsements from Cornel West, Sarah Silverman, Mark Ruffalo, Brandon McCarthy, Elon Musk, Bill McKibben, and Neil Young… among others. The dedication of Sander’s supporters is impressive and unparalleled to anything we’ve ever seen. Over 125 tech professionals came together from every demographic imaginable and launched FeelTheBern.org; hands down the most comprehensive campaign site ever. Sanders has garnered an extensive network of supporters, volunteers and attention worldwide in support of political revolution brewing in this country and around the globe. One can draw many similarities to the large grassroots support in the UK of now Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn; evidencing the power of social media and a good message. This is a global call to take back our government; to tell the leaders that they need to work for ALL people, not just the wealthy, and we need the media to recognize it.
While Bernie lacks significant funding compared to Clinton and Bush, he has by far the most passionate and devoted supporters. Bernie Sanders campaign has been funded by over 400,000 individual donations – the average donation being about $33. In his entire political career he has never ran a negative ad, and in this campaign he’s refused to give in to media pressure to attack Hillary Clinton; rather he focuses solely on real issues America faces, which is inspiring to say the least.
Bernie Sanders is largely ignored by the media, or when mentioned, it’s very dismissive, mocking or only in reference to Hillary or Biden (who isn’t even in the race). For this reason the momentum and LEAD he has gained in early states are largely thanks to the persistence of dedicated volunteers and supporters. The NY Times has even recently acknowledged their lack of coverage and dismissive tone of Sanders. The fact is he’s in a better position than Obama was at this point in his 2008 campaign, and deserves to be treated as such. I ask that you do your profession justice and focus on REAL issues, rather than hate-tweets and the theatre that has now become political norm. You owe it to the public, your readers and most importantly the country to be non-bias in your reporting of real issues, regardless of your political affiliation. The national conversations have started. The political revolution is happening. Let’s get serious and stop turning our political system into a reality show.