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Truthdig! - May 12, 2019

Politico magazine  (5/3/19) took a deep dig into Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “bizarre, charming and, at times, startling cable-access TV show,” Bernie Speaks With the Community—produced in the 1980s when Sanders was mayor of Burlington, Vermont. While the article and accompanying video are relatively friendly to the senator—remarking on his humor (“who knew?”) and other agreeable personality quirks—writer Holly Otterbein’s description of certain clips as “startling” was more eye-opening than anything Sanders actually said.

Rather than explicitly condemning any of Sanders’ statements from the episodes, the piece used the dodge that other people (not us!) might use against the presidential hopeful. Even though Politico literally paid for all 51 tapes of the show to be digitized, the piece disingenuously noted:

Whatever good it did for Bernie Sanders at the time, Bernie Speaks With the Community is now 1,667 minutes of material for opposition researchers, healthcare insurance companies and Trump’s reelection campaign to pick through.

In other words: We’re just gonna leave this here, with absolutely no motives, after spending hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars digitizing it for anyone who wants to watch. People are using it to attack a Democratic 2020 candidate we just happen to red-bait? Oops! So sorry, Bernie!

Otterbein went on to construct a road map of Sanders’ apparently damaging statements for a hypothetical “30-second” attack ad by “his opponents”:

The Nicaraguan Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega “happens not to be a Communist.” Nora Astorga, the Nicaraguan ambassador to the United Nations who had recently visited Sanders, might have gotten cancer because of the “tremendous grief and suffering that’s going on in her own country” caused by the war. The Soviet Union’s economy is being “devastated” by military spending. And perhaps, as he proposed to a classroom of small children, Burlington should develop an exchange program with communist and socialist countries around the world. “I would like to see families—your mothers and dads and yourselves maybe—go to the Soviet Union and learn about that country, and people from there come to here,” he says. “If you actually had kids here who were from Nicaragua or from the Soviet Union, and they could tell you what’s going on in their own country, boy, you could learn a whole lot. And then if kids from Vermont or Burlington were in those countries, they could tell those people what was going on in their hometown.”

Is it a coincidence that all of the things Politico picked out in their “short, and surely incomplete,” list of supposedly damning Sanders quotes have to do with improving relations with countries the US government and corporate media have stopped at nothing to divide and conquer? ...
Read full article at Truthdig!