Salon - August 26, 2019

Bernie Sanders supporters are not paranoid to suspect that there is a conspiracy to prevent him from getting the presidential nomination. Indeed, given the existential threat that his politics pose for the rich and powerful, the Democratic Party elite and their wealthy donors seem downright terrified of his redistributive policy platform. Hence, many large media outlets and the elite pundit class have, often subtly, allied themselves against him.

FAIR founder Jeff Cohen wrote a probing essay for Salon recently explicating how the anti-Sanders “barrage” had manifested itself in outlets like the Washington Post, which during the 2016 campaign once published “16 negative stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 hours.” “Bernie Sanders is one of the world’s most effective critics of Jeff Bezos and the fact that Amazon paid no federal income tax last year,” Cohen wrote. “And the Bezos-owned newspaper has exhibited an unrelenting bias against Sanders in recent years.” Likewise, WikiLeaks email dumps from the Democratic National Committee revealed suggestions of internal bias against Sanders, which led to the resignation of then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

So last week, when MSNBC reported on a trending hashtag among Sanders supporters by picking up a hostile tweet rather than an earnest one, the exhibition of bias was no surprise for Sanders’ fans. A scan of the trending hashtag in question, #MyBernieStory, reveals a fount for Twitter users to explain how personal events in their lives had politicized them and brought them to support Sanders. Exemplary tweets from the hashtag included stories of supporters whose identities clashed with the disingenuous media depiction of white, male “BernieBros” (which is objectively untrue, as a Pew poll found Sanders supporters were the least white, least male and majority working class); or those who had been failed by the welfare state and found hope in Sanders’ plan for Medicare for All.

... The Washington Examiner, typically a right-leaning newspaper, reported on the incident. “Brian Williams just tried to make an anonymous Twitter troll into a source,” the headline blared. “Just to recap: Brian Williams cited an anonymous troll who accused Sanders falsely of 'torpedoing' Clinton to claim some Democrats are upset with the senator’s Trump-like talking points,” Becket Adams wrote. “And the anchor cited a stupid #Resistance tweet unconnected to the larger issue of Sanders' criticisms of the Washington Post.”

... The informal way that it was written prompted speculation that Ruhle, or other MSNBC correspondents, might know HoarseWhisperer. Adding fuel to that speculative fire, Ruhle later deleted the tweet.

That raised the question: Was this an inside job, an intentional example of an establishment-approved “#Resistance” critic airing disingenuous Sanders hate aired on an overtly liberal network?

HoarseWhisperer, a self-described “Twitter rando” with more than 200,000 followers, posts regularly on American politics from a center-left perspective. They seem to have a persistent dislike for Sanders; one tweet from last week mocked Sanders’ Medicare for All plan and personally attacked Sanders, posting to a Washington Post story (naturally). ...
Read full report at Salon