Bernie Sanders says he has a plan to "reform" the media industry and return it to the days of Walter Cronkite – but not everyone trusts the politician's plan.
In a Monday op-ed published by the Columbia Journalism Review, Sanders says "real journalism" should be about fighting for progress, opposing privileged classes, bringing down the powerful, and lifting up the downtrodden. Toward that end, the Vermont senator vows that if elected president he will make it easier for newsrooms to unionize and harder for major media mergers to happen, and will limit the number of outlets that large media broadcasters can own in each market and nationwide.
"He doesn't have a plan to rescue journalism," says talk-show host and political commentator Richard Randall. "He has a plan selectively to rescue parts of journalism that he thinks are advantageous to him, to the left, to progressives, and to socialists as well."
Indeed, Sanders apparently laments what he sees as insufficient coverage of some of his talking points, writing:
"At precisely the moment when we need more reporters covering the healthcare crisis, the climate emergency, and economic inequality, we have television pundits paid tens of millions of dollars to pontificate about frivolous political gossip, as local news outlets are eviscerated."
Randall, whose show airs every weekday on KVOR in Colorado Springs, says the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist is missing an important point.
"The media is in trouble, but they're in trouble of their own making – and it's not because of corporate mergers," Randall offers. "The biggest problem is that the American public no longer turns to the Washington Post or The New York Times as their source of information, in part because they can no longer trust the Washington Post or The New York Times."
He says despite complaints to the contrary, Sanders and his fellow leftists have benefitted from the media bias that harkens to the beginning of the Obama administration. But through social media, President Donald Trump has single-handedly turned the tables.
"I think social media, particularly Twitter and the president's use of Twitter, [and] his ability to circumvent the bias of the mainstream media and go directly to the public has certainly benefitted him," he tells OneNewsNow. "[In fact] I think it's benefitted the nation."
Randall suggests that may be why going after Silicon Valley tech giants is high on Sanders' to-do list. The Democrat rips both Facebook and Google for "siphon[ing] off" advertising revenues from news organizations and "pillaging our economy" through their greed.