Bernie Sanders continues to use mainstream media to his advantage
Bernie Sanders appeared on ABC's ThisWeek. He has started using the mainstream media strategically to get his message out. He uses his airtime to correct the false narrative even as the host tries to codify it in the American psyche. The following exchange is probative.
Martha Raddatz: What do you say to critics who say the country needs a president from outside Washington and not a career politician?
Bernie Sanders: Well, what I say is if you study my record, I'm not exactly a career politician. Martha, during my tenure in the Congress, I have taken on virtually every powerful special interest from Wall Street to the insurance companies to the pharmaceutical industry to the military-industrial complex. What my campaign is about is standing up to the billionaire class today, and making certain that we do not continue to see the decline of the American middle class, where people are working longer hours for lower wages and almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent. That is the issue that I find that the American people are most concerned about, the decline of the middle class, massive income and wealth inequality, and a corrupt campaign finance system.
Martha Raddatz: Well, let me take you back to 1990 on election night. This is what you said. "We need a mass movement of tens of millions of people prepared to say that we want national health care, that we want the millionaires and multi-national corporations who are not paying their fair share, to pay their fair share." That sounds an awful lot like Bernie Sanders 2015, but you haven’t really been able to create that mass movement. How can we imagine that you’ll do it now?
Bernie Sanders: Well, Martha, we’re doing pretty well. You know, I started this campaign at 3 percent in the polls. There were some polls that had me out recently at 39 percent. Come to my meetings. They’re huge all over the United States of America. And what we are seeing is mass dissatisfaction on the part of the middle class. We’re seeing people who are really upset that they can’t afford to send their kids to college. They can’t afford childcare. The rich are getting richer; almost everybody else is getting poorer. And what people are saying is, you know, it’s absurd. That with massive income...
Martha Raddatz: Let me turn to Iowa.
Bernie Sanders: ...and wealth inequality...
Martha Raddatz: Let me turn to Iowa, Senator Sanders. This is what you recently said at a campaign stop.
Bernie Sanders (VIDEO CLIP): Let me tell you a secret, don’t tell anybody. I don’t want to get Secretary Clinton nervous. I think we’re going to win here in Iowa.
Martha Raddatz: I don’t know how nervous Secretary Clinton is about that. She has consistently led in the polls in Iowa through the latter part of 2015. What can you possibly do to try to stop that momentum in just four weeks?
Bernie Sanders: Martha, should have been with us in our last trips to Iowa. The turnouts that we’re seeing in big towns and in small towns are extraordinary. The enthusiasm is very, very strong. I think that people are tired of establishment politics and establishment economics. And they are also tired of a corrupt campaign finance system in super PACs that allows billionaires to purchase elections. That’s not what the American people want. And one of the manifestations of that is the kind of incredible fundraising that we have been doing in terms of small, individual donations. We have 2.5 million small, individual contribution-style campaign. That is more than any campaign in the history of the United States of America, and I think that speaks to the enthusiasm and support that we’re getting at the grassroots.
Sanders has proven to be an effective user of the medium even as they have mostly taken him for granted. For those who believe Bernie Sanders does not stand a chance, check out the Clinton vs Obama polls at this time in 2008.