Paul Starobin on the Bernie Sanders Criticism of Jeff Bezos, Amazon, and the Washington Post

Here is Paul Starobin, a reporter who knows Washington very well (though he now lives on Cape Cod, maybe giving him a wider perspective than the journalists who live in DC) commenting on Facebook about the Bernie Sanders attacks on the Washington Post:

Bernie Sanders: “And then I wonder why The Washington Post — which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon — doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why. But I guess maybe there’s a connection. Maybe we helped raise the minimum wage at Amazon to 15 bucks an hour.”

Starobin: Yes, this line does echo Trump, who calls the paper “the Amazon Washington Post.” Editor Baron at the Wash Po says nonsense to Sanders. Such are the times we live in, I suppose. For the record, and as I have long said, I do think it is problematic for the world’s richest man, w multiple direct interests in Washington policy/regulation/law, to be the owner of the capital’s flagship paper. Can it cover Bezos/Amazon straight?

Still, I don’t see what Sanders accomplishes here–energizing his flock against the ‘corporate’ media as a foil? He sounds frustrated. As on antitrust, as on a huge cloud contract at stake w the Pentagon, as on Amazon’s ‘second’ HQ in northern Virginia, as on…

Facebook question: Isn’t Bezos a CIA contractor? Starobin: Amazon I believe is. To be fair, all the Big Tech companies compete for lucrative government contracts. But I wouldn’t want the top guys at Google or Microsoft to own the Wash Po either. Too much concentrated power in too few hands.

Starobin: Generally speaking, my sense is that your standard issue road political reporter doesn’t much like the Sanders beat. That reporter craves access. Access, access, access. One of the great love affairs for the ‘liberal’ press was for candidate John McCain, of the Straight Talk Express bus. Anyone could wander back and shoot the bull w Johnnie McCain. He loved off color stories, etc, reporters felt kinship being part of the circle.

My point is that Sanders is an extreme version of an opposite type. He’s not personable, not w reporters, not really even w individual voters. He doesn’t like talking about himself. Must be drudgery to follow him around. None of this goes to substance, as in his high decibel message, but there you have it. That said, I don’t think he should be calling out the Wash Po, hard to see this as an Amazon thing. He has his following and at this point probably should just ignore the press.

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