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Opinion

Opinion: An airing of grievances by Bernie Sanders supporters at the L.A. Times

Bernie Sanders at the L.A. Times
Sen. Bernie Sanders meets with members of the L.A. Times Editorial Board on Dec. 21.
(Los Angeles Times)

For supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), there was a prolonged airing of grievances during the week of Festivus 2019. We’ve already published a few letters from readers who criticized the Los Angeles Times for not covering Sanders’ massive Dec. 21 campaign rally in Venice, but theirs weren’t the only complaints we’ve received over what’s commonly called the mainstream media’s #BernieBlackout.

Now, “blackout” may be an overstatement, given the coverage Sanders has drawn in the L.A. Times and the fact that a video and a transcript of an extended question-and-answer session with the senator were posted online this week. Still, to many of Sanders’ supporters, their candidate is too often slighted when it comes to conversations about electibility, even though he polls stronger than any other Democrat among Latinos and young people, and he has consistently held the No. 2 spot behind former Vice President Joe Biden.

Here are some of their letters.

Jon Krampner of Los Angeles gives the L.A. Times a backhanded compliment:

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As an admirer of Sanders and his quest for the Democratic nomination for president, I want to express my amazed appreciation to The Times for running two articles in print (on the same day!) that examine his candidacy without distorting, deriding or ignoring it.

No one wants you or any other media outlet to be in the tank for him. We just want a fair shake, and it’s a sign of how often we’ve been disappointed that I write to praise you for doing what’s really nothing more or less than your job.

Kathleen O’Connor Wang of Long Beach expresses disappointment:

I am disappointed as a years-long subscriber that the L.A. Times also contributes to the “Bernie blackout.”

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Sanders has consistently drawn large crowds in California, and yet you ignored his most recent massive rally in Los Angeles. On the other hand, a small fundraiser with wealthy donors held by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets noticed.

Andy Dooley-Miller of Grass Valley, Calif., cites Sanders’ popularity in California:

Sanders’ recent rally did not make it onto your pages the day after. Of course, an article on Biden did.

I’m disappointed in all the media’s lack of coverage of Sanders. You don’t have to support him, but you should report on him. Sanders has a strong following in California, but you would never know it.

Jim Winterroth of Torrance worries about a left-wing media echo chamber:

The origins of intolerance of diversity, from both sides of the political spectrum, is clearly shown in the article about the pro-Sanders media when someone says he listens only to journalists and commentators who fit his world view.

This leads to the sort of radicalization of those who bomb churches, synagogues or mosques.

It concerns me how eagerly the youth of today embrace groupthink. I guess it’s much easier than learning to think for yourself.


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