Bernie Sanders criticizes Washington Post coverage. Baron responds
WASHINGTON – Marty Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post, said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had bought into a “conspiracy theory” after the senator, a Democratic presidential candidate, accused The Post of anti-Sanders bias.
“Sen. Sanders is a member of a large club of politicians – of every ideology – who complain about their coverage,” Baron told The Post in a statement. “Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor, Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”
At a Monday town hall in Wolfeboro, N.H., Sanders suggested that some critical coverage of his campaign was linked to his own criticism of Amazon, noting that Amazon paid little corporate tax last year.
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“Anybody here know how much Amazon paid in taxes last year?”
“Nothing,” shouted back the audience.
“I talk about that all of the time, 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,” said Sanders, to laughter from the audience.
Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon, also owns The Washington Post, though the paper stresses its editorial independence and separate management.
Sanders has been openly critical of Amazon for its labor and business practices. The company raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in October 2018 after a backlash from Sanders and other progressive politicians. Sanders has also called for the company to pay more in taxes after reports alleged the company paid no federal income taxes in 2018.
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In July, The Post published a story about labor disputes on the Sanders campaign. The campaign’s union had sparred with management as they formed a union, and some staff had complained to The Post about not being paid $15 an hour.
Sanders later told The Des Moines Register that he was “disappointed” in the campaign employees that had complained to the press about the campaign’s labor disputes.
“It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media,” he said at the time. “That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it’s improper.”
President Donald Trump has echoed similar criticism of The Post, using the hashtag #AmazonWashingtonPost in tweets and accusing the newspaper of furthering Amazon’s corporate goals.