Sanders ratchets up anti-media rhetoric in Iowa

Story highlights

  • Sanders blasted media companies as more interested in ratings and profits than truly reporting what is going on in America
  • Sanders has long been critical of the media

Dubuque, Iowa (CNN)Bernie Sanders made his animosity toward what he called the "corporate media" clear on Saturday here in Iowa, blasting the media companies as more interested in ratings and profits than truly reporting what is going on in America.

Sanders, speaking to roughly 1,000 people at a convention center on the banks of the Mississippi River, opened his speech by casting his campaign as "not a very fancy type of operation" that is focused on trying to "discuss the most important issue facing the American people."
The media, Sanders said, doesn't want to do that.
    "The problem is that a lot of these issue are more complicated than a six-second sound byte and a lot of the issues we choose to raise end up in conflict with corporate America and the corporate media," Sanders said to applause. "But you know what, we are going to talk about those issues anyhow."
    "This campaign is trying to be honest and lay the issues out on the table," Sanders added, arguing that media rarely talk about "the reality of America, the pain of America, what people are really going through."
    Sanders has long been critical of the media. Sanders lumped in journalists with the Koch Brothers, his personal boogeyman, earlier this year; his supporters have complained about his campaign not getting enough attention during a forum in South Carolina; and Sanders even said his dream job would be president of CNN so that he could shake up political coverage.
    But recently, Sanders' campaign and the candidate have turned their attacks against the media, a move that fires up his die-hard supporters.
    In an email to supporters on Saturday entitled "They don't want to talk about us," Sanders' campaign cited a study that found "ABC World News" spent 81 minutes talking about Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, and only one minute on Sanders.
    "It's no shock to me that big networks, which are controlled by a handful of large corporations, have barely discussed our campaign and the important issues we are bringing up. They're just too busy covering Donald Trump," Sanders wrote in the email.
    On Saturday, Sanders echoed that message in Dubuque, telling the audience that while it may be a "radical idea," he feels "the campaign should be about the American people and not Donald Trump."
    Trump's candidacy, from his bombastic events to his filibuster-like interviews, has garnered considerable attention from all media outlets. According to Andrew Tyndall, publisher of The Tyndall Report, Trump was covered for 234 minutes on the three newscasts -- ABC, NBC and CBS -- from January to November, while Sanders received 10 minutes of coverage on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news broadcasts.
    This lopsided media coverage has angered Sanders' campaign, with some of his closest aides charging that media companies are not allowing "a fair debate in this presidential campaign."
    "Bernie must receive the same level of coverage on the nightly news as other leading candidates," Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said Friday.