02 bernie sanders 0306
CNN  — 

In an interview with CNN’s Ryan Nobles reflecting on his 2020 presidential bid, Bernie Sanders makes clear that he’s still holding something of a grudge – against the media.

Here’s the key bit:

“I think what we saw from Nevada on out was a cry from the rooftops, from the political establishment, from the media that they wanted anybody but Bernie. Anybody but Bernie! My God, I don’t know how many articles they were about, we need anybody but Bernie and, you know, they ended up succeeding. And that’s that.”

In just a few sentences, Sanders a) lumps the media in with the “political establishment” as actors working to keep him from the nomination and b) lambastes the number of articles allegedly written seeking “anybody but Bernie.”

Close watchers of the 2020 campaign will note that Sanders has long believed the media was working against him.

In August 2019, Sanders sent an email to supporters that read, in part: “[C]orporate and billionaire-owned media often tilts coverage against candidates … who push a working-class agenda – an agenda that threatens the political power of corporations and billionaires.”

In February, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir told Vanity Fair that MSNBC “is constantly undermining the Bernie Sanders campaign.”

Following his Super Tuesday losses, Sanders again turned to the media for blame. “There has not been a campaign that has been having to deal with the venom by some in the corporate media,” he said. “This campaign has been compared to the coronavirus on television. We have been described as the Nazi army marching across France.”

And as Margaret Sullivan helpfully noted in The Washington Post, there were, without doubt, opinion commentators at some major media outlets who wrote pieces deeply skeptical of Sanders’ chances of beating President Donald Trump.

But evidence of some sort of broad-scale effort by the media to keep Sanders from winning? There’s not much of that to be had. And by blaming the media for his defeat, Sanders takes credit away from the remarkable comeback that Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee, who he formally endorsed just this week, engineered.

The Point: The media is an easy scapegoat. But not always the right one.