Washington Post offers pathetic excuses after its bias is exposed

The Washington Post published 16 negative Bernie Sander's stories in 16 hours.
The Washington Post published 16 negative Bernie Sander's stories in 16 hours.

Excuses were made as the paper tried to explain away a viral article criticizing it for publishing 16 negative Bernie Sanders stories in 16 hours.

Submitted by Soapy on March 11, 2016

The Washington Post is attempting to shield itself from criticism after the spread of a viral article which tracked the paper's publishing of 16 negative Bernie Sanders articles in 16 hours. During the same period the paper published 0 pro Sanders articles. The report, published by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), linked the Post's blatant bias to the fact that it is owned by billionaire Amazon CEO and arch-libertarian, Jeff Bezos.

In an article entitled Has the Washington Post Been Too Hard on Bernie Sanders This Week?, Post journalist Callum Borchers attempted to stifle the outpouring of criticism that the paper has received over the past few days. After beginning the article by assuring readers that his employment by the Post in no way influences his objectivity on this subject, he begins his defense with the following reasoning

First, the definition of "negative" — in this case and in a lot of media griping — is overly broad. For example, the "negative" category, according to FAIR, included a story by The Fix's Philip Bump...Bump pointed out that to keep a campaign promise — "At the end of my first term, we will not have more people in jail than any other country" — Sanders would need to set free roughly a quarter of the United States prison population, or about 567,000 criminals.Is that negative? I mean, it's math.

As Borcher points out, Philip Bump's 330 word article argues that in order for the US to no longer lead the world in incarceration, Sanders would need to "set free" 567,000 "criminals". This is just weasel words and nothing more. First off, Sanders wants to reform the "justice" system by allocating more funding for schools and jobs and less funding for police and prisons. By doing this, he believes that the number of people who will be interested in criminal activity will decrease significantly. Furthermore, he wants to change the meaning of the word "criminal" so it is not applied to people who posses marijuana. Through both of these methods incarceration would drop drastically, though it is very difficult to determine by exactly how much. Of course the complexity of these issues didn't stop Bump, who offered a pathetically short article with childish reasoning as evidence of Sanders' naiveté. "Is that negative? I mean it's math."

So anyway Borchers then goes on with his defense by citing the article entitled Awkward reality for Bernie Sanders: A strategy focused on whiter states.

Sanders doesn't do well with black voters; white voters are the key to his success. Those are facts. They are facts that are bad for his campaign, but should Post journalists not point them out?

The point of the FAIR article was not to say that the Post was reporting falsehoods (although they were), the point was to show that the Post published 16 negative articles and 0 positive ones. Borchers calls this "vetting". But was the same standard of "vetting" ever applied to Clinton? Of course not.

Maybe a case in point is the story surrounding the tragic assassination of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres who was shot in her home in Honduras on March 4th. Cáceres was murdered because she was a critic of the Honduran military regime, which took power after carrying out a coup against the elected government of Manuel Zelaya. The coup was fully supported by Hillary Clinton's state department when she was in office. The Post made no mention of this fact in their article on the killing. In fact US media has not uttered one word about the connection, choosing instead to place this even in an ahistorical context that in no way ties Clinton to the events. So much for vetting.



7 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by petey on March 12, 2016

Good post. I read Borchers' article when it was printed and it was pathetic.