U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to supporters in Manhattan at an event where he went over his core political beliefs on June 23, 2016 in New York City. Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd, Sanders did not speak about Hillary Clinton who has secured the delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination. (Photo by Shannon De Celle/NurPhoto)

What Happened During That Bernie Sanders Interview and Why Can’t Anyone Agree?

On April 1st Bernie Sanders had an interview with The Daily News.

 

 

The Media Takes Their Sides

A blog writer for the Washington Post felt moments in Bernie Sander’s conversation left him “agape” and another said it is “pretty close to a disaster”, Vox said Hillary did a “better job”, and The Atlantic believes Sander’s has “ignorance”. Huffington Post said, “Sanders has shown himself to be a lousy manager of his staff on Capitol Hill over the years,” and CNN said “Sanders (is) feeling media heat”.

Reading only these articles makes it seem as if Bernie Sander conclusively missed the mark on answering questions in his interview.

Meanwhile, Peter Eavis of the New York Times said, “Bernie Sanders probably knows more about breaking up banks than his critics give him credit for.” And blog Economist Dean Baker called “some of the complaints are just silly.”  U.S Uncut Nathan Wellman felt Nomiki Konst has “struck back fiercely against this false narrative”

Is Sanders being scrutinized or demonized? These reporters recognize their audience and cater to the sensibilities of the people. Readers cannot avoid the slant but what truths can a reader extract from all this commentary?

What Happened During the Interview

As Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post points out there is a factual dispute between the Daily News and Sanders. The Daily News was wrong or confused about the difference between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.

Sanders kept referring to the authority of the administration and the Treasury Department through Dodd-Frank, known as Wall Street reform, while the Daily News editors shifted to the Fed.

 

Daily News: Okay. Well, let’s assume that you’re correct on that point. How do you go about doing it?

Sanders: How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.

Daily News: But do you think that the Fed, now, has that authority?

Sanders: Well, I don’t know if the Fed has it. But I think the administration can have it.

Daily News: How? How does a president turn to JPMorgan Chase, or have the treasury turn to any of those banks and say, “Now you must do X, Y and Z?”

Sanders: Well, you do have authority under the Dodd-Frank legislation to do that, make that determination.

Daily News: You do, just by Federal Reserve fiat, you do?

 

Next, Peter Eavis of The New York Times called Bernie’s use of the work “or” as “problematic”.  When The Daily News asks about the mechanics of breaking up the banks.

Daily News: Okay. Well, let’s assume that you’re correct on that point. How do you go about doing it?

Mr. Sanders: How you go about doing it is having legislation passed, or giving the authority to the secretary of Treasury to determine, under Dodd-Frank, that these banks are a danger to the economy over the problem of too-big-to-fail.

Peter Eavis believes Bernie Sanders answer suggests that he believes that the secretary of the Treasury, using powers already given under Dodd-Frank, can press the banks to break up even without new legislation. It is an uncertain path of the Dodd-Frank law that has not yet been explored. Matthew Yglesias of Vox believes in Hillary Clinton’s interview with the Daily News:

“Clinton does a much better job than Sanders of explaining how a president inclined to break up the banks would do so”

 

Although David Graham of the Atlantic called Sanders “unusually consistent and forthright” about his beliefs, Graham felt that Bernie Sanders “came across as tentative, unprepared, or unaware.” Bernie Sanders showed he was “a far defter diagnostician than clinician” after explaining his plans.

The Media and Voters

However, the most interesting quote is not from the Daily News interview with Bernie Sanders. It is from an exchange on CNN with Nomiki Konst, a founder of investigative news organization The Accountability Project.

CNN’s Carol Costello said,

“Don’t tell me what can’t be done, what laws have to be passed, and blah blah blah,” she said. “Voters want answers now. They want simple answers.”

Voters are viewed like this? Voters are people who cannot think or understand the laws that exists in the United States? They need to be spoon fed answers that are “simple”? The media believes voters are dumb.  Votes can only watch news and arguments they already believe in?  That is the interesting thing this Bernie Sanders interview reveals.

Main Photo:

LEAVE A REPLY