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Corporate Media Ignore Economic Justice in the 2016 Election

It’s time that the media start listening to what people actually care about: The US middle class is being eaten alive by the top 1%.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders meets seniors in Manchester, New Hampshire, on October 30, 2015. (Photo: Michael Vadon)

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If you feel like you haven’t seen much (or any) news about Bernie Sanders and the Democratic primary race, it’s not just in your head. Over the weekend, the Tyndall Report revealed that mainstream nightly news shows, through the entirety of this year of 2015, have spent only 10 minutes of total coverage on Bernie Sanders, as opposed to 234 minutes of total coverage of Donald Trump.

The weird thing is, that polls show Bernie Sanders easily beats every Republican candidate in a general election, and by more than Hillary Clinton would. But the media refuse to cover Sen. Sanders, and even Hillary Clinton has largely dropped out of the headlines since the Benghazi emails were put to rest.

See more news and opinion from Thom Hartmann at Truthout here.

It could be because Bernie wants to raise the taxes of millionaire network executives, or because Bernie is raising questions about how well we’re being served by media consolidation and the rise of “infotainment” and the death of real “news.”

At least that’s what it’s starting to look like. Even over at the “progressive bastion” of the mainstream media, MSNBC, Jose Diaz-Balart pushed a very recent NBC News poll that found terrorism to be the most important issue to Americans.

In fact, some in the defense-contractor-funded media like NPR are actually rationalizing not covering Bernie Sanders by lying and saying that Bernie isn’t talking about ISIS, which the corporate media has deemed the most important issue to Americans.

Yesterday, David Greene spoke to Scott Horsley on NPR’s Morning Edition about Clinton’s strategy towards ISIS, and they took about two sentences to dismiss Bernie Sanders.

But they’re wrong on both counts.

First, Bernie Sanders does have a plan – a detailed plan – involving pulling together a coalition of Middle Eastern states to combat ISIS. In fact, he laid it out during a campaign rally just Monday, one day before Hillary Clinton announced her plan, a pesky fact that Greene and Horsley completely left out.

And second, this is very much a self-fulfilling prophecy. The media loves terror porn; keeping people afraid is profitable.

However, both common sense and simple analysis show that what really keeps most Americans up at night is money, or the lack of it.

For the first time in the lifetime of many Americans, the middle class now makes up less than half of the US population. At the same time, working people are working longer and longer hours, because for 35 years, Reaganomics has transferred their wealth to the richest Americans.

We’re losing an average of 14 factories – and all of their jobs – every day thanks to our destructive trade policies. All those factories closing down has led to an increase in crime and drug abuse across former industrial centers like Detroit and Baltimore, and across huge swaths of the Deep South, Appalachia and beyond.

As Bernie Sanders reveals, the real rate of youth unemployment alone in the United States is at depression levels. That’s right, more than half of Black youth and over a third of both Latino and white youths in the US were unemployed over the past year.

So it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that nearly one out of every four American families has no net worth. Or, worse, they’re buried in debt. And more than half of all Americans are one serious illness or job-loss away from disaster and homelessness. Those are alarming statistics. But what’s really problematic, is that the corporate media won’t talk about it. Which is a giant gift to the Republican Party – the corporate party.

It’s time that the media start listening to what people actually care about: The US middle class is being eaten alive by the top 1%. And then the media need to ask the candidates what they plan to do about it. Not just because it’s the issue in the Democrats’ wheelhouse, but because it’s the real crisis that’s tearing up the United States.

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