The Washington Post recently ran a piece out of its fact-checking department that questioned one of Bernie Sanders’ statements that 500,000 Americans will go bankrupt this year from medical bills. The statement was deemed “mostly false” despite the source of the stat, Dr. David Himmelstein, claiming Sanders was on-point. In fact, Himmelstein said if anything, Sanders was understating the problem he found in his research article published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). The article found that 66.5 percent of bankruptcy filers cited medical bills or missed work as the reason for going broke, which the journal called “equivalent to about 530,000 medical bankruptcies annually.”
Sanders’ speechwriter, David Sirota, just revealed on Twitter that Sanders’ campaign sent a letter to The Washington Post’s executive editor, Marty Baron, demanding that the publication immediately retract its article.
“The overall premise of the piece is absurd. The Post’s Fact Checker issued Senator Sanders ‘three pinocchios’ for accurately citing a peer-reviewed editorial published in the American Journal of Public Health. The Post even notes that the author of the editorial confirmed that Senator Sanders had accurately cited his work.”
Afterward, the letter highlights that the fact check claims that the AJPH study didn’t undergo the same peer-reviewed editing process as a research article, which the campaign claims is not true. According to Sanders’ campaign, The Post’s fact-checker has been informed on this purported inaccuracy and has not edited the article.
HAPPENING NOW: The Bernie 2020 campaign has just sent a detailed letter to Washington Post editor @PostBaron demanding the newspaper immediately retract its "fact check" article that's been proven to be factually inaccurate. Read the letter here & retweet: https://t.co/nIQzc5jAAl pic.twitter.com/TCM3Xt9gy5
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) August 31, 2019
The letter also addresses The Post’s alleged media bias against Sanders.
“Unfortunately, this latest Fact Checker article is part of a much broader pattern of bias against Senator Sanders.”
Per Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), MSNBC is biased against Sanders. The network reportedly makes false claims about Sanders, skews polls, and misleads viewers. In a separate article, FAIR reported that there are also many cases of The Post’s bias against Sanders, including when they ran 16 negative stories on the Vermont Senator in 16 hours.
Per The Inquisitr, New York Times reporter Sydney Ember, who covers Sanders for the publication, primarily sources corporate lobbyists, far-right figures, and war criminals to discredit the 2020 presidential hopeful.
Whether the Sanders campaign letter will do anything to affect his media coverage is uncertain, although it urges the newspaper to commit to covering Sanders in a “fair, professional and ethical manner” that honors that “most basic standards of accuracy.”
Along with Sanders, fellow Democratic candidate Andrew Yang has faced his own battle against the media and — per The Inquisitr — recently said that media corruption is one of two things that has surprised him the most during his presidential run.