Sen. Bernie Sanders is taking aim at The Washington Post – and the newspaper’s pushing back, labeling his attacks as a "conspiracy theory."
The independent senator from Vermont touched off the war of words after criticizing the Post’s coverage of his White House bid.
"I talk about (Amazon's taxes) all of the time," Sanders said Monday evening in Wolfeboro, N.H., his first stop in a two-day swing through the state that holds the first presidential primary in the race for the White House. "And then I wonder why The Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn't write particularly good articles about me. I don't know why."
Later in the evening, at a second campaign event in North Conway, Sanders said that “we have pointed out over and over again that Amazon made $10 billion in profits last year. You know how much they paid in taxes? You got it, zero! Any wonder why The Washington Post is not one of my great supporters, I wonder why?"
Sanders didn’t give any specific examples of what he considered unfair coverage by the Washington Post.
The executive editor of the Post responded to Sanders’ jabs late Monday night.
"Sen. Sanders is a member of a large club of politicians -- of every ideology -- who complain about their coverage,” Marty Baron said in a statement. “Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor, Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”
Since purchasing the newspaper six years ago for $250 million, Bezos has been criticized by a number of politicians – including frequently by President Trump, who’s described the newspaper as “The Amazon Washington Post.”
Sanders also took aim at another major newspaper with national reach, arguing at the North Conway event that "New York Times not much better” than the Washington Post when it comes to coverage of his presidential campaign.
Sanders’ multiple jabs at media outlets came hours after top advisers of his presidential campaign pushed back against what they call a faulty narrative in the media that the senator’s White House bid is slipping.
“While you may not know it from recent media coverage, Bernie Sanders is on a positive trajectory in his campaign for president as evidenced by multiple data points,” the campaign argued in a memo released Monday morning.
And, in a conference call with reporters, senior adviser Jeff Weaver specifically took aim at recent reports by CNN, MSNBC, and The Washington Post.
Sanders on Monday evening also criticized coverage in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, which along with Fox News are owned by the Murdoch family.
While Sanders has frequently jabbed at the news media, he appears to be turning up the volume of late. But his criticism still pales in comparison to that from Trump, who often calls the media “fake news” and has labeled the press “the enemy of the people.”