In terms of war in Iraq, said Vermont's junior United States Senator Bernard Sanders Tuesday evening, "People would say to me, 'Where were Democrats on the war? Why did everyone sell out?'"
Well, in fact, said Sanders, "A majority of Democrats voted against the war and the American people did not know that."
Several hundred thousand Americans, he told the audience at St. Michael's College, "turned off the American media and went to the BBC to get a more objective analysis."
The important point, said the Senator, is that it's just too simple to blame President George W. Bush. We must “hold the media complicit as well," he said. The media, charged Sanders, "became a loudspeaker for the White House and that is not an accident."
I watched Sanders speak from the comfort of my own bedroom. Ol'Bernardo's Town Meeting was broadcast live, not over the television,but over the Internet on www.cctv.org. I watched him on my desktop!
"What many of you may or may not know," said former House member Bernie of Burlington, "is that the proposal that had the most support in House was a single-payer bill." It received very little coverage from the corporate media. he said.
For years, what the media would be talking about, said Sanders, was "there is a major dispute among scientists about whether global warming exists."
Actually, said Sanders, an Independent aligned with the Democrats, "There was very little dispute. Exxon-Mobil disputed it," he noted, "and Exxon-Mobil was able to get its point of view out very well."
Sanders told the Town Meeting attendees that he and allies opposed to the current corporate control of the media intend to focus in the months ahead on one major point - the airwaves are owned by the people and the companies that hold the FCC licenses to broadcast over them "have a certain responsibility."
"How can the public reclaim the airwaves," asked the senator from Vermont, "and make the stations accountable?"