A sign of change on Meet The Press as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made his first appearance on the show. Sanders used the national platform to tell the truth about Citizens United and the Koch brothers.
Chuck Todd asked Sanders if he was okay with left supporting billionaires participating in the process or if his issue was with the entire process.
Sen. Sanders said, “Chuck, I think Citizens United will go down in history as one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever. I think it is opening up the road to oligarchy in the United States of America, where the billionaires like the Koch brothers….left or right, but it’s mostly right let’s be clear.”
Sanders continued, “The Koch brothers are going to spend $400 million. Do you know what their agenda is? Do you know what they believe in? Let me tell you what they believe in. This is what they told us. They want to end Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. More tax breaks for the rich and large corporations. Nobody in America wants that except the billionaire class, and yet they are now able to put hundreds of billions of dollars into the political process. This is a real danger to American democracy.”
Sen. Sanders talked about the profound anger in the country among Democrats and Republicans, and the fact that the candidate who can talk about middle-class issues will do pretty well.
Having Bernie Sanders on the program is a gesture that suggests that Chuck Todd is serious about changing Meet The Press. There is no doubt that if David Gregory were still moderating the show, Sen. Sanders would not be on. The talk about the Vermont senator’s presidential campaign was justified because Sanders has been open about potentially running for president.
Bernie Sanders was first elected to the House in 1990. It took 24 years for him to be invited on Meet The Press, and Sanders didn’t disappoint. Viewers often don’t hear the Koch brothers and their agenda exposed on a Sunday morning show. It was impressive that Todd let Sanders discuss Citizens United and the billionaires without trying to redirect him back to horse race 2016 politics.
The Koch agenda getting called out on the most mainstream of corporate media institutions was a big deal. It was also a sign the Citizens United is becoming a bigger issue. Sen. Sanders and others on the left have been good at connecting the dots. If voters want to know why their members of Congress aren’t listening to them and doing things that they oppose, the answer is Citizens United.
The mainstream media are beginning to give airtime to those who want to overturn Citizens United. The Koch brothers want to operate in secret. They don’t want the American people to understand their agenda. It has to be a terrifying sight for the billionaires to see Bernie Sanders on Meet The Press explaining what they stand for.
The Koch brothers should be worried, because the American people are starting to find out what they are all about.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association