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2016 Election Needs More Journalism, Way Less Political Gossip

The Sanders campaign is a tremendous political story. Millions of people are mobilizing around his candidacy to repudiate many of the most destructive policies promoted by the Democratic Party over the past decades. In many ways, his campaign has presented an alternative to corporate Democratic policies, which favor the one percent at the expense of the poor and working class.

Yet, the media would rather bash Sanders, help the Democratic Party establishment transform him into a pariah, and promote gross stereotypes about his most devout supporters. Even worse, there are a number of columns circulating where liberal pundits—who never approved or appreciated Sanders before—outline why they are now fed up with Sanders and cannot take it anymore. Some even go so far as to claim Sanders lost their vote when they have openly championed Clinton throughout the primary. It is the height of sanctimony.

Here at Shadowproof, we take a much different approach to the 2016 Election. You won’t read any articles, where we try to persuade people how to vote. You won’t read any posts, where we preach the importance of a unified Democratic Party. Unity in a political party is not our concern nor should it be any media organization’s concern.

We most certainly will never act like any candidate is spoiling the race by running for election. Anyone who wants to run and campaign until the end has a right to run, and it is not our role as a media outlet to scold them for fueling public debate because debate might “harm” another candidate’s chances.

If you appreciate what we do, will you join us as a member for $10/month, or make a one-time donation to our fundraiser, to fund fierce, independent reporting and analysis on the 2016 Election?

What we publish cuts through the dominant narrative pushed by media. We take the concerns of Sanders supporters, that the Democratic Party has run an unfair primary, and research allegations. And it turns out there has been a lot of merit to those concerns.

One week ago, the Nevada State Democratic Party made the news, when the state party’s convention devolved into chaos because of how Chairwoman Roberta Lange ran the convention. The establishment news media spread baseless claims of “violence” by Sanders supporters and repeated, without evidence, that there were chairs thrown. Yet, few of these outlets appeared to follow-up on allegations and talk to delegates, who were present at the convention.

Shadowproof contacted delegates and sought firsthand accounts from individuals, who were present. We got to the bottom of what really happened. We published a story that has been shared widely and clearly articulates what took place during the 15-hour convention. We were able to get to the truth by engaging in journalism and not political gossip.

We know this doesn’t sound like very groundbreaking stuff, but every day it seems some establishment news media outlet publishes another disgraceful, outrageous, or shoddy piece of journalism on the presidential election. To cite just a few recent examples:

The New York Times: “Bernie Sanders, Eyeing Convention, Willing to Harm Hillary Clinton in the Homestretch.”

The Washington Post: “Sanders’s Scorched-Earth Campaign Is a Gift to Trump”

NBC News: “First Read: A Defiant Sanders Threatens Democratic Unity”

The Washington Post: “Does Bernie Sanders Want To Be The Ralph Nader of 2016?”

Newsweek: “Get Control, Senator Sanders, Or Get Out”

Such headlines not only represent a contempt for democracy, but they also make it look like these media organizations are doing the bidding of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Plus, there’s something reprehensible about a pundit or journalist thinking it is part of their duties to aggressively pressure a candidate to drop out or rethink his or her campaign.

We believe it’s critical to recognize the importance of millions of people, who have created the conditions for a widespread movement for social and economic justice that will last beyond Election Day. But we cannot do this work, which we know many of you appreciate, without your support.

Please become a Shadowproof member or make a donation to our fundraiser today.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."