Sanders Raps TV Outlets For Failure To Cover Secret Trade Deals

Says USTR policies have not helped workers before and won't this time under TPP plan

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today made the case against a proposed 12-nation trade deal that he said would be a “disaster” for American workers but good for multi-national corporations wanting to ship more jobs to low-wage nations in Asia.

Sanders also criticized major national news organizations for ignoring how trade deals have hurt working families.

A media watchdog group recently reported that it found no mention on network evening newscasts during the past year and a half of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Media Matters for America study of network newscasts since Aug. 1, 2013, found no coverage on the “CBS Evening News,” ABC's “World News Tonight” and NBC's “Nightly News.” By contrast, the “PBS NewsHour” mentioned the pact on eight broadcasts.

During the same 18-month period, CNN and Fox News each mentioned the trade pact on only two broadcasts. In stark contrast, MSNBC's “The Ed Show” discussed the trade agreement on 71 broadcasts, according to the study released on Tuesday. “This is an issue of huge consequence. Bad trade agreements are one of the reasons why the American middle class is disappearing and why wages are going down and why we're losing jobs,” Sanders told Schultz in an interview on Thursday.

Sanders sent a letter to network news executives questioning why they had ignored an issue which he said has “real-life implications for American families.” He noted that the United States lost more than 60,000 manufacturing plants since 2001 and millions of jobs disappeared in large part because of previous trade agreements.

“If the United States is to remain a major industrial power producing real products and creating good paying jobs we must develop a new set of trade policies which work for the American middle class and working class and not just for the CEOs of large corporations,” Sanders said.