Earlier this month, billionaire and inexplicable presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg announced that in the interest of fairness, Bloomberg News would not be publishing any investigative stories regarding any of the other Democratic candidates. It’s the same policy the outlet has for covering Bloomberg himself, and the announcement came after Donald Trump threw a tantrum and banned all Bloomberg reporters from his campaign events.
At the time, my opinion was that this seemed fair, if totally toothless. Why are you even in the news business if you don’t want to actually investigate some of the most prominent figures in politics right now?
Well, as it turns out, he doesn’t! It’s only been a few weeks since Bloomberg’s editor in chief explicitly stated that they “will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries.” They might republish or summarize other outlets’ investigative pieces about the candidates but they wouldn’t do their own. Until they did.
Bloomberg reporter Spencer Soper published an article this week about the amount of money Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders’ campaigns have spent on Amazon products “while trashing” the company.
Both Warren and Sanders, along with many of the other candidates, have spoken out against Amazon’s practices and both have repeatedly stated their support for the company’s union workers.
“So it may surprise voters to learn that the eight leading Democratic candidates and Trump have spent almost $600,000 on Amazon in the first nine months of 2019,” Soper writes, “mostly for office supplies, according to federal campaign records reviewed by Bloomberg. (Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, hasn’t filed campaign expenses yet because he didn’t enter the race until November.)”
He then includes a chart with each candidate, a criticism they’ve made against Amazon or its founder, Jeff Bezos, and the amount of money they’ve spent at the site.
It would be really nice if the candidates–especially the more progressive candidates–would do the work required to not use Amazon, since they’re right in all their criticisms of Bezos’ labor practices, tax avoidance, and more. At the same time, pretty much everyone knows just how hard it is to avoid going through the company that has dominated online sales of basically every product and industry imaginable.
— The Nib ✒️ (@thenib) September 14, 2016
Avoiding using such a giant company is difficult, no matter how evil, especially for a campaign operating on this scale. But then Bloomberg knows all tough decisions, like whether or not stick to the ethical guidelines you set out for yourself just a few weeks ago–especially when covering an issue that your founder just conveniently gets to be left out of. Yup, tough calls all around.
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