By now you know that Donald Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and if you’d like to read more about what a godawful travesty of a black-hearted human being Arpaio is, go here. Reactions are pouring in from all corners of the political world—even the Republicans are pissed off—and Bernie Sanders was one of many to chime in:
And here's a video of Sanders speaking about Arpaio on the campaign trail, long before the pardon:
Now, you might think that there was no possible way for a mainstream media personality—like, I don't know, let's say Maggie Haberman of the New York Times—to use Trump's pardon to smear Sanders. But you would be making a critical thought error, my friend, for there is no material that the alchemic centrists of the mainstream media can't turn into left-hating gold.
BEHOLD, MAGGIE HABERMAN!
That’s right, folks—Jane Sanders is a huge Sheriff Joe fan who loves his heinous acts of institutional sadism so much that she traveled all the way to Arizona to go full fangirl in his awesome tent cities, and also Bernie is a hypocrite to criticize him since his wife is the dude’s no. 1 supporter. Great investigative journalism, Maggie!
Unless…well, unless Jane Sanders visited the tent cities during the primary to essentially highlight their unusual cruelty, and she confronted Sheriff Joe about racial profiling and inhumane conditions, and the “tour” was an impromptu offer from him, and not some planned collaboration. Which, of course, was exactly the case—you can read about it here, and this is what she said afterward:
“What I saw and heard firsthand today by visiting with the families and seeing tent city was very disturbing,” Sanders said. “Sheriff Arpaio did not even attempt to explain or excuse his inhumane treatment of people of color — not that he could. That kind of attitude toward our fellow human beings is completely unacceptable, especially in elected officials and those who would seek public office. We all need to stand up and put an end to these egregious human rights abuses. Today only solidified the need for comprehensive immigration and criminal justice reform I know that as president Bernie would do just that and keep families safe.”
So what the hell is Haberman on about? The word “lie” is not the perfect descriptor for her tweet, but “purposefully misleading” works, and so does “shameful.” As a friend pointed out, this is what she could have written after Bernie’s tweet:
“Bernie is speaking from a position of expertise because his wife went there to see the conditions herself.”
Instead? The idiocy you see above—which, spoiler alert, won’t come with any apology or retraction from Haberman or her employers. At a time when our president has a good portion of this country railing against the press, it’s more important than ever for our most visible journalists to maintain a high standard of integrity. When someone like Haberman falls so woefully short of that standard, as in this tweet, how can anyone make a serious argument that those anti-media arguments, whether they come from the right or left, aren’t fundamentally correct? This is shockingly dishonest stuff from one our country’s largest outlets, and it contributes directly to the decline of our free press by validating fascistic anti-media rhetoric. Do better.