Bernie Sisters will want to read this

Today, in the main news section of the Sunday New York Times, I read an interview Times reporter Sydney Ember did with Bernie Sanders.

Since like most of us, I’ll bet, I’m paying sort of exquisite attention to the way presidential candidates are talking to us voters, I read the entire interview. Which the Times notes in the introduction, “is an edited and condensed version of the conversation.”

I copy that phrase in profound fairness, not to inspire dark conspiratorial arguments about how Bernie really didn’t say these things.

Two things to pay attention to here: first, Bernie’s responses to her questions, which I’ve lightly highlighted; second, Sydney Ember is a woman with an Ivy League degree.

Here are the responses Bernie made to her questions:

Q. In the top of our story, we talk about the rally you attended in Managua and a wire report at the time said that there were anti-American chants from the crowd.

The United States at that time — I don’t know how much you know about this— was actively supporting the Contras to overthrow the government. So that there’s anti-American sentiment? I remember that, I remember that event very clearly.

You do recall hearing those chants? I think the wire report has them saying, “Here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die.”

They were fighting against American —— Huh huh —— yes, what is your point?

I wanted to ——

Are you shocked to learn that there was anti-American sentiment?

My point was I wanted to know if you had heard that.

I don’t remember, no. Of course there was anti-American sentiment there. This was a war being funded by the United States against the people of Nicaragua. People were being killed in that war.

Do you think if you had heard that directly, you would have stayed at the rally?

I think Sydney, with all due respect, you don’t understand a word that I’m saying.

Do you believe you had an accurate view of President Ortega at the time? I’m wondering if you’re ——

This was not about Ortega. Do you understand? I don’t know if you do or not. Do you know that the United States overthrew the government of Chile way back? Do you happen to know that? Do you? I’m asking you a simple question.

This is around the fifth time I’ve read this. Does Bernie understand — this is a simple question — that if I were doing the interview, I’d have smacked him?


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