Susan Sarandon: Media ‘Lack Imagination, Journalistic Ability’ in Covering Presidential Race

Susan Sarandon
Brian Patterson/REX Shutterstock

Susan Sarandon, who in recent weeks has been campaigning for Bernie Sanders, dismisses the notion that Hillary Clinton’s victory in the Nevada caucuses was such a turning point for her campaign that she will be next to impossible to beat.

Media pundits have said that, starting with this weekend’s South Carolina primary, the map favors Clinton to amass a large share of delegates, even as Sanders is looking to win states on Super Tuesday — March 1.

“This is the media that wasn’t even covering Bernie Sanders before Iowa,” Sarandon tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “Nothing surprises me, because they lack imagination, and they lack journalistic ability to even read things. It is kind of like they are approaching this like a reality show and reporting it like a horse race.”

Sarandon, who campaigned in Nevada for Sanders, called the caucus system there “just so crazy and all over the place and sloppy. [There were] so many instances of people being turned away and the registration being lost, and then one place where everyone left and they hadn’t appointed delegates. Or choosing cards to see who won. It’s a very unusual way to do this.”

She called Sanders “certainly the only candidate that I have really wholeheartedly felt was not the lesser of two evils, that I really get behind in the purest way and with the most enthusiasm.

“I feel that supporting him is not just supporting him as a candidate, but really an opportunity for a movement to shift the way our government is working and shift away from corporate takeover, and big Pharma and Monsanto and fracking, and all of these things that have undermined a progressive agenda, and [give it] back to the people,” she said.

She said that she doesn’t know “if any of my friends are supporting Hillary Clinton. The people who take me to task — it is the same old thing. ‘But don’t you want a woman?'”
“But most of the people who say that are not aware of her record. It is strange to see somebody who says they are against fracking, and then you tell them, ‘Well, you know [Hillary Clinton] has been selling fracking, and they have chosen not to recognize that,” she said. “I have nothing against her personally. I just find her record inconsistent and not in alignment with my progressing values.”
Listen below:

More of the interview here.

“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 pm ET/11 am PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand. 

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  1. I listen to NPR and the reporting focuses SO much more on Trump, usually leads news with GOP information, and hardly covers the massive popularity and funds being raised by people in support of Bernie Sanders. More importantly, the media ignores WHY his agenda is imminent and life saving. Iraq war veteran and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard just resigned as Vice Chair of DNC to support Senator Sanders. This should be plastered all over media, as should climate change and root cause, animal agriculture. Puppet media save a few alternatives, mostly online, are becoming irrelevant. ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE, the rest is political malfeasance and part of the rigged, corrupt system needing urgent overhaul.

  2. Catherine Wittel says:

    Sarandon doesn’t understand caucuses — they are chaotic, but that’s how they work. And her comment, “choosing cards…” to select a winner. That was only done in any precinct where Sanders and Clinton tied with the number of caucus supporters and the number of delegates was not an even number. For instance, in our precinct caucuses, we had 19 delegates to assign. There were 34 supporters for Sanders and 34 supporters for Clinton, which meant someone would get 10 delegates and someone would get 9. One person from each side chose a card with the highest card drawn winning the delegate. The Sanders card was the high card and so Sanders got 10 delegates and Clinton got 9. I really dislike the misinformation that gets spread by these celebrity types who come out of the woodwork every once in awhile and tell us what we should be thinking and doing.

  3. Heidi says:

    What many people don’t understand because of the lack of media coverage, this isn’t about Bernie, it’s about all of us. The media portrayal of this campaign couldn’t be farther off when they do things like say he’s going to tax us 90%, or he’s some kind of staunch socialist. He’s a democratic socialist and there really is a difference. To compare him to Trump or criticize his policies as impossible, berniebros, etc. That’s all propaganda. He was endorsed yesterday by Reich, Bill Clinton’s secretary of Labor and a league of economists and scholars. They will only tell you what critics think, many of which are big campaign contributors to other candidates. Bernie’s campaign is about unity. We want to stand together as one people, America. This is not far fetched. Every single on of our allies provides a better life to their people, I encourage you to research this. I notice divisive rhetoric in the comments. I’m not sure if this is a side effect from the media or just relying on others opinions. The majority isn’t always right, and the media has people believing this movement is much smaller than it actually is, it consists of millions of people. If you’re the kind of person who likes to be informed about the facts, go to: #MarchForBernie on twitter today

  4. Bill says:

    “They lack journalistic ability”?! The media and journalists are what is responsible for the ugly, divisive & hateful Trump phenomenon. They are literally getting him elected with all of their endless free coverage of this mentally unstable man who wants us to live in a police state. Many people worry about Sanders because of his socialist statements, but that’s because most can’t tell the difference between socialism and communism. This election is proving us to be the least political savvy population in the world.

  5. Magnolia Far says:

    I wish her much more wisdom and evolution … :) .. Hillary 2016 :)

  6. Karen says:

    Journalism isn’t about imagination, it is supposed to be based on the facts.

  7. Joyce Tyler says:

    If choosing Sarandon and Cornel West as his surrogates is any indication of the kind of people Sanders would surround himself with as president, it’s a good thing he’s going to lose the democratic nomination. The last thing we need is even more divisiveness and gridlock.

    Sarandon: I used to think you were smart, but some of things you’ve said, the lies you’ve told, the brow-beating of an 85-year-old woman during the Nevada caucuses–an iconic figure in the Hispanic labor movement (!), tells an entirely different story.

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