Bernie Sanders Scrambles After Being Confronted on Hypocritical Detail in 'Angry About Capitalism' Event


It wasn’t the question Bernie Sanders wanted to face.

The self-proclaimed socialist of the Green Mountain State is clearly much more comfortable hectoring the American public about the vices of the kind of capitalism that made the United States the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.

So when he was asked about one particular money-making venture of his own, he really didn’t have an answer.

The moment came Sunday while Sanders was doing a book-tour appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Host Margaret Brennan — a woman who’s not exactly unsympathetic when it comes to liberals — brought up the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

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Considering the title of Sanders’ new book, “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism,” how did Sanders feel about the fact that some tickets for his speaking appearance at a Washington, D.C., concert site are going for $95 a pop?

Sanders’ answer came down to three words that would sound more believable coming from a government functionary in a dismal DMV office than from one of the most influential voices in American politics: Don’t blame me.

Check it out here:

“Don’t blame me” isn’t exactly what Sanders said, but it was the gist of what he told Brennan.

“I understand we’re not the bad guys you’re describing in the book when it comes to media,” Brennan said, according to the CBS transcript. “But tickets for your tour apparently are selling for $95 on Ticketmaster, which is accused of anti-competitive behavior. You know that. Some of your Democrats are criticizing them.

“Aren’t you benefiting yourself from this system that you’re trying to dismantle?”

Sanders tried to wave off the insinuation.

“No, I’m not. I — first of all — first of all, those decisions are made totally by the publisher and the bookseller.

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“I think there’s one case where, in one place here in Washington, Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore, charging some tickets. Most of them, I think, are $40, $50. And you get a book as well. So, if you want to come [ed. note: it looked for all the world like he threw in a wink there], you’re going to have to pay 40 bucks. I will throw in the book for free.

“And we’re doing a number of free events, but I don’t make a nickel out of these things at all.”

Actually, whether he makes a nickel out of these things is open to question, money being the fungible thing that it is.

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Sanders might not be paid for free events, and he might not even get a cut of the ticket prices, but such appearances are almost certainly written into his publishing contract as the kind of promotional activities he has to do to make the book attractive to potential buyers, which makes money for the book publisher and that — by the miracles of copyright, contract law and capitalism — means money for the independent senator from Vermont.

Regardless, Sanders’ scrambled explanation wasn’t very convincing. And social media users weren’t shy about it:

The event in question is scheduled for March 1 at The Anthem, a 2,500- to 6,000-seat venue in the nation’s capital.

Tickets are being handled by Ticketmaster, a giant in the live entertainment field and a current bugaboo among Democrats for what they consider price gouging. (Thanks in large part to the liberal pop star Taylor Swift and her fans.)

“But you’re OK doing business with Ticketmaster?” Brennan asked.

“No, not particularly,” Sanders said. “But that’s — again, I have nothing to do with that.

“That is — if you wrote a book, it would probably be the same process …   I write a book, a major publisher, et cetera, et cetera.”

“I have nothing to do with that.”

Yep, old Bernie is just a cog in the machine — the machine he’d love to burn to the ground because it’s done nothing but make it possible for guys like Bernie Sanders to run around spouting socialist slogans while dividing his time among his three homes (one in D.C., two in Vermont).

It’s a pity Brennan didn’t follow up on the question with some others, like:

“You talk about $40 like it’s change you find in the couch. Is $40 really so meaningless to you?”


“Given that the ticket prices are a reflection of inflation as much as your popularity, do you think the socialist policies of President Biden and the last Congress are more to blame for the $95 charge than you or your publisher are?”

Or even, as some Twitter users might have thought:

“Why charge for the book at all? Why not give it away for free?”

Judging by Sanders’ scrambling on just Brennan’s softball question, and her even softer follow-up, it’s a good bet he wouldn’t have had a good answer.

Socialists never do.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.