Senator Bernie Sanders has been receiving criticism from right-wing media figures and political operatives for his use of Ticketmaster for ticketing on dates for his upcoming book tour. The Vermont Senator, who is technically an Independent but caucuses with the Democrats and is an one of the highest profile liberal political figures in America, is promoting his book “It’s Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism,” which opponents slammed for being hypocritical in light of tickets going or close to $100 each on the much-maligned ticketing service owned by entertainment giant Live Nation.
“If you pay $95 to get into a lecture about being angry at capitalism, the only thing you should be angry about is yourself. You’re a dumb person. Bernie Sanders is a scam,” says Fox Across America host Jimmy Failla. “And where I respect the hustle is he’s getting over on gullible people. There’s an easy follow-up there. If doing a big book publisher is such a bad thing, why not do one with a small publisher that doesn’t do this? Because he wants the money.”
When asked by CBS News anchor Margaret Brennan whether he was benefiting from the same system they were [his fellow Democrats] trying to dismantle or not, while selling tickets for $95 on Ticketmaster, Sanders replied to her that those decisions were made totally by the publisher and the bookseller.
“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 dollars, 50 dollars, and you get a book as well. So if you want to come, you’re going to have to pay 40 bucks, I’ll 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.”
To the question of Brennan asking if he was okay doing business with Ticketmaster, Sanders answered, “No, not particularly.”
Published on February 21, 2023 by Crown Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, Sanders’ “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism” titled book discusses income inequality in the United States, how the influx of money impacts democracy, and suggests that corporations are contributing to the climate crisis. Dominating the best-seller lists since its release, the book was promoted on a national tour, with appearances at venues in Brooklyn, Charlottesville, Glendale, San Jose, Tucson apart from Washington D.C. at the first week of March.
Known for his left-wing opinions since the late of 60s, Bernie Sanders has been in the crosshairs for promoting his book in a way that contradicts himself, such as organizing an event for “It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism” with a price tag up to $95. Furthermore, he uses Ticketmaster, which is called “monopoly” in need of breaking up largely by the Democrat side of the political spectrum, for selling tickets to his event.
On a story penned for Time, Molly Ball observed the audience of Sanders’ book event at The Anthem, Washington D.C. “Still, to the overwhelmingly young crowd that has paid $55 to $95 per ticket,” she wrote, “they might as well be seeing a rock star—the Mick Jagger of Medicare-for-All,” and interviewed some of them whose ages varied between 18 and 38.
“It’s not okay to not be angry about capitalism,” said Nicole Wilder, a 26-year-old editorial assistant, when asked by Ball if it was okay to be angry about capitalism. “If you’re not angry, I think you’re just not paying attention, or you’re a selfish person.”
“Radical change is absolutely necessary, but I don’t know if our generation is up to it” said 19-year-old sociology student Jackie Wells, worrying that her peers were too willing to mistake social-media posturing for activism. “I haven’t posted, like, ‘I’m at the Bernie thing,’ because it’s kind of embarrassing to like a politician,” she concluded.
Coming to the Democrats’ criticism about Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger, in November 2022, a consortium of House Democrats called on the Department of Justice to take action against Ticketmaster/Live Nation, with 31 signing a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland. The letter asked for Garland and the DOJ to open a formal investigation of Ticketmaster “in light of the Taylor Swift tour fiasco” with the reversal of the approval of the 2010 Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger as a goal.