Sanders campaign manager accuses journalists of discounting Bernie's seriousness

Despite Warren and Harris pulling ahead in recent polls, Sanders is still a force to be reckoned with

Published July 17, 2019 6:18PM (EDT)

Bernie Sanders (Getty/Saul Loeb)
Bernie Sanders (Getty/Saul Loeb)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Although Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kamala Harris have pulled slightly ahead of Sen. Bernie Sanders in some recent polls on the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, the 77-year-old Vermont senator and self-described “democratic socialist” is still a force to be reckoned with. Sanders’ campaign raised $18 million during 2019’s second quarter, and many of his issues (from Medicare-for-all to a $15-per-hour national minimum wage) are being championed in the House of Representatives by liberal/progressive allies such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. Nonetheless, journalist Michael Calderone is reporting in Politico that Sanders’ campaign believes that some members of the mainstream media aren’t taking his campaign seriously.

Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, told Politico, “This isn’t intended to be a sweeping generalization of all journalists, but there are a healthy number who just find Bernie annoying, discount his seriousness and wish his supporters and movement would just go away.”

The “frustration” being felt by Sanders’ staff, according to Politico, has “morphed” because of “what it sees as excessively negative stories and dismissive commentary.”

Shakir told Politico that some reporters “attempt to hide their disdain “for Sanders and “masquerade their commentary behind purported straight pieces that amount to seeing everything as a ‘bad news for Bernie’ moment.”

However, Calderone also reports that Sanders’ campaign is careful to avoid the type of “fake news” rhetoric that President Donald Trump has been so quick to use — and Shakir stressed that calling out unfair coverage isn’t the same as condemning the mainstream media in general. Sanders, Shakir stressed to Politico, “appreciates and understands the role the media plays in a democratic system,” whereas Trump “goes on the assault against the entire news media simply for being, in his mind, a perceived slanderer of him — and facts don’t matter in that analysis.”

By Alex Henderson

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