Rising

Former Obama official pushes back against assertion of unfair Sanders media coverage

A former Obama official on Tuesday pushed back against claims that the media not giving Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) fair coverage of his campaign.

"You could maybe make the case if this was his first campaign but the Sanders brand is essentially out there," Roger Fisk, who served on President Obama's 2013 inaugural committee, told Hill.TV.

"His numbers are relatively constant," he continued. "I don't see a causal relationship between his coverage and his support."

Fisk argued that similar to President Trump, Sanders seems to benefit when he isn't in the limelight.

"Similar almost to the president in some ways his support sometimes seems to benefit when he's not in the news, so being the darling of the chattering class and making progress on the ground are two very, very different things," he said.

Several top Sanders campaign officials and many of his supporters have long complained that the Vermont Senator doesn't get the coverage he deserves, frequently referring to it as a "Bernie Blackout." They argue that the media often focuses on negative instead of positive coverage of Sanders, such as when he's down rather than up in polls. 

This critique gained renewed attention following Sanders's hospitalization earlier this month.

The Sanders campaign took some heat after waiting several days to disclose that the Vermont senator had suffered a heart attack. Critics at the time argued that the campaign wasn't completely transparent with the details of the state of his health.

Sanders pushed back against this criticism, maintaining that his campaign had taken all of the right steps.

"I don't know what people think campaigns are - you know, we're dealing with all kinds of doctors, and we wanted to have a sense of what the hell was going on, really," he told NBC News.

Sanders, meanwhile, has since returned to the campaign trail following a what many called a strong debate performance last week during the fourth Democratic presidential debate.

Over the weekend, Sanders held a rally in the New York City borough of Queens, where he was officially endorsed by progressive star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). 

- Tess Bonn