Bernie Sanders got unusually angry with press conference reporters when one of them accused him of having his press secretary tell the reporters not to talk about ISIS. The reporter tried to call him out on it at the end of a press conference, implying in his tone that Bernie wanted to avoid the discussing the issue.
Clearly the reporter did not know who he was dealing with. Bernie laughed in his face, then called out the reporter for his smug and rude comment.
To put it into the proper context, Bernie was attending a meeting of local pastors in the Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss social and economic issues that the black community is facing. Bernie’s press secretary, Symone Sanders, requested that reporters stay “on-topic” and not bring up unrelated questions like ISIS out of respect for the purpose of the gathering.
Sanders only took questions from local media, who up to that point kept the topic focused on the issues facing the local black community. Before he exited at the end, one reporter who apparently could not have cared less about the event shouted, “Do you not want to talk about ISIS?”
Sanders grew visibly annoyed with this because the implication is clear. Many reporters, but especially Republican hacks, enjoy asking hit-job questions like these to get the accusation on camera. They want to be able to ask the question, “Why is Bernie afraid to talk about ISIS?” as if it is some political attack ad.
That was when Bernie had enough:
“Alright, what about ISIS, guys? How often do these people talk about issues that we talked about today? Of course I’ll talk about ISIS.”
“But today what we’re talking about is we’re talking about a community where half of the people don’t have jobs. We’re talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable. We’re taking about a community where kids are unable to go to schools that are decent.”
“Obviously ISIS and terrorism are a huge national issue that we’ve got to address. But so is poverty, so is unemployment, so is education, so is health care, so is the need to protect working families.”
Whoever the wanna-be reporter was that said something stupid remained silent, as Bernie finished up and left to a round of applause by the attendees.
Watch Bernie remind reporters what real journalism is about below:
Featured image via NBC screen capture