Journalist David Sirota: ‘The Hatred of Bernie by the Political/Media Class Is Very Real’

David Sirota & Bernie Sanders

Getty David Sirota & Bernie Sanders

David Sirota, an award-winning journalist, just recently shared on Twitter that a job with Bernie Sanders 20 years ago still brings him the most accusations and questions of any job he’s had all these years later. The job made it tougher for him to get other jobs, and he’s still “accused” of being affiliated with Sanders to this day. “The hatred of Bernie by the political/media class is very real,” he said in a recent string of tweets.

David Sirota is a nationally syndicated columnist, political commentator, radio host, and blogger. He took to Twitter to share that out of all the jobs he’s had over the years, the one he had 20 years ago with Bernie Sanders has given him the most difficult and the most scrutiny, even all these years later.

He wrote: “I worked for Bernie right out of college. For 20 yrs, this — and only this — has made getting any job in politics/media far more difficult. I’m not complaining, but I speak from experience when I say that the hatred of him & his ideology by the political/media class is very real.”

This hasn’t prevented him from getting jobs, he added, but has shown him the bias that people have about Sanders.

In a follow-up tweet he said: “I want to be clear here: I’ve done a lot of jobs for Dems and for media outlets, but literally to this day, the only one that I get accusingly interrogated about is having worked for Bernie 20 years ago as a kid. The bias and hatred against him is very deep and very real.” 

He went on to point out that even when reported on today, despite all his success, he’s referred to as being affiliated with Sanders. “Example: I could be described in media as ‘an award winning journalist.’ But see here: In media references, I’m still accusingly painted as affiliated with Bernie, 20 YEARS after working for him as a kid.”

The examples he provided checked out. In an NBC News article about the “Bernie-world’s war on Beto,” NBC noted that Sirota had tweeted about O’Rourke’s record with oil and gas donations. He was noted as someone “who worked for Sanders many years ago,” in a story talking about Sanders supporters allegedly attacking O’Rourke. (Some Sanders supporters, meanwhile, have said that this is not the case and they are simply examining O’Rourke’s donations and records closely.)

The Daily Beast was more assertive in its label, calling Sirota “the Bernie Sanders partisan” when referring to his tweets about O’Rourke and writing about how “ugly” the political landscape is already getting.

Sirota then pointed out in his tweets that you don’t see this happening in articles that quote people who have been aides for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. “This doesn’t happen to Clinton or Obama aides. They are referred to in a apolitical terms in media (‘analyst’ etc). But my entire professional life, I have been accusingly labeled as Bernie Guy — with all the red scare McCarthyist insinuations. It shows the bias against Bernie.”

The responses to Sirota were mixed. Some said that they had also seen what appeared to be unfair treatment of Sanders in the media. Others were less agreeable. One person tweeted: “He doesn’t like the Democratic party. That’s fine. Let him play in his own tree house and leave the rest of us alone.”

That last sentiment has been echoed recently in a number of public Facebook posts, where some Democratic voters are already questioning or even bashing Sanders before he has even declared if he’s running for President in 2020 or not. One meme that’s circulating on social media reads: “The Democratic party is not divided. We simply do not support Bernie Sanders.” One person who shared this meme on Facebook wrote, “We are sick of having him lumped in with us. The MSM needs to stop. CNN MSNBC.”

Whenever the meme is posted publicly, however, some people who do support Sanders chime in and request that whoever posted the meme not attempt to speak for all Democrats.

Recent social media posts reveal that some voters are still blaming Sanders for Hillary Clinton’s loss, despite Sanders’ ultimately endorsing Clinton and even campaigning for her before the 2016 election. Some are even blaming Russia for Sanders (which is not accurate or true), with one person posting publicly on Facebook: “It’s part of the Kremlin’s plan through St. Petersburg to find anything that divides Democrats to weaken us.” Ironically, that person shared a “Bernie’s Basement Dwellers” meme with the post, which is quite divisive all on its own. You can read the post below.

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Sirota himself has a long history reporting on politics. After working for Sanders, he was a spokesperson for the House Appropriations Committee and also created the Center for American Progress’s Progress Report. In 2003, Newsweek described Sirota as a “political operative” who made “guerilla attacks on the Bush administration.” At the time, John Podesta said that Sirota had “an eye for critique and the instinct for the jugular.” Sirota was later a strategist for Brian Schweitzer’s 2004 campaign, and was a consultant for Ned Lamont’s 2006 campaign. Sirota in 2008 was co-chair of the Progressive Legislative Action Network. He’s also been a contributor to The Huffington Post, a guest on The Al Franken Show, a columnist for The Nation, a writer for The Washington Post among many other publications, and morning host for KKZN. In March 2017, he joined The Young Turks as a contributor.

Sirota’s tweets have sparked a discussion about Sanders’ treatment in the media, and whether or not his perspective is shared by others. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.