Accuracy in Media


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running to be the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee, recently took a break from the campaign trail due to health issues. Sanders was hospitalized after suffering chest pains in Las Vegas for a campaign event.

The campaign told the media that Sanders underwent a medical procedure to insert two stents to open a blockage in an artery.

“Sen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days…We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates,” Senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement.

Sanders’s competitors offered support and wished him a speedy recovery, such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Media outlets and networks reported on the news and many noted how most patients recover from the stent procedure within a week, if not sooner. But the medical sources reiterated that rest is the best method of recovery for Sanders and patients in this position.

However, the media’s coverage of Sanders’s health history is a mixed bag. Politico referred to Sanders’s hoarse voice during the most recent Democratic Party primary debate, which led to Sanders canceling some campaign events to give his voice a rest. Politico also pointed out that earlier this year in March, Sanders cut his head on a glass shower door and received seven stitches but did not cancel any of his events.

NBC News did not mention Sanders’s cut from a shower door but referred to Sanders’s cancellations for hoarseness.

CNN’s article focused on Sanders’s stent procedure, and did not mention his previous health issues with a hoarse voice or cutting his head on a shower door.

Although it could be a minor issue, not giving the American public the correct context to evaluate a presidential candidate’s health is an oversight by the mainstream media. As multiple candidates are over the age of 70, the mainstream media should stress accuracy in its reporting about candidates’ health history, regardless of whether it is Democratic Party front-runner Joe Biden, Sanders, or incumbent President Donald Trump.




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