I spent quite a bit of time on Capitol Hill asking Members of Congress questions about various things. Some Senators loved to court the press, and the press loved them back for it — like Arizona Republican John McCain.
Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, was notorious for never taking questions in the Capitol (you could set up an interview with him beforehand, but that was pretty much it, good luck just walking up to him).
As The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere noted, Sanders is standing alone among leading 2020 candidates in not doing open pressers:
not to be missed in any of the press access comparisons:
Bernie Sanders still hasn’t taken open questions from reporters at any event in the six weeks since he announced his campaign
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) April 2, 2019
Beyond this just being bad form (I have been reporting for a decade now, so I naturally have to take the side of reporters!) it also creates ill feelings from the press. When Hillary Clinton developed a similar habit during her race for the presidency, it no doubt embittered reporters.
Sanders’s team could for their benefit, and the press’s, and the public, start offering competent press access if they want to prove that Sanders will be an open and accessible president. I’m not sure he has the communications or press staff in place to manage this strategy well yet (his staff are for the most part very new to politics, which is an odd choice for the leading candidate in the entire race sitting on more than $10 million, but perhaps that’s another post…)