May 27, 2015

Trashing Sanders in the major media

Steve Hendricks, Columbia Journalism Review - For not going with the flow, and for challenging Hillary Clinton, the big fish many elites have tagged as their own, Sanders’s entry into the race was greeted with story after story whose message—stated or understated, depending on the decorum of the messenger—was “This crank can’t win.”

The trouble with this consensus is the paucity of evidence to support it. “This crank actually could win” is nearer the mark. But having settled on a prophecy, the media went about covering Sanders so as to fulfill it. The Times, for example, buried his announcement on page A21, even though every other candidate who had declared before then had been put on the front page above the fold. Sanders’s straight-news story didn’t even crack 700 words, compared to the 1,100 to 1,500 that Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Hillary Clinton got. As for the content, the Times’ reporters declared high in Sanders’s piece that he was a long shot for the Democratic nomination and that Clinton was all but a lock. None of the Republican entrants got the long-shot treatment, even though Paul, Rubio, and Cruz were generally polling fifth, seventh, and eighth among Republicans before they announced.

Other coverage of Sanders ran to caricature, as in Paul Kane and Philip Rucker’s personality piece in the Washington Post, which opened, “He seems an unlikely presidential candidate—an ex-hippie, septuagenarian socialist from the liberal reaches of Vermont who rails, in his thick Brooklyn accent, rumpled suit and frizzy pile of white hair, against the ‘billionaire class’ taking over the country.” The Post’s pieces didn’t lead with Clinton’s hippie past or her age (she will be a septuagenarian in 2017) and didn’t say she rails when she discusses her more ardently held positions (she has a couple). Even the word “liberal,” which doesn’t seem the worst quasi-pejorative to hang on a candidate who calls himself a socialist, sits poorly next to the flattering “populist” that the Post permitted Clinton, especially since she is a mere recent and rhetorical convert to the creed that Sanders has acted on for 40 years.


Anonymous said...

While I certainly don't agree with the 'crank' part, the 'can not win' part is unfortunately true due to several changes in the nomination process since the days of Carter or McGovern. These include...

20% of the delegates are anti-democratically selected party bosses known as 'super-delegates'. Since all these party bosses are almost certain to go for Hillary, then Sen. Sanders is required to win the primary and caucus delegates by a 60% to 40% margin in order to overturn the power structure's candidate.

Its nothing new, but the Democratic Party does nothing to to restrict money any more closely than the giant floodgates that modern federal law allows. They could of course by passing a rule for their own party contests.

And, the calendar has been stacked with almost all the big states voting within a week or two. It used to be that a grassroots campaign could 'build momentum' out of Iowa or NH. Not any more. Now its wham-bam-thank-you maam with the nominations being decided not very long after Iowa. CA used to vote as late as June, at the end of a long process that gave time to a grassroots campaign time to grow. Now, a grassroots campaign has to be organizing in Nov, Dec of this year at the very latest and in 20 big states at the same time as the very effort intensive campaigns in IA and NH. Not a problem of course for a wall street money campaign like Hillary's where she just buys all the tv time available with her massive war chest from Wall Street and extreme regimes from around the world that wanted to buy weapons and thus gave to her 'foundation'.

The sad fact is that the Democratic Party is no longer an option. Instead, he's just becoming the next Kucinich who's main job was to divert time, money and effort from any general election campaigns that might become a threat. I wonder if Bernie's been promised a seat at Fox News yet?

At this point, we need to stay out of the rigged game that is the Democratic Party and concentrate all of our resources on an independent/3rd party campaign in the Nov elections. And even better if that was a unity campaign that didn't divide votes and effort six ways to Sunday which is political suicide in winner-take-all elections.

Anonymous said...

Any campaign strategy that relies on Wall Street's media wing to be anything but an enemy is doomed to fail. Not to say any campaign is doomed, just one that expects only hostility from Wall Street media.

This obviously requires a two-pronged strategy that builds a campaigns own network of communications combined with trying to educate supporter not to read and certainly not to believe anything that Wall Street's media says. We win when they try a last ditch slander/scandal against one of our candidates and no-one is even listening or if they are listening then they are laughing while staying connected to the campaign directly and hearing the truth from them.

Articles like this walk the line on this. It is an important part to educate people as their lies to teach them to boycott these 'news' sources and turn them off. But, its useless to just whine and complain that this isn't fair. In a modern corporate American election, nothing is going to be fair. The key messages in a article like this need to be 1) turn them off and 2) organize to fight back.

Anonymous said...

"concentrate all of our resources on an independent/3rd party campaign"
You need at least a chance to bat if you expect to get a hit. Unfortunately here in the Great Heartland independent/3rd parties often aren't even allowed in the park. Write-in votes can nullify an entire ballot. No, it appears Bernie has made the correct decision and this writer is planning on backing him to the hilt. Have followed his career for years and have long envied Vermonters for having the opportunity to be represented by one of such conviction and integrity.
As to the naysayers and skeptics out there, consider the following:

Go Bernie

Anonymous said...

The choice is no longer between liberals and neoliberals, both agree on judicial supremacy to expand individual rights. Liberals like Sanders hold
corporations aren't individuals, a quibble. Against the liberals are the republicans who are concerned with separation of powers. This is an extinct species that includes Madison, Jefferson, JQA, Lincoln, TR, FDR. Here the expansion of rights by the Court could be viewed as a coup d'etat on the Dred Scott model. Although the Republican party once mobilized a civil war against the neoliberals on the issue of the Court's tyranny, the stealth Court has arranged for the demise of republicans, who with the exception of one or two law professors, no longer exist. The nation's republican past is also written out of the history books as Washington and other prominent Virginians are deemed non persons because of their offenses against human rights. Lincoln is deemed a racist. TR is deemed a war monger, FDR a tyrant. Discussion of separation of powers and specifically Court power are considered only in the liberal language of individual rights. There is no republican underground, literally no republicans, just as there are no Jolson imitators singing in black face. So republicanism is reinterpreted as a separation of ethnicities and rights interests. Any mention of the government's powers is usurpation of the Court's privileged supremacy to determine these. For instance, Congress's enumerated power to judge elections is subordinated to the Court's determination of free speech rights. Liberals know that the free speech clause doesn't say money talks. But they want an amendment to make sure the Court knows that. Being innocent of any knowledge about how government works they believe a primitive myth that Congress has no power to judge elections or strip the Court's jurisdiction. The liberals and neoliberals form an oligarchic cult. Republicans were democrats, but like the earth being round in 1400, everyone knows today that democracy is impossible. Hence Congress's permanent low approval rating is an essential feature of liberal/neoliberal Court-dominated oligarchy. US individual rights will conquer the planet as Hitler and Tojo couldn't and inevitably make it uninhabitable by their privileged carbon emissions.