Last December, I noted the following in the post, ‘Then We Will Fight in the Shade’ – A Guide to Winning the Media Wars:
It is when you get desperate, scared and panicky that you make the biggest mistakes, and the legacy media is currently desperate, scared and panicky. As Napoleon Bonaparte allegedly said:
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
Whether or not he actually said them, those words still ring true. We mustn’t get in the way of the legacy media’s inevitable self-destruction. Part of this means that we do not self-destruct in the process. We need to recognize that there’s a reason independent, alternative media is winning the battle of ideas in the first place. For all the warts, mistakes and bad actors, the emergence of the internet is indeed the historical equivalent of the invention of the printing press on steroids.
Only a clueless self-important elitist actually believes that the smartest, most informed people in America are the pundits on tv and the journalists employed by the mainstream media. With a handful of companies and a few oligarchs in charge, you’d have to be the most naive fool on earth to not understand that legacy media is driven by well defined narratives, and that these narratives are not in your best interest. The rest of us understand that the Internet has served as a much needed countervailing force, and has been an incredible blessing to human knowledge, connectivity and the marketplace of ideas. Just because some people can’t distinguish truth from fiction, doesn’t negate the incredible progress that decentralized information dissemination provides. It is only those who do not wish to engage in public debate on the issues themselves who want to censor stuff. The rest of us are more than happy to have an open discussion.
In a pathetic attempt to reinflate the discredited and failed neoliberal/neocon status quo political bubble it supports, corporate media has been relentless in its attacks on anyone or anything that offers an alternative vision. These attacks more often than not focus on Donald Trump, but it’s important to note that contempt for Bernie Sanders and his supporters is not far behind. It doesn’t matter what the alternative vision is, if it falls outside the neoliberal/neocon status quo, it must be demonized and destroyed by the likes of billionaire-owned media properties such as The Washington Post and The New York Times.
The alarm bells really went off for me regarding the hatred of Sanders by the New York Times upon reading the paper’s nonsensical endorsement of Hillary Clinton during the primary. You should read the entire article, but here’s some of what I wrote at the time:
One of the biggest trends of the post financial crisis period has been a plunge in the American public’s perception of the country’s powerful institutions. The establishment often admits this reality with a mixture of bewilderment and erroneous conclusions, ultimately settling on the idea people are upset because “Washington can’t get anything done.” However, nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to corruption and serving big monied interests, both Congress and the President are very, very good at getting things done. Yes it’s true Congress doesn’t get anything done on behalf of the people, but this is no accident. The government doesn’t work for the people.
With its dishonest and shifty endorsement of Hillary Clinton, I believe the New York Times has finally come out of the closet as an unabashed gatekeeper of the status quo. I suppose this makes sense since the paper has become the ultimate status quo journalistic publication. The sad truth is the publication has been living on borrowed time and a borrowed reputation for a long time. Long on prestige, it remains very short on substance when it comes to fighting difficult battles in the public interest. Content with its position of power and influence within the current paradigm, the paper doesn’t want to rock the boat. What the New York Times is actually telling its readers with the Hillary Clinton endorsement is that it likes things just the way they are, and will fight hard to keep them that way. It is as much a part of the American establishment as any government institution.
Truth be told, the paper continues to act just as upset about Sanders as it is about Donald Trump. What really seems to get under the skin of people of who write there is that her highness, Hillary Clinton, had her coronation disrupted. As such, the paper’s writers seem to be throwing daily temper tantrums filled with lies and misdirection at anyone who doesn’t swallow status quo neoliberal/neocon garbage.
Earlier this week, I highlighted one recent case in the post, Lee Camp Explains How The New York Times Manufactures “Hit Piece Propaganda.” Then yesterday, we had yet another embarrassing example. Here’s the title of the much maligned, and utterly shameful article, written by Yamiche Al Cindor.
If that title doesn’t betray that what’s to follow is a piece of unabashed propaganda, I don’t know what does. Then here’s how the piece begins…
WASHINGTON — The most ardent supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders have long been outspoken about their anger toward Republicans — and in some cases toward Democrats. Their idol, the senator from Vermont, has called President Trump a “demagogue” and said recently that he was “perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.”
Now, in Mr. Sanders’s world, his fans have something concrete to grapple with: James T. Hodgkinson, a former volunteer for Mr. Sanders’s presidential campaign, is suspected of opening fire on Republican lawmakers practicing baseball in Alexandria, Va.
My lord, where to begin. First of all, the vitriol and conspiracy theories directed at Donald Trump have been far worse from Hillary cultists and NeverTrump neocons than from Sanders supporters. In fact, the Sanders supporters are far more focused on taking over the Democratic Party and pushing aside discredited neoliberals than they are about demonizing Trump. If any group of people is singularly obsessed with removing Trump from office it is establishment, corporate Democrats, not Sanders supporters. As such, Sanders fans have absolutely nothing unique to grapple with, and to suggest otherwise is shady and dishonest. Then there’s this.
That shooting on Wednesday, which wounded four people, may prove to be an unexpected test for a movement born out of Mr. Sanders’s left-wing, populist politics and a moment for liberals to figure out how to balance anger at Mr. Trump with inciting violence.
Again, this is ridiculous. While I do think the political dialogue in this country has descended into a dangerous gutter and must be reexamined, the notion that this pertains particularly to Sanders supporters is simply preposterous. But it gets even worse.
But long before the shooting on Wednesday, some of Mr. Sanders’s supporters had earned a belligerent reputation for their criticism of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and others who they believed disagreed with their ideas. Sanders fans, sometimes referred to derogatorily as “Bernie Bros” or “Bernie Bots,” at times harassed reporters covering Mr. Sanders and flooded social media with angry posts directed at the “corporate media,” a term often used by the senator.
Sorry, what’s wrong with accurately describing corporate media for what it is. This clearly seems to have gotten under the author’s skin. Meanwhile…
The suspect in the shooting in Virginia put a new spotlight on the rage buried in some corners of the progressive left.
Mr. Hodgkinson filled his Facebook page with photographs of the senator and quotes from his speeches. Mr. Hodgkinson also wrote messages filled with expletives directed at the president, and a post in March said: “Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It’s time to destroy Trump & co.”
Perhaps we should ask the question, which wing of the Democratic Party tends to use this sort of language most often, Hillary dead-enders or Bernie supporters? The answer is obvious.
Next we have this gem.
On Tuesday, Mr. Hodgkinson posted a cartoon on Facebook explaining “How does a bill work?” “That’s an easy one, Billy,” the cartoon reads. “Corporations write the bill and then bribe Congress until it becomes law.”
“That’s Exactly How It Works. ….” Mr. Hodgkinson wrote.
That is not far from Mr. Sanders’s own message.
But that is exactly how it works. Are we supposed to pretend that’s not the case just because some lunatic went on a shooting spree?
Remarkably, it isn’t until the final two paragraphs that the truth is finally able to peak its stubborn head above the drivel.
RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United, a union that campaigned heavily for Mr. Sanders and continues to work with him, said some were hoping to discredit Mr. Sanders to slow down the continuing success of his brand of politics. She called it a “boldface lie” to connect the shooting to Mr. Sanders’s push for opposing Mr. Trump’s proposals.
“He’s the most popular politician in America,” Ms. DeMoro said of Mr. Sanders. “That doesn’t sit well with establishment Democrats or Republicans. They are trying to delegitimize and discredit anyone who is speaking out for a better society. That’s what’s happening.”
Winner, winner chicken dinner. This is the real issue. A lot of very powerful people are extremely concerned that Sanders might dare run again in 2020, so the attacks must escalate to bury him ahead of time. It won’t work.