Thursday, June 16, 2016

Anatomy of a Primary: Sanders Got Screwed

To the surprise of no one who supported Bernie Sanders during his primary run, analysis of the voting results by researchers (including a paper by Axel Geijsel of Tilburg University, The Netherlands and Rudolfo Cortes Barragan of Stanford University) show clearly that Sanders was the victim of a rigged system. From our corporate media that virtually ignored Sanders during the early months of his campaign to the Democratic National Committee’s shameless crowning of Clinton long before the votes were counted to the shady dealings of state democratic parties (such as California’s) that aggressively worked to disenfranchise Sanders voters, the deck was stacked against Bernie from the moment he made his announcement to run for the nomination.

While the press was giving the buffoon Donald Trump billions of dollars in free media exposure, it was ignoring Sanders and the huge, enthusiastic crowds he was drawing all across America. My friends, no one has to tell you that this is not how a democracy works.

Related to this is a documentary I just watched this morning called “Spin.” It was made in 1995, but the theme of how the media manipulates the message is as relevant as ever. The filmmaker who made Spin took a very interesting and revealing approach to his subject matter. I didn’t know this, and I don’t know if it’s still true today, but in 1995, you could use a satellite dish to download feeds of raw video taken during television broadcasts of breaks and downtime not edited for broadcast. For example, the Larry King Show was huge in the nineties, and there are numerous clips of Larry talking to guests during commercial breaks.

Anyway, these off-air segments are very revealing in several ways. They clearly show how our news is both overtly and subtly managed, slanted and sanitized for consumption, often not by outright propaganda, but by what’s omitted. The news we see on television is the news the networks and cable companies want us to see to be good little zombie consumers. Spin also shows how political handlers help politicians “spin” uncomfortable topics or questions as they are coached during breaks. And the documentary exposes the sycophantic relationship between television personalities and politicians. Larry King practically polished George HW Bush’s shoes during an interview.

In the twenty years since Spin was released, the news has gone from bad to worse, democracy in America has died and the possibility exists that Donald Trump could become President of the United States. Have a nice day.

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