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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Media Bias Helps Hillary as Minority Rule Emerges

Super Tuesday was largely an event of limited significance despite the significance of the huge number of votes cast. Hillary Clinton extended her lead. Pundits were quick to point out that the Kennedy endorsement appears to have made little difference in Massachussets, which went to Hillary.

I'd said the New Hampshire primary recount disrupted the media narrative which tried to attribute the "victory" to Hillary's (first) crying incident. As I'm generally fond of criticizing the media, I find schadenfraude in their mistaken predictions--"how we could be so wrong," etc. The Mass Media's self-infatuation is glaring and limitless. This attitude is likely forged by their ego and sense of control, which comes across in the uniformity of their prognostications, then in the most recent case, the uniformity of their apology.

Biased towards Clinton, I've noticed media has either ignored entirely or tried to dismiss the Kennedy endorsement which Fox and the Right seemed to laugh off. So when Clinton won the Kennedys' home state on Super Tuesday, this provided evidence (highly circumstantial) that the Kennnedys' influence had waned, which was surely good news for the Clinton camp. Still, one very influential Kennedy, Robert F., had endorsed Hillary, so the idea of a Kennedy political monolith persisting into the present era wasn't apparent and thus the criticisms were directed toward a straw man which the pundits had set up for destruction.

By the way, I've referenced Robert F.'s article on the stolen election in Ohio here repeatedly, so his endorsement is credible. Just how much political benefit it brought to the Clinton campaign--or how much damage it did to the other Kennedys' endorsement of Obama--is unclear. Still, I read Maria Cocco's article today that started out "Kitchen table worries trumped even the charisma of Camelot..." as if the Kennedys were indeed a monolith. I've heard several people in the media "dis" the Kennedys as dead liberalism.

Lest I incur the wrath of a writer who actually has their picture next to their column, I will admit the Cocco and many other journalists have a preponderance of talent and the potential--theoretically at least--to provide a lot of facts pertinent to the issue. {Readers should note that in order for me to be worried about what Cocco or any others I've pilloried might think, this blog must first be read, which may be a bit of a fantastical narrative in itself.}

Cocco is accurate with her analysis of Clinton's influence with Latins/Asians, a factor I'd considered in my blog's last post. I don't know the source of Hillary's success among Hispanic voters, but the results speak for themselves: "in California, Latinos voted for Clinton 2-1," Cocco says. She goes on to mention Hillary's advantage with Asians, who voted 3-1 for Clinton and make up a big and growing chunk of California voters.

The new minority candidates have found themselves framed in the Media as being limited in their support from other minorities. Just under the reporting veneer is the highly charged accusation that Hispanics don't like blacks and wouldn't vote for one (don't expect to see that racism exposed by the MSM any time soon.)

Whatever the levels of support in the various ethnic groups the make up our country, the main issue is that minorities make up the majority of this country now. Women themselves compromise a majority; Latinos surpassed African Americans in their numbers recently, which would put the two groups' combined population at about 25% or so of the total. Another 8% Asian America puts the total minorities at about one third of our overall population.

White male liberal voters, with whom Obama earns the most support, no longer have the numerical strength to carry the party. Edwards' reliance on shrunken labor unions may have likewise doomed him. Hillary should appeal to women not, as many in the Media have said, because they are anti-male, but because people simply like to vote for people who are like them.

Still, Clinton is not at all like the vast majority of people who voted for her, unless they have about $5 million to lend their campaign and husbands that are former presidents. Obama, whose pedigree clearly establishes him as part of the elite establishment, does identify with the young, in part due to his being relatively young at 46 years of age.

To win elections, it's been necessary to woo various ethnic constituencies, so the concept of a minority candidate alienating other minorities is a new field for Presidential politics. The politics of inclusion are meant to dispel the ethnocentric commonalities that tend to divide Americans and bring all kinds of people together under one proverbial tent. The racial divides that can lead to friction may not be strong enough to drive minorities out of the Democratic party, though I can see more than a few traditional Demos crossing the line to vote for McCain if Obama wins the nomination (extremely unlikely.)

Historically, the Democratic Party's structure is built around non-whites supporting whites. With only one woman ever appearing on a (major party's?) national ballot, Geraldine Ferraro with Mondale in '84, the presumption has been that the Democratic party can win if it unites all minorities against the white Republicans.

The Obama test case also shows that blacks may not fit into the Democratic party establishment. They have their candidate in a position to come in second, which is a notable first. The age when race doesn't matter in the selection of a candidate is still years off, but by far the most significant achievement of this primary season will be Obama's impact. A black man can achieve great things, at least within the Democratic Party. First though it seems that the coronation of a woman candidate and President will be necessary step in the advancement of minority rights in the political arena.

Of course the political pundits love to suggest the possibility that people side with Clinton not necessarily because they like her, but because they don't like Obama. By proxy, therefore some of Hillary's success is attributed to the Latino anti-black vote or the anti-black white woman vote, etc. still, this preying on ethnice divisions is immature and quite likely politically misguided. While these sentiments exist, acknowledging them in itself does little to advance the broader popular appeal of the the eventual choice of Democratic candidate. And if this racism exists, as it surely does, it will most likely emerge in the form of support for McCain, the Republicans' presumptive candidate.

While racism may have held sway over the South and other areas, many of these regions are firmly in the GOP camp anyway and it's unlikely the minority status of the Democratic candidate would be in itself a reason to vote for McCain. Plus, the huge populations of California and other fast-growing states have been augmented by legions of Hispanics and Asians who might now outnumber white "conservatives" whose population hasn't kept pace.

The demographics in America have forever changed, and both Hillary's and Obama's organization have shown that race does matter in politics, useful as a force to draw Americans together rather than forcing them apart as the politics of race have done in the past.

Now if Obama somehow gets on the ticket as Vice President, this would be a sweeping acknowledgement of how the times have really changed. A Clinton/Obama ticket would signify the establishment's belief that the negatives associated with race can really be surmounted by the demographic changes, and that the political power of minorities has permanently altered the establishment itself. Most likely, a female/black ticket would be considered too much of a social experiment, too risky a proposition for the largely conservative South and Midwest that tend to decide Presidential elections. Still, compared to a stodgy McCain (read white old man), the pairing of Obama's appeal with Clinton's realism could be unbeatable.

I do hope that the Media can stay away from the race- and gender based issues, as hopefully America has transgressed beyond them, socially at least. In the fall, we will hopefully be treated to less coverage of the fact that Hillary is a women (and all the permutations subordinate to that basic truth) and more about the qualifications that would make her a good President.
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I'd brought my readers' attention to anchorperson Don Lemon's snafu on CNN last week, where he'd read that Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from California, would have a bigger impact on the race than would the Kennedys, a statement which is inflammatory, partisan, and presumptive. The statement had come on the heels of coverage on the endorsement by Caroline, Senator Teddy, and Patrick Kennedy. To his credit, Lemon at least had the wits to stammer a bit as he read the line, as he realized that he'd been fed a clearly anti-Obama line.

Judging from the primary results, perhaps the CNN editors who produced the line for Lemon had been right in dismissing the power of the Kennedy endorsement. Either that or CNN saw Water's defection as a chance to dis' the Kennedys and diminish their relevance in any way they could.

Pro-Clinton partisans must have seen Waters' endorsement as the perfect method to diminish the importance of the Kennedy (3/4ths) endorsement. Waters was an undeniable liberal. She shared Obama's race yet had split from him. To Clinton supporters in the CNN newsroom, Waters exemplified a rift within the black community that could serve as a wedge between black voters and Obama.

Just as our government seeks to divide Iraqis against themselves, so too does the pro-Clinton camp want to turn black against black so Obama loses. Dividing one's enemies is a very basic yet effective strategy--simply choose a position or candidate to support then stir chaos among those who oppose that position or candidate. Perhaps the best example of divide and conquer currently being practiced is the occupation of Iraq, which emerged out of David Wurmser's Clean Break as a means to destabilize Israel's enemies by capitalizing on long-standing feuds and religious and ethnic differences in the Middle East.

Iraq is also a textbook example of media manipulation, called perception management. Rove and neocon advisers established a wing in the Pentagon called the Office of Special Plans that sought out excuses to attack Iraq. Using a similar war room technique, Republican operatives were later tasked to churn out swift-boat style attacks on Kerry. Orders in hand, GOP activists and press people were then dispatched to media outlets that would repeat the accusations as news facts then replay them constantly in the media.

The Media's covert crusade for Bush and for the war both enabled government propaganda and made it more effective by constant repitition of the message that Iraq 1) had WMD and 2) was involved in 9/11. Some time back, I'd made the point the branding a commercial message was largely the product of repitition of the message; that approach made the substance of the message less meaningful and maximized the duration and impact of the subliminal imprint--the not-so-proverbial branding.

The nexus of media and GOP support is hardly new. The owners of media companies have been active donors, and the directors of Big Media news divisions are widely Zionist/Israel-first. So it should come ass no surprise that corporate news would push news that backed the case for war. Media people who failed to please their bosses had career problems; an example was made of Phil Donahue just as Bush and other politicians made an example out of Army Chief of Staff Shinseki, who'd advocated a larger force for the invasion. Shinseki's crime was not to be wrong about his surge but rather to have suggested it prematurely, when his boss Rumsfeld had sought to experiment with his minimalist approach to troop strength.

Perhaps the best example of collusion between the media and prowar forces may have been Howard Dean, who'd had a remarkable run and looked to be on track to seize the nomination in 2004. Then he made a mistake. The 700 or so repititions of the Dean Scream which played over and over again in the MSM ended that antiwar candidate's run.

The Scream did its damage but couldn't inflict a mortal wound on the Dean campaign until the constant replays elevated the Scream into a major political liability. It's hard to imagine the re-running of the Scream on that kind of level without a coordinated campaign against him or even a massive media conspiracy. With so much media control in the hands of so few, destroying Dean may have required little more than a few phone calls once he'd screamed the Scream.

The follow-up to Dean was Kerry's swift-boating, which had been engineered for political purposes like the agitation/propaganda run up to the Iraq War. {This approach presumes a war President will garner more popularity and political support for their reelection.}While some GOP corporations like Sinclair Media aired Kerry hit pieces, most of the MSM simply omitted key stories like Rather's report on Bush's National Guard (non-)service and the New York Times long-delayed article on torture authorized by the Bush administration. New York Times publisher Sulzberger, an ardent Zionist, had let run numerous unproven WMD allegations written by Scooter Libby confidant Judith Miller.

A media outlet can release information without scrutinizing its contents and therefore act just as a government propaganda organ would. (I've posted on the role of covert action by the CIA and Pentagon in shaping media coverage before, Operation Cointelpro was but one effort to frame the Communists.)

Censorship-by-omission can be at least as effective as the insertion of propaganda, because the latter eventually impacts the credibility of the news source--at least if its readers find out. The NYT delayed publication until after the election; the paper has since made no direct correction of the WMD allegations it so vociferously ran on its front page in the lead up to Iraq.

Most Americans are unaware that the editors and owners of mainstream media publications use their positions to advance a partisan agenda. Few have the reading and analytical skills, as well as time, to delve into the nuances of media coverage. But for those who've taken the purple pill, their manipulations are as clear as day. For me, it's gotten to the point I can ascertain the political affiliation of the network or news source from the content, often within the first paragraph.
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Media self-infatuation is preferable to a hidden agenda like sympathizing with a foreign cause.

Better a faulty narrative than deeply seeded propaganda or censorship-by-omission. In some case the media narrative can contain more nefarious purposes; however for the most part narratives are simply fanciful outcroppings of truth rather than some partisan masquerade.

Media narratives create a life unto themselves. Facts that emerge subsequent to the creation of the story line are bent to conform to the spin. The worst part of this kind of reporting is that it keeps key information suppressed.

As with Iraq, it's what American didn't know that has done the most damage. The media's stout refusal to criticize the invasion, or scrutinize the justifications for it, persists to the present day. I've blamed this on Zionist influence, a group of neo-conservatives and Right wing Jews who coordinate their actions to increase the power of the Israeli state. The consolidation of media is a big reason why Americans get the bulk of their "news" from only 5 corporations (Viacom/CBS, Walt Disney/ABC, GE/NBC, CNN/AOL/Time, and Fox/Murdoch.) See a slow-loading chart of media ownership here.

Hopefully the corporate news' inability to provide unbiased information--particularly on any issue tied to the Mideast, Israel, or the Arabs and terrorism--will lead the public away from traditional sources. Even with very limited resources, blogs are already proving their marketability on the basis of their willingness to tell the truth, a vital function necessary to democracy that can only emerge out of total independence from foreign lobbying and/or corporate influence.

Rather than acccept a state of ignorance borne of MSM omissions and non-coverage, early adopters have already turned to alternative sources. Knowing now what they do, they will never turn back--like the purple pill in The Matrix there is no going back.

The more the MSM coverage degrades, and reality diverges from the narrative, the more glaring the inadequacy. In a free market for news, this should boost competing sources as consumers go elsewhere. Instead, the FCC has created clusters of cross-owned media monopolies. The Web, inaccessible by a large percentage of the population, can't replace TV, so consumer choice, already limited, is getting even more constricted as media consolidation continues. {Note: Having 10 sports channels won't qualify as diversity I'm afraid.}

Now if you like hearing about Brittany Spears that's OK, but the American people need to be kept informed concerning issues vital to their nation like war, debt, taxes, and the economy. These can't be offered by some corporate news division expected to produce higher revenue every year, nor can the hard news be presented as just one more offering on the smorgasbord of infotainment, to be chosen and explored only if it looks good or smells good.

News worthiness cannot be based simply on whether it makes people feel good. Americans also complain about how depressing something is, as non-Americans will readily notice. One reason the US has the problems it has now is the popular ignorance of the consequences of the decisions being made on our behalf by our political leaders.

We can't legislate the responsibility to stay informed, so it will probably require the pain of entering this brave new world ignorant and dumbed down in order to force change. Iraq and a draft could achieve this prerequisite pain, as could a major economic downturn.

Absent change, the elitist view will continue to dominate. The lower echelons of society will remain ignorant, politically unaware, and apathetic--a state of afffairs which greatly helps the rich to get richer and garner even more political power and control. As outsourcing and down-sizing have already pushed millions into lower wage service jobs, much of the destruction of the Middle Class has already transpired. Like the frog who's boiled in water that gradually heats up, the bulk of the citizenry is ignorant to their own plight until, like lemmings, they plunge headlong off the cliff. Content until the end in doing as those around them do, many Americans will be spared from the "depressing" reality of what is coming until it's arrived.



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