Bernie Sanders & Mainstream Media

SUBHEAD: Bernie wins debate, but corporate mass media crowned Hillary victor all the same.

By Deirdre Fulton on 15 October 2015 for Common Dreams -

Image above: Photo of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during first presidential debate for 2016 election. From (

An uptick in donations, online polls and focus groups, and social media stats suggest Sanders walked away from Tuesday's debate victorious.

While mainstream media pundits fell in line this week to declare Hillary Clinton the winner of Tuesday's Democratic primary debate, signs suggest that it was Clinton's main rival, Bernie Sanders, who in fact emerged victorious.

Not only did the U.S. senator from Vermont have "the biggest soundbite of the night," as Sanders' senior adviser Tad Devine told Politico—referring, of course, to the "damn emails" line—but he also raked in post-debate donations, won several online polls and focus groups, and dominated the internet and social media over the course of the evening.

"According to Google Trends, Bernie Sanders won the debate," said Lindsey Cook for US News. "He was the most-Googled candidate post-debate in every state and led Google Search results into [Wednesday] morning. Sanders was also the most-discussed candidate on Facebook, followed by Clinton, then [former Virginia Sen. Jim] Webb."

Politico reports that the Sanders campaign "is touting the debate as a victory expected to expand his audience, boost fundraising, and, most important, peel off Clinton supporters to his cause. Indeed, at a fundraiser in Hollywood on Wednesday, Sanders said he had raised $2.5 million since the debate."
And Gawker added:
There were several large online polls, which are a fairly degraded form of data that can end up measuring enthusiasm of a candidate’s base more than actual total voter preference. But to the extent those online polls have any value, Bernie Sanders won 68% in the poll; Bernie Sanders won 55% in the Daily Kos poll; Bernie Sanders won 54% in the poll; and Bernie Sanders overwhelmingly won CNN’s own Facebook poll, not that you would know it from what the pundits were saying on CNN itself. CNN’s own focus group also said that Bernie Sanders won, and Fusion’s focus group said that Bernie Sanders won, and Fox News’ focus group said that Bernie Sanders won.
Corporate media, however, ignored Sanders' success and clear resonance with voters, choosing instead to push a pro-Clinton storyline.

"Professional political reporters pride themselves on knowing what is really happening," Gawker's Hamilton Nolan argued. "It would be more accurate, though, to say that they establish what is really happening, by creating the narrative that defines our messy political process in the public mind."

According to Nolan, "That narrative sayeth: the person with the most famous name and the most money at their disposal and the most powerful connections to the political establishment shall win the nomination.

And that is the narrative that all of these mainstream political reporters are sticking to. Hillary Clinton did not tip over and collapse on stage, or spout any racist slurs into a hot mic; therefore, she won the debate."

Relying on the mainstream media, then, can offer a skewed view of political reality.

As Gunar Olsen writes for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) on Thursday, the only poll so far to ask a random sample of respondents about debate performance found that 62 percent thought Clinton won, while 30 percent gave it to Sanders.

However, Olsen notes, the poll "is described as a 'random survey of 760 registered Democratic voters across the US'—not as a survey of people who actually watched the debate. Given that there are some 43 million registered Democrats in the country and 15 million people who watched the debate, not all of whom are Democrats, it’s highly likely that a large majority of the poll’s respondents got their impressions of who won the debate secondhand."

"If they relied on corporate media to tell them about the debate, as no doubt many of them did," Olsen concludes, "it’s no wonder that most of them thought Clinton won."

Meanwhile, even those who crowned Clinton as Tuesday night's favorite had to admit that "although Clinton won the overall debate, Sanders set its terms."

For example, as Common Dreams reported, it is largely due to Sanders' candidacy that the White House hopefuls were forced to debate the merits of capitalism on a national stage.

"The winner had to move the issues and set the tone for the evening, which is what Bernie Sanders did on Tuesday," wrote columnist H.A. Goodman on Wednesday.

"Because of his ability to lead on the biggest issues, from the environment to wars in the Middle East, Bernie Sanders is on his way to the Democratic nomination and the first debate was a major stepping-stone. He won the debate, and he'll win the nomination because only one candidate is setting the agenda for ideas and discussion within the Democratic Party."

Indeed, as Ruth Conniff argued at The Progressive, "the most significant win of the evening was for those millions of people in the Sanders revolution, who continue be inspired by a candidate who speaks seriously and credibly about building a movement to retake our democracy."
"That," she said, "was worth tuning in for."

CNN's & CIA's Anderson Cooper
SUBHEAD: Anderson Cooper questions if Sanders can be elected prsident because he was against Reagan's illegal CIA war on Nicaragua.

By Robert Naiman on 14 October 2015 for Huffington Post -  

Image above: From (

A key reason that the US has so many wars is that big US media have a strong pro-war, pro-Empire bias. You rarely see big US media badgering a politician for supporting a war that turned out to be a catastrophe. But it's commonplace for big US media to badger politicians for opposing wars, even catastrophic ones.

CNN journalist Anderson Cooper is a perfect example of this phenomenon.
Here's Anderson Cooper, badgering Bernie Sanders at the first Democratic debate for opposing the CIA's illegal war on Nicaragua in the 1980s:
The question is really about electability here, and that's what I'm trying to get at. You -- the -- the Republican attack ad against you in a general election -- it writes itself. You supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. You honeymooned in the Soviet Union. And just this weekend, you said you're not a capitalist. Doesn't -- doesn't that ad write itself?
Millions of Americans "supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua" in the 1980s. In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the US government-installed Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua, promising to address Nicaragua's extreme poverty and the lack of basic government services like education and health care for the majority of the population. In 1982, Nicaragua was recognized by the World Health Organization as the third world country that had made the most progress in health care.

Under the Reagan Administration, the CIA organized a terrorist army (the "Contras") to attack the Nicaraguan government. Millions of Americans participated in a solidarity movement to oppose US military intervention in Nicaragua, including public radio host Ira Glass, actors Ed Asner, Mike Farrell and Diane Ladd, civil rights leader Julian Bond and engineer Ben Linder, who was killed in a terrorist attack by the CIA's army.

The US-Nicaragua solidarity movement succeeded in passing the Boland Amendment in Congress, cutting off US funding to the CIA's terrorist army, which led the Reagan Administration to try to fund the Contras illegally through arms sales to Iran. When these illegal activities were exposed, it became the Iran-Contra scandal.

During this period, Anderson Cooper was working for the CIA.

Opposing the CIA's illegal war in Nicaragua was a mainstream, popular position at the time, as shown by the passage of the Boland Amendment by Congress. It's only in the pro-war, pro-Empire bubble of big US media that having opposed the illegal CIA war on Nicaragua could be portrayed as an electoral liability without any evidence.

The big media use of the term "electability" is a convenient carrier for pro-war, pro-Empire prejudice; the common sense meaning of "electable" would be "the majority of people might be willing to vote for you," but here "electable" means "showing the unquestioning loyalty to war and Empire demanded by big media."

You can challenge Anderson Cooper to justify his unsubstantiated claim about the popularity of the CIA's illegal war in Nicaragua here.


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