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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 24,135

About Me

Banned for life from DU -

Journal Archives

A Quote About Voting

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and bern their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Abraham Lincoln

The Cause of This Nightmare Election? Media Greed and Shameless Traffic Worship

The Subprime-itization of Our Media Has Created Our Toxic Election

I am talking, of course, about our media system. A system in which tens of thousands of reporters—bloggers—chasing online traffic bonuses produce sensational, inflammatory and outright dangerous “news” at the expense of the public they are supposed to be serving. A system in which speculative, high valence news—whether it starts as a tweet or a rumor—is packaged, dissected, repacked, and passed along from outlet to outlet until a thinking person can hardly follow what is real and what is fake.

There is no clearer example of this systemic manipulation than the presidential train wreck which has unfolded before us in recent months. First, look at how the election cycle is deliberately elongated—not for the benefit of the voters or even at the request of the audience, but rather because longer election cycles mean inflated traffic cycles. Second, notice how quickly the campaign is turned into a reality show, with its never ending cast of superficial characters, drama, and drama (did I mention drama?). It was bad in 2008 and 2012, but worse now than perhaps it’s ever been. Yet, you can’t look away can you? Third, atypical candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are effectively subsidized by the media in order to provide the story lines those outlets require to create the compelling spectacles they need to keep the cycle going and audiences hooked.

It is in this last area that we see the highest manipulation. In Donald Trump we have a candidate who has received so much media coverage that he did not need to run his first TV campaign ad until January—some seven months after entering the race and five months after the first televised debate. Has anyone in history gotten as much free media coverage as Donald Trump? Besides Joseph McCarthy and Tim Tebow (and maybe Apple, whose product launches are what the media theorist Daniel J. Boorstin would have described as blatant pseudo-events), one would be hard-pressed to find a more egregious example of the tail wagging the dog. In fact, at one point Mr. Trump was receiving more coverage than all the Democratic candidates combined. The recent observation from Josh Dawsey, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, says it all: “Every candidate but Trump is here in SC [South Carolina], and most are at forum. Every TV anchor in back is filing on Trump.”

On the other end of the spectrum, the rise of Bernie Sanders simply doesn’t pass the smell test. This is a candidate who Nate Silver shows is extremely unlikely to win, who would be 75 year old on Inauguration Day, who embraces, quite openly, the word “socialist” in a country that considers the word more dangerous politically than “atheist,” and who is drowning in headlines. Many of those headlines reveal the great lengths the media is willing to go to legitimize him on the one hand, and on the other, with the rise of the fake “Bernie Bros” trend, the lengths they’re willing to go to turn him into a Trump-level sideshow.

Why are we even talking about either of them? I’ll tell you why. These two unlikely candidates happen to attract massive passionate internet audiences. One gives outlets the traffic of the disaffected, angry Fox News crowd (and its enemies). The other affords the opportunity to soak up millennial audiences.


Oh Snap - Atlanta Mayor Responds to BS Claim Race Relations

CNN)The Democratic mayor of Atlanta criticized Bernie Sanders on Friday for claiming at a recent Democratic debate that race relations would be better if he is president than they are under President Barack Obama.

Kasim Reed, a Hillary Clinton supporter, told CNN's Erin Burnett that the claim was "dismissive and disrespectful" of the nation's first African-American president and that Sanders' rhetoric on Thursday reminded him of a county commissioner. Reed went on to challenge Sanders' record, saying, "Show me in the Senate where he led some broad coalition to get something significant accomplished ... He is running to be the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party, although he just became a Democrat within the last year." http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/12/politics/kasim-reed-bernie-sanders-atlanta/index.html

Feel the Bern or Give ‘em Hill, but please, chill out

This is my first post in almost a year - I left DU due to it's toxicity and now OMG

Anyway enjoy this article from my favorite yoga teacher, journalist and the very hip Mark Morford.

How to put this delicately? With all due respect and while hoping to avoid kicking the political hornet’s nest, all over again?
Oh, screw it: Chill the hell out, rabid Bernie evangelists.

Believe me, I get it. Bernie is awesome. Bernie is neat. Bernie could, bewildered Fates allowing and if New Hampshire is any indication and it’s almost certainly not but life is weird and stranger things have happened – Bernie could go all the way. And lo, it would be amazing.

But hear this now, hardcore Sanders zealots: it’s become jarringly evident that many of you are losing perspective, becoming unhinged, veering way too close, in your savage anti-Hillary screeds, pro grumpy-old-populist obsessiveness and manic refusal to acknowledge historical context, toward raging fundamentalism.

You know, like an NRA fanatic. Like a Trump rage-aholic. A Mormon homophobe. A Planned Parenthood firebomber. Beware.

You are not them. Act not like them. Chill the f–k out. Widen your lens. See the larger play. Befriend your “opponent.” Unclench your zealotry, just a little. This is the only way. The other way? Pure poison.

Let me be clear: I’m thrilled that Sanders won New Hampshire. I’m thrilled that Hillary will be the (likely) nominee. I’m thrilled that the GOP continues to eat itself alive. I have no problem with all these statements being true, simultaneously, in turns, over and over again. But maybe that’s just me.

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