Yesterday, I felt compelled to turn my blog, typically about programming of obscure computer languages, into a temporarily-political blog. I can’t ignore this huge corporate-media backlash that I’ve gotten mixed up in…
Tuesday night, I watched the first 2016 Democratic Presidential debate, and naturally I went online to see what the post-debate reporting said about it. I was particularly interested in how public opinion was swayed by the debate (isn’t that the whole point of the debate?)
In my opinion, Bernie Sanders completely crushed Hillary Clinton. He made her look like a fool, a corporate shill, a money/power broker for the rich… a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and did it with a presidential poise unseen in my lifetime. This guy was born to be president from my observation. Bernie delivered what I saw to be a monumental performance, the most monumental debate performance possibly in the history of televised debates. Quickly following, I saw the results of the focus groups, including one focus group where Bernie turned almost an entire room full of Hillary supporters (pre-debate) into Bernie supporters (post-debate). There were 3 focus groups in all on live television, and they all were the same .. this guy was a rock star, he was on fire. I was excited! The media should be all over this! This was absolutely sensational!
But then… I saw some strange things happening. One after the other, the media pundits offered their soundbites and opinions of what happened… and they all seemed to completely ignore what just happened. The corporate media coverage turned into nothing but opinion pieces that had no data backing and the headlines “Hillary Triumphs over Sanders” and the like. They completely buried Sanders in the coverage at first… even going so far as to mention him third… after Joe Biden (who isn’t even running) and sometimes Webb (who scored at about 1-2% in most polls). The corporate media was trying to get the American public to forget Bernie by repeating only the parts of the debate that favored Hillary and burying him under other news, other candidates… ignoring the overwhelming polls that scored him as the winner by as much as a 4:1 margin (look around there are dozens of them). As I write this, CNN is running an article about Trump’s threat to boycott the next GOP debate simply because they can’t agree on the format (minor quibbles really). And Sanders is mentioned nowhere, with the only exception being a short clip of him dancing on the Ellen show and giving awkward high-fives… not exactly substantive reporting.
I immediately jumped on it, calling them out in a blog yesterday and posting to all kinds of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and CNN‘s own site’s comment threads. I also signed up to Volunteer for Bernie Sanders’s campaign, followed him on Facebook and Twitter (where Sanders gained more followers than all the other candidates combined during Tuesday’s debate).
It turns out I wasn’t the only one upset, as now CNN is getting completely bombarded with Bernie comments, even on non-Bernie related articles. CNN responded by removing the ability to comment from their main site. Then they responded by changing the news reporting away from the debate on to other bullshit political subjects, like Trump’s quibbles about future debate formats and this boring news about Obama keeping a whopping 9,000 troops in Afghanistan longer than expected. I watched that whole Obama news conference, basically Obama said “Their mission will not change” over and over. So I guess “no change” is bigger news than Bernie sanders pulling off one of the most monumental opinion shifts in presidential debate history?!
Even if some of these polls weren’t entirely scientific, the sheer number and magnitude of them, and the huge margins by which Bernie dominated over Hillary should, you would think, at least be news worthy of some mention… somewhere? Right? Not to mention all the other hard numbers that came out post debate… Bernie’s fund-raising explosion of $3 million in 2-days… that he gained more Twitter and Facebook followers than all the other candidates combined, that he dominated internet data statistics provided by Google, who obviously have more data than just about anyone. Even if those polls aren’t totally scientific, he consistently showed up trampling Clinton’s statistics by 3:1 or even 4:1. Yet to CNN and all other major media, none of this is news. Bernie did exactly what you’re supposed to do in a debate… he changed public opinion in his favor, he won the most support… THAT’s how you win a debate… that is the WHOLE PURPOSE of debating! You don’t win a debate by having the most talking-pundit-heads on CNN Crossfire backing you afterwards. The pundits are clearly not on the payroll of public interest.
CNN couldn’t remove the ability for users to comment from their facebook page… and instead took to deleting the comments individually, leading to another backlash where supporters are now copy/pasting the same messages over and over and over. One repeated message complains of corporate media ownership/sponsorship:
“CNN keeps deleting *my* comment off of their site. Please copy and paste this and post it all over their debate coverage.
Time Warner Inc owns CNN.
Time Warner Inc is Hillary’s 7th biggest financial supporter.
CNN is posting all over that Hillary won the debate.
CNN’s own polls show that 81% of their viewers think Bernie won.
CNN will not even post the results of their own poll.
If this isn’t some Orwellian 1984 crap, I don’t know what is. We need to show corporations that we’re not taking the manipulation anymore.”
Another repeated, reposted comment lists all the polls that Bernie crushed Clinton:
1. C-SPAN: Sanders (7.2k) |Clinton (938)
2. TIME: Sanders 60% | Clinton 12%
3. CNN: Sanders 81% | Clinton 12%
4. Drudge: Sanders 61% (126,448 votes) | Clinton 6.74% (13,925 votes)
5. Dailykos: Sanders 59% (7,970 votes) | Clinton 34% (4,659 votes)
6. Slate: Sanders 75% | Clinton 18%
7. Syracuse: Sanders 78.11% (3,190 votes) | Clinton 15.77% (644 votes)
8. Fox5: Sanders 77.35% (30,248) | Clinton 15.86% (6,204 votes)
9. MSNBC: Sanders 81% | Clinton 12%
10. Wishtv8: Sanders 77.65% | Clinton 13.15%
11. Advocate: Sanders 77% | Clinton 19%
12. Nationalreview: Sanders 558 votes | Clinton 39 votes
13. 9news: Sanders 8.9k votes | Clinton 2.2k votes
14. Wwnc: Sanders 78% | Clinton 15%
15. Philadelphia.cbslocal: Sanders 81.03% | Clinton 14.56%
16. Postonpolitics: Sanders 84% | Clinton 10%
17. AJC: Sanders +225 -20 | Clinton +62 -108
18. Controversialtimes: Sanders 84.42 | Clinton 10.39
19. Tcpalm: Sanders 74% | Clinton 18%
20. WRIC 8NEWS: Sanders 75% | Clinton 6%
21. WGY: Sanders 68% | Clinton 12%
1. Frank Luntz Focus Group: “The participants agreed overwhelmingly that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the big winner at the first Democratic debate.”
2. Fusion Focus Group: “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the most popular candidate among a group of young registered Democrats responding to Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. The panel voted 8 to 3 for Sanders against the runner-up Hillary Clinton, with one panelist saying it was a tie between the two.”
3. CNN Focus Group: “Majority of CNN Focus Group Think Sanders Won First Debate”
As I write this, nearly every news article published by CNN at this moment is completely bombarded with Bernie Sanders comments, where Bernie supporters are desperately trying to report the news that CNN seems completely unwilling to report.
Then looking around, I found that the plot seemed to go even deeper. CNN deleted the following video from its own website, was recovered by a GOP group and posted to YouTube because they thought it made for good anti-socialist fodder. [youtube_sc url=”https://youtu.be/3C_lcueFUE8″]
They even took down their own poll from their own website, which was fortunately captured by a user as a screenshot and uploaded to imgur.com
After battling CNN all day on Facebook, a likely-frustrated social media manager for CNN finally posted a Sanders-related headline. But a look on their website reveals that this actual article is buried, and the bone it offers Bernie is too little, too late. Clearly it was thinly veiled attempt to put a pacifier in the backlash … but it’s not working.
What the article does do, however, is add more ammunition and more oxygen into the fire… because the article (meekly) reports that Sanders has been gaining on Clinton in fundraising as a result of the debate. Sanders raised over $3 million in small donations since Tuesday. To those of us who feel cheated, this is just another statistic, along with the deleted polls and forgotten focus groups, to prove to everyone that something is very amiss here. Something is very amiss, indeed.
UPDATES: Eventually CNN came up with some polls (the day after the debate) and that seemed to back up their blind claims that “Hillary won the debate”, but apparently, when you dig into their polls, only 25% of their respondents actually watched the debate! Yet still CNN blindly claims that “Hillary Won the Debate” with absolutely nothing to back it up statistically. You can laugh at people and call them conspiracy theorists for claiming “Bernie won the Debate”, but the facts are that CNN is shouting the opposite with absolutely no data to back it up. CNN, as an “impartial” news organization should report FACTS, not opinions. Just the facts, CNN. Just the Facts. Video does a great job of pulling CNNs new “polls” apart. [youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_PZFZOgn24″]
There are other reports of CNN unfairly forcing the Bernie2016tv YouTube channel to shutdown, but I leave it to your judgement to decide whether it was justified or not… I haven’t looked into the details much yet, it is an interesting story though. [youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5gEMyToe3I”]
Everything coming out of CNN makes it look like CNN wants people to forget about the debate, and to only remember the parts that they cut up and turn into soundbites.
The democratic party just announced a November “forum” in Des Moines. Join this new Facebook group if you’d like to be on the ground, protesting the major media establishment. http://www.facebook.com/cnniscorrupt