By Mike Whitney. Originally published at CounterPunch (republished with permission of the author).
Photo by Evan Guest | CC BY 2.0
“For any minimally conscious American citizen, it is absolutely evident that Donald Trump is not only facing the mammoth Clinton political machine, but, also the combined forces of the viciously dishonest Mainstream Media.”
-Boyd D. Cathey, “The Tape, the Conspiracy, and the Death of the Old Politics”, Unz Review
“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary.”
-Donald Trump, Twitter
When was the last time the media threw 100% of its support behind one party’s presidential candidate? What does that say about the media?
Do you feel comfortable with the idea that a handful of TV and print-news executives are inserting themselves into the process and choosing our leaders for us? Is that the way democracy is supposed to work?
Check out this blurb from The Hill:
“The broadcast evening news programs ABC, NBC and CBS covered allegations against Trump by several women who claim he sexually assaulted them for more than 23 minutes on Thursday night. But revelations in the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta which included…sympathy for Wall Street, advocation for open borders and blatant examples of media collusion ….got a whole 1 minute and 7 seconds combined.”
Ratio of negative coverage of Trump to Clinton: 23:1
In print on Thursday, it was no better. The New York Times had 11 negative stories on Trump…But zero on Clinton/WikiLeaks.
Ratio: 11:0.” (Media and Trump bias; Not even trying to hide it anymore, The Hill)
The article in The Hill also refers to a survey by the Washington Post and ABC News that asks participants six questions about allegations of sexual misconduct by Trump, but zero questions about Podesta’s incriminating emails.
Is that what you call “balance”?
I should state out-front, that I don’t plan to vote for either candidate, Trump or Clinton, so my claims of “bias” are not grounded in support for one candidate or the other. I am simply ticked-off by the fact that the media honchos have pulled out all the stops and are inserting themselves in the process to produce the outcome they want.
That’s what you call “rigging” an election. When you turn on Washington Week (Gwen Ifil) on public TV and see an assembled panel of six pundits–three conservatives and three liberals–and all six turn out to love Hillary and hate Trump; you can be reasonably certain that the election is rigged, because that’s what rigging is. Rather than providing background information about the candidate’s position on the issues so voters can make an informed decision, the media uses opinionmakers to heap praise on one candidate while savagely denigrating the other. The obvious goal is to shape public opinion in the way that best suits the interests of the people who own the media and who belong to the establishment of rich and powerful elites who run the country, the 1 percent. In this case, the ruling class unanimously backs Hillary Clinton, that much is obvious.
Fortunately, the tide is turning on the mainstream media as people look to other, more reliable sources for their information. It should come as no surprise that people are more distrustful of media than ever before and that that a great many feel that the media is conducting a brutal class war against ordinary working people. Surely, anyone who has followed economic developments at all in the last seven years, knows that the policies of the Fed have created a yawning chasm between rich and poor that is only getting worse as long as the levers of power stay in the hands of establishment politicians. Hillary Clinton is certainly the worst of these establishment politicos. Aside from being the most widely-reviled candidate the Democrats have ever nominated, she is the embodiment of political corruption and cronyism. How is it, you may ask, that someone like Clinton was able to nab “upwards of $225,000 per speech” from Goldman Sachs if she wasn’t influence peddling?
Does it really matter what she said in these speeches?
Not to me. The huge sums of money prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Clinton is selling access, tacitly agreeing to “go easy” on the big Wall Street investment banks provided they keep her foundation’s coffers overflowing. What other possible explanation could there be?
Do as many Americans know about Hillary’s sordid dealings with Wall Street as know about Trump’s “alleged” sexual dalliances?
Of course not. It’s not even close.
Do they know that Clinton was the driving force behind the intervention in Libya and Syria, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have died and seven million have been internally displaced? Do they know she was involved in the toppling of a democratically-elected government in Honduras or that a number of prominent neocons, who dragged the US into war in Iraq based on WMD lies, now support her?
Do people know that Hillary had proof that ISIS –America’s arch enemy– was being funded and supported by our allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and, yet, she never reported the news to the American people??
Here’s a damning clip from one of the Podesta emails:
“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.”
Remember when George W. Bush said that ‘We will treat the terrorists and the people who support the terrorists the same”?
Hillary must not have gotten that memo or we would have bombed Riyadh by now.
Do people know that there has never been a war that Hillary didn’t support, a job-killing “free trade” bill she didn’t back, or a civil liberties-eviscerating piece of legislation (Clinton voted for the original USA PATRIOT Act in 2001, as well as the revised version in 2006.) she wasn’t eager to sign?
Oh, but she does support “women’s reproductive rights” which makes her a big champion of personal freedom among her narrow demographic of successful, educated, white women. Excuse me, for not doing handstands.
Here’s another short clip from the WSWS:
“Hillary and Bill Clinton have accumulated a total of $153 million in speaking fees since Bill Clinton left the White House. Only the very naïve could believe that these vast sums were paid for the speeches themselves. They were payment for services rendered to the American financial aristocracy over a protracted period.” (In secret Goldman Sachs speeches, Clinton explains why the rich should rule, World socialist Web Site)
Get the picture? Hillary Clinton isn’t a candidate, she’s a franchise, a walking ATM machine. And her shady Foundation is nothing more than a vast recycling bin for illicit funds that pour into the political sausage-making machine in the form of contributions and magically transform themselves into special favors for the billionaire class.
Is the system rigged?
You’re damn right it is! Check this out from Zero Hedge under the heading of “73% Of Republicans Say Election Could Be “Stolen” As Trump Slams “Rigged Elections”:
“A Politico/Morning Consult Poll found that 41% of registered voters say that the election cold be stolen from Trump while 73% of Republicans fear the same.
The American electorate has turned deeply skeptical about the integrity of the nation’s election apparatus, with 41 percent of voters saying November’s election could be “stolen” from Donald Trump due to widespread voter fraud.
The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll — conducted among 1,999 registered voters Oct. 13 through Oct. 15 — shows that Trump’s repeated warnings about a “rigged” election are having effect: 73 percent of Republicans think the election could be swiped from him. Just 17 percent of Democrats agree with the prospect of massive fraud at the ballot box.” (Zero Hedge)
Should we be worried about the election being rigged? Should we be concerned that a significant number of Americans no longer trust the “integrity of the electoral process”?
And how are these allegations (that the election was stolen) going to impact Hillary’s ability to govern?
It’s going to impact it dramatically, in fact, it could stop her dead in her tracks. It could even precipitate a Constitutional crisis. And that’s where all this is headed, isn’t it?
Consider this: Maybe Trump isn’t really trying to win any more. Maybe he knows he can’t overcome a 12 point deficit this late in the game, so he’s going to pull a Samson. He’s going to shake the pillars and bring the whole rotten temple crashing down around him. He’s going use all his influence to discredit this fake democratic system the elites have painstakingly put together to control the public, he’s going to grow his throng of angry supporters into a small army, and he’s going to spearhead a (mainly) right wing populist movement that is going impose gridlock on Washington, deepen the political divisions, acrimony and polarization across the country, and make Clinton’s tenure as president a living hell.
That’s the gameplan. He’s going to marshal enough grassroots support that Clinton will spend her entire four years bogged down in endless investigations, fending off charges of criminal misconduct, and leap-frogging from one seedy scandal to the next.
No, Trump isn’t planning on winning. He doesn’t want to be president. He wants to be a modern-day Braveheart leading the peasants into battle against a thoroughly-corrupt and heinous ruling class establishment. That’s what he wants, and that’s why political has-beens like Gingrich and Giuliani have attached themselves to him like the plague. They see an opening for resurrecting their own dismal careers.
In any event, Hillary’s going to win the election, that’s for sure. But don’t count Trump out just yet. He’s just getting warmed up.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.