- The democrat machine and the pro-Hillary mainstream media chose Hillary as the democrat party's presidential nominee.
- Hillary's campaign ignored warning signs at the local level, especially in the Great Lakes Region.
- Hillary did not enthuse people like Obama did.
- Russia's influence is manufactured news.
- Facebook's fake news problem is manufactured news.
- The Bernie Bros was manufactured news.
- Journalists live in their own filter bubble on Twitter.
- Regarding national politics, NO media org should be trusted.
- Only trust individual journalists.
- The Washington Post is becoming a joke.
Did the Russians rig the democrat primary process? Nope. The national democrat party did that. The democrat machine (DNC) chose Hillary years ago.
Did the Russians help Bernie Sanders win the Wisconsin and Michigan primaries?
Those primary losses should have been huge red flag warnings to the Hillary campaign, but they weren't.
Did the Russians prevent Hillary from campaigning in Wisconsin in the fall of 2016?
After the November 2016 election, Sanders acknowledged that Trump tapped into some of the same voter disgruntlement that attracted people to Sanders.
Michael Moore predicted that Trump would beat Hillary because of what Moore observed within his home state of Michigan.
The Sanders campaign tried to warn and help the Hillary campaign about what was happening at the local level, but the Hillary people ignored the warnings.
In January 2017, NPR interviewed a local democrat operative from the Youngstown area. Before the election, this operative tried to warn the Hillary people about the surprising political changes that he observed in Mahoning County, but the Hillary campaign ignored him.
How may local democrat operatives were ignored by the Hillary campaign/DNC?
Hillary/DNC executed a militantly arrogant campaign. They had no interest in the concerns of rust belt democrats. Hillary/DNC deserved to lose.
Politicians lose elections because they are losers. But loser politicians don't think that way. They believe that they lost because of other factors.
Sorry, but it's not the fault of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, non-voters, nor the Russians.
If Al Gore had won his home state of Tennessee in 2000, then Gore would have been president, and the Florida recount would have never been a story. Bill Clinton won TN in 1992 and 1996. How in the hell does a sitting Vice President, running for President not win his home state when the current two-time president won the same state twice?
100 percent of the blame for a loss goes to the losing politician.
In 2016, however, the blame could be shared with the national democrat party and the mainstream media for enabling a sham primary process.
But the democrat party has issues at all levels of government.
January 2017 The Atlantic story
Democrats will end
the Obama era with 39 fewer House seats (233 to 194), three fewer Senate seats (51 to 48), and 12 fewer governorships (28 to 16).
January 2017 FiveThirtyEight story
At the beginning of Obama’s term, Democrats controlled 59 percent of state legislatures, while now they control only 31 percent, the lowest percentage for the party since the turn of the 20th century.
They held 29 governor’s offices and now have only 16, the party’s lowest number since 1920.
The national political media CHOOSES which stories to make popular. I don't understand how the rigged democrat primary process is not viewed as violence toward democracy. That's a bigger story than senseless narratives, like the Russians' alleged influence and the alleged fake news problem.
Fake news, propaganda, and yellow journalism have existed for decades.
... as Tim O’Reilly wrote:
“When sites like the Huffington Post post partisan clickbait that is clearly untrue, they deserve to be shunned, not reshared.”
Is this something new? No, No. Jack Shafer (Politico) explains why:
“We’d have more cause for alarm if fake news was something new, but it isn’t. If you define fake news as deliberately erroneous reports — not journalistic mistakes and miscues like much of the reporting in the run up to the Iraq War — fake news has been a reading staple for as long as the journalists have spun words."
And while fake news was mentioned prior to the November 2016 election, the mainstream media teamed together to turn the issue into an extinction level event after Trump won. The media would have never done that if Hillary had won.
In my opinion, if the national political media was concerned about freedom and democracy, then they would investigate what happened with the 2015-2016 democrat primary process. Who was involved with that fraud? When did the scheme get hatched? What prevents it from occurring again in either party?
In July 2016, Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as DNC chairwoman, and in October 2016, CNN booted Donna Brazile.
Did great investigative journalism cause those happenings? Nope. Wikileaks dumps did.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, abruptly said she was resigning after a trove of leaked emails showed party officials conspiring to sabotage the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders
Hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks show Brazile sharing with the Clinton campaign a question that would be posed to Hillary Clinton before the March CNN Democratic debate in Flint, as well as a possible question prior to a CNN town hall, also in March.
That's only what was known and known only because of hackers and Wikileaks. The media played no part except as info-forwarders. How much more existed that was never exposed?
Investigate Russian connections? Fine. Then investigate the democrat party too.
I consider the Washington Post to be a clickbait, content mill, nearly as untrustworthy as Breitbart. WaPo has become lazy and irresponsible.
This was an appropriate way for BezPo to close out 2016:
From the Forbes article:
On Friday the Washington Post sparked a wave of fear when it ran
the breathless headline “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, U.S. officials say.”
Yet, it turns out this narrative was false and as the chronology below will show, illustrates how effectively false and misleading news can ricochet through the global news echo chamber through the pages of top tier newspapers that fail to properly verify their facts.
From The Intercept article:
Apparently, the Post did not even bother to contact the company before running its wildly sensationalistic claims.
So the key scary claim of the Post story — that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid — was false. All the alarmist tough-guy statements issued by political officials who believed the Post’s claim were based on fiction.
This matters not only because one of the nation’s major newspapers once again published a wildly misleading, fearmongering story about Russia.
It matters even more because it reflects the deeply irrational and ever-spiraling fever that is being cultivated in U.S. political discourse and culture about the threat posed by Moscow.
The Post has many excellent reporters and smart editors. They have produced many great stories this year. But this kind of blatantly irresponsible and sensationalist tabloid behavior — which tracks what they did when promoting that grotesque PropOrNot blacklist of U.S. news outlets accused of being Kremlin tools — is a byproduct of the Anything Goes mentality that now shapes mainstream discussion of Russia, Putin, and the Grave Threat to All Things Decent in America that they pose.
The level of groupthink, fearmongering, coercive peer pressure, and über-nationalism has not been seen since the halcyon days of 2002 and 2003. Indeed, the very same people who back then smeared anyone questioning official claims as Saddam sympathizers or stooges and left-wing un-American loons are back for their sequel, accusing anyone who expresses any skepticism toward claims about Russia of being Putin sympathizers and Kremlin operatives and stooges.
But it’s all severely exacerbated by social media in ways that we don’t yet fully understand. A large percentage of journalists sit on Twitter all day. It’s their primary window into the world.
Regarding national politics, I don't trust any media org. I only trust individual journalists.
At the moment, the only journalist I trust is Gleen Greenwald who writes for The Intercept. Greenwald wrote The Intercept stories that I linked to above. Matt Taibbi who writes for Rolling Stone seems okay too.
It seems that many journalists dislike Greenwald because Greenwald identifies fraud wherever he sees it. That's why I like him.
"When a reporter sits down at the typewriter, he's nobody's friend." - quote by Theodore White
Another brilliantly long article by Greenwald:
After [WaPo] spreading the falsehoods far and wide, raising fear levels and manipulating U.S. political discourse in the process (both Russia stories were widely hyped on cable news), journalists who spread the false claims subsequently note the retraction or corrections only in the most muted way possible, and often not at all.
As a result, only a tiny fraction of people who were exposed to the original false story end up learning of the retractions. Baron himself, editorial leader of the Post, is a perfect case study in this irresponsible tactic.
... what was the Post’s motive in publishing two false stories about Russia that, very predictably, generated massive attention, traffic, and political impact?
Whatever the motives, the effects of these false stories are exactly the same as those of whatever one regards as Fake News. The false claims travel all over the internet, deceiving huge numbers into believing them.
The propagators of the falsehoods receive ample profit from their false, viral “news.”
It's business. It's better to be popular than factual.
That the story ends up being completely discredited matters little.
The damage is done, and the benefits received.
But whatever one wants to call this type of behavior from the Post, it is a much greater menace given how far the reach is of the institutions that engage in it.
Journalists love to write about how everyone else lives in a filter bubble, but the national media live in their own filter bubble or echo chamber called Media Twitter.
Tweets make lazy political journalism easier than ever.
Do crack investigative reporters exist? Yes. Do they mostly end up fired, or at least in constant conflict with authority? They do. Meanwhile, most of the press remains, as ever, a content mill.
Twitter-based journalism is disturbing for reasons that go far beyond questions of intellectual property and attribution. Using Twitter as a prism through which to examine and report the world creates a narrow and distorted impression of reality.
And with journalists already prone to clubby insularity, Twitter provides new ways for them to confirm their preexisting worldviews, and further wall themselves off from ordinary experience.
During the 2015-2016 democrat primary, the Bernie Bros story was pretty much fake news, peddled by the mainstream media who supported Hillary. If not fake, then it was sensationalized and irresponsible. More journalistic malpractice.
Bernie was never suppose to be as popular nor as competitive as he wound up being. He became an irritant to the national democrat party and to Hillary's friends in the media.
Questions about allegations' validity
In February 2016, political scientists attempted to assess the reality of the Bernie Bro phenomenon by analyzing Twitter data, and concluded that the existence of male Sanders supporters attacking Clinton with sexist language is real, but the numbers are small and dwarfed by the number of conservatives and Trump supporters attacking Clinton with such language.
Women supporting Sanders, including Sarah Leonard, a senior editor at The Nation, object that the term on the grounds that it "diminishes" Sanders' many female supporters, falsely tarring the entire campaign with the misogyny of a few bad apples.
Back to the above Current Affairs story:
To see the consequences of Twitter-centric journalism, one can examine one of the most repeated stories of the Democratic primary: the so-called rise of the “BernieBro.”
In October of 2015, Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic
published a brief article titled “Here Comes the Berniebro.”
Meyer, a largely Twitter-dwelling journalist (having 40,100 tweets to his name, plus 41,100 “likes” of other people’s tweets), suggested that a new phenomenon had arisen in American politics. The Bernie Sanders campaign was attracting a noxious wave of supporters, whom Meyer christened the “BernieBros.”
But aside from Meyer’s bizarre contempt for Sanders voters’ idealism, the article suffered from a simple problem: there was no evidence whatsoever that some kind of “BernieBro” trend actually existed. The theory that there was something distinctly “bro-ish” about Sanders supporters was in direct conflict with the actual demographic facts.
Aside from a few dozen isolated tweets, largely by anonymous and unpopular users, nobody could seem to locate the whereabouts of these storied “bros.”
People of all stripes are assholes on the internet, though, and no effort was made to answer the real questions, which was how many of these “bros” actually existed.
In a sensible world, then, Meyer’s article should not have even been a footnote in the history of the election. It should have been laughed off as shockingly obtuse. Yet somehow, a flimsy story based on a sample of Robinson Meyer’s Facebook newsfeed ended up – miserably – setting the tone for much of the remainder of the online primary.
Instead, the political media in residence on Twitter took the specter of Bernie Bros and went hog wild.
Soon everyone from Jamil Smith at The New Republic to Amanda Marcotte of Salon had latched onto the fantasy of an army of evil white men who supported socialist policies as a means of furthering racism and sexism.
Smith wrote that unless Sanders could somehow contain the “bros,” they would damage his political prospects. The New Yorker published a cringingly unfunny and cruel “BernieBro Code” containing the “rules” such creatures live by.
Paul Krugman, dissatisfied with Sanders’ economic proposals, went so far as to declare that Bernie himself “is becoming a Bernie Bro.”
The Sanders campaign was forced to apologize for the BernieBros, despite there being scant evidence of their actual existence.
The explosion of the fake BernieBro trend
was both fascinating and appalling. The narrative ruled media Twitter for months, and despite demographic data continually debunking it,
pundits clung to it like a safety blanket.
It became a convenient way to dismiss all criticisms of Hillary Clinton that didn’t come from someone with a byline in a major publication or a degree from an Ivy League school.
In fact, Olivia Nuzzi of The Daily Beast reported in June that she was skeptical of the BernieBros idea, for the simple reason that the Clinton campaign had tried to pitch her a story about the phenomenon.
The BernieBros line proved convenient for the Clinton camp, as it shifted press coverage to questions like “How will Sanders stop the BernieBros?” and away from substantive policy.
The BernieBros story showed how news can be manufactured in an age of Twitter punditry.
Trump won because of Russia. That's manufactured news.
Trump won because of fake news being shared on Facebook. That's also manufactured news.
The democrat machine chose Hillary to be its nominee, and the national media indirectly supported the scam primary process. That's real news. But since most of the national media were complicit with the scam, the issue was not investigated.
And now we're suppose to trust the national media with whatever crap they're publishing today.
Russian propaganda probably contains more truth than what the American media publishes.
More from the November 2016 Current Affairs article:
Thus there are real-world political consequences to this type of shoddy reporting;
we at least know that it can filter into a presidential primary.
There’s a feedback loop between the media and political elite, and Twitter provides a convenient means of fabricating stories to further particular interests.
A December 2016 Current Affairs article
Every one of the three major candidates in this election (Trump, Clinton, and Sanders) was hounded by fake or exaggerated news stories.
Trump was accused of being a secret Russian agent. Clinton’s email scandal was blown out of all reasonable proportion.
And Bernie Sanders was hounded by malicious and unrepresentative stereotypes about “BernieBros.”
Yet none of these stories were from fringe blogs and conspiracy sites.
They were all produced by the mainstream press, which gave this nonsense primacy over stories about climate change, nuclear proliferation, Syria, health care, poverty, and every other conceivable issue of consequence.
Greenwald story from January 2016 - The “Bernie Bros” Narrative: a Cheap Campaign Tactic Masquerading as Journalism and Social Activism
of the “Bernie Bro” narrative by pro-Clinton journalists
has been a potent political tactic — and a journalistic disgrace.
It’s become such an all-purpose, handy pro-Clinton smear.
Needless to say, a crucial tactical prong of this innuendo is that any attempt to refute it is itself proof of insensitivity to sexism if not sexism itself.
What this illustrates is that Clinton media operatives are campaigning for their candidate under the guise of journalism and social issue activism.
As is true for most campaign operatives, [journalists] have thrown all concern about truth and facts into the garbage can in exchange for saying anything that they perceive will help the Clinton campaign win.
... the pro-Clinton establishment media first created this narrative about the Sanders campaign, then seized on its being forced to respond to it — the narrative they created — as vindication that they were right all along.
Hilariously devilish in a Dr. Evil way.
The pro-Hillary media invented and nurtured a bogus story, forcing Sanders to apologize to a fairy tale, and then the media used the apology as proof that their fiction was real.
Those media hacks used the same damn template against Facebook after the election. The mainstream media invented and ballooned a story about how fake news shared on Facebook helped Trump win.
Initially, Zuckerberg scoffed at this myth, as he should have because he's intelligent.
But in November and December 2016, the media pounded Facebook, which caused Facebook to acquiesce by deciding to partner with fact-checking orgs.
In January 2017, Facebook pretended to care about journalism by announcing a new initiative called The Facebook Journalism Project.
In early March 2017, Facebook launched a tool that supposedly identifies fake news sources.
The irony is that these Facebook reactions toward fake news convince the media that their fake news is a real story even though a Stanford-NYU report [pdf file] released in January 2017 showed that fake news had no impact on the 2016 presidential election.
... the average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories, with just over half of those who recalled seeing fake news stories believing them;
... for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads.
It's not a story unless the media invents it.
- Greenwald supported Bernie Sanders.
- I voted for Bernie Sanders in the March 2016 primary.
- I didn't vote in the November 2016 election.