Friday, October 16, 2015

Establishment Media Isn't Supporting Hillary

by Brian T. Lynch, MSW

The Establishment media isn't about supporting Hillary, at least not in a personal sense. The corporate media is all about supporting the best, viable establishment candidates from each of the political parties. They end up providing an assist for candidates who will play along, to the greatest practical extent, with the game as it is rigged.

This should come as no surprise. We've seen the pattern before. Each election cycle certain establishment candidates receive more favorable media treatment than certain "insurgent" candidates, as the media likes to call them (sounds subversive, right?). First the media floods the market with favorable press and subliminal messaging. We are told who is viable and who can't get elected. Then big media contracts with polling organizations to conduct a poll to measure how effective their marketing efforts have been. Next they readjust their coverage methods and take another poll. They "track and adjust" as they go about molding public opinion until the two favored establishment candidates from both parties are ahead in the polls.

Sad to say, but even Obama, who I support, was (is) an establishment candidate. He was selected for favorable treatment by the media over Hillary at some point because he became a viable Democratic establishment candidate who would generate more interest and boost ratings more than Hillary, although either would have been fine.

Romney, I think, was the favored Republican establishment candidate from the start, he self-destructed in the end and became careless. He got caught speaking his true self to a room full of wealthy establishment donors. In either case, the corporate establishment had two suitable candidates from which we could choose the next president, same as always. The whole anti-establishment sentiment in both parties during this cycle is now actually presenting some challenges for establishment politics.

I don't think you can under estimate the full power of big media on our politics (or in our lives). This isn't conspiracy theory because the facts are self evident. Big media outlets are big, publically owned corporations that make their profit in the service of other big corporations and big political campaigns. To expect them to act like they are something else is unrealistic.

Post note follow-up:  Just one day after I published this blog entry the New York Times came out with an article about campaign funding patterns so far this year. Pay attention to the word choices in describing non-establishment candidates.

"Establishment-backed presidential candidates in both parties, facing stronger-than-expected challenges from insurgent campaigns, are rapidly losing one of their few remaining advantages in politics: money.

In the Republican and Democratic primaries alike, upstart candidates shunned by their parties’ major donors are now financially competitive with — and, in some cases, vastly outraising — opponents who have spent months or even years wooing the big-name donors and fund-raisers who have traditionally dominated the money race."  NYT, October 16, 2015

To highlight the rhetorical jiu jitsu this artical contains, let me attempt a re-write of this article from a slightly different perspective: 

"The quarterly campaign finance reports are out for the 2016 presidential hopefuls and the big loser appears to be Citizens United and the wealthy establishment donors. The breakout candidates representing the authentic voices of their respective parties appear to have found a way to fund their campaigns through social media and small donor contributions. 
On the Republican side, Dr. Ben Carson and Ted Cruz have raised millions in small donor contributions allowing them to compete with the self-funded billionaire, Donald Trump and the billionaire backed Jeb Bush for the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders came in second over all in fund raising. He remains competitive with Hillary Clinton who raised a few thousand more. Nearly all of Senator Sanders contributions came from small donors giving around $32 on average. For the first time in decades presidential candidates are free to push policy ideas popular with party voters but not popular with wealthy special interest groups." 

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