- Date published:
3:58 pm, February 18th, 2020 - 31 comments
Categories: Bernie Sanders, class war, Donald Trump, elections, facebook, International, internet, journalism, liberalism, Media, politicans, Propaganda, social democracy, us politics, youtube - Tags: critcal mass, liberalism, Media, propaganda, sanders, trump, US election
This November will see the election of the next President of the USA. Assuming the election will be between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump (that’s what’s stacking up) then a question or three arises about how liberal mainstream media will report on the race.
See, MSNBC is basically a propaganda arm for the establishment or corporate wing of the Democratic Party. As such, when they aren’t ghosting him, their reporting on Bernie Sanders is all just “fear and loathing”. So what kind of a narrative might they construct around Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Presidential contender in the lead up to November?
CNN is the media outlet where old spooks go to boost their profile and retirement funds. And of course, National Security Apparatchiks, and corporatist peeps like CNN head Jeff Zucker, have no love for Bernie Sanders. What coherent line might they go with in a Sander’s/Trump race for the White House?
Of course, Fox news can just keep trucking along their “Gadzooks! Not Socialism!!” highway.
Leading liberal commentators on CNN and MSNBC have already stated a willingness to vote for Trump over Sanders, while some (Chris Matthews) have gone so far as to earnestly rant about how they will be executed in Central Park under a Sanders Presidency.
To digress slightly, I recall an exchange I had with an old Leninist in New Zealand some years back. He had been to the USSR when it was a stable political reality and also in the time just prior to its collapse. By his telling, the difference he observed on those visits came down to peoples’ toleration for “institutional truths”. He gave the example of how people would generally react to the presence of the KGB in the time when the USSR appeared stable, and contrast that to his observations just prior to the Soviet Union collapsing. Essentially, by his telling, people had shed their deference, and lost both their faith and fear of whatever institutional presences the state projected into their lives.
So maybe it’s worth giving some thought to what happens when people lose faith in the institutional truths or touch stones that guide them?
Once was, people would take the likes of BBC and CNN at their word. That’s certainly no longer the case for ever larger numbers of people. Sure, there are still plenty of people who will base their understandings on, and in line with what traditional broadcasters say. But it’s a shrinking body of people.
Compared with say five years ago, how many people, particularly in the USA, turn to independent youtube channels or podcasts for information? We know it’s enough that youtube demonetised political content from independent outlets and then altered algorithms to favour ‘traditional’ news sources over independent ones. And we know that google and facebook are also corporations seeking to bring “social media” output into the corporate fold. As an aside, that was one hell of a hullabaloo from across swathes of the mainstream when Joe Rogan seemed to endorse Bernie Sanders on one of his podcasts…so for all the weighted boosting and relegating that’s going on, it would seem things aren’t quite where google, facebook and youtube would like them to be.
Is it worth speculating on “what might have been” if when the USSR collapsed, instead of a political and information vacuum (one that was ultimately filled by neo-liberal vulture capitalists), a vibrant on-line community of political and social commentators had been in existence? If we stop for a moment and reflect on possible ways that could have played out, would it be reasonable to take such a sketch and overlay on a possible future of contemporary US society?
If liberal mainstream media fail to report credibly on the upcoming Presidential race because of their ideological blinkers – what then? What happens when/if manufactured consent finds itself in the wilderness? It happened to Pravda in the USSR. There’s no reason to suppose it can’t also happen to the multi-headed, but singularly corporate western mainstream media too.
Where exactly is credible commentary and reporting of the upcoming US Presidential Election going to come from?
I can’t see the owners, shareholders and managers of CNN and other cable news outlets reaching out to any talented and thoughtful employees from the likes of RT America, with the aim of enticing them back into the same mainstream fold that banished them to that media “kill box” of ‘foreign other’, can you?
Neither can I see independent media having the wherewithal to undergo the exponential growth required, in the space between now and November that would allow them to supplant traditional news sources.
And I can’t imagine any voices from independent on-line media being given much airtime by mainstream outlets.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again, but this time with a caveat or correction…
The onslaught launched against Trump from sections of corporate media and liberal institutions will look as nothing next to the unified onslaught that will be unleashed against a President Sanders.
Trump is and was merely a less than optimal front man for liberalism, whereas Sanders is a clear and present danger to swathes of liberal privilege. The caveat or correction is that I overlooked the possible gulf of credibility corporate media may fall into in the event that Sanders, as seems likely, is the Democratic Party’s nominee for President.
I’m just sitting here thinking that 2020 may well be shaping up to be an interesting year for armchair spectators of the status quo. We know liberalism’s essentially a ‘use by date’ on a can of “not fit for human consumption”. And we know these past decades have provided more than enough of a taste for most people to be realising that. Is 2020 the year of the collective up-chuck?