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Is Corporate Media a danger to Society? Coverage of Trump v. Sanders


Is Corporate Media a danger to Society? Coverage of Trump v. Sanders

Juan Cole

ABC World News has given one minute to Bernie Sanders this year (actually, it is just 20 seconds). It has given 81 minutes to Donald Trump.

Bernie is taking on corporations, and it is the corporations that are reporting on him, or rather blacking him out.

Trump is a corporation, and is a true American fascist. Moreover, his rhetorical bomb-throwing attracts eyeballs, which lets Disney Corp. charge more money for commercials aired during ABC World News.


'We need to restore the principle of fairness in the reporting of political news."

This really is the "issue" of our time, thanks to you Juan Cole. I read in today's NY Times, Margret Sullivan's column, that investigative journalism is alive and well with young students and journalists, so a free environment in which to write is the next step to be free of political and corporate influence. It is criminal that the fairness doctrine was repealed in the first place...


Wrote in to ABC. Thanks.



Does Trump own stock in the major networks? As one of their bosses, it would make sense that they cover him, even if sceptically.


Mass media is powerful and far more powerful in its influence over the human psyche than many imagine.

In everything from color-based backgrounds, to lighting, to musical soundtracks, selections are made that create the greatest mass hypnosis-style bang for the buck.

And if media exposure weren't a significant factor in what people buy or believe, major corporations would not devote the kinds of funds they do... for advertising.

The ratio of Trump "ads" to Bernie "ads" at 80:1 shows us just how disproportionate HONEST representation is.

Imagine what Mr. Sander's poll numbers would be if he had half that amount of time and exposure?

Imagine if he had a chance to truly educate the types of voters/citizens who think Socialism is analogous to the German Nazi party with the larger truth? And if he had a chance to share the comparative lifestyles in Scandinavia and much of Europe with that of American workers?

Imagine if he got to explain what the power of Big Energy has meant for foreign policy (war), environmental overloads (climate change), and jobs... since without the financial incentive to build a new infrastructure, all of the jobs that that would require are kept on hold.

Between right wing hate radio shock jocks, Bill O'Reilly, and Fox News... there is such a disproportionate emphasis on the narrative that sets up antipathy between "real Americans" and all sorts of OTHERED communities ranging from those under constant drone attack to those being tossed over U.S. borders.

In short, these amoral Neanderthals from the Repug. team reinforce the narrative that makes foreign war and prejudicial domestic policies enforced through major muscle... possible. They vehemently sell the WAR brand.

Posters like Maxwell have pointed out that Mr. Sanders is not as anti-war as some of us (Progressives) would hope. Nonetheless, he is not a savage intent upon war and he does understand the connections between energy usage, climate change, and even job growth (as a result of Greening U.S. infrastructure).


Big Money will continue to dominate the media and government. Along with taxation, easily corrupted representative government is among the greatest scams our plutocrat forefathers foisted on the world. They established an oligarchy and called it "democracy".

Grassroots Online Democracy.


In most people's minds the difference between Trump and Sanders is the difference between "fascism" and "Democratic Socialism." That view is correct, but it does not go deep enough. More needs to be said about where fascism and socialism tend in their understanding of the human personality and the social world.

Trump says that people are xenophobic, prideful beings, who don't give a rat's ass for strangers and others in need. Trump says that people are blindly emotional, small-minded, mean and provincial. Trump thinks that his supporters don't need anything more than a few mindless slogans to keep them in tow. In a way, he views people as dogs. Just throw them a bone, a biscuit and some red meat from time to time, and they will be more than content. Trump's social world is nothing more than war, empire and statism--the totalitarian nightmare we are already living in, but just more of it, without end.

Sanders says that people are rational and generous, that they are capable of rising to heights of moral humanity. Sanders says that people can be made to understand complex issues, when the issues are fairly presented. He thinks that people have it in them to be the virtuous citizens of the theory of Democratic Republicanism. Sanders well understands that corporatism has divided and disenchanted the American people. It has robbed them of their dreams and left them bitter. Sanders views people in a compassionate light and encourages others to follow his example. To be sure, Sanders has his blind spots on Israel and certain aspects of the American Empire. But he is immeasurably more attractive than Trump. Trump offers hate and stupidity. Sanders offers hope and understanding.

Which one will the corporate media favor as being no threat at all to corporate rule? Which one will the media look upon as a danger, precisely because he speaks Truth?

Trump is favored because his fascism (while dangerous) poses no real problems to the social and economic order of the American leviathan. Sanders must be marginalized, as it is impossible to refute his best arguments. The fact that Sanders trumps Trump in a head-to-head election says a great deal about the true nature of the American electorate. There is no doubt that a good sized sector of the electorate is a hive of barbarians (perhaps 25-30%). These people are truly scary. They are fanatically racist, dangerously ignorant, emotional, religious, patriotic, psychotic in their weird moral values, where it's ok to slaughter children, just so long as they are Iraqi or Afghan. I would warrant that the progressive-liberal-left sector of the electorate is anywhere from 30-40%, with the remainder being "independent," but still leaning leftwards on most major issues. It's a Great Corporate Lie that the majority of Americans are right wing "conservatives." No Republican has won with anything like a popular majority in recent times: tens of millions of Americans (most of them left leaning) don't even bother to vote and Republican gerrymandering of districts has created the illusion that the "party of Lincoln and Reagan" (LOL) is the modern party of "the people."

The Supreme Court had to hand over Florida to George W. Bush to make him the President. And Bush was reelected by massive cheating and voter disenfranchisement, especially in Ohio.

The corporate media are now ready to call Trump a "fascist," but they are more than happy to see him absorb significant social energy. If that energy were to flow towards Bernie Sanders, now that would be a real problem that would require addressing.! The media keep on telling us that socialism is "un-American." It's interesting to note that a good number of Americans reject this total bullshit...


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Somehow I recall seeing a lot of Bernie Sanders on MSNBC, CNN, and the Sunday news shows on CBS and NBC. I don't watch ABC News but maybe it is outlier. Trump is dominating the news by making dangerous statements that are sending shockwaves around the world. I agree they are covering him too much but I am glad that they are covering him. The things that he is saying need to be discussed and hopefully enough people will agree that what he is saying is not a reflection of who we are and what our Founding Fathers intended. He is a clear danger and it should not be hidden,


Unfortunately media repetition of Trump's hatred is brainwashing the susceptible. We do not need to be discussing closing Mosques and religious tests to be admitted in to America. He is a Rabble Rouser. He encourages fear and hate just to get ratings.


Monopolies used to be illegal


" He encourages fear and hate just to get ratings."

Very true! Trump may be a demagogue, but he is one smart businessman because Trump is playing the MSM like a fiddle and using his hateful rhetoric to not have to spend a lot of his own $ to get mass media exposure and attention. And the reason I say Trump is smart because it is working so well! Whatever we call Trump, we have to call him a brilliant albeit cunning, strategist!


The media likes Trump-he creates division-just as the media plays the same role.-----Sanders speaks to this-how the media pits one group against another,never really addressing issues in a way to solve them.------ABC nightly news is Orwellian-its in a world of its own. Its the nightly disaster show. And yes the public airwaves should be taken back by the public from these private corporations. We all need to re-think how we get our news today.


Media's (aren't they all "corporate" to greater or lesser degree?) endless focus on a depraved bigot's ravings (eagerly lapped-up by the ill-educated/ill-informed) while ignoring and marginalizing a leader of moral compass, critical issues, and integrity, shows clearly how our media, press, Fourth Estate, so essential to any democracy or nation, has become just a carney side-show of pretty faces vomitting the corporate !% line, diversion of the day, celebrity scandal or big-lie told often between selling pimple-cream and deadly drugs.

The media scam of telling/reporting "both sides of an issue" is a bald-faced false rationale/excuse to lie to the people, repeat any garbage fantasy regardless how absurd or corrupt, to dilute and make a mockery of the truth!

What used to be termed the"Fourth Estate" and its critical role to fully, truthfully and impartially inform the citizens/voters/people of any nation/democracy (the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth) has been turned into a propaganda mechanism for big-money, big-power, endless for-profit war - those who rule and profit at the expense of all else. This is a "clear and present danger" to our nation, sovereignty and future. If we do not take the opportunity to seize the day and turn the thieves, usurers, warmongers, and parasites out - we likely never get another chance - if indeed we have any real chance even now.........


In Ohio the oligarchy gerrymandered Dennis Kucinich into oblivion. Let's hope that Bernie Sanders has a safer seat in Vermont.

But never take anything for granted. Big money always stalks prey. Since WWII they've cut taxes on themselves, and increased control of the msm media. This includes our everyday language, and the meaning and acceptability of words! Although we do seem to have won a language victory with the acceptability of the expression "1% vs. 99%". Let's hope Bernie's labors resurrect the word "socialism".

I'd be elated if CD readers replied to my post by starting a list of words that have been deemed acceptable or not, or started since WWII. (Both for and against the left.)


What do you think of organizing an Occupy Media Day? Let's say January 20th?


The devil is in the details. Just what do you mean by the expression "occupy the media"? Would civil disobedience be involved?


Johnm, I have noticed at two really important influences in our local politics, one is the total acceptance of "The Powell Statement" (link below), and the influence of deeply organized bodies like ALEX. As near as I can tell, the left has no response to this level of organization and until the left both recognizes and responds they will continue to be upstaged (lose). Business organizations and fraternal organizations provide the "meeting" space and corporations provide the money.



Surprisingly, Tom Brokaw is a strong natural ally of Bernie, and Tom could also help
force Hillary out of the race for Democratic president --- just like another
highly trusted old newsman, Walter Cronkite did to LBJ in '68.

Here's the amazing truth that Brokaw voiced on the usually quite establishment
program "Meet the Press" just before Thanksgiving:

"TOM BROKAW: Well I agree, listen. You know, when Donald
Trump talks about security or Ben Carson, we're talking about
three-year-old orphans who are orphans and refugees because of
American policy." [NBC transcript] ---- the key phrase being
'because of American policy'.

So, "Greatest Generation" Tom Brokaw is unloading on the big secret
that it is "because of American policy" that things are so screwed up
not only 'abroad' but in the US ---- just as Walter Cronkite told the
American people the ugly truth that the Vietnam War was a deadly mistake
and an imperialist war when he came back from Nam and leveled this
charge on LBJ --- which forced him out of the race saying, “If I’ve lost
Cronkite, we’ve lost the war.

”Now imagine what a surge for Bernie, and a nightmare for war-hawk
Hillary, if NBC's Brokaw had exposed the full truth: --- "we're talking
about three-year-old orphans who are orphans and refugees because of the
American policy of ACTING LIKE A GLOBAL EMPIRE abroad and an economic
tyranny at home!


Thank you for your response to my comment. (I'm late responding, because I'm still learning the details of the cd comments system.) I entirely agree that our opposition is misguided, and has succeeded in getting the upper hand. And your links provide chilling evidence of their conspicuous world view, which was always there even with Christopher Columbus.

My personal attitude is to be hopeful and optimistic. I have no intention of surrendering. Others might become clinically depressed, But I hope our side doesn't give up.