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AdLib On October - 21 - 2015


Before the first Democratic Presidential debate on October 13th, Hillary was struggling in the polls in the early caucus and voting states and being dogged by the email server “scandal” whipped up by Republicans in Congress. The common view was that Hillary’s campaign couldn’t stop the bleeding, the negatives on Hillary’s honesty and integrity were growing worse and the enthusiasm behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign represented a growing threat to her.

But then came House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy with his “gaffe” (in DC, telling the truth is called “a gaffe”) that explained that the Republicans’ Benghazi Committee in the House was only focused on and accomplishing its true goal, bringing Hillary’s poll numbers and likability down so Republicans can takeover the White House.

McCarthy’s “gaffe” was then followed by two more Republicans affirming the anti-Hillary agenda of the Benghazi Committee, Hillary’s solid debate performance, her upcoming appearance in front of the tainted Benghazi Committee that is already seen as a can’t-lose for her and today, the declaration by Joe Biden that he will not be running for President.

While Biden might have found himself struggling to catch up by joining the race so late, he would have provided Hillary with a far more aggressive competitor who was already taking off the gloves and criticizing her before and during his announcement. He would have drawn most of his voter support directly from Hillary, a scenario many Republicans were giddy about, hoping that it allowed Bernie to win the nomination which they (wrongly) believe would doom the Democrats’ chances of winning.

Hillary has had a run of great luck within the last several weeks…and so has the Mainstream Media (MSM). It’s not a well kept secret that the same corporate interests that own media outlets are also big Hillary For President investors. Hillary’s campaign and SuperPAC, Correct the Record, have been big recipients of money from Wall Street, Big Pharma, insurance corporations, oil companies and execs from corporations that own media.

The blatantly missing coverage of Bernie Sanders’ campaign for many months despite record crowds, may have reflected the marginalization the MSM sought for his candidacy as opposed to the candidate their corporate owners contribute to and fund raise for (for example, David L. Cohen, the Executive VP of Comcast, MSNBC’s corporate owner, has hosted fundraisers for Hillary at his own home and is a bundler for her).

One thing that can conflict with media corporations’ supporting the candidate they prefer is earning more money exploiting their problems. It should be easy to recognize that at this point, the MSM loves building people up, bringing them down then resurrecting them. Lather, rinse, repeat. This is because the story lines of each of these agendas work very well to interest and attract viewers which increases revenue from advertising.

So, since the 2016 race first began to be discussed (that is, the day after the 2012 election), we had the MSM playing up how Hillary would likely run in 2016, possibly becoming the first woman President. Hillary’s positives were pretty high after she left office as President Obama’s Secretary of State and as some may have already forgotten, the incessant questioning of the MSM about whether Hillary would run for President far eclipsed the period of questioning about Biden running (though thanks to the Hillary surrogates who swamped the media trying to pressure Biden out of running, his far shorter decision period was framed as a negative about him).

The MSM has spent huge swaths of time in this and previous weeks, “reporting” (perhaps “repeating” is a better description of what they do?) stories in every hour’s newscast about whether Biden will or should run and debating all the imaginary things that could happen if an imaginary situation was to happen (again, this is what passes for news).

Now that their speculative “build up” of Biden and “knockdown” of Hillary stories have evaporated, they have resorted to another familiar agenda (if the news goes away and that’s your product, you’ve got to make more), going back to the “build up” of Hillary as the inevitable winner of the Democratic Primary.

People love stories of redemption and the MSM knows this so they create them. If you could put the stories about Hillary from a month ago side-by-side with stories running today, you’d see the apparent schizophrenia…or more accurately, how fickle the MSM is in flipping back and forth between building up and knocking down public figures.

Today, the stories that seem prevalent in the MSM since the Biden announcement are again representing the coronation of Hillary as the Democratic nominee for President. Now, to be fair, she has and continues to lead Bernie Sanders in the majority of states by big margins in many cases so it is not disingenuous to predict that as things look right now, she is more likely to become the nominee.

But then at about this point in the polls in 2011, Herman Cain was the front runner for the Republicans and in 2007, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were front runners by huge leads. Bernie Sanders is still very strong in New Hampshire and has been doing well in Iowa so if he was to win both of those states, today’s predictions on the rest of the primary can be thrown out the window.

The Presidential election is over a year away…over one whole year away. And while the primaries are coming up…but still four months away from the start of the Iowa Caucuses (a lifetime in politics as to what can happen in the meantime), who knows what may transpire between now and then to impact the races in either party?

The odds are currently in Hillary’s favor but it should not be the media’s role to sponsor coronations. Especially since they have been wrong more often before they are eventually right (President Giuliani would agree with me). But their game is to flip the public from one extreme to the other. So now, Hillary is a slam dunk and the rest of the Democratic campaign is just kind of a fait accomli? Until something else comes out about Hillary and then she is damaged goods again? Like a pendulum, the MSM swings back and forth between extreme perspectives because that’s what brings them more money…just as a candidate who is indebted to them for contributions they’ve given to them so they do have conflicting motivations.

A more deliberative and responsible media wouldn’t have been as quick to claim Hillary’s campaign as profoundly damaged or now fully recovered. It’s a long process and it is far more likely there will be more ups and downs, perhaps from a gaffe by Hillary or a new (possibly sensationalized) revelation about her. Then of course the MSM will whiplash their viewers between Hillary’s campaign being critically injured or an inevitable winner.

This game of extremes the media plays to keep viewers watching will continue. That is, as long as viewers don’t remember they have a remote that works.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

10 Responses so far.

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  1. sillylittleme says:

    Great article Ad, although I don’t agree about the Fairness Doctrine. If it hadn’t been eliminated it would have been expanded to cable. Reagan’s damage seems endless. Hill won’t be president. She’s this election’s Romney.

    • monicaangela says:

      We are in agreement on the Fairness Doctrine. I also believe it could have been and would have been expanded to include cable, after all, cable uses the same airwaves. I realize there are some who feel that since cable has to be paid for, those companies should have the right to spew whatever they want. Fox News is free and piped into homes that do not pay for cable, so there is a perfect example of how the Fairness Doctrine could have saved this nation a lot of headaches. 🙂

  2. monicaangela says:

    We only have to look back to the Reagan years for some of the answer to this dilemma. “The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the Commission’s view—honest, equitable, and balanced. The FCC eliminated the Doctrine in 1987, and in August 2011 the FCC formally removed the language that implemented the Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. The demise of this FCC rule has been considered as a contributing factor for the rising level of party polarization in the United States.”


    Today, the MSM can manipulate the public, and they can do it spending less money for actual journalism and devoting more of their profits to executives and celebrities they create and sometimes call news anchors, etc. We the citizens of this nation are partly responsible for this because we did not object forcefully to what happened to a property that by all rights belongs to all of us.

    We then see where recently the Supreme Court felt the removal of the fairness doctrine didn’t go far enough, so they decided that money was equal to speech and before that had already declared corporations were equal to people. That is a set up that the most criminal mind would have loved to have had during their criminal exploits. This in effect, has given a powerful tool, the airwaves the ability to effect and influence the populace in so many ways it isn’t funny. We, the normal everyday working stiffs in this nation don’t stand a chance once the wealthy get in their mountain top resort meetings, in their smoke filled backroom meetings, in their broadcast boardrooms, and plot and scheme as to how they are going to brainwash/influence the public so that those not educated enough, or too busy to pay careful attention are hoodwinked. This setup is tantamount to the setup necessary for the toppling of an empire, or at least the erasing of democracy as we know it, replacing it with a plutocracy or an Oligarchy.

    Is it any wonder the elections are going the way they are. Is it any wonder that the MSM can make or break a candidate while making it appear they are non-partisan? Just like the banks, we have deregulated them and are suffering the consequences…When will the people of America WAKE UP? Maybe never, if the Oligarch’s continue to get their way.

    Joe Biden dropped out because he started to see the writing on the wall. We love you Joe! and Run Joe Run! was about to turn into this:

    Hillary Clinton also voted for this bill. And then there is this:

    So as we can see, the MSM never mentions these things, and won’t mention them until they figure out how they can make a buck out of them. Just let Hillary start running away with the poll numbers, and see how fast they miraculously find these and other stories they haven’t felt the need to reveal and then begin reporting on them so they can keep the race close, thereby making more money on negative ads etc.

    Thanks for a wonderful article AdLib, I really enjoyed it, SPOT ON!!!

    • AdLib says:

      Monicaangela, this is what I mean by public pressure forcing candidates to do what the majority of voters want. Just breaking this morning:

      Clinton To Cut Ties With Private Prison Industry

      On Friday morning, the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton announced they will no longer accept donations from federally registered lobbyists or PACs for private prison companies.

      “When we’re dealing with a mass incarceration crisis, we don’t need private industry incentives that may contribute — or have the appearance of contributing — to over-incarceration,” campaign spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa told ThinkProgress, explaining that Clinton will donate the large amount she has already received from these sources to a yet-to-be-named charity.

      Hinojosa explained that the move is part of Clinton’s promise to “end the era of mass incarceration,” especially private prisons and private immigrant detention centers.

      “She believes that we should not contract out this core responsibility of the federal government,” Hinojosa said. “This is only one of many ways that she believes we need to re-balance our criminal justice and immigration systems.”

      Yet the decision came after months of pressure from civil rights and immigrant justice groups, who launched online petitions and interrupted Clinton’s public events, demanding she cut ties with the private prison industry.


      • monicaangela says:

        The most important paragraph in that article is this: “Yet the decision came after months of pressure from civil rights and immigrant justice groups, who launched online petitions and interrupted Clinton’s public events, demanding she cut ties with the private prison industry.”

        This is something this “savvy politician” is doing, not because she believes it is the right thing to do, she is doing this because she realizes if she doesn’t, she is going to lose the African American and Latino vote. I don’t for one minute believe her heart is in any of this idea that money from the private prison industry and their lobbyist should not be accepted. And, also too, isn’t it a fact that the candidate cannot coordinate/dictate the actions of PAC’s?

        “Civil rights group ColorOfChange announced Thursday that the Hillary Clinton campaign has agreed to stop accepting contributions from lobbyists and campaign committees that serve the private prison industry.

        The announcement came after a series of protests from activist groups about the ties between private prison lobbyists and the Clinton campaign. In one act of protest, United We Dream’s Juan Carlos Ramos interrupted a Clinton speech earlier this month to raise the issue.

        The protests began after a report by The Intercept in July detailing how many of Clinton’s top fundraisers simultaneously serve as lobbyists at firms representing the biggest names in the private prison industry, including Geo Group and Correction Corporation of America.

        According to Fusion, the Clinton campaign promised to donate any previous direct contributions from private prison lobbyists to charity.

        ColorOfChange executive director Rashad Robinson said the Clinton campaign’s decision came after meetings with representatives of Black Lives Matter, Get Equal, Presente, and United We Dream.”


        Forcing a primary candidate to take a stand so that that person can get votes and win the nomination is one thing. Problem is if she wins the nomination and gets into office, those same people/organizations will have little to no effect upon her decision making. I believe she is still that republican that switched over to become a democrat when it suited her. I also believe she will do and say anything to get elected. So, this doesn’t surprise, nor impress me at all.

    • AdLib says:

      monicaangela, the sad truth is that even if the Fairness Doctrine was still in effect, it wouldn’t affect Fox, MSNBC, CNN or any other non-broadcast station. It only applied to over-the-air broadcast stations like CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox. The law would have to have been updated to reflect the modern tv age and considering that it was killed, that never would have happened.

      So the sanctioning of lying and deceiving Americans, led by the corporatists and Repubs (and some Dems), is what rules the day today.

      There is still much of the taxpayer infrastructure that is used by broadcast and non-broadcast networks that it would be justified to re-instate a Fairness Doctrine and imagine the enormous benefit to the country to blunt the extremists from their campaign to deceive and divide the nation.

      Both videos you linked to were great (Love Democracy Now!), the first accurately pointing out the problematic side to a Biden run. He was an errand boy for the big banks, spearheading the destruction of bankruptcy laws that used to protect Americans (what rationale is there to say that only student loans should never be forgiven, with today’s outrageous gouging of students by colleges?).

      Also, he couldn’t have rubbed me the wrong way more if he had tried, proclaiming this week that Republicans aren’t our enemies and that he thought Dick Cheney was a good guy and a friend. WHAT?! Cozying up with Dick Cheney to set himself apart from Hillary as a bipartisan guy? WTF?

      I like Biden generally and even with his baggage, I was fine with him getting in the race, to force Hillary to face the kind of conflict coming her way and make the case for following and protecting the Obama legacy. However, it is a bit of a relief to not have such a flawed candidate, who I want to like despite all of his negatives, causing confusion and havoc in the primary.

      If you noticed, many Repub pols and pundits were unusually supportive and complimentary of Biden, they wanted him in the race because they saw his presence in the Dem Primary as harming Hillary and whipping up division and conflict in the Dem Party.

      Poor Repubs, not only do they lose a chance for havoc in the Dem Party, Hillary’s appearance in the Benghazi hearings nuked their scheme to attack her on it and made her look stronger and superior to the tantrum-prone man-children running the GOP.

      The last two weeks were admittedly very kind to Hillary, doing well at the debate (though Bernie did well too), Biden dropping out and spanking the Repubs at the Benghazi sham, I do expect her numbers to go up.

      But to be fair, this could be the high point in the lead up to the primary for Hillary, Bernie could have a great week or two too that elevates him.

      The race isn’t over just because things have gone well for Hillary lately. The focus will come back to policy, character and trust as the debates continue and the primaries approach.

      One thing that became very clear from the Benghazi hearing was that Hillary can stonewall very well when she doesn’t want to answer something, that is a trait that we’ve seen in her in the campaign as well. It’s part of her character so while we can be pleased that it worked well to thwart the frothing Repubs in that hearing, it is something to strongly consider as a trait of a President.

      • monicaangela says:

        Accurate as always AdLib, thank you for your response. I’m glad to know you too are a fan of Democracy Now. I am a Free Speech TV Junkie. 🙂

        I agree with you on the problems that a Biden run would have presented, and how it would have ultimately helped the republicans. I also agree with everything you have said about Hillary. I have to admit she is a savvy politician, but after all, you are I would probably be as well if we had spent our entire lives running for office, being in office, or figuring out how we could place our stepping stones so that we eventually could be elected to office. I always get suspicious when the person who has accomplished as much as Hillary has continues to appear to be insatiable.

        I agree also that the race isn’t over, and am overjoyed that all of this has happened so early in the race. I still favor Bernie Sanders, and will do all I can to help get his name and his platform before the members of my community, and will also try to make sure he wins the nomination.

        • AdLib says:

          monicaangela, IMO, there is no question that Progressives will get more of what they want, whoever wins the Dem primary BECAUSE Bernie Sanders is running.

          Hillary would not have naturally supported all of Bernie’s positions if she didn’t have him as a genuine threat to her coronation. Because of that, she is in way too deep on supporting more Progressive positions than she might have liked, to move away from them in a GE.

          Now with her rejection of contributions from the private prison corporations and vow to curb the imprisoning crisis, she’s cementing that in…or risking a massive backlash from her base.

          This race is far from over, after all, she is a Clinton and they always seem to find a way of causing themselves trouble. So it’s way too early to assume Hillary will win, Bernie could still win the nom, plenty of time for things to change.

  3. Nirek says:

    Great article AdLib! Your explaination of how and why the “news media” contrives the “news” so they can make more money on advertisements is right on!

    Remembering the past as well as I do, the “news media” has changed from “the most trusted person” Walter Cronkite to prevaricators who try to influence public perception of politicians. The corporate owned “news media” has tried to marginalize Bernie Sanders campaign unsuccessfully. Mostly because the world wide web has taken over the distribution of the real news. It takes a little work to get the truth even on the web, but at least it is available.

    Bernie is not for sale. That can’t be said about any other candidate! Hillary has super pacs, too big corporations donations, and history of being on the board of directors of Walmart proving that she can be purchased.

    It is good to see that you have not lost your touch when it comes to serious writing, Ad. I always like reading your pieces whether they are tongue in cheek or serious you always hit the nail squarely on the head!

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks so much, Nirek!

      The MSM often acts like an intentionally bad translator who the public trusts implicitly. They take facts and events, filter out most of them then translate the few remaining in whatever way is most advantageous to them.

      The Founders saw the press as the final safety net for our democracy, if the government became too corrupt or stopped serving the people, the press could be the last resort for the public.

      Now that our press is mostly just a corporately-owned cash machine with the primary goal of churning out the most cash to its owners, they have become an enabler and sometimes an instigator of the corruption of our democracy.

      It’s a huge relief that we have the internet because now it is all about the people speaking up and standing up for truths and the best interests of the majority.

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