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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

Propaganda & Moles: What We’ve Learned from the Wikileaks So Far

Throughout the spring and the summer, many supporters of Bernie Sanders were mystified and angry about the ratio of negative to positive pieces appearing in the media outlets that liberals tend to trust: NPR, the New York Times, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and others.

There was so much persistent negative press about Bernie Sanders — at one point the Washington Post ran ten negative pieces about Sanders in 24 hours — that people suggested that these supposedly left-leaning publications were actually in the tank for Hillary Clinton. That theory was vigorously denied and even ridiculed by both Clinton supporters and the media outlets themselves.

Now, with all the Wikileaks emails circulating, it appears that everything that Sanders supporters suspected — and worse — has been confirmed. Let’s go quickly through what we’ve learned in the past three weeks:

  • The Clinton campaign (CC) and the Democratic Party leadership (DNC) have been essentially one entity since at least last August.
  • News outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post generally alert the DNC/CC before they run pieces about Clinton.
  • Journalists for the New York Times and other outlets often have to offer editorial control over pieces written in order to get access to Clinton, and do so.
  • Reporters for the New York Times sometimes not only show the DNC/CC pieces they’re writing but allow them to edit the pieces.
  • The DNC/CC not only spoke with Donald Trump last spring and summer before he entered the race, the DNC/CC also determined last fall to elevate Trump (as well as Ted Cruz and Ben Carson) as a candidate.
  • The DNC/CC used their channels for media collusion with outlets like the New York Times and CNN to legitimize and boost Trump throughout the winter and spring.
  • The DNC/CC held at least one lavish private party wining and dining 30 or so writers from major corporate media outlets. Many of these writers were the ones collaborating most closely with the DNC/CC.
  • The DNC/CC hid Clinton’s remarks and speeches to big Wall Street banks in which she stated or implied her support for the TPP and lax bank regulation, and revealed holding separate “public” and “private” positions about progressive issues in general.
  • The DNC/CC sees activists who work for things like climate action, black lives matter, peace, and global fair trade as obstructionists to be ridiculed and marginalized.
  • The DNC/CC used their media collusion with outlets like the New York Times to repeatedly disparage Sanders, his supporters, and his rallies.
  • The DNC/CC leaked damaging information about Sanders to many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, and co-wrote a hit piece on Sanders for the New York Post.
  • The DNC/CC had moles inside the Sanders campaign, who communicated covertly back to the DNC/CC and weakened the Sanders campaign.
  • The DNC/CC found ways to appear to appeal to Sanders supporters while actually marginalizing them.

Surprise — the corporate media isn’t really covering these leaks. They don’t seem to want you to know how dishonest and biased their reporting is, nor do they want you to consider how many of their articles should more accurately be called propaganda rather than journalism. After all, what do you call a reporter or publication that publishes articles to support a candidate without disclosing their aim?

When the corporate media does cover the leaked emails, they suggest it’s all the result of Russian hacking, which is an insult to our intelligence: There’s no more proof that it was Russians than that it was me doing the hacking, or you, or Bernie Sanders, or Barack Obama. We don’t know who managed the hacking. What matters is the authenticity of the revelations, which isn’t questioned.

Since the corporate media isn’t covering this with any fairness or thoroughness, here are four independent media stories from various sources, right and left, so you can take your pick how you’d like to learn more.

Regardless whether you’re cynical or optimistic about the present state and future of our political system, it is essential to stay apprised of the state of our democracy. The fact that moles and extensive propaganda have been (successfully) used in our political system is an important lesson from this 2016 election, and it likely indicates that our democracy is significantly endangered, if not already illegitimate.

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Posted in Balanced Media Diet | Democratic Convention | Peaceful Revolution
by Tony Brasunas on October 21, 2016