After laying out the evidence from some recent examples of bias against Sanders in the mainstream media, former MSNBC reporter Krystal Ball (yes, her real name) asked rhetorically, “Now the question is why?”
“Look, obviously I’ve worked in this industry for a minute at this point and journalists aren’t bad people, in fact, they’re some of my closest friends and favorite people,” Ball said. “But they are people, they’re human beings who respond to their own self-interest, incentives and group think. So it’s not like there’s typically some edict coming down from the top saying ‘Be mean to Bernie’, but there are tremendous blind spots. I would argue the most egregious have to do with class. And there are certain pressures too — to stay in good with the establishment [and] to maintain the access that is the life blood of political journalism. So what do I mean? Let me give an example from my own career since everything I’m saying here really frankly applies to me too.”
“Back in early 2015 at MSNBC I did a monologue that some of you may have seen pretty much begging Hillary Clinton not to run,” Ball continued. “I said her elite ties were out of step with the party and the country, that if she ran she would likely be the nominee and would then go on to lose. No one censored me, I was allowed to say it, but afterwards the Clinton people called and complained to the MSNBC top brass and threatened not to provide any access during the upcoming campaign. I was told that I could still say what I wanted, but I would have to get any Clinton-related commentary cleared with the president of the network. Now being a human interested in maintaining my job, I’m certain I did less critical Clinton commentary after that than I maybe otherwise would have.”
“Every journalist at every outlet knows what they can say and do freely and what’s going to be a little stickier,” Ball said. “No one is ever going to have their anti-Bernie pieces called in to question since he stands outside the system. Their invites to the DC establishment world are not going to be revoked, and may even be heightened by negative Bernie coverage. “
“Back in the run up to 2016 I wanted to cover the negotiations on TPP more,” Ball disclosed a bit later. “I was told though, in no uncertain terms that no one cared about trade and it didn’t rate. To be clear, this was not based on data but on gut feeling and gut feeling that had to be influenced by one’s personal experience mixing and mingling with upscale denizens of Manhattan. I didn’t really push it; maybe they were right. Of course TPP and trade turned out to be one of the most central issues in the entire 2016 election. It turns out that people did, in fact, care. Now this class bias translates into bad coverage of candidates with working class appeal, and it translates to under-coverage of issues that are vitally important to the working class.”
Ball’s co-host Saagar Enjati went on to describe his own similar experiences as a White House correspondent.
“This is something that a lot of people don’t understand,” Enjati said. “It’s not necessarily that somebody tells you how to do your coverage, it’s that if you were to do your coverage that way, you would not be hired at that institution. So it’s like if you do not already fit within this framework, then the system is designed to not give you a voice. And if you necessarily did do that, all of the incentive structures around your pay, around your promotion, around your colleagues that are slapping you on the back, that would all disappear. So it’s a system of reinforcement, which makes it so that you wouldn’t go down that path in the first place.”
“I’ve definitely noticed this in the White House press corps, which is a massive bias to ask questions that make everybody else in the room happy, AKA Mueller questions,” Enjati continued. “Guess what the American people don’t care about? Mueller. So when you ask a question — I’ve had this happen to me all the time. I would ask a question about North Korea, like, you know, war and nuclear weapons that affect billions. Or I would ask about the Supreme Court, the number one issue why Trump voters voted for President Trump, and I would get accused of toadying to the administration or not asking what Jim Acosta or whomever wanted me to ask. It’s like, you know, everybody plays to their peers, they don’t actually play to the people they’re supposed to cover, and that’s part of the problem.”
“Right, and again, it’s not necessarily intentional,” Ball added. “It’s that those are the people that you’re surrounded with, so there becomes a group-think. And look, you are aware of what you’re going to be rewarded for and what you’re going to be punished for, or not rewarded for, like that definitely plays in the mind, whether you want it to or not, that’s a reality.”
“Every time I took that message to ask Trump a question, I knew that my Twitter messages were going to blow up from MSNBC or Ken Dilanian or whomever for ‘toadying’ up to the administration, and it takes a lot to be able to withstand that,” Enjeti concluded.
Grizzly » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:21 am wrote:Yeah, this is the reason Billmon, quit writing.... He said so, himself.
There isn’t enough tinfoil for all this –>\
4:05 PM – 30 Apr 2015
Billmon - remembering a great blogger
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Sunday February 17, 2008 · 4:43 PM CST
Many of you who were around in the early days of the progressive blogosphere (meaning before 2006) will remember Billmon. In his time, he was the most brilliant blogger on the internet, bar none. Billmon was one of the earliest guest bloggers on this very here website before he took off on his own and set up a place called the Whiskey Bar, a place where the drinks were always flowing and the posts were always blistering.
Billmon was a pseudonym, although some people claimed to have cracked the secret of his identity. Billmon himself admitted to being a journalist in his past life before changing over as a financial writer working for a big Wall Street firm. His background gave him a heightened knowledge of economics and finance, and he was one of the very few writers on the net who could explain economic imbalances and injustices so lucidly. Today we are privileged to have Jerome a Paris, bonddad and gjohnsit, but verily Billmon was the grandaddy of them all.
To my mind, his brilliance lay in his eloquence and his outrage. He first came into the limelight in 2003 with a post containing nothing but a series of quotes that he put together, coming out of the Bush administration about the invasion of Iraq. He was a serious fan of George Orwell, and could quote from 1984 and Animal Farm almost at will. When he laid into a target, be it Pennsylvania Avenue or Wall Street, he spared no one. The accuracy of his attacks and the violence of his anger combined to expose and destroy all myths, all lies. It is not an exaggeration to say that Billmon's posts sustained many of us during the darkest days - 2004, 2005 and 2006.
He won the Lefty Blog Awards, the Koufax. The comments on some of his best posts quite often ran into 500-600, an extraordinary number at that time. Indeed, he had to shut down comments at one point. His fans promptly set up a separate blog just to discuss his posts! They called it Moon of Alabama (more Brecht references, I believe).
Billmon's posts were of an intensity that must have been hard to maintain. Indeed, on his most productive days he would fire off several posts in quick succession. And everything but EVERYTHING was properly linked and sourced. Billmon often mentioned how much his blogging had taken him away from his family time, his wife and kids.
He first dropped out of blogging before the 2004 elections. If I remember correctly, he wrote in the LA Times about his decision. He went away and for a long while he stayed away. He would make the odd isolated post. Some people called him a quitter, some called him a drama-queen. But those of us who read him for education, pleasure and outrage were rarely disappointed. He came back again, and I remember his magnificent series of posts around the time of the Katrina disaster. In those days, he was in a class of his own.
A Philly paper even got as far as doing a profile of Billmon, though his anonymity was not quite breached. But it all ended a couple of years ago. Billmon stopped blogging, this time permanently. He even put out his website (although I believe his posts are now saved on the net. Whiskeybar.org also has the complete archives.) I was in awe of him, and I'm proud to say that I created the initial Wikipedia entry on Billmon and even defended it against a deletion attempt. I never got around to working on the article much, but others helped out and it has had a fairly stable look for many months now.
The blogger today who reminds me most of Billmon is James Howard Kunstler. Although Kunstler doesn't have nearly the range of Billmon, on his best days, he can be as incandescently brilliant as Billmon in his pomp. They are both true masters of the language. Not the least of the pleasures of reading a classic post by Billmon or Kunstler is the memorable, colourful use of English.
These days, as I see the rise of a true progressive coalition that could change the face of American politics for a generation, I often wonder what Billmon is up to. Does he see how the world seems to have changed? Going by his posts, he must have suffered often from black despair. I wonder if he is more optimistic now, more hopeful for the future. I wonder deeply if he is supporting Barack or Hillary.
I wish he would write again. It's darkest before dawn, and Billmon did sterling service to his readers with his voice of truth and clarity at a very dark time in recent American history. I wonder what he would have to say about politics as we stand on the brink of a more hopeful era.
Billmon, wherever you are I hope you are well. Hats off to you. You were the best, and we haven't seen your like since.
THURSDAY, DEC 28, 2006, 11:58 PM
Billmon: “That’s All Folks”
BY BRIAN ZICK
William Montague - Billmon of “Whiskey Bar” - has gone offline. He was one of Kos' first guest-posters at The Beginning. He has been a wonderfully passionate, creative and awesomely inventive blogger. He has received broad acclaim for his gifted perspicacity and communication talents. And he has won a great many hearts. The selfish among us cling to the hope he will return. There are a relatively few bloggers who have gained reputations for routinely exceptional performance, recognized for skills in information-gathering, or appreciated for the high literary quality or distinctive humor of their writing. Billmon's “Whiskey Bar” posts have uniquely been political blogging as Art (with a capital "A.")
Swopa at firedoglake
Paradox at The Left Coaster
Bernard at Moon of Alabama - the proxy site for Whiskey Bar comments - has a thread posted.
http://inthesetimes.com/ittlist/entry/9 ... _all_folks
Here is his article for LA Times on blogging. His analysis is spot on, and predicted what would happen to blogs. The article is here:
Blogging Sells, and Sells Out
Even as it collectively achieves celebrity status for its
anti-establishment views, blogging is already being domesticated by its
success. What began as a spontaneous eruption of populist creativity is
on the verge of being absorbed by the media-industrial complex it claims
Even as it collectively achieves celebrity status for its
anti-establishment views, blogging is already being domesticated by its
success. What began as a spontaneous eruption of populist creativity is
on the verge of being absorbed by the media-industrial complex it claims
Blogging Sells, and Sells Out
SEP. 26, 2004 12 AM
BILLMON IS THE AUTHOR OF WHISKEY BAR, ONLINE AT http://WWW.BILLMON.ORG.
By most accounts, blogs -- web logs to the uninitiated -- scored a major coup last week when CBS News admitted that it couldn’t vouch for the authenticity of memos supposedly written by George W. Bush’s commander in the Texas Air National Guard. The conservative bloggers who led the charge against the CBS story were hailed as giant slayers. And yet it’s the blogging phenomenon itself that may need the last rites.
That may seem a strange thing to say, given the flattering coverage of blogs triggered by the CBS affair. But the media’s infatuation has a distinct odor of the deathbed about it -- not for the blogosphere, which has a commercially bright future, but for the idea of blogging as a grass-roots challenge to the increasingly sanitized “content” peddled by the Time Warner-Capital Cities-Disney-General Electric-Viacom-Tribune media oligopoly.
Count me among the mourners. For almost two years, I blogged the political scene, first as a guest writer on the popular Daily Kos site, and then on my own blog, Whiskey Bar. During that time, I was able to indulge my passion for long-form writing -- a relative rarity in the blogging world, which leans toward snippy one-liners and news nuggets -- and to mix satirical humor with serious analysis, all without the worries of deadlines, editors and advertisers.
It was intoxicating while it lasted, as was the sense of community I found with my readers. At the peak of Whiskey Bar’s popularity, I could count on receiving 100 or more comments about each post -- articulate, querulous and sometimes profane voices from the Internet hinterland.
Recently, however, I’ve watched the commercialization of this culture of dissent with growing unease. When I recently decided to take a long break from blogging, it was for a mix of personal and philosophical reasons. But the direction the blogosphere is going makes me wonder whether I’ll ever go back.
Even as it collectively achieves celebrity status for its anti-establishment views, blogging is already being domesticated by its success. What began as a spontaneous eruption of populist creativity is on the verge of being absorbed by the media-industrial complex it claims to despise.
In the process, a charmed circle of bloggers -- those glib enough and ideologically safe enough to fit within the conventional media punditocracy -- is gaining larger audiences and greater influence. But the passion and energy that made blogging such a potent alternative to the corporate-owned media are in danger of being lost, or driven back to the outer fringes of the Internet.
There’s ample precedent for this. America has always had a knack for absorbing, and taming, its cultural revolutionaries. The rise and long, sad fall of rock ‘n’ roll is probably the most egregious example, while the music industry’s colonization of rap is a more recent one.
When I say blogging is headed for a kind of commercialized senility, I’m talking primarily about political blogs -- those that have, or claim to have, something to say about government, economics, foreign policy, etc. Not surprisingly, these are the blogs most likely to show up on the media’s radar screen.
Media exposure, in turn, is intensifying an existing trend toward a “winner take all” concentration of audience share. Even before blogs hit the big time, Web stats showed the blogosphere to be a surprisingly unequal place, with a relative handful of blogs -- say, the top several hundred -- accounting for the lion’s share of all page hits.
But as long as blogs remained on the commercial fringes, the playing field at least was relatively level. Audience was largely a function of reputation -- for the frequency or quality or ideological appeal of the blogger’s posts. Costs were low, and few bloggers were trying to make a living at it, so money wasn’t an issue. It may not have been egalitarian, but it wasn’t strictly hierarchical, either.
That world of inspired amateurs still exists, but it’s rapidly being overshadowed by the blogosphere’s potential for niche marketing. Ad dollars are flowing into the blogosphere. And naturally, most are going to the A-list blogs. As media steer readers toward the top blogs, the temptation to sell out to the highest bidder could become irresistible, and the possibility of making it in the marketplace as an independent blogger increasingly theoretical.
I should have seen the writing on the wall earlier this year when the World Economic Forum, the ferociously trend-following CEO club, sponsored a panel session on blogging at its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The discussion quickly turned to the commercial possibilities of blogging, leading one advertising executive to wonder why the big media companies didn’t swoop down and buy up the popular blogs while they were still cheap.
At the time, the idea of buying a blog struck me as funny, like trying to buy a conversation. Now, having seen blogs I admired mutate into glorified billboards, and having witnessed the emergence of the “sponsored” blog (in which the blogger is literally an employee of, or contractor to, a corporate owner), I can see who’s likely to have the last laugh.
As blogs commercialize, they are tied ever closer to the mainstream media and its increasingly frivolous news agenda. The political blogosphere already has a bad habit of chasing the scandal du jour. This election season, that’s meant a laser-like focus on such profound matters as the mysteries of Bush’s National Guard service or whether John Kerry deserved his Vietnam War medals.
Meanwhile, more unsettling (and important) stories -- like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal or the great Iraq weapons-of-mass-destruction snipe hunt -- quietly disappear down the media memory hole. And bloggers either can’t, or won’t, dig them back out again. As the convergence with big media continues, I suspect there will be progressively less interest in trying.
To be sure, there are still plenty of bloggers out there putting the 1st Amendment through its paces, their only compensation the satisfaction of speaking the truth to power. But it’s going to become more difficult for those voices to reach a broad audience. If the mainstream media are true to past form, they will treat the A-list blogs -- commercialized, domesticated -- as if they are the entire blogosphere, while studiously ignoring the more eccentric, subversive currents swirling deeper down.Not the most glorious ending for a would-be revolution, but also not a surprising one. Bloggers aren’t the first, and won’t be the last, rebellious critics to try to storm the castle, only to be invited to come inside and make themselves at home.
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/ ... ent=safari
Now that we’ve reached the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, it seems only fit and proper that those of us who opposed the war from the very beginning explain how our errors in judgment led us to be so catastrophically wrong about America’s signature foreign policy achievement of the 21st century.
In particular, I think we should extend a heartfelt apology to the war’s supporters (not least, the many fine pundits at our nation’s leading opinion journals) for the pain and suffering we inflicted with our frequent attacks on their intelligence, humanity, and sanity—and, at times, I’m ashamed to admit, even their patriotism.
There is no question that America’s foreign policy and media elites are the real victims here. Surely no one can deny this.
But, as a secondary matter, we war critics should take at least a brief moment to reflect on what our mistakes might have meant for the people of Iraq, if by some remote chance we had actually managed to halt the march to war.
True, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of lives would have been spared. Innocent children wouldn’t have been torn to pieces by U.S. cluster bombs. Millions wouldn’t have been turned into homeless refugees. Cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi wouldn’t have been reduced to smoking rubble.
But a corrupt and dictatorial regime would still be in power in Baghdad, and Iraq would have missed its chance to emerge as a model of peace, prosperity, and sectarian tolerance—a beacon of hope that now shines from one end of the Green Zone to the other, enriching the lives and offshore bank accounts of literally hundreds of leading Iraqi politicians and businessmen.
Likewise, we critics clearly owe a solemn apology to the men and women of America’s military. For, if our misguided views had prevailed, they would have a sacrificed a glorious opportunity to serve in two protracted counterinsurgency campaigns at the same time, both of them directed and fought in the finest traditions of Vietnam, Beirut, and El Salvador.
When one reflects on the thousands of Purple Hearts and other richly deserved decorations that might never have been awarded, it is hard not to feel deeply, deeply ashamed.
How could we have been so wrong? Speaking for myself, I can only say that it was because I invented my own Iraq War to oppose—one that bore scant resemblance to the real war, the one carefully planned by Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, firmly backed by a broad coalition of powerful allies and other Arab regimes, and approved and legitimized by the UN Security Council.
Worst of all (and this was perhaps my most unforgivable mistake) I did not give adequate weight to the arguments made by think tank scholar Kenneth Pollack in his book The Threatening Storm—despite Pollack’s Ivy League pedigree, and even though he had served as a CIA Iraq analyst during the late 1980s and early 1990s, a time when the spy agency went from triumph to triumph in its estimates of Saddam’s capabilities and intentions.
Foolishly, despite these credentials, I downplayed Pollack’s warnings, believing them exaggerated and perhaps influenced by his place in a cozy Washington hierarchy prone to incestuous amplification and threat mongering.
Indeed, one could go so far as to say that the war I opposed was “Ken Pollack’s War”.
If I had only known then what I know now: that Pollack is married to Ted Koppel’s daughter, perhaps I would have been able to put those doubts out of my mind.
Instead, I persuaded myself—quite unfairly—that the neocon policymakers pushing for war had ulterior motives: to demonstrate U.S. military power to allies and enemies alike, to undermine regional opposition to Israel, even (I’m tempted to flagellate myself merely for having thought this) to gain access to Iraq’s vast oil reserves.
How could I have been so blind?
Most of all, I became convinced—obsessed might be a better term—that the neocons and the Bush White House (which, for some odd reason, I insisted on calling the “Cheney Administration”) were completely ignoring the potential obstacles to restoring order in a fragmented, polarized society like that of Iraq—itself a highly artificial creation concocted by French and British imperialists at the end of World War I.
In hindsight, I’m not sure how I came by this idea, unless it was from reading the neocons’ own favorite Iraqi exile writer, Kanan Makiya, in his book Republic of Fear, in which he gave page after page of examples drawn from Iraq’s tortured past.
Obviously, I should have realized that America—with its unique and God-given ability to bestow the blessings of democracy on the entire world—could easily overcome such trivial issues.
Actually, in a larger sense, my misplaced focus on obscure historical events, and a stubborn belief that they might still hold valuable lessons for policymakers, even in the post-9/11 world, was probably the key to my entire analytical undoing.
How else to explain my perverse conviction that the sad history of America’s past land wars in Asia might have some bearing on the wisdom of fighting a land war in Asia?
Or my uneasy suspicion that the same cast of characters who gave us the Iran-Contra scandal (such as convicted criminal Elliott Abrams) might not be entirely honest and trustworthy in persuading Americans to wage an aggressive war?
Almost as bad was my willingness to give credence to the so-called military “experts,” such as Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who publicly warned that while beating Saddam’s army would be easy, occupying the country would require hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, and could cripple the parallel pacification effort in Afghanistan.
Folly! Why didn’t I listen to Paul Wolfowitz’s eloquent, fact-based rebuttal? Or, for that matter, why did I not accept Donald Rumsfeld’s bland assurances that the War in Afghanistan was as good as won?
Perhaps if I had not come across a detailed study from the Army War College, warning that occupying Iraq would be a formidable challenge, if not a complete nightmare, I wouldn’t have been so skeptical.
The War College! An institution that wasted three decades and huge amounts of taxpayer money studying and analyzing the lessons of Vietnam. Who in their right mind would pay attention to a source like that, when they could take their guidance from Ted Koppel’s son-in-law instead? I can only hang my head.
I could, of course, cite hundreds of similar examples. Why, for instance, did I doubt that Saddam had converted a couple of glorified Winnebago trailers into insanely dangerous mobile chemical weapons labs, even though Colin Powell said he had? Surely a man who spent most of his career being carefully scripted by analysts with a vested interest in their own conclusions must have known what he was talking about.
If I had understood then that Powell’s claim was based on a mentally unbalanced Iraqi defector nicknamed “Curveball” by his debriefers, surely I would have shared the media’s universal confidence in the credibility of his impressive UN presentation!
Likewise, if I had only realized that the Pentagon intended to contract out the rebuilding of Iraq to Dick Cheney’s old company, or would rely heavily on mercenaries working for Blackwater, a company with close ties to Pentagon, CIA, and GOP insiders, to provide security, maybe I wouldn’t have doubted the administration’s optimistic cost projections—which, after all, in the end only missed the mark by a mere several thousand percentage points.
In hindsight, surely we can all agree it was money well spent, given the wealth created and the jobs provided, both in Iraq and at our national military cemeteries here at home. Ordinary millionaires—not just the centa-millionaires and the billionaires—benefited enormously. Would that the 2009 fiscal stimulus had worked so well!
I could go on, but what would be the point? What’s done is done. Mercifully, the views of the anti-war movement were ignored—despite the saturation coverage they received in the liberal mainstream media and the careful consideration they were given by both parties in Congress, and by the Cheney Bush administration. The democratic debate may have been messy, but in the end it produced the intended result. I don’t think anyone can argue with that.
At this point, all we can do as a movement is offer our deepest and most sincere apologies to those whose professional reputations might have been slightly tarnished, or whose personal feelings may have been temporarily hurt, by our criticisms before, during and after the war.
Speaking for myself, I can only promise is that if I by some remote chance I were to be hired as a pundit at one of our nation’s prestigious newspapers or broadcast organizations, and we were facing another ill-conceived, illegal war of aggression, such criticisms would never, EVER be heard from me.
And you can take that to the bank.
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2013/3 ... -Mea-Culpa
Exclusive: In a Devastated Town, Bernie Sanders Explains His Plan for a Climate Change Revolution
The 2020 presidential contender tells Mother Jones about his $16 trillion proposal to save the planet.
Bernie Sanders wants the United States to combat climate change like a nation at war. The Democratic presidential candidate detailed his new climate platform on Thursday in Paradise, California, while surrounded by devastation that wouldn’t look out of place on a battlefield. Today Paradise is a ghost of itself after last year’s deadly Camp Fire; thousands of homes and buildings were lost, triggering an exodus taking almost the entire town’s population.
Sanders chose Paradise to launch his climate agenda for the same reason he thinks the public has woken up to the threat. Climate change is visceral, and in Paradise and elsewhere, voters are seeing its damage firsthand. There’s a difference between telling voters climate change is an existential crisis at an indoor rally and describing it while surrounded by the hazardous ash, rubble, and charred trees that once made up the Holly Hills mobile home community.
“People learn with their own eyes,” Sanders said in an exclusive interview with the Weather Channel and Mother Jones, conducted as part of the Climate Desk partnership. “So you come to a beautiful place like this, Paradise, California, and you see the horrible, horrible damage that’s done. You turn on the television, in a community of 26,000 people, 86 dead, some 18,000 structures burned down to the ground, $16 billion in damage. People are saying, ‘What is going on?’”
In announcing his $16.3 trillion proposal, Sanders joined a handful of candidates who have toured Paradise, as well as the pack of frontrunners who had already released their own climate change plans. His robust plan would “launch a decade of the Green New Deal,” promising 10 years filled with an unfathomable and polarizing amount of change: essentially eliminating unemployment with 20 million jobs, new job protections, and a social safety net to go with it. The plan includes funding for displaced fossil fuel workers to find new livelihoods or take early retirement. He envisions a fully clean transportation sector by 2030, by electrifying fleets and launching a $2 trillion car buyback program. He promises a $40 billion climate justice fund, new infrastructure, and a more sustainable agriculture sector. And he says he can do it all while modernizing the power grid, retiring nuclear plants, and halting fracking. All together, the Sanders camp say the changes could cut US pollution 71 percent over the next decade, putting the nation on path to go completely carbon-free by 2050.
The proposal has many elements that seem to fulfill wish lists from Sanders’ left-leaning base. According to Julian Brave NoiseCat of the progressive think tank Data for Progress, Sanders’ plan has “all of the eco-socialist favorites: public ownership, prosecuting fossil fuel corporations, phasing out nuclear, massive federal investment in the economy.” Data for Progress has scored the candidates’ plans against a 48-point rubric they assembled to judge Green New Deal proposals. As a cosponsor of the initial resolution put forward by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Sanders’ plan will surely score highly.
Sanders aims to fund his proposals primarily by making polluters pay. That’s familiar ground for the senator, whose long legislative history on energy issues includes pushing to close oil industry tax breaks. By ramping up polluter penalties, fines from federal lawsuits, and taxes, while counting on more revenue from the millions of jobs created, Sanders claims his programs will pay for themselves in 15 years.
“My plan is a very expensive plan,” he admits. “There will be some job loss, but we create 20 million new jobs. But the fundamental question is do we respond to the degree that the scientific community tells us we must, or do we not? And from a moral perspective, I think we have no choice but to act.”
Recognizing the scope of the economic changes required, Sanders emphasized investments in people who risk being left behind in the transition—from fossil fuel workers to frontline communities, predominantly made up of people of color, that suffer most from climate change.
“When you’re talking about a major transition in the economy you have to make sure we protect the oil workers…the fossil fuel industry, and the coal miners. They are not my enemies,” Sanders says. “People say, ‘Bernie, your plan is going to have an impact on this part of the economy and that part of the economy’…We’re talking about a planet that will become increasingly uninhabitable and expensive for our children and our grandchildren.”
Sanders insists frontline communities will be at the forefront of his policymaking. His stance against investing in research and technology to captures carbon from fossil fuel plants—on Thursday, he called it a “false solution”—helped win over environmental justice activists who say the technology enables continued pollution in disadvantaged communities. One such group, the Climate Justice Alliance, has endorsed Sanders’ proposals despite past skepticism of Green New Deal proposals.
Whether his plan—or another with similar ambitions—has any chance of becoming law is an entirely different question, one that, even if a Democrat is in the White House in 2021, will fall largely into the hands of Congress. Sanders says that, beyond reinstating the Obama administration’s climate-related executive orders reversed by Trump, he’ll harness the White House’s bully pulpit to press for change. From the Oval Office, Sanders hopes to drive action worldwide, spurring renewed commitments to global climate financing and bigger pledges under the Paris climate change agreement.
“I believe the scientific community and I believe we have to act boldly. I’m not here to suggest that my plan is going to solve every problem,” says Sanders. “But my plan understands the severity of the crisis.”
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 ... -paradise/
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have surged to tie with Joe Biden atop the Democratic presidential field, according to a poll that suggests the three are solidifying their status as the top tier in the massive field.
The Monmouth University poll, released Monday, shows Sanders and Warren deadlocked among Democratic voters at 20 percent, with Biden a point behind, at 19 percent. No other candidate cracks double digits: Kamala Harris is in fourth place, at 8 percent.
RocketMan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:18 am wrote:Sanders is, despite claims to the contrary, a top tier, even leading candidate.
The Daily Spectacle, 15 Sep 2019
Disney-ABC's "news" division has devoted 68 minutes to stories about Biden in 2019, compared to seven minutes for Sanders. Bernie's coverage comes in behind also-rans like Harris and Beto, but at least he is tied with Mayor Pete. (https://freebeacon.com/politics/abc-new ... s-in-2019/)
In other words, the corporate propaganda system of 2019 is still working the same way it did in 2015, 2011, 2007...
Let's compare 2019 to 2015, the year before the first primaries of the interminable 2016 election, which most of you may feel never ended. In 2015 the corporate media conglomerates devoted an average of three times the "news" coverage to Trump that they did to Clinton. Trump also got three times more than all other Republican candidates combined. Sanders got less than 1% of the coverage. Disney-ABC's flagship evening "news" program gave him about 20 seconds during the whole year, compared to 81 minutes for Trump, a 240:1 ratio. (https://www.mediamatters.org/abc/abc-wo ... paign-year)
Remember, this corporate media devotion to the Trump campaign began many months before anyone voted. No one in the universe had ever voted for Trump, whereas Sanders was a sitting senator, then as now. If we trust the 2015 opinion polls, Trump began his stunt campaign far behind other Republican contenders.
His advantage was that he has always been a corporate media product and, of course, a long-time NBC producer (company: Comcast). This activity over the prior decades had established him as a kind of platonic televised form of the billionaire "businessman" and consumer-in-chief, a "playboy" who lives the life every American is expected to desire and to achieve in some measure, if they're not a loser. Almost all of you are losers, obviously.
The character Trump depicted was an owner and therefore entitled to act as dictator over his "property," including the disposable human livestock working for him. He parlayed the NBC-Apprentice work into a key gig with World Wrestling Entertainment, and then managed to make himself into the main purveyor of the racist myth that Obama was actually foreign-born and therefore not really president. Now, as a candidate, he was serving up unhinged white supremacy, misogyny, and cruel juvenile bullying directed at all of his targets. He was also promising to build a wall, lock her up, win a bunch of future wars, cut the head off ISIS and "take their oil." This was great television, according to corporate executives like Jeff Zucker (former chief of NBC, then chief of CNN) and Les Moonves (then the head of CBS).
Starting with his launch speech, about Mexico sending rapists and drug-dealers to the United States, the networks gave daily, near-continuous coverage to Trump's every move and tweet, including full uninterrupted broadcasts of his campaign appearances. He rose to the top of the polls in the same period. The free corporate media airtime was the most important factor in setting him up to win the Republican nomination, I submit, and we should never, ever forget this.
It didn't matter how much of this coverage was "critical." Exposure matters. It's not just the relatively small corporate TV "news" audience who become habituated to the ogre's presence. The corporate media platform bestows legitimacy, or that is how most people treat it, thus making it true. Who, after all, remains in complete control of the so-called "debates" currently running? The corporate media.
It also was not the right-wing media. Back in 2015, Murdoch-FOX mostly opposed Trump. The attention from the faux "liberal" outlets of MSNBC (Comcast's joint venture with Microsoft) and WarnerMedia's CNN (a kind of long-running covert co-production with the State Department) were therefore key to the Trump-boosting operations. The main Comcast network, NBC, pretended to fire Trump after the Mexico speech. Then they invited him to host an episode of Saturday Night Live.
In the wake of their fateful contribution to Trump's rise, the corporate media launched one of the most comprehensive and longest-runing disinformation campaigns in their entire sordid history. This three-year effort was designed to deny their responsibility for Trump by deflecting blame on to a fictionalized construct known as #Russiagate (thus also reinforcing the new cold war campaign of the military-industrial complex) and, more generally, "social media." The latter has the effect of discrediting their competition and encouraging censorship measures. Much of this "social media" of course serves as little more than an alternative form of distribution for corporate media content, but it also allows too many unlicensed purveyors to report news or mouth off as they please, and do it for free.
And these are the same corporations now conducting the same diversion of the attention economy to the Biden campaign, creating an environment in which he is supposed to seem inevitable. At least, that was the case until a few days ago. Biden seems anything but inevitable today, since he incidentally appears to be undergoing a rapid and public mental decline. I find this very painful and poignant to watch and take no pleasure in it, notwithstanding everything odious about the man otherwise.
Was this guy really supposed to be inevitable? Biden has run for the Democratic presidential nomination on three earlier occasions. He won one delegate in 1984, two in 1988, and zero in 2008 on a total of 81,000 votes. It's not hard to figure out why he is not very popular with the Democratic voters. He has the speaking style of Bill O'Reilly and, for the most part, very right-wing politics. Known as the senator from Mastercard, he is responsible for the 2005 law that heavily restricted bankruptcy and, of course, voted in favor of the 2003 war of aggression on the people of Iraq. The muddled debate talk blaming black parents for not educating their children fits into a lifetime of outbursts in this vein.
In the 2016 Democratic primaries, Sanders first faced a near-total blackout from the corporate media throughout 2015. Then, once he broke through into a two-person race with Clinton, he was subjected to vicious petty assaults and daily smears from both the corporate media and the Democratic Party establishment. With no corporate money, and despite varieties of rigging by the Party apparatus, his campaign broke small-donor fundraising records, received 13 million votes according to the official tally, and won 22 state contests and nearly half of the legitimate (non-super) delegates.
And this was entirely because of the message. Sanders' success was the proof that content, though suppressed, still matters. He got the votes because of what he supported as a policy program, not who he is (although he's kind of a mensch, which makes him outstanding in the low-standard environment of electoral politics). This year Sanders once again has a record number of small donors and volunteers and a huge set of organizations backing him, and is drawing tens of thousands to his rallies. But Biden's supposed to be the juggernaut!
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