From Vox: Why the media will lift Trump up and tear Clinton down

by David Roberts on May 5, 2016, 7:30 a.m. ET

It now seems all but certain that the presidential election will see Donald Trump face off against Hillary Clinton.

We find ourselves at the tail end of a brief period of clarity. For the past few months, virtually everyone outside of the 40 percent of Republican primary voters who carried him to victory has agreed that Trump is not fit to be president.

Marco Rubio called him a “con man.” Mitt Romney called him “a phony, a fraud.” Cruz called him an “amoral pathological liar” and said if he is elected “this country could well plunge into the abyss.” Lindsey Graham said Trump would lead to “another 9/11.” David Brooks called him “epically unprepared to be president.” George Will said that “his running mate will be unqualified for high office because he or she will think Trump is qualified.” The house organ of conservatism, National Review, condemned him in florid terms. A Super PAC was created just to stop him.

This Clinton camp video is effectively narrated by Mitt Romney

— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) May 4, 2016
No one has captured the case better than longtime conservative political analyst Jay Cost:

As Cost emphasizes, the issue here is not (merely) ideological — it’s about basic fitness and competence. A man with Trump’s temperament and habits could do real, lasting, no-joke damage as the leader of the free world.

Hillary Clinton, for all her flaws, has demonstrated a basic level of competence. She understands how policy and government work. She’s not openly racist; she hasn’t encouraged street violence. There’s no risk that she would disrupt the international order or cause an economic crisis out of pique.

That’s a really, really low bar. But it’s the only bar she has to clear in this contest. Almost irrespective of what you think of Clinton’s politics or her policies, she is manifestly more prepared to run the federal government than Donald Trump.

The number of people who recognize this elemental fact about the election, however, has probably already reached and passed its peak. It will decline from here on out. The moment of clarity is already ending.
The political ecosystem needs two balanced parties to survive
Why is clarity passing? Because it appears Trump is actually going to be the Republican nominee. It’s really happening. And the US political ecosystem — media, consultants, power brokers, think tanks, foundations, officeholders, the whole thick network of institutions and individuals involved in national politics — cannot deal with a presidential election in which one candidate is obviously and uncontroversially the superior (if not sole acceptable) choice. The machine is simply not built to handle a race that’s over before it’s begun.

There are entire classes of professionals whose jobs are premised on the model of two roughly equal sides, clashing endlessly. The Dance of Two Parties sustains the consultants and activists.

That giant clicking sound is 10,000 Republican consultants and activists deleting their #NeverTrump tweets.

— Paul Mitchell (@paulmitche11) May 4, 2016
Trump campaign now being flooded with offers from seasoned operatives to help the campaign, Rick Wiley tells me.

— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) May 4, 2016
It sustains the party hacks and grifters.

.@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton

— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 4, 2016
.@newtgingrich: “@realDonaldTrump may turn out to be the most effective, anti-left leader in our lifetime.” #Hannity

— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 4, 2016
There’s a lot about Donald Trump that I don’t like, but I’ll vote for Trump over Hillary any day.

— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 4, 2016
.@BobbyJindal: “Today we have got two choices. It’s either @realDonaldTrump or @HillaryClinton.” #Hannity

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 4, 2016
And it sustains the media, which is what I want to discuss below.

Among all these classes of professionals, all these institutions, that whole superstructure of US politics built around two balanced sides, there will be a tidal pull to normalize this election, to make it Coca-Cola versus Pepsi instead of Coca-Cola versus sewer water.

The US political system knows how to play the former script; it doesn’t know how to play the latter. There’s a whole skein of practices, relationships, and money flows developed around the former. The latter would occasion a reappraisal of, well, everything. Scary.

So there will be a push to lift Donald Trump up and bring Hillary Clinton down, until they are at least something approximating two equivalent choices.

(Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Same basic deal, right?
It’s not a conspiracy; it won’t be coordinated. It doesn’t need to be. It’s just a process of institutions, centers of power and influence, responding to the incentive structure that’s evolved around them. The US political ecosystem needs this election to be competitive.

The media cannot countenance a lopsided race
No institution needs a competitive election more than the media, especially what remains of the “objective” campaign media. Imagine writing this headline:

Trump, bad candidate, likely to lose

Now imagine writing it again and again for six months — and watching your web traffic dwindle into nothing. Sad!

The campaign press requires, for its ongoing health and advertising revenue, a real race. It needs controversies. “Donald Trump is not fit to be president” may be the accurate answer to pretty much every relevant question about the race, but it’s not an interesting answer. It’s too final, too settled. No one wants to click on it.

What’s more, the campaign media’s self-image is built on not being partisan, which precludes adjudicating political disputes. How does that even work if one side is offering up a flawed centrist and the other is offering up a vulgar xenophobic demagogue?

It would be profoundly out of character for reporters to spend the six months between now and the election writing, again and again, that one side’s candidate is a liar and a racist and an egomaniac. It would be uncomfortable, personally and professionally.


What we’ve learned today abt life thru Nov if Trump wins:some reporters can’t be objective abt him & left/right critics will sound the same

— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) April 27, 2016
It’s true that the media has been uncharacteristically blunt in its criticism of Trump during the primary, mainly because almost every source it considers legitimate hates Trump, including the Republican establishment. To date, the anti-Trump position has been safely inside the Washington consensus.

That will change once the GOP apparatus inevitably swings around behind Trump and begins accusing journalists who write critical stories of bias. If there’s one thing the GOP apparatus knows how to do, it’s ensure that there’s always another side, that reporters get smacked every time they move past “one hand, other hand” coverage.

Already we’ve seen reporters leap at the Trump “pivot” story several times, though Trump’s newfound presidential tone never seems to last even a full 24 hours.

It will not take much for “new, grown-up Trump” stories to take hold once he is the nominee. The media and the GOP apparatus both need those stories, the former for “balance,” the latter for paychecks.

In short order, Trump’s obvious unfitness for office — today widely acknowledged across both parties and in the mainstream media — will become a partisan observation, something Democrats say. Consultants from the two parties will sit across from one another on cable news shows and squabble about it, as nature intended.

What we’re accustomed to; what we need.
To the extent that Trump can’t be lifted, Clinton will be brought down
Just as the media will need to elevate Trump, it will need to bring Clinton down. Going after Clinton will be journalists’ default strategy for proving that they’re not biased. They will need opportunities to be “tough” toward Clinton, or at least to engage in the kind of performative toughness valued in campaign journalism, to demonstrate their continued independence.

Trump will give them opportunities. And it’s not going to be through policy critique, a domain in which Clinton towers over him. It’s going to be through tawdry, nasty shit.

Consider the attacks Trump has used to triumph in the primary: Cruz’s father helped kill JFK; Cruz is not eligible to be president; Rubio is an effete liar who sweats too much; Kasich is a disgusting eater; Jeb Bush has low testosterone; Fiorina has an unpleasant face. His nickname for Clinton is already “crooked Hillary.” He’s already dredged up her husband’s affairs and her alleged role in them.

Consider what Trump will do when he’s behind, being bested by a woman, at risk of national humiliation, struggling to unite a party that is connected to him only through a shared hatred of Clinton. The mind boggles.
Will the Washington press corps chase after ridiculous personal attacks and conspiracy theories regarding Hillary Clinton, whispered into their ears by right-wing hacks?

Ha ha. Have you met the Washington press corps? They have been doing that since the early 1990s. Clinton rules mean guilty until proven innocent, then and now. The Washington media is a machine that transforms crap about Clintons into headlines, and Trump is a bottomless supply of crap.

Along with that, Clinton being Clinton, and Clintonworld being Clintonworld, there is likely to be no shortage of missteps, malapropisms, unforced errors, and poorly chosen surrogates to keep the media busy even without Trump’s help. Stories purporting to (finally) bring Clinton down never lack for clicks. She is, after all, the most disliked national politician in American life … except Donald Trump.

So there you have it: an obvious choice that numerous institutions and individuals are committed to making as difficult, as unpleasant, and as drawn-out as possible. It augurs a substance-free, policy-averse, crap-happy campaign season, degraded even by the diminished standards of contemporary US politics. Wake me when it’s over.

The Great American Brainwash: Half a Billion Dollars to Turn the Public against Hillary

I opened my earlier post, Sanders and The Two-Party System: Moving The US Towards Fascism, discussing the vile YouTube videos portraying HC as, literally, a subhuman creature.

First, consider these YouTube videos titles:

Hillary and the True Beast She Is.
Clinton Insider Reveals Hillary’s Lesbian Sexcapades
Carly Fiorina Knows All About Hillary’s Sex Life
Hillary Clinton: A Career Criminal
hillary clinton and huma

I would like to expand a bit on that concerted effort to vilify her.

According to Sanders, his followers and the whole leftist-spectrum, Hillary Clinton (HC) is the sole powerful she-devil cause of all the ills of capitalism. If we could just ‘kill’ her (at this point they imply not only figuratively speaking, that intense is the hatred) then we could get rid of the minuscule corrupt Wall Street CEOs causing the problems: that 0.1%. Hillary is the snake in Eden tempting and corrupting everybody; that’s their image of Hillary Clinton.

The title of this post is actually an article from #HillaryMen, which I highly recommend. I link to that  article because it helps make better sense of the picture I described in my post.

Even more detailed is the NY Times article The Best Way to Vilify Hillary Clinton? G.O.P. Spends Heavily to Test It

on which the HillaryMen’s article was based. Again, I recommend it and, please, do click on the examples the Times article gives of  how Rove’s group compose the anti-Hillary ads.

When I wrote my earlier post I was unaware that the attacks on her have been carefully planned since 2008 by Karl Rove et al GOP operatives, and that they have invested that huge amount of money in psychological tests to brainwash the American public against her.

In other words, after reading those articles, one can safely  infer that many of the tons of  YouTube videos that I described before are actually products paid undercover by Rove, which he uses to ‘test’  the efficiency of the ‘product’ (the visual and the script attacking Hillary) on the public.


This one from her 2008 run, clearly an early Rove product. Note the amount of hits.


In our new information era the modern data analysts consider ‘measurable behavior’ the mere act of clicking on a link; and the thousands (in some videos millions) of hits provide a trove of information to these experts on brainwashing. They also get better feedback by the type of comments posted on each video.

This is an excerpt from the Times’ article:

ORLANDO, Fla. — Inside an office park here, about a dozen women gathered to watch a 30-second television spot that opened with Hillary Rodham Clinton looking well-coiffed and aristocratic, toasting champagne with her tuxedoed husband, the former president, against a golden-hued backdrop.

The ad then cut to Mrs. Clinton describing being “dead broke” when she and her husband left the White House, before a narrator intoned that Mrs. Clinton makes more money in a single speech, about $300,000, than an average family earns in five years.

The message hit a nerve. “She’s out of touch,” said one of the women, who works as a laundry attendant.

“Her reality is just so different than mine,” murmured another, as operatives from American Crossroads, a Republican “super PAC,” watched closely from behind a one-way mirror.

In rooms like this one around the country, an expensive and sophisticated effort is underway to test and refine the most potent lines of attack against Mrs. Clinton, and, ultimately, to persuade Americans that she does not deserve their votes. While the general election is 16 months away, Republican groups are eager to begin building a powerful case against the woman they believe will be the Democratic nominee, and to infuse the public consciousness with those messages.

This is an excerpt from the #HillaryMen’s article:

We are not surprised by this desperate Republican attempt to manipulate public opinion. As Hillary gets closer to the White House, the forces that have worked for three decades to bring her down are becoming increasingly frantic. These forces include conservative attack groups, Republican operatives and their media allies such as the Morning Joe crew and Maureen Dowd, who labor to indoctrinate the public with shop-worn negative frames:

• CALCULATING (Scheming, crafty, manipulative)
• SECRETIVE (Suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative)
• POLARIZING (Divisive, alienating)
• UNTRUSTWORTHY (Corrupt, deceitful, dishonest, unethical)
• OVER-AMBITIOUS (Will do or say anything to win)
• INAUTHENTIC (Disingenuous, fake, unlikable, insincere)
• INHUMAN (Machine-like, robotic, abnormal, cold)
• OVER-CONFIDENT (Inevitable, defiant, imperious, regal)
• OLD (Out of touch, represents the past)

These articles are worth the time reading them.

Unfair MSM Treatment of Sanders…

I compiled this list of headlines from the Washington Post to show how ‘fair’ or ‘unfair’ is their coverage of Sanders and Clinton.

You will see that the headlines for Sanders (45) are nearly all  positive, never is there a personal attack on him, never a question about his credibility or morals, and never a check at his political record. The opposite is true of the headlines for Hillary Clinton (40).

Sanders followers have nothing to complain about the MSM; it has the hots for him.

Headlines for Sanders:45 positive

Highlights from Bernie Sanders’s campaign, in pictures
The senator from Vermont has become Hillary Clinton’s chief rival in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The idea that Bernie Sanders has been too negative to debate Hillary Clinton is ridiculous
The Latest: Wisconsin voters want to hear from Sanders
The Latest: Sanders reaches out to black voters in Milwaukee
Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a real run for the nomination
Jane Sanders: Winning Wisconsin wouldn’t mean less because of a large white population
Ralph Nader: Why Bernie Sanders was right to run as a Democrat
A meal at Denny’s finally convinced Jane Sanders that her husband should run
Now The Washington Post ran 16 positive stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 hours! #bias[meaning it was true!]
Sanders references the Holocaust when discussing Trump’s ‘intolerance’ toward Muslims
Bernie Sanders calls Donald Trump ‘a nutcase’ during Wisconsin rally
The key details missing from Bernie Sanders’s free college proposal
The crazy logic behind an alliance of Trump-Sanders supporters
Why did the New York Times change its mind about Bernie Sanders?
Bernie Sanders’s most vitriolic supporters really test the meaning of the word ‘progressive’
These congressional candidates got inspiration from Sanders – but little else
How an obscure socialist text from the ’80s predicted Bernie Sanders’s rise
Bernie Sanders draws more than 30,000 to stops around Washington state Sunday
What Bernie Sanders would do to America
Has The Washington Post been too hard on Bernie Sanders this week?
16 negative stories in 16 hours after Sunday’s debate? Not quite.
Awkward reality for Bernie Sanders: A strategy focused on whiter states [but he’s not a ‘racist’. For HC, it counts as ‘racism’.]
Celeb endorsement of the week: Rosario Dawson for Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders’s huge Washington win was exactly what his campaign needed

Bernie Sanders trades laughs, serious talk with Jimmy Kimmel on latest day of Democratic voting

What Bernie Sanders still doesn’t get about arguing with Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders was a trend-setter back in 1967, too

Why did Bernie Sanders dominate Saturday? Caucuses in states with smaller black populations.

Is democratic socialism the American Dream?

New York Times public editor raps newspaper for edits to story on Bernie Sanders’s record

Sanders has gotten nastier. Does it help explain his staying power?
Where once he berated the ‘billionaire class,’ senator now focuses on Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders and the clash of memory
The ‘Sanders Democrat’ is paving the way for the radical left

Sanders doesn’t need much explaining in liberal Seattle

Bernie Sanders bolts interview with Arizona TV reporter

Bernie Sanders: ’30 Years of Speeches’ | Campaign 2016

Bernie Sanders tells supporters he sees a winning streak coming

How Bernie Sanders is hijacking the Democratic Party to be elected as an independent

The new Democratic Party proposal to rival Bernie Sanders’s socialism

Bernie Sanders’s praise for communist Cuba just became an issue. But do people even care anymore?

Clinton criticizes Sanders for dismissing Trump’s abortion ‘punishment’ gaffe
Stephen Colbert knows why that bird REALLY landed on Bernie Sanders’s lectern

‘Excuse me!’ Bernie Sanders doesn’t know how to talk about black people

Sanders’s ‘yuge’ Twitter moment during debate with Clinton

Bernie Sanders is right: Bill Clinton’s welfare law doubled extreme poverty

Bernie Sanders won the debate’s Google fight — in more ways than one

Maybe Bernie Sanders is right about trade negotiators
Sanders: In it to win it but building grass-roots enthusiasm for Democrats regardless

This Hillary Clinton attack on Bernie Sanders makes no sense

Bernie Sanders needs to get serious on foreign policy

Bernie Sanders’s real problem with black and Hispanic voters

Despite what his critics say, Bernie Sanders insists he is not championing a ‘radical’ agenda

Why an arm of the Koch empire is praising Bernie Sanders

HILLARY CLINTON: 40 negatives

“What if the problem with Hillary Clinton’s campaign is Hillary Clinton?
Sometimes the problem is you.”

The idea that Bernie Sanders has been too negative to debate Hillary Clinton is ridiculous
Chelsea Clinton’s bungled answer on her mother’s college affordability plan
Clinton lashes out at Sanders for ‘lying’ about her. Here’s how to settle this.
What some men have against Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton must face the music — and the FBI
The Latest: Clinton laments GOP’s ‘implacable hostility’
Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a real run for the nomination
A former top New York Times editor says Clinton is ‘fundamentally honest.’ So…
Clinton pushes gun control at emotional meeting in Wisconsin
Second federal judge grants legal discovery into Clinton use of private email server
The Latest: Wisconsin voters want to hear from Sanders
Clinton faces disruptive Sanders supporters in New York
The Latest: Sanders reaches out to black voters in Milwaukee
There are dozens of FBI agents involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation
Do gendered comments help or hurt Hillary Clinton?
The Miami debate was Clinton’s personal nightmare
Bernie Sanders pulls even with Hillary Clinton in a new poll. Because it’s the economy, stupid.
The Republican race serves as a useful distraction from how bad things are for Clinton
This is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a Hillary Clinton political manifesto
How can Hillary Clinton and other female politicians be ‘likable enough?’ A new study offers guidance.
What’s next for Bernie Sanders’s revolution?
Hillary Clinton will have to avoid alienating his supporters.
5 times Hillary Clinton has played fast and loose with the facts on Bernie Sanders’s record
Why Hillary Clinton is unlikely to be indicted over her private email server
Lucky for her, political idiocy is not criminal.
Why Hillary Clinton’s ‘super-predator’ concession is such a big moment for political protest
Why did Hillary Clinton lose Michigan but win Ohio? White voters.
Clinton’s Benghazi moment rules Twitter at Democratic debate
U.S. judge orders discovery to go forward over Clinton’s private email system
The Libya debacle undermines Clinton’s foreign policy credentials
Hillary Clinton’s struggles with the death penalty date back to her Senate days

Hillary Clinton draws criticism for her response to violence at Trump’s Chicago rally

Justice Dept. grants immunity to staffer who set up Clinton email server
Clinton regrets 1996 remark on ‘super-predators’ after encounter with activist

Eight years later, Bill Clinton is causing headaches for his wife again
Team Hillary is betting big on the Obama coalition

Clinton ahead in Missouri, but race in limbo pending decision on recount
Clinton emails continue to be non-scandal, disappointing Republicans
Democrats have a lot riding on Hillary Clinton. Which is why the word ‘immunity’ should make them very nervous.

Why Hillary Is Unelectable

There has to be an explanation for why the MSM, and the financial elite they represent, has viciously attacked Hillary Clinton (HC) on both primaries (2008 and 2016). C’mon, in both instances they supported two long shots, first a Black man carrying a ‘socialist and anti-capitalist’ ‘baggage’, and now a self-proclaimed ‘revolutionary socialist’, Sanders. One has to be dead wood to not notice that today the MSM peels HC alive and totally gives a pass to Sanders. No one is stirring the socialist-communist bogey man against Sanders. Imagine if HC were to talk about socialism! She would be dead by now.

Don’t tell me the MSM skews her because she is ‘dishonest’; that would be an insult to YOUR own intelligence. The owners of the MSM are the pot calling the kettle black. And don’t deny that Sanders is being given a pass: look at all the news magazines online and count how many headlines include an offensive word against Sanders (none) or  fear mongering content about his socialist inclinations. Hillary Clinton is the bitch, the liar and ‘dishonest’ woman, more like a witch with a broom and cauldron. So, what gives?

They don’t hate her because she’s ‘dishonesty’ (anyone who believes the MSM is honest and ‘offended’ by her ‘lies’ is…naive); they hate her because she helped in the IMPEACHMENT of RICHARD NIXON. That’s it.;, well that’s one reason. That’s why they will not only block her presidential aspirations, they do it with gusto: dragging her through the mud.

That has been Hillary Clinton’s crime all along. They first tried to impeach her husband over a sexual affair as payback, but because they failed (Republicans), they want to  make sure she  will not be elected president of the USA.

You can look it up. Every right-wing magazine online talks about that, they can’t forget. And those who want Sanders to win join are joining the right wingers in the attacks on her. The woman can’t win: she’s equally attacked by right and left wings. But why by the left?

The American ‘left’ share something with the male oligarchy: misogyny.

The other reason for her unelectability: she’s a WOMAN, and a feminist one at it. If you think that Elizabeth Warren will be treated less brutally if she runs for the presidency, don’t bet on it. The US male oligarchy is not ready for a woman, least of all the kings of Wall Street and Silicon Valley (supporting Sanders for the moment being); and less ready for a woman who paraded herself with…gulp…feminists in international women’s rights conferences. The fact that Hillary is unapologetic about being a feminist doesn’t seat well with the male oligarchs that rule our lives.

And the ‘left’ have given all signs of misogyny when they accuse her of giving ‘priority’ to women and ‘identity politics’ over the sacrosanct (male) workers and working class.

The other reason why she is unelectable is that they rather elect a pseudo socialist who supports the Israelis (Zionists) than a women who does the same thing, but who showed her support to the Palestinians when she was  FLOTUS. It’s hard for the Israelis to forget those photos of Hillary embracing Palestinians. They have made her pay for it, and she learned the lesson. Except that they can’t trust she REALLY learned the lesson…and neither do I.

That’s my theory. You can dismiss it, but there is truth in there, it’s not totally ridiculous. But she will prevail despite the like-gang-attacks on her coming from the right and the left in unison.

This was the ‘kiss of death’ for HC. It is the beginning of the Hillary bashing tradition. This photo was used to portray her as a lesbian in the MSM. Then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) and kisses Suha Arafat, wife of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, November 11, 1999. (photo credit:REUTERS)

From the internet. The ghost of Nixon impeachment will follow her as long as she is in politics. They will never forgive her for that. That’s why her rivals are elected over her: better a pseudo socialist than her. It’s the establishment making the call, not you. You are just being manipulated, as usual.