Blog Archives

Populism in America: “Follow the Money”

One of the most disturbing failures of the mainstream media in this election cycle was its complete lack of historical context for Trump’s brand of populism.If you consumed the mainstream media’s coverage of the campaign and election, you noted their obsession with speech acts (as opposed to concrete actions), personalities and conspiracy theories pinning American populism on Russian propaganda.

The mainstream media dismisses populism by pushing two absurdly ignorant narratives:

1. Populism (we’re told) always leads to authoritarian rules and/or fascism (i.e. Nazism). All populist movements are therefore tarred with the Nazism brush: no good could possibly come from Populist movements because they always lead to fascism.

This is convenient for the apologists of the embattled status quo, but it’s utterly false: America’s enormous populist movements have never led to fascism.

2. Since the status quo is wonderful and America’s economy is strong, dissent or populism cannot be home-grown–it must be the work of the Devil, in the guise of “foreign propaganda.”

Notice the classic propaganda ploy being deployed here: since dissent is impossible in a regime as well-managed and prosperous as America’s status quo, populism must be driven and controlled by evil foreign agents.

This is laughably absurd: America’s populist movements, including the present one, have been revolts against the concentrated wealth and power of self-serving status quo elites.

If the mainstream media actually employed well-informed analysts rather than empty-headed politically correct parrots, you might have learned that America has a long and rich history of populism that did not lead to authoritarianism or fascism.

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Fearmongering Propaganda Is Immensely Profitable–and Distracting

Let’s start by asking: if Trump had lost and his supporters had angrily taken to the streets, destroying private property and threatening police officers while proclaiming “not my president,” would the mainstream media have characterized the rioters differently than it has the pro-Clinton rioters?

Any fair-minded observer knows the answer is yes: the CNN/MSM would have lambasted the “rioting deplorables” as “what’s wrong with America.”

Substitution is a useful tool to expose bias. How come the CNN/mainstream corporate media isn’t declaring the pro-Clinton rioters “deplorables”?

This tells us something else is going on here. I want to explain what’s really going on, but first we need to run a simple experiment:

Turn off CNN, PBS, CBS et al., your Twitter and Facebook feeds, etc. for seven days, and live solely in the media-free real world for a week. If you’re truly interested in understanding what’s really going on in America, then come back in a week and read the rest of the essay.

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The Mainstream Media Bet the Farm on Hillary–and Lost

The mainstream media bet the farm on Hillary Clinton, confident that their dismissal of every skeptical inquiry as a “conspiracy” would guarantee her victory. It now appears they have lost their bet. Let’s do something radical and be honest for a moment: the mainstream media has smoothed the path to Hillary’s coronation in countless often subtle ways.

MSM “Opinion” hacks have unleashed unrelenting attacks on legitimate inquiries with accusations of “conspiracy” and obsequious kow-towing headlines such as “Can we please stop talking about Hillary’s health?”

Suggestions that the Clinton Foundation engaged in “pay to play” during Hillary’s term as secretary of state are glossed over; yes, it looks bad, the MSM reluctantly admits, they they hurry to add that no impropriety can be proven in court.

Given the foundation is run by attorneys who obfuscate the meaning of the word “is,” do you really think they’re going to leave tracks that can make it to court?

The Democratic National Committee’s corruption was downplayed, and the mainstream media’s pathetic lack of inquiry was of a piece with old Soviet “news”: a scapegoat or two is cut out of the leadership photo, and the DNC corruption machine moves on untouched.

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Why the Corporate Media Hates Sanders (and Has a Love/Hate Thing with Trump)

Everyone who isn’t willfully blind knows that the Corporate (mainstream) Media doesn’t give the same coverage to Bernie Sanders as it does to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Bernie’s rallies go unmentioned, his victories are given short shrift and his personal narrative–practically ideal for media glorification–is mentioned in passing, if at all.

A media professional clued me into why the Corporate Media hates Bernie and will move Heaven and Earth to defeat him: Sanders is the only candidate who is seriously promoting campaign finance reform.

When a Super-PAC raises $100 million for Hillary, Jeb, et al., where does 90% of that money go? To the Corporate Media. Corporate Media gorges on political media buys every two years, and increasingly depends on this feasting on Super-PAC money for its outsized profits.

As more and more advertising dollars flow to digital media (online search, Facebook, etc.), traditional media dominated by a handful of corporate giants needs the massive influx of campaign dollars to offset its stagnating revenue model.

My source notes that there are rarely any discounts for campaign media buys–the super-PACs and candidate’s campaigns pay full pop, and typically pay in cash: no 90 days receivables for campaigns.

Political campaign buys are almost pure profit, as there is minimal sales effort required and the campaign/super-PAC is paying full freight.

Real campaign finance reform would gut Corporate Media’s profits. No wonder the Corporate Media downplays Sanders’ campaign, his personal integrity and his chances to become president.

As for the firewall that supposedly divides editorial from advertising: it’s there for show, of course, and everyone in the business solemnly declares it’s a Great Wall that is never breached, but the reality is the editorial staff know very well who butters their bread–and it sure isn’t the folks getting free media coverage when their competitors are buying tens of millions of dollars in advertising.

Nobody has to openly state that big advertisers are not going to get negative coverage; editorial staff know better than to even propose such a self-destructive notion. Stories are either buried (“this one needs more research”) or they are never proposed due to self-censorship by editorial staff worried that their head will roll in the next downsizing.

The Corporate Media has a love/hate thing going with Trump: the editorial side (i.e. the newsroom) loves Trump, because readers /viewers /listeners will tune in just to see what new outrageous, offensive verbiage Trump has blurted in the last 12 hours, but the advert-revenue side hates him with a passion because thanks to his non-stop media coverage, he doesn’t need to advertise much in the Corporate Media.

According to this estimate, Trump spent $10 million on advertising and received $1.89 billion in free coverage. Deep State Darling Hillary Clinton spent $28 million (is that all?) on adverts and skimmed $746 million in free coverage; Bernie Sanders also spent $28 million and received less than half of Hillary’s free coverage ($321 million)–no bias here, folks, everything is fair and unbiased–and drop-out Jeb Bush spent $82 million and scored $214 million in free coverage.

Measuring Donald Trump’s Mammoth Advantage in Free Media

So the editorial side concerned with attracting eyeballs loves loose-cannon Trump, but the real ruler of the media, the revenue side, hates him most passionately: this skinflint spends almost nothing and gets more free coverage than the rest of the candidates put together.

As you consume the coverage and the advertising this election cycle, always remember that 1) the mainstream media in the U.S. is all corporate-owned, 2) corporations exist to maximize profits, 3) profits flow from advertising, not free coverage, and 4) real campaign finance reform will negatively impact Corporate Media profits.

Always remember who’s selling whom, and who’s in charge: who is the Deep State selling? Who is the Corporate Media selling? Recall that the the Deep State gives the Corporate Media its marching orders: Hillary regains the momentum (New York Times, et al.)

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What the Pundits Don’t Get About Trump

The typical bourgeois mainstream media pundit is confused and alarmed by Donald Trump’s ascendancy. The typical pundit is a member of the petit bourgeois who has zero contact with the working class in America, other than saying “hello” to his/her auto mechanic, hair salon employee, etc.

The standard-issue pundit has an overweening sense of their own insight due to their academic/media success; nobody gets air time for confessing “I’m clueless.”

Their failure to grasp Trump’s appeal has revealed their absolute lack of insight and understanding of the real world beyond the media, Wall Street and D.C.

The conventional MSM pundit compares Trump to the politicos of the past and finds him wanting. He’s no FDR, Reagan, etc., they pout.

The pundits are outraged by Trump’s success as a candidate because in their blindered view of the political/economic landscape, he shouldn’t be successful and so something is amiss with the Universe.

The standard petit bourgeois media hack is comfortable with the conventional politico stereotype: Slick Willy I feel your pain small-town mayor gone bigtime, check; ambitious, duplicitous Lady Macbeth (Hillary), check:

Lady Macbeth suppresses her instincts toward compassion, motherhood, and fragility — associated with femininity — in favour of ambition, ruthlessness, and the singleminded pursuit of power.

frat-boy fly-boy, got a nickname for everybody, just put one over on you grin G.W. Bush, tail-end of a dying dynasty, check; idealistic insider/outsider Bernie Sanders, fired up by injustice but unwilling to challenge the Democratic Party’s favored cartels, check, and a crowd of also-rans climbing the hilltops in a rainstorm, hoping political lightning strikes their me-too campaigns, check.

Trump doesn’t fit into any stereotype of recent campaigns, and so the perplexed pundits have attempted to label him a demagogue or Id-fueled populist without a “real” agenda–that is, a candidate that should have burned out in the first week ot two of the campaign.

They don’t get it, and the reason why they don’t get it is because they are rooted in the petit bourgeois technocrat class that aspires to insider status within corrupt cliques of centralized power. The pundit burnishes their credentials with the usual petit bourgeois baubles–advanced degrees from “respected” universities, books published by “respected” New York publishing houses, and fellowships from “respected” poverty-pimp foundations funded by guilt-ridden plunderers and their dilettante offspring.

The media punditry’s relationship with the working class is akin to their relationship with China: they visited Shanghai once and stayed in a luxe hotel and were entertained by bigshots in the glitzy bars and cafes. Satisfied with their shiny new profound knowledge of China, they return home filled with insights into a nation they’ve never actually visited– what they visited was the Hollywood tour version of China, not the actual nation.

The petit bourgeois media, so easily impressed with institutional “respect” and other fabrications of the ruling class, demeans the working class supporters of Trump as lumpenproletariats, which Marx described thusly:

Alongside decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, maquereaux [pimps], brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grinders, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars — in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither, which the French call la bohème.

Rather than describe the working class, this describes the political class of the U.S.A. to perfection.

What the blindered media pundits don’t grasp is their self-satisfied class of country-club Republicrats and ersatz we-feel-your-pain Demopublicans is the real enemy of progress, for what Trump supporters understand that the technocrat class of social climbers fails to grasp is the only way to progress from here is to tear down the institutions of privilege that the technocrat class defends and aspires to join.

This is why the media is as much the class enemy of the working class as the incestuous, corrupted and corrupting pool of swindlers, fakes, apparatchiks, lobbyist/brothel keepers and grifters that populate Washington, D.C.

Technocrat pundits scratch their well-educated heads and wonder why Trump enthusiasts would vote for a bombastic scion of wealth. Let me help you, gentle confused pundits: Trump comes across like a plumber who’s struck it rich: he’s got a beautiful (immigrant) wife (second, third or fourth, who’s counting, the guy has it made), he speaks his mind regardless of who’s offended, and he doesn’t bother with bean-counter trivialities like a carefully scripted agenda that includes all the key demographic groups.

Trump tells people he doesn’t need their campaign contributions, but millions of dollars in small donations flood in anyway.

Many of the working class supported G.W. Bush, but they now understand he betrayed them and the nation; hence Jeb Bush’s $100 million campaign flop.

The working class supported Slick Willy because they knew his type–lady’s man, snake charmer, greasy go-to guy for the monied class in town, a guy on the make every waking second. Slick Willy was relentless, sweating, oozing, seething wth ambition–a guy you could see though but also a guy who had big dreams and worked them hard.

His wife, on the other hand, is as phony as a 3-dollar bill, incapable of irony or shame, a zealously self-absorbed chameleon who changes her accent, message, clothing and language to appeal to whomever she’s addressing at the moment, a technocrat-lawyer who believes in nothing but her own entitlement and will to power.

Trump supporters are 100% confident their vote won’t change; Hillary’s supports–not so much. Should the storm-troopers of the Democratic Party’s elites crush Bernie Sander’s nomination with super-delegate trickery, Sander’s supporters will not vote for Lady Macbeth.

For what Sander’s and Trump’s supporters share is the understanding that the status quo that Hillary represents to a private-jet/$200 thou speaking fees perfection has failed everyone but the elites and their technocrat servants, and the centers of power must be completely disrupted if anything is going to change.

The class war is already underway, and the petit bourgeois media is clueless.

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Our Phantom Economy

Those who believe that phantom recoveries and phantom metrics can be substituted for reality are in for a shock in the next downturn.

Stripped of artifice, there are only two kinds of media stories: those that support the status quo narrative, and those that are skeptical of that narrative.

What is the status quo narrative? Simply this: not only is this the best possible arrangement of labor, assets and money, it is the only possible arrangement of labor, assets and money.

It is impossible to challenge a system that is the only possible arrangement; the only option is to accept it.

In effect, the mainstream media is a vast Psychological Operation (PSYOPS) aimed at persuading the American public that the status quo Imperial system of predatory, debt-based crony-capitalism that benefits the few at the expense of the many is not just beneficial to all its debt-serfs and welfare recipients, but it is the only possible system–there is no alternative (TINA).

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Meet Jason Villalba – The Texas State Representative Who Introduced a Bill that Criminalizes Citizens Filming Police

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In our ever-changing modern technological world, the application of the Bill of Rights from time to time has needed a bit of clarification from the court system. One example of such was the 2011 case of Glik v. Cunniffe, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit noted that: “videotaping of public officials is an exercise of First Amendment liberties.”

Apparently, this is rubbing certain Texas police officers the wrong way, and they found a willing lapdog to push their interests in Texas State Representative, Jason Villalba.

Read more here.

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