Corporate Media and Bias by Omission

First posted July 26, 2016.

I wrote this post after I noticed a discrepancy between the Democratic Convention I was watching and one reported in the media. This was the first time I noticed disinformation in the mainstream press. The post is even more relevant now that we know our media was under the influence of Kremlin propaganda.  Please note, I’m not calling our legitimate press fake news.  Plenty of reasonable people believed the lies peddled by Putin’s web brigades.

I don’t normally watch political conventions but this year I’ve  watched both.

As with most Bernie supporters I’m sick of watching the erosion of my wealth by people who spread hatred and fear in an elitist game of divide and conquer.

These are the kinds of people who thought it was OK to euthanize people
with mental illness.

These are the kinds of people who thought it was OK to use poor kids as cheap labor.

These are the kinds of people who think it’s OK to force 40 million children to go hungry in a nation of people who throw away almost as much as we eat.

Speeches by Democrats are usually a tepid echo of the more fiery
rhetoric
delivered by the true believers on the Right.

These were passionate democrats.

The First Lady was brilliant:

“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves — (applause) — and I watch my daughters –- two beautiful, intelligent, black young women –- playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. (Applause.) And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters –- and all our sons and daughters -– now take for granted that a woman can be President of the United States.” Michelle Obama 2016

Michelle Obama made me proud as a Citizen of the United States of America.

When we unite around a principled stand for the Rule of Law and human rights we set people free.

Elizabeth Warren delivered a speech from the Occupy Movement:

“And here’s the thing. America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all time highs… There is lots of wealth in America but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families like yours. Does anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do, too. People get it. The system is rigged. It’s true. Now, so-called experts claim America’s in trouble because both political parties in Washington refuse to compromise — gridlock. That is just flat wrong. Washington works great for those at the top. When giant companies wanted more tax loopholes, Washington got it done. When huge energy companies wanted to tear up the environment, Washington got it done… Try to do something, anything, for working people and you’ll have a fight on your hand.” Elizabeth Warren 2016

 

Cory Booker gave an impassioned account of our Nation’s struggle with its imperfections:

“Our founding documents were genius. But not because they were perfect. They were saddled with the imperfections and even the bigotry of the past. Native Americans were referred to as savages, black Americans were referred to as fractions of human beings, and women were not mentioned at all.

But those facts and other ugly parts of our history don’t detract from our nation’s greatness. In fact, I believe we are an even greater nation, not because we started perfect, but because every generation has successfully labored to make us a more perfect union. Generations of heroic Americans have made America more inclusive, more expansive, and more just.

Our nation was not founded because we all looked alike, or prayed alike, or descended from the same family tree. But our founders, in their genius, in this, the oldest constitutional democracy, put forth on this earth the idea that all are created equal; that we all have inalienable rights.

And upon this faithful foundation we built a great nation, and today, no matter who you are – rich or poor, Asian or white, man or woman, gay or straight, any religion or none at all – you are entitled to the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship. “Cory Booker 2016

 

Sanders placed principles above personality and described how he leveraged the power of his movement:

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.

It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen. Bernie Sanders 2016

Moreover Sanders asserted that he and Clinton were collaborating on a piece of legislation:

“…During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.” Bernie Sanders 2016

 

I heard a few boos from the crowd.

I heard chants of black lives matter.

I saw fierce loyalty on the faces of Bernie’s supporters but I also
heard Sanders say very clearly that much of what they want is
in the platform.

I don’t agree that this is the most progressive platform in the history
of the Democratic Party but it’s the most progressive I’ve seen in
decades.

But I saw no concessions to the right on first night of this Convention.

I’m hyper vigilant even when watching T.V.

I notice everything.

I saw none of the chaos and rage that I saw at the GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Imagine my surprise when I went to my favorite corner store this morning and read this headline on the San Francisco Chronicle:

Art by Rob Goldstein
Pleas for Unity Fall on deaf ears?

I took a closer look at the story:

Art by Rob Goldstein
The dominant word was Booooooo?

The headline and story are bias by omission

It perpetuates the lie that the Democratic Party is the same
as Republican Party.

That somehow the two political parties are morally
equal with the bar set low.

I heard Democrats calling for national unity.

I did not hear a single Democrat refer to Republicans as the enemy
as I did at the Republican convention
:

“…our enemy is not other Republicans, but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.”

“We are the conservative party under God,” Mark Burns 2016

Republicans are not part of one nation under God.

They are the Conservative Party under God.

I think that makes a big difference but maybe I missed something.

Please describe what you saw if you watched the speeches on the first night of the Democratic Convention.

The only way to correct the corporate bias of our media is for us to report what we saw.

The San Francisco Chronicle is owned by the Hearst Corporation.

Below is a little info about the Hearst Corporation

Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. Its major interests include ownership of 15 daily and 36 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and Albany Times Union; hundreds of magazines around the world, including Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, ELLE and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations, which reach a combined 18 percent of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY and ESPN; significant holdings in automotive, electronic and medical/pharmaceutical business information companies; a 50 percent stake in global ratings agency Fitch Group; Internet and marketing services businesses; television production; newspaper features distribution; and real estate.

(C) Rob Goldstein 2016 all Rights Reserved

 

 

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Divide and Conquer: Russia’s War on Western Democracy

First posted 10/17/2016 as “I Like Ike”

The GOP ‘establishment’ bemoans our divided Nation as its Right Wing
PACS produce political ads designed to frighten and enrage its base.

Last night I posted a montage made of images from ’13’, a documentary by director, Ava DuVernay.

The montage is mix of modern and archival footage of brutality against people of color and civil rights activists that plays out as Donald Trump speaks wistfully of the good old days.

In that spirit I thought I would juxtapose two very different political ads produced by the GOP.

Below is a political ad made in the ‘Good Old Days’.

I’m sure there are plenty of people still alive who remember this ad.

The year is 1952.

The ad is for Eisenhower

screenshot from a 1952 political ad for Dwight D. Eisenhower that shpws three stupid looking donkeys standing behind a fence
I don’t know what this image says about Democrats but whatever it is it doesn’t say evil.

Donald Trump might remember this ad; he was six when the ad came out.

Hillary Clinton was four.

The ad was produced by Roy Disney and Citizens for Eisenhower-Nixon.

Its target audience is the post war working class:

screenshot from a 1952 ad for Dwight D. Eisenhower
Economically diverse groups of people like ‘Ike’



The ad below was made after the first presidential debate of 2016.

Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC, Future 45 which shows Isis hostages just before execution.
Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC Future 45

It is funded by a Right Wing PAC with a curious name: Future 45.

Future 45 describes itself as follows: “Future 45 is an independent organization devoted to educating voters about the challenges facing our country as they prepare to elect the 45th President of the United States.

Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC Future 45 that continues to promote the discredited Benghazi Scandal
Screen shot from a September 26th 2016 political ad released by the GOP PAC Future 45.

Our next president will shape the Supreme Court in a way that will influence the direction of our nation for decades to come. The strength of our economy and the security of our nation depend upon electing a strong, proven leader.

A photo of Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin that is faked
Neither of these two people are in the same room.

While Donald Trump is a proven businessman with a plan to reignite our economy and recover American strength through peace, Hillary Clinton is a politician following the Obama model that has landed us in a fragile economy with slow growth feeling less safe than ever.

Americans understand this and are speaking up”

The Obama model that has landed us in a fragile economy with slow growth feeling less safe than ever?

The sentence reads like it makes sense but upon closer examination it’s says nothing.

We are in a fragile economy that feels less safe than ever.

Who made this ad? Putin?

The ad was published September 27, 2016

It aired on the following stations:

CNNW 8
KMGH (ABC) 3
WCVB (ABC) 3
WMUR (ABC) 2
KNXV (ABC) 2
KTNV (ABC) 3
WEWS (ABC) 3
KCRG (ABC) 3
KGO (ABC) 3
WISN (ABC) 3
KPHO (CBS) 1
KPIX (CBS) 1
KLAS (CBS) 1
KGAN (CBS) 1
WPVI (ABC) 3
KCNC (CBS) 1
WOIO (CBS) 1
MSNBCW 1
WTMJ (NBC) 1
WFTS (ABC) 1
FOXNEWSW 1
FBC 2

all Materials found on the Internet Archives

Further Reading:

Trump Is Borrowing Putin’s Media Playbook

How False Equivalence Is Distorting the 2016 Election Coverage

Isolation and Propaganda: The Roots and Instruments of Russia’s Disinformation Campaign

Updated 5/31/2017 to include this RNC ad released November 1st, 2016 after the FBI was rumored to have re-opened the Email Investigation.

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Did Putin think He’d ‘Win’ the French Election?

 

A photo of a poster of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as seen in a photograph taken on a Moscow Street.
A Poster of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as seen in a photograph taken on a Moscow Street.

I was playing with a screen shot of paintings of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in a Moscow shop window.

It was from a November 9, 2016 article in the New York Times.

I thought the idealized ‘Trump’ in the painting was funny so I brightend
the image to get a better look.

The painting is a triptych.

Here, I made a little video of it.

We don’t need anyone to tell us what we can clearly see with our own eyes.

A brightened screenshot of a November 9th NYT article about celebrations of Trump's win in Moscow. The brightened image reveals a triptych with "Marine" Le Pen as the third person
Is that “Marine” Le Pen?

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Newly Released Video of Russians Arriving to Meet at Trump Tower

Meme of Uncle Sam saying We Want You to Join the Resistance found on Twitter
We Want You to Join The Resistance – Found on Twitter

 

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