Interview with David Swanson
My guest today is blogger, peace activist activist, author, David Swanson. Welcome back to OpEdNews, David.
JB: You recently wrote a piece Bernie v. Media; The Failure of Propaganda. What's that about? Is this the shpiel about "my candidate isn't getting enough coverage"? If so, isn't that what everyone's constant complaint? Please explain.
DS: People can read the article which touches on some of Sanders' pros and cons and does not name him as "my candidate." Some of the points in the article include:
-The media is overly election obsessed for far too many months
-The media usually creates popularity or lack thereof through its coverage, which is wildly unfair and based on media preferences, not polling or web searching or some other measure of public interest
--Bernie is an anomaly because he's been given incredibly little and negative media and succeeded in the polls anyway
--Some think this proves the media's power is dead
--Others think the media will make that look laughable by destroying Sanders in the coming weeks
JB: I stand corrected, David. So, where to start? Let's look at some of the points you've raised. Is Bernie's success in the polls in some way a threat to the media's traditional way of doing things? If so, how?
DS: The media has been able -- whether all of its employees admit it to themselves or not -- to make and break candidates. It (and I use media as a singular noun because it is very much a singular entity when we're discussing the U.S. corporate media) made Trump. The Republican establishment didn't make Trump, so he's a threat to them. But he's great ratings for the media and I'm sure his political agenda is far more acceptable to the media's corporate owners than some people like to suppose. But Bernie has gained support despite (or because of) opposition from both the Democratic Party insiders and the corporate media. Many factors made this possible:
--An open field with only one really lousy candidate in it, as numerous potential candidates declined to take on Hillary Clinton, and Martin O'Malley jumped in late lacking any significant appeal to those backing Sanders.
--Growing disgust with Washington
--Growing disgust with the corporate media
--Growth of online and social and independent media
--The messages of Occupy