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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/29/20

Tax Revelations and Corporate Media Won't Defeat Trump

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From Scheer Post

Reporting on the president's taxes might give the impression he is finally on the verge of political downfall. Don't believe it for a moment.


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The big banner headline across the top of the New York Times homepage as Tuesday got underway -- "TRUMP'S TAXES SHOW CHRONIC LOSSES AND YEARS OF TAX AVOIDANCE" -- might give the impression that Donald Trump is finally on the verge of political downfall. Don't believe it for a moment.

The same kind of mistaken belief has led many to put undeserved trust in a corporate-media system. But the New York Times isn't going to save us. Neither is the Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN or any of the other mass-media outlets, "liberal" or otherwise.

To a large extent, the corporate media -- especially the TV networks that gave Trump billions of dollars' worth of free airtime while raking in enormous ad revenues -- made him president. The advertising-and-ratings-bedazzled head of the CBS network, Leslie Moonves, uttered an infamously emblematic comment eight months before the 2016 election, in the midst of a campaign that Trump dominated with TV coverage: "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS."

Less well-known are other statements that Moonves also made while speaking to a Morgan Stanley conference in February 2016. "Man, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now?" And: "The money's rolling in and this is fun." And: "I've never seen anything like this, and this is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going." And: "Donald's place in this election is a good thing."

At the same time, CNN president Jeff Zucker -- who presided over the network's "all-Trump-all-the-time" policy during the 2016 primaries -- was privately offering guidance to candidate Trump. Zucker had helped build the Trump myth years earlier when he was at NBC presiding over Trump's "Apprentice" show, which turned out to be financially and politically crucial for his path to the White House.

Under the ongoing reign of the casino economy, the corporate house is set up to always win.

Now, after doing so much to help create a political Frankenstein, most of the big media organizations are largely disapproving. While the right-wing zealots at places like Fox News and aligned talk-radio and online entities are determined to re-elect Trump, the majority of mainstream media outlets are down on him. Yet the tenor of their coverage, including news of the latest polls, should not lull anyone into a false sense of security about Trump's impending demise -- a demise they've predicted before.

Trump won in 2016 while the bubble inhabited by elite media was rarified and cut off from the everyday experiences, frustrations and anger of everyday people. As a consummate demagogue, he knew how to stoke and pander to resentments against elites -- resentments that mainstream media seemed clueless about.

The corporate media are part of a system that thrives on rampant income inequality, giving more and more power to the rich while doing more and more harm to people the less money they have. Media elites are apt to do fine whether Trump wins or loses the election.

Four years ago, Trump played off the elitism of the establishment to ply his toxic political product laced with racism, xenophobia and misogyny. He has governed the same way he ran in 2016, and he hopes to govern for the next four years the way he's running in 2020 -- using the broadly and vaguely defined establishment as a foil for his poisonous, pseudo-populist messaging.

Amid the bombshell coverage of Trump's tax records, it might be tempting to believe the tide has turned and will drown his election hopes. But that's wishful thinking.

It would take more than two hands to count the times during the last several years when Trump's preposterous and vile statements -- or the emergence of incontrovertibly damning facts -- provided ample reasons for his political fortunes to turn into toast. Instead, he has continued to conduct a national master class in demagogy.

Trump would like nothing more than to play his victim card yet again while media give the impression that he's headed for defeat - a combination that worked like a charm for him in 2016. It could easily happen again. With voting now underway, healthy skepticism toward media spin is badly needed.

Four years ago, corporate media overwhelmingly insisted that the likelihood of a Trump presidency was remote. On Election Day, the New York Times categorically pegged the chances of a Trump win at less than 10 percent. Now, those who want to prevent another Trump victory should go all-out to show they won't be fooled again.

 

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Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. (more...)
 

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John Zwiebel

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Matt Taibbi sent out a new post this morning. He correctly pointed out that there has been attack after attack on Trump and none of them stick. The Pee Tape disappeared. Pelosi totally screws the impeachment.

Everyone knows that if you are a member of the Oligarchy you pay no taxes. Why should they care that Trump gets away with it.

Trump is winning the debate.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 2:05:11 AM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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You could be right. Mainly because the people are comfortably numb in a land of material wealth (Stole that line from Roger Waters & Arlo's Prologue song of 1979-use it often.) living am illusion of freedom. Whatever freedom is? Either way am thinking people will wake up to the calling of cleaning house in DC. My thoughts lead to an Article V Convention of States calling for a Continental Congress in spirit of the Alamo, held at Pine Ridge for a Pow Wow with whose left of the Lakota Sioux (Marty Stuart gets some credit for that thought from his Badlands DVD.) to learn some wisdom of living closer to Mother Earth & earth other.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 11:37:28 AM

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Don Smith

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Solomon offers no path forward for defeating Trump. Is his point that it's hopeless?

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 1:13:58 PM

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Don Smith

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I note that the far (antiwar) left seems to be trying its utmost to deny one of the strongest, well supported criticisms of Trump: Russiagate. Even the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee reported overwhelming evidence that Russia meddled and that Trump campaign people had suspicious contacts and benefited.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 1:16:56 PM

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John Zwiebel

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Reply to Don Smith:   New Content

Russiagate is mostly a hoax.

Yes there are some aspects of it that are real, but most of it is overblown hype.

The Senate is run by Republicans, do you think they would say Russiagate was real if they thought for a second that by doing so they would hurt Trump? They could have removed him from office (on a bogus impeachment but that's beside the point), but they chose not to. While the Lincoln Project does seem to hate Trump, it isn't clear to me that they want Biden to win. It is more like they don't care who wins just as long as Voters are left wondering what the hell is going on. This confusion totally destroys any effort from "the left" to organize for popular progressive policies.

Matt Taibbi just published a great analysis of this on his sub stack page. To get the entire post you have to be a subscriber, but parts of it are publicly available like here.

Now, a lot of people will say that Taibbi has sold out to Trump because he despises Democrats so much. They are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome because whenever anyone says anything good about Trump even in passing, they claim that the author must be insane. It makes it really hard to get at the truth.

Russiagate is a symptom of TDS.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 6:54:10 PM

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Patrick Walker

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Hate to agree with a fascist salesman like you, but Russiagate, as Taibbi rightly says, is complete and utter bullshit. Even bringing it up helps Trump. The PROPER thing to say say about Trump is that he's a treasonous, fascist, Stalinist science denier.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 7:18:52 PM

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I agree with Umair Haque and Paul Street that the BEST reason to defeat Trump is that he's a dangerous FASCIST. Nothing proves that more than his current attempt to stage a coup: systematically working to undermine the election's legitimacy and then threatening not to peacefully leave power after an electoral loss. Democrats should cite these facts and start openly using the F-word. (Of course, Liz Warren's word "treason" isn't bad either.)

Since Trump's threat could result in massive bloodshed--or even actual civil war--I think it's time to examine every available means of deterrence. Even extreme, last-ditch ones like CONDITIONALLY invoking the Second Amendment. My current OEN piece explores that prospect.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 2:06:48 PM

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America is a fascist nation. You'll have to come up with a better reason to defeat Trump.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 7:38:38 PM

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America's LEANING toward being a fascist nation, and you're a hard-core salesman for fascism by promoting a false equivalence between Biden and Trump. Last night's debate definitively proved which one (Trump) is the fascist real deal, yet you continue to be a relentless apologist for fascism by by promoting the false equivalence. Biden sucks royally--but he's not an out-and-out fascist working tirelessly to steal the election.

Your culpable blindness just staggers me!

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 9:30:44 PM

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There ya go. If I don't vote for Biden, I'm voting for Trump.

Your definition of "out and out" fascist is strange. What's the difference between an "out and out" fascist and a Biden fascist?

Sure, Trump promoted fascism in the debate and Biden tended to try to sell progressive policies while at the same time denying that he was going to enact them (talk about "forked tongue") but I'm suppose to take what he says in a hour long debate and believe that his 47 years of enacting policies to favor the Oligarchy and crush average Americans was just an aberration? Pinky-finger promise.

Submitted on Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 at 10:03:08 PM

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