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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 6/29/19

The Second Democratic Debate: Unfair, Unbalanced, Media Malpractice

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Democrats Square Off In Contentious Second Round Of Debate | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC The 2020 Democratic field may be taking a new shape after 10 more candidates took the debate stage last night. Stephanie Ruhle breaks down the highlights of ...
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I thought the first Democratic debate on June 27, 2019, was dignified, admirable and even uplifting. Although I did not like the format or moderation, it was balanced. I appreciated the opportunity to discover and be surprised by unknown candidates. The tone was exemplary, mature, respectful, and good modeling for party and country.

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I hated the second debate. I was shocked at extreme unfairness, imbalance and media malpractice, preventing lesser-known candidates from revealing themselves. Moderators made no attempt at balance and directed questions to the same familiar few, while actively excluding others. They suppressed Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang and John Hickenlooper, all on the left flank, mostly off camera.

The gross imbalance was irresponsible and a disservice to the public. It was almost half hour before Marianne spoke. They did not let her answer most questions that I know she has good answers for, cut her off and shifted the camera back to center. She barely got out her comment about US policies that devastate economies of countries south of our border, and the relationship to immigration, while allowing other candidates to pick up on her point as if it was their idea, as is commonly done to women. They did not let Andrew Yang speak even 3 minutes. Marianne and Andrew are seen as simplistic caricatures who should leave the race, not allowing their gifts that we desperately need. I know Marianne's depth and range, which was blocked.

Moderators were in the mode of "gotcha" journalism. I lost respect for MSNBC and was deeply disappointed by Rachel Maddow, who I thought would save us from the bias in the first hour. She too kept going back to the same candidates, often calling on "Senators" the ones we least need to hear from. She made no attempt at balance. I expected more from her.

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Savannah Guthrie fed the Dems to the wolves when she said, "Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants," giving Trump ammunition and a photo Fox is already using to win his election. She gave the Republicans red meat we will not hear the end of. Harm was done. With friends like these, who needs enemies? There was not one question about Iran, or nukes, stated several times as our greatest threat in the first debate, or other critical issues.

What were they thinking? Whose side are they on? Was it unconscious or intentional to sacrifice some candidates?

Those of us in the field of framing, messaging, language, communication, and strategy such as George Lakoff and many others, observe that Democrats suck at messaging. They are psychologically ignorant and not strategic, or even conscious about communication. They rely on facts and reason, ignoring emotions like fear and identity, dignity envy and humiliation, used so effectively by Republicans.

Republicans pay experts for help with psychological manipulation while Democrats and liberals won't take it for free. Dems don't know what they don't know, and dismiss it when we try to tell them. Republicans hire people like Frank Luntz, Republican wordsmith, to calculate "words that work" like "death tax," "tax relief," and "climate change" which sounds more benign than "global warming." Lakoff has warned us that by using their language we reinforce their message and work against ourselves.

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Diane Perlman Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Visiting Scholar Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution George Mason University

Diane Perlman is a clinical and political psychologist, devoted to applying knowledge from psychology, conflict studies and social sciences to designing strategies and policies to reverse nuclear proliferation, to drastically reduce (more...)
 

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Jim Thomas

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The MSM is owned by and operated for the benefit of, the 1%. Their job is to keep us misinformed and uninformed, depending on which tact best suits the needs of their owners. They serve as propaganda ministers for the establishment. They do their jobs very well. Most of the people have no figured this out and continue to get their core information from the MSM (mostly television). Consequently, most of the people are misinformed and uninformed. Those who expect any of the MSM to be tell the truth are unaware of this basic truth. Contrary to the popular myth spread by the MSM, MSNBC is not the voice of the progressives. The attempt by Rachel Maddow to masquerade as a voice of progressiveism is laughable. The annual "debates", like the elections featuring the candidates chosen by the 1%, is a charade and a farce. I stopped watching them years ago because they only serve to make me even more angry. Adjust your expectations. They are not in tune with reality.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 12:12:01 PM

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Diane Perlman, Thanks for filling in a bit of what Marianne Williamson was not allowed to say as well as the lack of coverage for Andrew Yang & John Hickenlooper. Your analysis of emotional versus facts & reason information processing is essential if the Democrats are ever to be able to get the message out. Rachel Maddow is a corporate shill war-monger, so don't expect any fairness on her part. 'Debate' (French 'de' = 'undo' + 'bate' = 'the-fight') is best when flowing from the 'acts' we perform in our communities. Debate can be a healthy part of community deliberation only when we are engaged. Political expression flows from Economic doing. The problem with America's colonial election & economic system is oligarch design for intentional passive political disempowerment. Every politician should first of all be an organizer of community economy in a Secular Politics right where we live. I want to hear politicians 'walk-the-talk'. click here Before the colonial genocide of 1st Nations, Economic Democracy empowered every person in the ownership of their ~100 person Multihome-Dwelling-Complex & specialized labours of the Production-Society-Guilds. 'Political' ('Workings of the many') power flows from 'Economic' (Greek 'oikos' = 'home' + 'namein' = 'care-&-nurture') power. click here

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 12:34:39 PM

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The first debate was on 26 June.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 1:48:00 PM

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Lew Weingarth

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The writer is correct, the debate would have been far better if 6 random high school kids had run it. However, never forget that incentives drive results. Their goal wasn't informing Americans, it was selling the most drugs, soap, and trucks. While people rant and rave at Russian meddling and Republican Party voting fraud, both of which had an effect, Trump was mostly elected because the media gave him 5 times as much free airtime than all Republican and Democratic candidates COMBINED. Whatever Trump does or does not do, he sells a LOT of drugs, soap, and pickups.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 2:09:23 PM

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During the next debate, instead of having 10 or 20 candidates on stage, we will have the same group plus a lie detector technician, a group of registered AMA psychiatrists, and 6 FBI profilers (without criminal records).

The debate winner obviously has to be the best liar, who can fool most of the people most of the time.

Or am I missing something?

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 2:31:26 PM

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I think you are on to something. We need scientific scores to know who won each sham-debate. Kind of like a football game, you need a score to know who won.

With your idea, we can find out who scored the highest in the best liar category, we can rate who told the biggest lie by which lie got the highest score, and we would know which sociopath fooled the most people, maybe even all of the time.

Give Rachael a call and let her know of your idea and how it will boost her ratings. :)

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 5:50:25 PM

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Great article; I particularly recommend the last link given. It reminds me of the sadly missing magazine, Coevolution Quarterly.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 4:12:32 PM

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Thank you Daniel.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 4:34:08 PM

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Diane, I do need to correct myself here. I LOVED your piece on Marianne, but I also think Caitlin Johnstone had the best analysis of the first debate, at least for my taste. OTOH, I did appreciate reading this one by you, and certainly learned from it.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 4:47:14 PM

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Thanks for that. I just read Caitlin's piece, LOL

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 6:21:49 PM

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"Mai temere Roma, il serpente se ne sta attorcigliato a Napoli"

Feareth not Rome, for the serpent lies coiled in Naples.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 4:35:15 PM

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Could you please explain this. I've not heard this saying before, and I don't know the serpent in Naples. (although I'm quite familiar with the one in Rome!) Thank you.

click here

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 1:58:54 AM

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Maybe a biblical reference of the same wisdom will explain: "A man's foe shall be those of his own household". (Matthew 10:26).

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 3:23:41 AM

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Well, I thank you, but I must be a bit thick. Seems like a riddle I can't solve. And I'm not sure how it applies to the topic of the article....oh wait

Other than....none of those bobbleheads on stage have the welfare of the 'common' people OR the world on their minds; but simply their own fame, fortune and power. Win and then perpetuate the status quo or worse.

Am I close?

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 4:12:23 AM

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Wow, Diane's article was one of the most insightful ones I've read concerning the debates.

In a perfect world, Marianne would make the best president of the bunch because she understands the core rot of America and what needs to be repaired and how to do it. She understands the way trump has manipulated his cult of supporters in a way that the others barely touched on or are completely ignorant of. And the candidates that do not understand this will be cannon fodder for trump. Biden, the supposed front runner (at least in the corporate-run dubious polls) is clueless.

But I don't think Marianne is the best candidate in the real world in which we live. I'm afraid Americans do not have the emotional intelligence needed to understand what Marianne is saying.

So that's why in the real world, I still think Bernie or Tulsi are the best of the candidates in the world we are in.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 5:14:07 PM

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A Bernie/Tulsi ticket will destroy Trump.

Tulsi, with proper seasoning, has the potential to make an excellent follow up to Bernie's presidency, if she takes on a fast and aggressive learning curve to politics in Washington successfully.

IMHO, to many of the candidates had a few 'hot button' issues that they kept focusing on and more than anything else we need a big picture candidate that has a firm grasp on ALL the issues and problems..

Bernie Sanders was the only candidate that even attempted to focus more than once on the big picture on what it is going to take to begin the turnaround for this country.

We have elected far to many candidates that focused on a few 'hot button' issues, and proved after they were elected they did not have a complete, strong grasp on the big picture, but that is how the oligarchs want it.

There is little difference between the DNC, corporate democrats and republicans, although the republicans take it to the EXTREME. THEY ARE ALL DOING THE BIDDING OF THE 1% and CORPORATE AMERICA AT THE EXPENSE OF 99% OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 9:42:06 PM

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Diane Perlman

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In the very little time Marianne spoke, regarding our "sickness care system" she mentioned Boi Pharma, the chemical industry, the environment, food and preventing diseases to reduce costs, and the systemic/structural level on other issues. We can't evaluate candidates we barely heard from.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 10:47:40 PM

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I'd like to hear more from you, Jennifer, even if you ARE from NY.

Keep your fingers near the keyboard.

Be careful that Rascal doesn't get into the Bacon.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 3:33:15 PM

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That is what I thought too. At least Williams told Trump she is coming after him with love instead of fear.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 9:50:34 PM

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Thanks for including that. Can you imagine a debate between Trump and Marianne?

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 at 10:50:59 PM

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Nicely put, Michael.

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 3:26:25 PM

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Good article, Diane!

Submitted on Sunday, Jun 30, 2019 at 4:09:06 AM

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