There are three types of Americans living in a nation governed by a two-party political system: 1) those who are unequivocally loyal and totally believing in the Democratic Party, 2) those who are unequivocally loyal and totally believing in the Republican Party, and 3) those who question both parties and seek the truth (Independents, the largest third of the populace.)
30% of American voters are Democratic partisan ideologues; 26% are Republican partisan ideologues; and 43% are Independent critical free-thinkers — but because of our country's political duopoly, a great many are forced to either lean left or right, and compromise their principles by always voting for the lesser of two evils. One poll found that more Americans considered themselves Independents, the most ever in the last 75 years (and why it's about time the U.S. had a real and viable 3rd party).
We have seen our leaders in both major political parties make outrageous remarks and engage in unethical and illegal behavior. We've witnesses members in both parties obfuscate, deflect, lie, and manipulate the facts to best benefit their respective party, while their followers fell in lockstep behind them like members of a cult — all believing, with few questions or doubts (like Obamacare: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.")
We've seen both political parties suppress votes and rig elections ... so what type of government could you expect to have from either political party?
We've seen voters in both political parties being spoon-fed mountains of cattle excrement — that they willingly swallowed whole — because they are either too ignorant and misinformed to know the difference, or they are too lazy to double-check the facts. Although, with a highly corrupt and partisan corporate media, admittedly, many times it's not their fault when "news" organizations have effectively been brainwashing them. Many people are forced to trust the media, because between work and family and school, they might not have the time to do their own research. (As an aside, see my earlier post from 2014 ... The Big Lie: Politicians and the media).
We've caught the media on both sides of the political spectrum outright lying to the American people about the "facts", so when it comes to their "fact-checkers", it can sometimes be quite a task to fact-check the fact-checkers — because they can be just as wrong as their media sponsors (just like polls).
When it comes to cable news, it's become common knowledge that these media outlets are very partisan: Fox News sides with the Republicans; CNN and MSNBC sides with the Democrats; and Independents have to go online to collect and assimilate a multitude of sources in order to come to a consensus on where the truth lies (People like myself monitor these stations for "tips" and then go online to research the topic from varying points of view).
We see Donald Trump being consistency hammered on CNN and MSNBC about his university and wall; and we see Hillary Clinton always being hammered about Benghazi and her private email server on Fox News. But like most people, news organizations don't lie or mislead 100% of the time. At the every least (even in a worse case scenario), there are grains of truth. As corporate entities, they have their own profit-driven and ideological agendas; but to maintain their credibility, they also have to pass a certain "smell test" to remain relevant and to garner advertising sponsors (who usually have the same corporate agenda as the media).
Most Republicans will most likely believe almost everything they see and hear on Fox News (and other right-wing media outlets); whereas most Democrats might believe almost everything they see and hear on CNN and MSNBC (and other "mainstream"/left-leaning media outlets). Independents will take what they all say with a grain of salt, and cross reference all their claims because they realize for all the aforementioned reasons that the media is biased — so if they want the facts without the candy-coating, they have to do some work.
Personally, after watching the Democratic primaries very closely, I can never again believe everything that CNN and MSNBC has to say about Donald Trump because of the way they reported the election results and moderated the Democratic debates. They were clearly in the bag for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders from the very beginning.
At first, CNN and MSNBC's bias against Sanders was very subtle and nuanced, until Sanders became a real and legitimate threat to Clinton's campaign, and then the bias got thicker and thicker as time went on — right up until the last primary election in D.C. — and it continues today because, officially, Clinton won't actually clinch the nomination until the DNC convention in July when superdelegates vote — that is, if the FBI doesn't recommend an indictment of her for using a private email server to transfer 22 sensitive top secret documents pertaining to weapons programs from a secured government State Department server to a private non-encrypted server in Clinton's bathroom. But if you ask a loyal Democrat, they don't care at all! Un-frigging-believable!
After watching the media deliberately trying to influence the primary elections by influencing voter sentiment, I began to question their reporting on Donald Trump, and saw that they had used the same tactics with him as they did with Bernie Sanders. I began watching Trump's entire rallies online at YouTube and found many instances where they took his words out of context to report their biased sound bites. It's no wonder Trump is always slamming the corporate media — just as Bernie Sanders always slams the corporate media — because they both have valid reasons.
Don't get me wrong ... I support Sanders (by far) over Trump; and much of what the media reports about Trump is true (boisterous, bombastic, etc.). But they also exaggerate some things he says and constantly over-emphasizes other things he says. They also misrepresent Trump meanings sometimes. Trump isn't a professional politician, so he isn't as "smooth" or diplomatic compared to Obama. But if you watch his full speeches, you can sometimes catch his true meanings that he clumsily expresses while at the podium without a teleprompter.
I'm not defending Trump at all, I'm just making a point about the media — and the sheeple who believe everything the media tells them, and then votes accordingly. For example: We get tired of hearing about the Republican's "fishing expedition" and hearings when it comes to Benghazi. Most people just think it's one partisan attack from one political party against the other. But just like the corporate media's B.S., we also have to sift through the cow manure that the politicians spew and dig for the truth (a nasty business sometimes).
But not EVERYTHING Fox News or the Republicans say is partisan hot air; just as not EVERYTHING that CNN, MSNBC and the Democrats say is total crap either. But many people get jaded after a while and just sort of tune it all out, thinking anything Fox or the GOP says can't be believed or everything CNN, MSNBC and the Democrats say can't be believed either. But the truth usually lies in between.
Unfortunately, Independents don't have their own cable TV news station — but we do have the internet, and that provides much more unfiltered information. Of course, there's a lot of B.S. online too, so good judgment, an open mind, due diligence in your research, and a sane, objective and unbiased perspective is also required — traits that many people don't always collectively possess — qualities that were once admired in journalism ("The Fourth Estate"), but not so much anymore, because they take their marching orders from the top, just like any other major multinational corporation.
As I noted in another post — via the Associated Press — Media CEOs Dominate Ranks Of Highest Paid Executives: Six of the 10 highest-paid CEOs last year worked in the media industry. Many, if not most of the talking heads that we see on our TVs are multimillionaires. Do you really think they want higher taxes or care about the minimum wage or how bad trade deals like the TPP would screw the working-class?
Media monopolies are just as harmful as any other monopoly. Right now 90% of the media is controlled by the Big Six media corporate conglomerates (who are against net neutrality and favor the TPP trade deal). And just like any monopoly, they can fix information the way other companies can fix prices — just the way huge institutional investors like banks can manipulate the stock market and commodity prices.
And the corporate media on both sides of the political aisle isn't just biased on ideology and social issues, but on the economy as well. The Republicans on Fox News bashed Obama for extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed during the Great Recession, as though the jobless were just looking for a free hand-out; but they will also use high-unemployment as an attack on the Democrats for their inability to create enough jobs. So the "facts" are used conveniently (by all the media) to guide the narrative they want to present to influence events, such as elections and government policy (They don't just report the news, they influence the news.)
The recent news about the UK leaving the European Union (#Brexit) is being used by both political parties in the U.S. to make points for their political parties: CNN and MSNBC (the Democrats) would like us to believe it's mostly about immigration, racism and xenophobia; while Fox News (the Republicans) wants us believe it's more about over regulation by big government ... when it's really about globalization and bad trade deals and a poor economy that has left the working-class behind — something that both political parties are equally guilty of. The corporate media favors globalization, and so therefore, have been fear-mongering about #Brexit — like the drop in the stock market. (Clinton and Obama were against the decision, while Trump and Sanders appeared sympathetic to the decision.).
The "mainstream" media slants in favor of the pro-corporate "moderate"/centrist Democrats — but against left-leaning liberal "progressives", which was exhibited by the "mainstream" media and the Democrats' treatment of Bernie Sanders, comparing him to a Joe Stalin Socialist — just like the conservative media. But when it comes to national security and mistakes that Obama's administration has made, CNN and MSNBC gives the Democrats a big free pass on many issues.
One perfect example is the way Hillary Clinton's email "scandal" is being covered. We've witnessed Clinton's various ways of explaining this for months. It reminded me of watching Bill Clinton's testimony before the Office of the Independent Counsel prosecutors investigating the president's relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The Clinton's have perfected obfuscation, deflection, lies and the manipulation of facts into a well-honed verbal art form (Clinton-speak). They are both masters of the game, and that's why it's been so difficult to pin them down an many things (It's a very tangled web they weave!)
If you've ever watched the Democratic debates (I watched every minute of every one, sometimes more than once), you may have noticed that, like her husband, Hillary Clinton has a very ingenious way of not answering the moderator's direct questions (even when specifically asked to answer "yes" or "no"). Instead, she veers off course onto another subject and then launches into a mini-filibuster for several minutes before tagging her vague answer at the very end with a non-answer. During one debate, on the subject of raising the Social Security cap, Bernie Sanders called her out on this. (In the 2008 debates with Obama, Clinton used the same tactics.)
Sometimes during an interview or debate, when being asked a question, Hillary Clinton will tell the moderator or interviewer: "The question you should be asking is..." — as if only she knows what we want to hear, and not just what she wants us to know. I've noticed some of Clinton's campaign surrogates use this same exact tactic when being interviewed on cable news. It's very slippery and slimy --- like a snake in tall grass. (And they don't think we see through their charade, as if we're ALL in lockstep behind them like the members of their cult.)
The Republican Party (who I can't stand) made some very real and meaningful and serious allegations against Hillary Clinton referring to Benghazi and to her email server. Not everything the GOP has to say is based on a phony "witch hunt" or a "vast right-wing conspiracy". They are also American citizens with real concerns. Just as the Democrats (who I can't stand) make attacks on Republicans that are many times based on real and true concerns. The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle, but can sometimes be totally true or totally false.
The attacks that the Democrats make on Trump aren't always completely true; just as the GOP attacks against Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration about Benghazi might be a least only half true (which is frightening in of itself) — but CNN and MSNBC are vigorously and unequivocally coming to Clinton's defense! Where is real journalism these days, when the media used to more fairly report as the government watchdog on both political parties? Now the corporate media appears almost complicit in government cover-ups and stonewalling and white-washing — except when they can use a dramatic sound-bite to replay over and over and over and over again (to the detriment of all other news).
But the attacks the Republican make against Clinton on her email server are almost totally true. But don't ask a Hillary supporter. Some of the classified emails were "born" classified, meaning they didn't have to be marked "classified" as she herself transmitted data that she should have known was classified and marked it classified herself. And ignorance is no excuse for violating the law as simple negligence is enough to violate the Espionage Act. But recent revelations show that it's beyond just "negligence" or "ignorance" or "convenience" or "a mistake" — now we have deliberate "intent" because Hillary Clinton wanted all her private email purposefully hidden from any government oversight and any freedom of information requests. (Most Independent critical thinkers believe it was to hide her dealings with the Clinton Foundation).
But it's funny how we hear so little about this on CNN or MSNBC. They'd rather talk about Trump and his bombastic remarks. They rather report on Trump University, that doesn't threaten national security. And ill-informed or misinformed ignorant Hillary sheeple are perfectly happy in their bliss to remain in lockstep behind Clinton like members of a cult — just like all the sad, pathetic, mindless and lost people in Jonestown Ghana who drank the Kool-Aid. But IMHO, it's a pity that all the mindless Hillary-bots have to take the rest of the country down with them.
I hate the GOP for "starving the beast" (us, the people) and for giving tax breaks to big corporations and the rich (just like the Democrats do); but I also hate the Democrats for abandoning the working-class and for treating Bernie Sanders so crappy during the primary elections. Their true colors really showed, and they have proven to be just as slimy as the Republicans (maybe more so, because the Republicans don't hide their sliminess and are expected to be slimy.)
* Editor's note: Usually I try to title most of my posts as relevantly to the content as possible, but for this one post, I could only think of "Clinton's Sex, Lies and Video Tape". I don't know why, maybe it just seemed like something the mainstream media would do . . . to mislead. Just this moment, I Googled the title, and found it was used once before ... so I also borrowed the photo below ;)