Tuesday, August 4, 2015

MSNBC and the Media Blackout on Bernie Sanders

MSNBC is putting a media blackout on Bernie Sanders. Its greatest offense was when it dismissed Ed Schultz.

The word behind the cancellation is that MSNBC's corporate masters, Comcast ordered the firing, over Schultz's coverage of the Trans Pacific Partnership (PPP), as reported by Alternet in "MSNBC Cans Only Cable TV Host Who Extensively Covered TPP."

Have any doubts? Read here:
It has to be noted that Comcast, the company that owns MSNBC, is a big supporter of the TPP. Comcast hired a phalanx of lobbyists to spearhead a targeted campaign to push for Trade Promotion Authority, which recently passed. Included among the individuals it was paying was the former chief of staff for former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).
Act now, while the momentum and popular outrage over Schultz's dismissal is still fresh. Please sign the petitions of protest over the firing at MoveOn and at Change.org.

The national paper of record likewise is doing a poor job, with an implicit political agenda. See the analysis at Alternet, "Why Is the NY Times Basically Doing a Blackout on Bernie Sanders? The New York Times' Sanders coverage is intellectually dishonest."

Thom Hartmann has given a few analyses of the media blackout of Sanders, earlier this summer, in "The Media's "Wave of Silence” on Sen. Bernie Sanders & Why" and in the last week, in "The Bernie Sanders News Blackout Continues...."

MSNBC gave an early view of how it was going to bat for Clinton and against Sanders when it gave extended time to Claire McCaskill of Missouri as she engaged in hyperbole, trying to make Sanders out to be an extremist, far beyond acceptable boundaries of American politics. Click here for the video of McCaskill redbaiting Sanders.

You can push social issues and fair treatment for different communities, as when the station points out inhumane policies regarding women's reproductive rights, Republican obstruction against marriage equality or other goals for LGBT fairness, or runaway police violence against unarmed black people. But do not ever tread on issues of economic power. Otherwise Comcast will make sure that you get the axe.

And what has the MSNBC tone been like on the station since the decision to let Ed Schultz go?

It is grasping at arcane side-distractions to divert attention from the surging momentum behind Bernie Sanders. A prime example of this is its pundits' steady drumbeat for Vice President Joe Biden to enter the race. Beyond this, it is just approaching candidates on a personality focus, instead of giving attention to the candidates' positions on the issues, such as Biden's personal tragedy of losing his son to brain cancer.

However, voters will realize that Biden is just another mainstream Washington politician, with too long a record of supporting corporations.

Twitter and other social media users, use this hashtag to protest MSNBC's firing of Sanders: #StopBernieBlackout

Until this evening, the only major cable news network reporting Bernie Sanders' mere six percentage point margin behind Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire was none other Fox News.  CNN and MSNBC today restricted their reportage to push speculation of a Joe Biden candidacy. They noted Clinton's persistently weak poll numbers. Yet, if her numbers were weak, shouldn't the networks report which candidate was cutting into her potential support? --That is Bernie Sanders? No, they never uttered her name. Yet, it was Fox News that this evening reported the six digit difference. Only in the evening of August 4 did MSNBC report online the news of the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that showed the Democratic presidential nomination race to be tightening between Clinton and Sanders in New Hampshire. A WUMR TV poll reported the same narrow margin between Clinton and Sanders.

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