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John Chuckman



In today’s advanced world, if you do not receive press coverage, you effectively do not exist, and your words are like whispers in a deep forest.

Owing to a period of intense corporate consolidation, only about a half dozen companies control most of what Americans learn about events.

This small number of corporations are not friendly to any kind of iconoclast. You must be well vetted and approved by the power establishment to get generous or even proper coverage.

There is a tight establishment of power in America – large corporations, special interest political donors, and the massive military-security establishment whose job is to protect and advance them.  The press supports and re-inforces that establishment, always. Indeed, since the press itself consists of a few massive corporations, it is just part of the ruling structure, and it knows well what its job is.

After all, the press is in many ways dependent upon that establishment, dependent for advertising revenue, for access to officials, for leaks, and just for the right to keep their privileged little club going. They are not about to upset things.

Hillary, from the beginning, was blessed as the establishment’s choice. She’s everything they want, including ruthless in the use of power, immensely practiced at lying, and compromised a hundred times over in her frenetic pursuit of power, even having blood on her hands already.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both unexpected and unwanted wild cards in a political structure designed to deliver the goods with a fair appearance of democratic process.

The recent Harvard School of Government study showed how the press played games with Bernie. At key points, his voice just disappeared. We saw the last big such effort with the AP story on the eve of the huge California primary that Hillary had clinched the nomination. She had not, but the story undoubtedly discouraged voters, as it was intended.

And now that Trump is a really serious candidate and not just an interesting and curious phenomenon, the press will use the same tactics on him.

Well, at least he has an endless supply of money with which to buy advertising, that is, if the television networks accept his ads, something which is another game that they can play.

An excellent concise example of what the press can do may be seen in Britain with the newspaper, The Guardian. The Guardian has an old reputation for supporting labor and progressive affairs, but its current management does not live up to that old reputation at all. They have a different agenda which they try to camouflage with fluffy columns, here and there, about social issues such as various prejudices in society. When it comes to what matters, political power, they are total supporters of Tony Blair’s awful crowd, a group not much different in substance from the Conservatives.

In recent months, The Guardian has conducted a huge and complex operation at attacking the British Labour Party’s newly-elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a decent and truly anti-establishment man, and at getting a “remain” result from the ill-conceived EU referendum, an event which was stupidly called by a virtually incompetent Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

There was only the slightest pretense at balance with the odd column by someone advocating for Corbyn or someone advocating for “leave.”

Set against those tokens to balance was an absolute onslaught, ranging in tone from dire warnings to silly special pleadings and even to efforts at humor or pathos – all of it generated and published to discredit Jeremy Corbyn and to make “remain” seem like the only rational choice. So overwhelming was the effort, one sometimes smiled at an Internet page embarrassingly littered with such stories.

So, it was especially pleasing that the British people went their own way in the EU vote, and indeed almost certainly would have given a larger “leave” majority if it hadn’t been for the unfortunate murder by a lunatic of MP Jo Cox (who was campaigning for “remain” when killed), an act which was relentlessly exploited in stories and pictures day after day. The polls visibly shifted as a result.

In the case of Corbyn’s leadership, they have now scented blood and are busy trying to run their prey to ground, knowing full well that after the “leave” vote and David Cameron’s shameful resignation, Corbyn’s party might have had an opportunity for victory.

Thus the free and fair press in Britain, guided by high journalistic principles, and the situation in the United States is even worse and more overwhelming. Journalism when it comes to politics is a game, a rather dirty one much resembling some of America’s dark operations abroad in foreign affairs, which is itself a topic virtually never touched by the press except to pretend everything is normal.

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