Did Big Media Do in Sanders?

Many Bernie Sanders backers feel that the mainstream media did its best to marginalize the Vermont senator’s campaign and clear the way for Hillary Clinton’s coronation – and they’re not all wrong, says Neal Gabler.

By Neal Gabler

Earlier this week, even before Hillary Clinton’s primary victory in California assured her the Democratic presidential nomination, the Associated Press had already declared her the presumptive nominee. Bernie Sanders and his supporters were sore, and they had a right to be.

Although the AP defended its decision, saying that Clinton’s crossing the delegate threshold was news and they had an obligation to report it when they did (the day before the clinching primaries) the timing and the circumstances were suspicious. It appears that AP had been hounding superdelegates to reveal their preferences, and blasting that headline just before those primaries threatened either to depress Sanders’ vote or Hillary’s or both because the contest was now for all intents and purposes over.

American and District of Columbia flags at Bernie Sanders rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

American and District of Columbia flags at Bernie Sanders rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

Sanders has never been much of a media fan. Last October, Mother Jones reported that way back in 1979, he wrote in Vermont’s Vanguard Press, an alternative newspaper, that “with considerable forethought [TV capitalists] are attempting to create a nation of morons who will faithfully go out and buy this or that product, vote for this or that candidate and faithfully work for their employers for as low a wage as possible.” He said TV was America’s “drug.” On another occasion, he took a 60 Minutes crew to the AP office in Burlington and, in a bit of turnabout, began interrogating their reporters. So perhaps the AP’s announcement this week was a bit of long-simmering retribution.

Payback or not, Sanders and his supporters are justified in saying the mainstream media have not been entirely fair to him. But that isn’t because Sanders was anti-establishment or because he has attacked the media’s monopolistic practices or because he claimed to be leading a revolution or even because he was impatient with reporters who asked idiotic questions — though he had done all of those things.

Sticking to the Script

Sanders was the victim of something else: the script. The media have a script for elections, and in that script the presumed losers are always marginalized and even dismissed. The script, then, dictated that Sanders wasn’t going to get favorable coverage. Or, put more starkly, the MSM pick the losers and then vindicate that judgment.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

From the moment he announced his candidacy in April 2015, the media treated Sanders as if he were unlikely to win. In The New York Times, that announcement was printed on page A-21, calling him a “long shot” but saying that his candidacy could force Hillary Clinton to address his issues “more deeply.” The article ended with a quote from Sanders: “I think people should be a little bit careful underestimating me,” which is exactly what The Times seemed to be doing.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton’s announcement two-and-a-half weeks earlier got prime real estate in The Times and the judgment that the “announcement effectively began what could be one of the least contested races, without an incumbent, for the Democratic presidential nomination in recent history.” So already the roles had been cast — though, of course, the perception that Sanders wasn’t likely to beat Clinton was all but a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In his essential book, Out of Order — still, 23 years after publication, the best analysis of election coverage — Harvard political scientist Thomas Patterson said there are only four press narratives in an election campaign: “a candidate is leading, or trailing, or gaining ground or losing ground.” And: “The press dumps on losers and those who are losing support, criticizes front-runners and praises those who catch fire — at least as long as the bandwagon lasts.”

As the presumed loser from the outset, Sanders didn’t get negative coverage so much as he got negligible coverage. An analysis by the TV News Archive of cable television coverage since January 2015 provides graphs of Clinton’s and Sanders’ mentions that look alike, save for one thing: Clinton was getting vastly more coverage than Sanders.

How much more? On CNN, Clinton got more than 70,000 of the Democratic-candidate mentions, while Sanders got just under 42,000. On MSNBC, Clinton got more than 93,000 mentions to Sanders’ roughly 51,000. On Fox News, she got more than 71,000 mentions to his more than 28,000. The numbers are similar on the Lexis-Nexis database of newspapers. In the past 30 days, Clinton received 2,591 mentions, Sanders only 922. By comparison, Trump got 5,568.

The numbers, of course, are constantly being updated. But the ratios remain more or less constant.

Media’s Excuses

I suppose journalists would argue that time and space are inelastic; choices have to be made as to who receives coverage. If we give it to Bernie Sanders, they might say, why not Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb or even Lincoln Chafee? Putting aside whether there really is too little time (on cable where the same stories are repeated endlessly?), the decision over whom to cover and whom not to cover is determinative. By placing bets on one candidate over another, the media virtually prevent that disfavored candidate from gaining ground.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

But in spite of the dearth of MSM coverage, Sanders did gain ground. That may have been due to his very active social media presence, which assured that the Sanders name and message were being promulgated via the ether if not on the page or on the air.

Though Trump clearly mastered how to turn social media into MSM coverage by tweeting absurdities the press couldn’t resist, Sanders used social media to mobilize support, so that he was able to rustle up a crowd for a rally at a moment’s notice, and a whole lot of money.

This may be the first time that social media compelled the MSM to change its narrative — from losing candidate to gaining candidate, or what Patterson calls the “bandwagon effect.” In turn, Sanders’ crowds were huge. His fundraising was large and notable for the number of small donations. And most of all, his poll numbers began rising.

It is now a truism of election coverage that since the coverage often contorts itself to justify them, you follow the polls. Poll numbers are everything. As Sanders’ numbers climbed, and especially after he trounced Clinton in New Hampshire, the story was suddenly that Sanders was leading a movement of young people dissatisfied with the old politics represented by Clinton, and angry with the system.

Of course, even as the MSM called Sanders “aspirational” and “inspirational” and “idealistic” compared to Clinton, the praise was then undercut when pundits compared him to another tribune of the disaffected, Donald Trump. “[Sanders] and Trump are peas in a pod,” wrote The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, as late as last April.

None of this reluctant praise was because the press particularly liked Sanders. I think they still thought of themselves as realists while Sanders was something of a political Don Quixote — an old crank. But the media are in the drama business, and the story of Sanders’ energized youth army taking on Clinton’s tired apparatchiks was a compelling one, and a whole lot better than Clinton marching over Sanders like Sherman through Georgia. Indeed, nothing stirs the media like a good fight. The amount of Sanders’ coverage appreciably rose.

Stressing the Math

The problem was, to use the buzzword of this election, the math. No matter how much money Sanders raised, how many caucuses and primaries he won or how much enthusiasm he stirred, he couldn’t beat the delegate math — which is to say, he was a loser. To the media, his rise was a plot twist before the narrative wound its way to the inevitable conclusion.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a Democratic presidential debate sponsored by CNN.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a Democratic presidential debate sponsored by CNN.

And, as Patterson wrote of the media, “What is said of the candidate must fit the plot.” Here the plot was that Sanders was not going to win because he was not good enough to win.

Sanders’ coverage in The New York Times is a case in point, and an important one because The Times drives so much of the MSM’s coverage. It is hardly a secret that The Times has had a jones for Hillary Clinton, but that doesn’t excuse its coverage of Sanders, which even included an article criticizing him for not doing more of the baby-kissing and hand-shaking that candidates usually do.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone wrote a scathing takedown of The Times’ most egregious offense: a March article by Jennifer Steinhauer on how Sanders functioned as a legislator. Headlined “Bernie Sanders Scored Victories for Years Via Legislative Side Doors,” as originally published, the article recounted how effective Sanders was at attaching amendments to pieces of legislation, both Republican and Democratic, and forging coalitions to achieve his ends. The piece was bandwagon stuff.

But then something happened. The original article, already published, underwent a transformation in which Sanders suddenly wasn’t so effective a legislator. Even the headline was changed to “Via Legislative Side Doors, Bernie Sanders Won Modest Victories.” And this paragraph was added: “But in his presidential campaign Mr. Sanders is trying to scale up those kinds of proposals as a national agenda, and there is little to draw from his small-ball legislative approach to suggest that he could succeed.”

Responding to angry Sanders supporters, The Times’ own public editor, Margaret Sullivan, asked why the changes were made and wrote, “Matt Purdy, a deputy executive editor, said that when senior editors read the piece after it was published online, they thought it needed more perspective about whether Mr. Sanders would be able to carry out his campaign agenda if he was elected president.” Yeah, right.

Exasperation Boils Over

You might note how short a step it is from losing to deserving to lose. The media always seem willing to take that step, not only when it comes to Sanders but to any presumed loser. It may also explain why the media were so hard on Sanders’ policies, ridiculing them as pie-in-the-sky.

On the other hand, Times columnist Paul Krugman, once a liberal hero, took a lot of flak from Sanders supporters for criticizing several of the senator’s proposals and favoring Clinton’s. Sandernistas couldn’t accept the possibility that Krugman, whose liberal bona fides are pretty sound, was backing Clinton because he thought Sanders’ proposals didn’t add up — and not that he thought they didn’t add up because he was backing Clinton. Even if Sanders was treated unfairly, he didn’t deserve to escape scrutiny just because he was a maverick.

By the same token, the press’s presumption that Sanders was a loser wasn’t wrong either. Sanders’ claim that the system was somehow rigged against him because of superdelegates proved not to be true. Sanders received far fewer votes than Clinton, 3.7 million less, and he would have lost the nomination even if there had been no superdelegates, not to mention that he lost the basic Democratic constituencies to her.

What we will never know is if the race might have been different had the coverage been different — that is, if Sanders hadn’t been considered some outlier and preordained loser from the very beginning.

Another thing we will never know is how the coverage would have differed if it hadn’t been so poll – or delegate-driven. Candidates won’t arrive at the finish line at the same time, but the media should at least let them begin at the starting line together. And the voters should be the ones to winnow the field, not the press.

Now that Sanders has played his part juicing up the nominating drama, the media seem as eager to dispose of him as the Democratic establishment does. They’re ready to relegate him to his next role: confirmed sore loser.

A front-page story in Thursday’s edition of The New York Times griped, “Hillary Clinton Made History, but Bernie Sanders Stubbornly Ignored it,” opening with the line, “Revolutions rarely give way to gracious expressions of defeat.”

No, they don’t, and I don’t think it is the business of the press to tell candidates when to or how to concede, much less complain about it. The article went on to call Sanders’ address after Tuesday night’s primaries “a speech of striking stubbornness,” as if The Times and its barely pent-up exasperation with Sanders finally broke the dam.

But again, this isn’t just what the MSM think of Bernie Sanders. It is what the media think of losers. They don’t like them very much, and they seem determined to make sure that you don’t like them either — unless they beat the press’s own odds and become winners.

Neal Gabler is an author of five books and the recipient of two LA Times Book Prizes, Time magazine’s non-fiction book of the year, USA Today‘s biography of the year and other awards. He is also a senior fellow at The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, and is currently writing a biography of Sen. Edward Kennedy. [This story previously appeared at http://billmoyers.com/story/press-take-bernie-sanders/]

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35 comments for “Did Big Media Do in Sanders?

  1. Cal Lash
    June 13, 2016 at 03:33

    Of course the media and the ever felonious Hillary Clinton did Bernie in. I’m writing in Bernie and Jose Mujica.

  2. Akech
    June 12, 2016 at 17:13

    I am not a Trump supporter. However, Trump has been labelled a racist bigot for saying a number of stuff. He is been labeled a hater who is trying to keep Muslims and Latinos out of USA by building some long southern wall to keep Latino immigrants out.
    Most of the people Trump and his supporters have being talking about are actually young refugees from Honduras driven out of their country in a coup that was engineered by Hillary Clinton and her corporate elites and their corporate counterparts in Honduras who ganged up against their own citizens. The Muslim refugees who the Democratic establishment now loves are the same Muslims who have been fleeing from the destruction that have reigned upon them due to the regime change or attempted regime changes in Libya, Syria and Yemen carried out by Hillary Clinton and her “regime change think tank and corporate elites”, these elites adore her bravery at making hard choices without hesitating or blinking. Her bravery in carrying out tasks has changed, altered or killed citizens of distant nations, with many of them becoming refugees, some drowning in the Mediterranean Sea while and others becoming sex slaves trying to escape the onslaught!
    The question is, why is Trump such a dangerous bigot who must be rejected for proposing a southern wall or for asking why lives of innocent Muslim citizens of the world are being turned upside down by regime change decisions made hear in USA the Democratic establishment?
    If Trump’s southern wall is that disgusting, why is the DNC establishment building a WALL/FENCE around next month’s Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center? Why are ordinary American citizens, particularly, those who been overwhelmed by arrival of refugees in their neighborhood disallowed from expressing their feelings without being called bigots? Why are tax-payer resources being used to shield off American voters who do not agree with the DNC establishment and their corporate elites who will be housed at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia next month? What conclusion can an ordinary citizen draw from these two structures and to the nature of these two opposing views: (a) Trump’s southern wall (b) the WALL/FENCE around next month’s Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center?

  3. eric f.
    June 12, 2016 at 11:12

    the washington post onslaught against sanders was especially damaging. sanders was eviscerated on a nearly daily basis in the paper. same for trump.
    meanwhile, the proven warmonger in the race, clinton, got unbelievably favorable coverage.
    but it does seem like the nytimes and washpo are undermining their own credibility with each ass-kissing clinton story they publish. the facts can be found by anyone with an internet hookup, and more and more people know propaganda when they see it, regardless of where it’s published.

  4. Bart Gruzalski
    June 12, 2016 at 06:18

    Realist,

    I enjoyed reading your comment and your handles for the Big Wigs. “Mr. Hope & Change” is poetic. Who is “Big Dog”?

    I don’t agree that the Big Wigs “were concerned that, with no debates against other Democratic candidates, she would get no exposure and fall into obscurity while the large Republican field was mixing it up against one another.” If that were their concern, wouldn’t they have more than four debates and schedule them for a prime time night (e.g., Thursday or Tuesday evening) rather than the nights they did which were expected to have as few voters tune in as possible?

    Your well-written comment got my grey cells working. I wonder if picking off Warren for VP isn’t a way to take her out of her battle with the Establishment? Sanders down, Hillary the candidate, and the most effective spokesperson for the 99% is put out to the VPasture.

    • dahoit
      June 12, 2016 at 09:59

      Two bubbleheads for one huh?EW is as lightweight as they come,another ambitious idiot.

    • Anon
      June 12, 2016 at 11:51

      Warren isn’t a natural politician. She doesn’t lie well/comfortably.

      Her on-script delivery is stilted. Probably because she’s saying things she doesn’t fully believe.

      She’s best to my ear when she bites into a subject (or scoundrel) extemporaneously, something where her convictions convey viscerally.

      My heart sinks at the prospect of her reduced to a Hillary appendage. She’s ill-suited to Hillary’s requirements: dissembling, equivocating, diverting, etc.

      Exciting as a co-Prez w/Bernie. Are there reasons why that could never be?

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 12, 2016 at 16:16

        That would be a dream team for me (Bernie/Warren) Anon thanks. And you’re correct about Elizabeth Warren not being a comfortable liar; a positive trait for a change.

    • Realist
      June 12, 2016 at 14:56

      Bill Clinton has been frequently called “the Big Dog.”

      Don’t assume that the Dem leaders will always make logical decisions, regardless of their intentions.

  5. Realist
    June 11, 2016 at 23:28

    From the perspective of Hitlery and the Democratic Party establishment, all they wanted from Sanders was for him to be a sparring partner with her to showcase her talents and to keep her skills sharp until the campaign for the general election. They were concerned that, with no debates against other Democratic candidates, she would get no exposure and fall into obscurity while the large Republican field was mixing it up against one another. They were glad that Webb, O’Malley and Sanders stepped forward to challenge Hitlery, but assumed that all those men knew their roles were to be no more than the “bum of the month.”

    The media, always in the pockets of the two major parties, made the same assumption and acted as though Sanders was simply expected to function as the gracious loser all the way through the process–sort of like the Washington Generals in all their contests with the Harlem Globetrotters. They deliberately gave him short schrift in coverage from the get go, not merely because he didn’t initially have a wide following, but to prevent him from gaining such a following.

    It was assumed that Hitlery would be the candidate and that Sanders was there to play a subservient role in grooming her for the title, not really challenging her for it. Apparently, Sanders and his growing number of followers did not see things the same way, and hence the resentment. How was Bernie’s reluctance to simply bow out when the timing seemed optimal to Hitlery any different from her refusal to unconditionally surrender to Obomber until the last dog was dead in that fight?

    I don’t know, but I’d suspect that Bernie has asked for nowhere near the concessions she did from Mr. Hope & Change in return for her capitulation. She wanted the VP or State, which she got. In fact, I hope that Bernie, or any other Democratic senator (such as Elizabeth Warren), is not poached from the Senate to fill Hitlery’s ticket. It was a foolish move by both the Big Dog and Obomber to do that so extensively, since they later needed those lost votes to confirm appointments to the courts and even to their own cabinets. Republican presidents smartly choose only retired pols for VP and their cabinet, never active senators who are hard to replace.

  6. Abe
    June 11, 2016 at 18:57

    Notwithstanding their valiant efforts, so-called “big media” did not “do in” Sanders.

    Vote theft, and Sanders’ conspicuous silence on the matter from the very beginning, “did in” the Sanders campaign.

    Vote theft, if it continues to go unchallenged in 2016, will once again “do in” democracy in the United States.

    California Primary Post-Mortem with investigative journalist Greg Palast
    LISTEN to minutes 17:30-36:50
    http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20160608-Wed1700.mp3

    “The Best Democracy Can Buy” – Greg Palast with KPFA Radio “Flashpoints” host Dennis J. Bernstein

    • Bart Gruzalski
      June 11, 2016 at 19:33

      Abe,

      Sanders is NOT done in. This will turn around. If you know someone on his staff, make sure that person knows and will pass on that a lot of us are expecting Sanders to keep running until the Convention.

  7. Joe Tedesky
    June 11, 2016 at 16:31

    Here would be a really good story for the media. Bernie would run on the Green Party ticket, but not as the presidential candidate, but as the VP candidate. Jill Stein (a woman) would retain her position as the presidential candidate, and Bernie would run as a humble giving male. Plus his experience in the legislature would make this arrangement seem reasonable. Candidates in all fifty states should run Green as well. Politicians such as Pennsylvanias John Fetterman should run for their states senate seat, as a Green Party candidate also. First the Green Party needs to get on the ballot in all fifty states.

    Here is where to go and register to help for this ballot drive;

    http://www.jill2016.com/ballotaccess

    Even without a win, we could at least voice our discontent with what we Americans are stuck with. I for one don’t want to sit here once again regretting my vote, especially when our country could end up destroying this wonderful planet earth of ours. I’m also sick and tired of voting out of fear, for the candidate of the lesser evil. Even if my vote loses at least I voted with my sincerity in tack.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 11, 2016 at 18:40

      Here is article written about Jeff Weaver, Sanders campaign manager. This article appeared in the New York Times Fashion and Style section. Read it, and see what you think about the Times reporting.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/fashion/bernie-sanders-campaign-jeff-weaver.html?&_r=0

      • Pat
        June 12, 2016 at 02:48

        Joe, considering what I’ve seen elsewhere, it’s pretty tame — definitely more balanced than the catty, caustic article in Politico on Tuesday. That piece was cited by Anderson Cooper to start a Bernie-bashing panel debate on CNN; ironically, it was the pro-Trump commentator who stopped him in his tracks by pointing out that Politico isn’t exactly the most reliable news source. It also was cited by Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch, who has an obsessive dislike of Bernie, ostensibly for being a fake socialist.

        I suppose there are a couple of what might be considered mild digs in the NYT story — starting with its publication in the Style section. What’s up with that? But there were some compliments, too, so overall I thought it was fair. I didn’t see his appearance on Hardball, but that comeback was priceless!

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 12, 2016 at 16:09

        Really nice catch Joe, thanks.

    • Abbybwood
      June 12, 2016 at 00:28

      I think the Green Party is on enough ballots in states to win the Electoral College.

      Those states should be focused on.

      I am ALL for getting out there and fighting for Jill Stein!

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 12, 2016 at 02:11

        That’s correct, but the Green Party isn’t on the ballot in my state…I’m jealous!

      • dahoit
        June 12, 2016 at 09:55

        Get on board the train to nowhere,Stein is just as much as a loser as all the rest,yesterday she pulled the propaganda line on Trump,setting herself as just another liar.

  8. Brad Benson
    June 11, 2016 at 15:25

    California was stolen and the whole media was involved.

    • Abbybwood
      June 12, 2016 at 00:26

      If Sanders won’t call for a California recount then I wonder if there is a way Californians can raise the necessary $50k to do a recount??

      We should start a “Crowd Funding” fund to do just this.

      There must be hundreds of thousands of “provisional ballots” here in California that were FORCED into the hands of registered “Decline to State” voters who had every right to get a Democrat ballot!

      ALL the ballots cast in California MUST BE COUNTED!

  9. Anon
    June 11, 2016 at 15:23

    If somehow all members and leadership of independent parties could be struck simultaneously and constructively by lightning enabling them to see the wisdom of forming The Independent Coalition OMG I would commit to having children in that world. As it stands my compassion for them preempts their existence. Sorry kids.

  10. Joe B
    June 11, 2016 at 15:21

    Of course the mass media obstruct Sanders and anyone who disagrees with oligarchy: they are owned by the oligarchy.

    History will record that it was the radical feminists who lost the 2016 election for the Democrats, by foolishly selecting an extreme right-wing candidate unacceptable to their party’s majority. There is no Republican faction so large and assertive as the female group among the Democrats, which made it easy for the Repubs to divide and conquer. Why were Democratic females so foolish? Here in solidly Democratic Maine, they have kept the right-wing Republican Sen. Collins long in office despite her consistent votes in defiance of their values, just to have a female in office. Probably many have changed their views without reasoning to match her votes. Extreme ignorance. Why are liberals always fooled by a Judas goat, and never field one to fool the Repubs? Because they do not have the money to buy mass media and elections.

    • Bart Gruzalski
      June 11, 2016 at 16:53

      Neal,
      I want to thank you for the painful statistics that verify the bias in the media. The UK’s Guardian, a newspaper which usually doesn’t seem biased, is UK mouthpiece for Clinton and against Sanders. It was infuriating to read its coverage.

      BUT (‘but’s always make a comment more interesting) you are much too kind to the press. Although everything you write is true, there is a much deeper story here: the New York Times et al are Establishment Owned media and, as such, they will defend the Establishment perspective as well as they can.

      Sanders would be a threat to the Establishment if he were POTUS. Sanders
      • would ban fracking,
      • break up the big banks,
      • wanted the Public Option for healthcare (Medicare for all, cutting out the huge and powerful Insurance Industry),
      • wanted us to respect Palestinians and take an even handed approach in dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian problem,
      • wanted to develop a new NATO that included the Russians, would move from a policy of unilateral military action to a policy of diplomacy.

      I’m sure the Establishment became worried when his poll numbers and primary wins showed that he was a viable candidate. The 1% (actually, the 0.01%) are not just spectators. That’s why things are so bad and why we do need a Sanders revolution.

      You mentioned that “ Sanders received far fewer votes than Clinton, 3.7 million less.” Sure, but don’t forget that his bastillion of strength, the independent voter, was keep out of many of the primaries. In addition, as you must know because you are in California, many polls even ran out of ordinary ballots and required fully registered voters to use provisional ballots. AND 2 million ballots have not been counted in California. I don’t think we can be confident that in fact Sanders’ standing as a candidate is diminished because actual votes counted in a corrupted system were 3.7 million less than Clinton’s. The kicker was pointed out in a dynamite article by Greg Palast on June 7th. Here’s just one quote that tells the tale:

      “Nearly half of Californians vote by mail, ballots sent to your home automatically. Most NPP voters don’t realize that, to vote in the Democratic primary today, they must bring in their NPP ballot with the envelope, and say these magic words: ‘I want to surrender my ballot in return for a Democratic ‘crossover’ ballot.’”

      The independent voter has to say THE EXACT WORDS, as unbelievable as that sounds. Here’s from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49:
      “A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask).”

      With all this manipulation by the Democratic Establishment, I very much doubt that Clinton won the California primary.

      Of course, Establishment “economist” and Clinton shill Paul Krugman wanted to count Sanders out on May 30th. He published one of his Krugmanisk op-eds entitled “Feel the Math” in which he did count superdelegates to count Sanders out.

      My BIGGEST DISAGREEMENT WITH YOUR PIECE has to do with the title: “Did Big Media Do in Sanders?” Any ordinary reading of that title implies that Sanders has been “done in.”

      I don’t think so. Besides the ballot problems in California, the unfolding drama of the FBI investigation of her making available to foreign hackers top secret (and above) information has not yet played out and in the past few days some very incriminating emails have been released which make it pretty obvious Clinton was leaving top secret and above information where it was vulnerable to foreign hackers.

      In addition to that, Clinton sleaze is slimming out from under the curtain. On June 10th, ABC broke a story yesterday morning of Clinton cronyism: Rajv Fernando, who had donated between $1 M and $5M to a Clinton charity, was given a seat on the prestigious 2011 International Security Advisory Board. The board’s primary purpose was to gather an array of experts on nuclear weapons and arms control to constantly assess and update the nation’s nuclear strategy. Fernando only credential had nothing to do with nuclear weapons—he brought to the board his expertise as a high-frequency market trader. As a board member, Fernando one of the highest levels of top secret access. (Is this yet another example of Clinton playing fast and loose with top secret material?) After he left the board, Fernando became one of the first “bundlers” to raise money for Clinton’s 2016 bid. He’s also a superdelegate for the Democratic Convention in August. It’s no surprise that he said he’s committed to voting for Clinton.

      The ABC story is “hot” and it’s not clear how much damage it will do to Clinton. Frankly I don’t expect her to become the Democratic candidate—she’s loaded down with just too much unbelievable baggage (including her being a chronic liar and prone to confusion). Those supporting her from behind the veils hiding the bigwigs may decide that the odds of her losing are high and they won’t want to not only lose the presidency, but they won’t want to lose Congresspersons, Senators, and governors.

      And then there is the forthcoming book by respected Secret Service agent Gary Byrne: “Crisis of Character,” a tell-all book about Hillary Clinton and her violent temper (in the released portion Byrne talks about Hillary giving Bill a black eye… but much more serious was both Bill and Hillary’s lack of interest in doing the job).

      This book is #1 on Amazon. Byne writes that “because I was there – in the spotlight, in the crosshairs — I realize better than most Americans that we have pretty much forgotten what an amateur-night, three-ring circus the Clinton White House was.”

      Another passage: “I saw how the Clinton Machine’s appalling leadership style endangered law enforcement officers, the military, and the American people in general. And with Hillary Clinton’s latest rise, I realize that her own leadership style—volcanic, impulsive, enabled by sycophants, and disdainful of the rules set for everyone else hasn’t changed a bit.”

      One last quote: “Over a twenty-nine-year career serving my country in the military and in federal law enforcement, I’ve encountered both heroes and villains. I’ve observed human character at its greatest heights and lowest depths. In any organization, character is defined at the top; it percolates down to the top executives of an organization, to the middle managers, and to the grunts at the front lines.

      “Hillary Clinton is now poised to become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, but she simply lacks the integrity and temperament to serve in the office. From the bottom of my soul I know this to be true. So I must speak out.

      “Perhaps this sums up best what America would have to look forward to… “The Clintons treat running the free world like a damn part-time job.”

      That book will be on sale on June 28th and it will influence who is chosen as the candidate at the Democratic Convention.

      No, don’t think Sanders has been “done in.” A better title I think for your article would be: “How the Establishment Media tried to undermine Sanders.”

      Each of us needs to do what we can to make sure Clinton’s hidden backers realize that they are backing a loser. None of us on Planet Earth need a Neocon Hot-headed War-monger for president, not even the cockroaches.

      • Anon
        June 11, 2016 at 18:08

        Bart, what do you think are the odds Bernie 1) concedes 2) endorses H before the convention?

        • Bart Gruzalski
          June 11, 2016 at 19:31

          Anon,

          I think the odds are very low, maybe zero, for each..

          Sanders is smart enough to know that the race ain’t over until the fat lady isings

          And Clinton ain’t going to..

          I hope to publish a piece by tomorrow that will put another nail in Clinton’s hopes of becoming the Convention’s candidate for POTUS. The aim of what I’m working on is to convince her back-room supporters that she can’t win the election. I’d hope they’d realize that not only will Clinton lose the presidential race if she runs, but she’ll’ also drag down the party slate with her,. These Establishment movers and shakers are not stupid. If and when they realize Clinton’s a sure loser, they will have to do something to save the Congresspersons, Senators, and governors who are running on the Democratic ticket. With a pathological liar running who is wont to be confused (I may write something on this), enough people will see that she is unfit to be POTUS and will not vote for her. The folks in what were smoke-filled-rooms will realize that and Clinton won’t be the candidate. That’s not just a hope.

          What do you think? How would you answer your question?

          Cheers,

          Bart

          • Anon
            June 11, 2016 at 21:08

            Well, you’ve got the fact he hasn’t conceded yet – versus his soft-signaling agreement w/necessity for D unification counter Trump. Maybe he’s not so much agreeing as not-disagreeing at the moment.

            If this is a feint, it could certainly be an explosive reversal if executed well against the strong presumptive tide generated by media.

            Overall I’m quite skeptical that he will counter boldly, but I couldn’t be more pleased if he does.

          • Abbybwood
            June 12, 2016 at 00:22

            Just watched Judge Jeanine on Fox and she is probably right.

            Hillary Clinton emailed Barack Obama 27 times from her private, NON-.gov server and Obama answered her 2 times. Therefore he was aware that she was using a private server against State Department protocols and against the FOIA.

            Judge Jeanine surmises that if Comey recommends an indictment then one of Clinton’s first witnesses would be President Obama and him being brought in to testify regarding this quagmire would cause a “Constitutional Crisis”, especially if it all happens AFTER Clinton has been named the Democrat nominee.

            Judge Jeanine feels that FBI Director Comey, realizing all this, would NOT want to create a “Constitutional Crisis” that could easily result in Trump becoming POTUS.

            Sad to think that this is where the entire Clinton email fiasco might end.

            I saw where The Young Turks did a poll on whether or not their viewers would vote for Clinton in November and with just 17,000 responding only 17% said they would vote for Clinton and 84% said “Never Hillary”.

            If the Superdelegtes don’t see the light by July 25th, Jill Stein is looking better every day.

            If all the Sanders supporters go to Jill Stein prior to the “debates” she will easily poll at above the necessary 15% threshold and will be in the debates.

            Then all bets are off.

            Especially when she talks about forgiving all student loan debts and moving to a “Medicare for All” health care system (66% of Americans polled support Medicare for All).

            It’s a long time until July 25th. Lots can happen. And it is MONTHS before the general election.

            Lots to think about:

            http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/01/jill-steins-platform-viable-bernies.html

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      June 12, 2016 at 19:00

      Don’t be sexist. Hillary isn’t a feminist – she has conservative views on abortion.

  11. Ol' Hippy
    June 11, 2016 at 13:51

    This election cycle has seen the(usually) hidden side of the political theater known as the presidential election in all it’s rotten glory. The criminality of the US govt is here for all to see, if one looks, in all it’s nastiness neatly ignored by the MSM. The fact that Trump turned the GOP on it’s ear is quite a feat and it won’t be allowed to happen again, as witnessed by the democrats keeping Bernie Sanders from any chance of becoming the nominee. HRC will most likely win as I predicted more than a year ago because she will run the US govt like a good puppet doing her master’s bidding and was chosen with the correct pedigrees to run things. We citizens will have to endure more wars, more poverty, more income inequality, more cuts to social services and escalating medical expenses because the insurance industry must be allowed their cut of shrinking earnings by American workers. There’s not too much left to plunder from here but there are a few countries left with a few resources to swipe with our mighty military as long as Russia and China are excluded because, as tempting as they are for our masters, those wars would be lost. Sorry.

    • Bill Bodden
      June 11, 2016 at 14:19

      … the political theater known as the presidential election …

      And the quadrennial charade.

  12. Joe L.
    June 11, 2016 at 13:50

    Is this surprising to anyone? The media lied and cheered on the Iraq War and then in the last election they did the same thing, maybe even worse, to Ron Paul. Conclusion, is that people need to tune out of mainstream media because it is as clear as the “nose on your face” that they ONLY represent government and corporate interests – not the will of the people.

    • June 12, 2016 at 09:28

      Mainstream is a term we are trained to use when describing those in support of mainstream owners.

      Corporate propaganda outlets are content platforms for corporate economists and other pundits who are paid to lie and manipulate people for the billionaire class and their regime change resource wars.

  13. bobzz
    June 11, 2016 at 13:16

    I would have appreciated an honestly run primary that allowed all who wished to vote to cast their ballot. What would have happened if independents had been allowed to vote in some of the states? What would have happened in New Mexico if it had not been fixed? And we have a state that Sanders lost by four coin tosses. And again, what would have happened had not Sanders given Hillary a pass on her emails (which are looking increasingly relevant to her suitability as a president). Or had he pounded her on her record as a war-monger. Iraq was not ancient history; it was history repeated time and again. This is Bernie’s failure. As to Gabler’s article, the media slant was clear. The fix was in.

  14. Bill Bodden
    June 11, 2016 at 13:06

    A poll publicized on CNN this morning gave 30-some percent likely votes each for Clinton and Trump in November and 12 percent for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. This clearly suggests Sanders could be a factor if he ran as an independent or a Green. He may not get enough votes to win – the media would do what they could to make sure of that – but it would be interesting to get a better picture of what American voters think.

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