How the Mainstream Media F*cked Bernie Sanders Following the #DemDebate

October 15, 2015   |   Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish
October 15, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) Las Vegas, NV — The verdict is in from Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debates: Bernie Sanders’ message influenced viewers by leaps and bounds over the next most discussed candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Unless, of course, you prefer the convenient swill of pre-planned, pre-packaged, predictable corporate media propaganda that unanimously sang Clinton’s praises while completely ignoring one essential thing — you know, reality.

Regardless of your opinion of the candidates, or politics for that matter, elections amount to a fascinating study in propaganda — and though parsing engineered narrative from fact usually requires at least a modicum of effort, the case of Hillary’s resounding ‘ghost victory’ wins the Captain Obvious Propaganda Lifetime Achievement Award.

First, a look at corporate media’s pundits, headlines, and a few tidbits of content whose obsequious drivel seems more comic fodder than serious political commentary.

Vox: Hillary Clinton silenced her critics

“This is the Hillary Clinton that Democrats have been waiting for. The most important aspect of Clinton’s performance though, wasn’t whether she won — she did — but how she connected to progressive Democrats […] Perhaps it took a little competition, but the passion Clinton sometimes lacks on the campaign trail was in full force Tuesday night. She was having fun.”

The New York Times: Who Won and Lost the Democratic Debate? The Web Has Its Say

“Bloggers, commentators and the Twitterati quickly weighed in on the first Democratic debate, scoring the winners and losers. Hillary Rodham Clinton was the clear victor, according to the opinion shapers in the political world (even conservative commentators).”

NPR: Clinton Takes First Steps To Dispel Doubts About Candidacy

“Hillary Clinton, the candidate with the most to lose, may have come away having gained the most. [Clinton performed] more ably than in any other major media appearance since her best debates and speeches in 2008 […] At times, she even appeared to be enjoying herself.”

The Guardian: Hillary Clinton won the Democratic debate, simply by saying ‘no’

“All debate wins come down to some form of managed expectations: campaigns hint to reporters what their goals are, topically; reporters lecture campaigns on what those goals should be; and the candidate who more effectively conveys the most things in the overlap of that Venn diagram then gets called the winner until the next week’s polls.

But if you need to pick a winner from Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton will do.”

‘I was going to have Death by Chocolate, but mincemeat will do’ — are they serious?


Click on image to enlarge.

Typical of most major headlines, a less discerning individual might imagine Clinton’s debate appearance as a light-hearted, self-assured popularity coup that made other candidates’ presence a mere footnote on the evening — because that’s precisely what this flood of not-so-deftly-crafted punditry begs of you. And what it lacks in subtlety, it doesn’t bother to make up for with accuracy, either.

In fact, according to viewer polls during and immediately following Tuesday’s debate, Bernie Sanders not only stole the show, he might as well have filled out the change-of-address card for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue post-haste.

A liveblog poll conducted of Facebook by U.S.News indisputably showed Sanders so far ahead that if it were the only statistic in consideration, you’d wonder if the other candidates even bothered showing up: fully 82% — 1,877 people of 2,297 who participated — declared Sanders the Democratic debate ‘winner.’

Twitter experienced similar indications of a landslide popularity win for the self-described Democratic-Socialist, who received 407,000 mentions Tuesday night — more than the total mentions for all other candidates lumped together. Social media appeared swept off its feet as 42,730 more people followed Sanders on Twitter (compared to Clinton’s 25,475 new fans) — even more to the point, though mentions of Hillary Clinton were positive 56% of the time, Sanders garnered favorable comments 69% of the times his name came up.

At the peak of debate mentions around 7 pm, Sanders name or Twitter handle appeared 12,000 times per minute to Clinton’s 8,300. The Independent from Vermont also claimed the most retweets of the night, 12,000, for his passing comment, “The American people are sick of hearing about your damn emails,” directed at Clinton.

Things are not always how they appear — and corporate media pushing Hillary Clinton as Tuesday’s Democratic debate standout might be propaganda’s equivalent to throwing bologna against a wall and hoping it will stick. Maybe if enough people headline-share this article, propaganda cunningly seems to consistently think, no one will notice it’s bullshit.

But plenty of us notice. Indeed, more people notice the lies every day.

On a final note, for all the talk of winners and losers, arguably the worst loser of the night is perhaps the most pressing current issue in foreign policy: Syria. With just seven total mentions by the candidates throughout the debate, the tumult in Syria didn’t even come close to Americans and their guns — a topic that came up 20 times among them.

This article (How the Mainstream Media F*cked Bernie Sanders Following the #DemDebate) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  1. Here's hoping stories like this snowball so much online that it makes it impossible for them to do the same at the next debate.

    Who was it that said the revolution will not be televised.

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  2. Not to invariably mention, that the debate was brought to you by Citigroup… The same Citigroup that owns Citibank, one of Hitlary's top contributors. Coincidence? I think not.

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  3. Bernie's second best line of the night: "Congress doesn't regulate Wall Street, Wall Street regulates Congress." Truth.

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  4. But do you actually know what he meant when he said it? Where doe the ideo of revolution start? In the mind. Consciouness cannot be televised.

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  5. Editors thought hillary won, the same people on the payroll of corporate media and Clinton's campaign ads? Oh well then, thats A RELIABLE AND UNBIASED SOURCE OF REPORTING! LOLOLOLOL

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  6. Thanks for connecting the dots for me. I was just wondering WHY they were sucking up to her so hard on CNN as I knew there was a Bank out there that was pushing but I didn't know which was turning the screw.

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  7. Wayne Breivogel Yeah…Monsanto. Another reason we can't take her seriously. She embodies the "I was for it before I was against before I was for it…"

    ALl it takes is a large enough donor riffling a stack of Nejamins her way and she comes running like Thurston Howell III saying,"They're playing our SONG, Lovey!"

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  8. So you're saying that people who already like Bernie Sanders were more likely to participate in online focus groups and social media? Quel surprise.

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  11. Interesting point…I was just thinking about Time-Warner wanting her to win, but you're right: Bernie Sanders will not buy nearly so many campaign ads. No attack ads at all. Not nearly as much revenue for the companies that live on advertising.

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  12. I wish you lefties would be half as indignant about what the media does to conservatives as you are about the obvious to all of us favoritism they shower on the Hildabeast.

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  13. Where was all this outrage when they did it to Ron Paul 3 years ago? Oh, that's right, people only care when it affects their candidate. Well, I'll just "not care" about Bernie getting screwed then.

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  14. Kind of…I agree but it's actually the CFTC and the SEC who are supposed to do much of the "regulating"…their heads are nominated by the President and prosecution of crimes is usually handled through the DOJ. Why Bernie didn't mention Obama's DOJ failing to prosecute 1 banker involved in the 08 criminal meltdown…well…?????

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  15. That is one obvious response…but the other lingering question one must ask is" what credibility do these pundits have given their track record of failure in 'informing' the public? And, if the media operations are going to completely ignore their own polls, why did they have them in the first place? If the polls had showed Hillary winning, do you think they would have used them to justify their narrative? You can bet they would have.

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  17. Hillary is in the pocket of literally every single one of the absolute worst most shady donors you could think of. It's almost cartoonishly evil. And they still don't understand that you can't get away with that nonsense anymore.. Not in the Internet and Information Age.

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  18. Did Ron Paul ever have a grassroots revolution?? He should remember to bring one next time.

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  19. You can say that one poll is unscientific. (Even the ones that are literally scientific).
    But you can't say that 21 seperate polls all showing the majority consensus of Bernie winning by a landslide is not scientific…
    If you wanna have an honest and serious discussion about important issues that affect millions of people, talk to Bernie Sanders.
    Whenever people start having adult conversations about important issues, we win. And so does Bernie Sanders. Because that's what Bernie Sanders does.

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  20. Hillary has nearly wasted all of her money already and her donors are maxed out.
    Bernie has only spent roughly half of his campaign money and 99% of his donors can legally donate again.
    He's outpacing Obama in 2007 and outperforming Hillary in every hypothetical matchup vs every potential gop candidate.
    But the powers that be don't want anyone to know about him.
    The establishment will fight tooth and nail to hold onto their establishment.
    We are in for the fight of our lives.
    Don't believe what you hear on tv.
    When United, the 99% can win any election.

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  21. Maury Ballstein – "But you can't say that 21 seperate polls all showing the majority consensus of Bernie winning by a landslide is not scientific…"

    That depends entirely upon how those polls were conducted. Quantity alone does not make them scientific.

    But even for the scientifically valid polls: surely you aren't claiming that every single respondent to those polls took a dispassionate look at the relative strength of each candidate's debate performance and dispassionately evaluated which one had the strongest debate, are you? Because I would bet that at least 75% of those respondents just answered that their favored candidate won the debate. That's the way these polls work. And it makes them useless for evaluating debate performance.

    The consensus among experts was that Bernie hurt himself with a couple of his early answers, although largely he did well. Clinton also did well. But on what basis do Bernie's supporters claim that he had a /better/ debate than she did? Do you think it might just be that they (still) agree with most of the policy positions he put forward? That's not "winning" the debate; it's just reinforcing existing preferences.

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  22. Jack Young The DNC is already barely tolerating Bernie being in the line up. It's obviously they are blatantly rigging the election to try to throw it to Hillary and are in full panic mode that Bernie is doing so well so fast. They didn't expect that. Maybe he thought it more diplomatic to not throw everything out into the first debate.

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