October 15, 2015   |   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.
“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).”
“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.”
“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?
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.
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