CNN and other media outlets ignored polls, focus groups and declared Clinton the winner
Jon Stewart once baptized Fox News “Bullshit Mountain.” In a realm where interests matter more to a news organization than the voter reactions that actually followed the first Democratic debate, CNN should be baptized “Bullshit Central”.
The day after the debate, the #ClintonNewsNetwork hashtag surfaced in reaction to the network’s post debate coverage because at this moment, CNN seems to be a Hillary Clinton propaganda machine instead of a news network. All of the data available shows that Bernie Sanders won the debate. But for CNN the clear winner is (drum roll please)…Hillary Clinton.
Slate, CNN/Time, and Google, polls show that Bernie Sanders was the clear winner. In addition to online polls, Bernie Sanders won all of the focus groups. The Fox News focus group represents one of the biggest discrepancies between what the pundits have been saying, and what Democratic voters have expressed. The Fox News focus group showed that at least half of the almost 30 participants supported Hillary Clinton before the debate, but the number of Hillary supporters dropped to approximately 4 participants in the aftermath of the debate.
Yet CNN’s post coverage was guided by delusion. All you have to do is read a couple of CNN headlines. “Why Clinton dominated”. “Hillary Clinton’s Double Victory”. While these two headlines were accompanied by the clear disclaimer of “opinion,” there seems to be no difference between these pieces and what was suppose to be serious analysis.
For example, CNN chief political analysis Gloria Borger commented, “He (Sanders) spoke to his supporters. He spoke to the base of the Democratic Party. I’m not sure he showed why he’s electable.”
Yeah that makes sense. Democratic debates are unlike GOP debates which are made with a focus of appeal to the Republican base. Democratic debates are not made to appeal to the core members of the party who have consistent progressive principles, but to… who?
The notion that Sanders hasn’t shown “why he’s electable” is totally on point. Because most Americans don’t believe that our political system is dangerously influenced by money, or that mothers deserve paid leave to take care of their children, or that somebody who works 40 hours a week shouldn’t be living in poverty. Right?
Yet, #ClintonNewsNetwork expands further than CNN and includes other news sites that have engaged in this same sort of blind punditry. Publications that lean liberal such as Time Magazine, Vox, and the New York Times have largely declared Hillary Clinton the winner.
The New York Times response leaves much to wish, as the newspaper ran one piece that read “Who Won and Lost the Democratic Debate? The Web Has Its Say”. Usually, when the word “web” is mentioned as a unit of analysis in response to an event, you expect reactions from the average internet users. Probably a tweet, a Facebook post, or an online voting poll.
But NYT wastes no time in declaring, “Hillary Rodham Clinton was the clear victor, according to the opinion shapers in the political world”, followed by quotes and tweets from pundits, without any mention of the online polls.
“Opinion shapers” are not the majority users of the web, they are a select group of people whose life often does not reflect that of the average American internet user. Simply by adding “opinion shapers”, the New York Times suggests what is more important should be what a well off pundit has to say than what average people on social media have clearly expressed. What these pundits are attempting to do is tell the people what they should think instead of analyzing what people are actually thinking and asking why.
Don’t get me wrong, news pundits and commentators exist for the precise reason of shaping public opinion. However, their arguments should be landed in acknowledgement of reality, and if the pundits believe that the people’s opinion is wrong, they have all the right to persuade the people.
The reality is not that Hillary clearly won, and to ignore this reality and completely disregard Democratic voters positions on the debate is to diminish their importance as a part of the electorate in a democratic system. It’s more than delusional; it is an insult to the opinion and concerns of the Democratic voters.
Meanwhile, inferences can be made about CNN’s cheer-leading Clinton through the connections that Clinton’s campaign has with Time Warner, CNN’s parent company. Open Secrets shows that throughout Clinton’s career, Time Warner has donated nearly $500,000 to Clinton.
During the course of the 2016 elections cycle, the media corporation has donated almost $90,000 to the Clinton campaign, making Time Warner one of the top 10 donors of the Clinton campaign for 2016. But there’s nothing wrong with the fourth estate having economic connections with those who have power. Right?
In reality, debates are decided by the viewers, the voters, not the corporate media. Don’t believe the hype.