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Sun May 19, 2019, 08:55 AM

Digital Civil War review: a stark call to save American democracy

Digital Civil War review: a stark call to save American democracy
Peter Daou blames media and the political establishment for failing to combat dishonesty, hypocrisy … and Trump
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/19/digital-civil-war-review-trump-russia-republicans-media?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVUy0xOTA1MTk%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS&CMP=GTUS_email

<<snip>>

Norman Ornstein was one the first Washington pundits to identify the big problem with the way the mainstream press deals with a sharply altered political universe, writing in 2014: “Insisting on equivalence as the mantra of mainstream journalism leaves the average voter at sea, unable to identify and vote against those perpetrating the problem. The public is left with a deeper disdain for all politics and all politicians.”

Daou strongly agrees. The “mainstream media and the political establishment”, he writes, have failed to “serve as a counterbalance to the dishonesty and hypocrisy poisoning American politics”. Or as progressive analyst Zerlina Maxwell put it, “there will be literal Nazis marching in the streets before the [mainstream media] realizes that calling for civility from both sides is stupid. Wait. Too late.”

Of course, there already were Nazis in the streets of Charlottesville two years ago, when marchers chanted “Jews will not replace us”.

Daou is especially good on the press obsession with “real American” stories, which are actually “a toxic brew of populism, nativism and white supremacy packaged by the GOP, distributed by rightwing media, imbibed by the Republican base and regurgitated by the mainstream press …

“The ‘real American’ story is the thread that runs through virtually every partisan fight in US politics. It maintains that the white working class has been shunned by the Democratic party, patronized by the ‘liberal media’, mocked by Hollywood, stifled by identity politics, smothered by political correctness, and oppressed by big government.”

It is a story full of myths. For example, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s assertion that in 2016 Clinton failed to appeal to the working class is starkly contradicted by a single fact: “Clinton won decisively among voters with annual incomes under $50,000.”

<<snip>>

On the other hand, after the Democrats captured the House last November, Oliver Willis wondered: “Where are our heartland diner stories? Our profiles of surging voters who ‘upset the status quo’ with ‘maverick politicians’? How come voters in blues states that got bluer and purple states that went blue and red districts that flipped aren’t getting the Trump voter treatment? It would make one think that gosh, this whole thing about the media being liberal is bullshit, and that the mainstream media caters to Republicans’ whims while minimizing the rest of us…”

Correct. As Daou says, the subtext of the mainstream media’s focus on “MAGA” voters is that the opinions of “‘real Americans’ – white working-class small-town Republicans – take precedence over those of other voters, particularly the voters of color who make up the Democratic base.” After Trump’s sycophantic press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the New York Times rushed “to get the perspective of Trump’s diehard rust-belt fans”, who “wondered if election meddling was really so terrible”.

<<snip>>

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Reply Digital Civil War review: a stark call to save American democracy (Original post)
dajoki May 19 OP
BSdetect May 19 #1
Kurt V. May 19 #2

Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sun May 19, 2019, 09:06 AM

1. The constant repetition of the BS that "HRC is not popular" even by otherwise sensible people

was a triumph for the repugnant sleeze factory of talking points.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sun May 19, 2019, 09:29 AM

2. K&R

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