“The Fix is in”: Establishment lies and the rise of Bernie Sanders

    With the exception of some fumbling on guns, Bernie Sanders had a very effective debate last Tuesday.  Many had not heard him previously and were excited by what they learned.  The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, all the focus groups where he won sometimes as much as 4 to 1 said so.   Sanders doesn’t just attack inequality; he has specific measures on the minimum wage, on student debt, on racism, on the priority of diplomacy and other issues which would benefit ordinary people and which the rich and their minions hate.  So the rest of us have to put up with all out corporate smoke and mirrors commentary to hide that Hillary is the establishment candidate – she could yet be done in by the Republicans – for making war (she is still the “3:AM candidate” ), though sometimes seeking to help people.
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      Sanders also did something commendable in Presidential politics, something even Barack Obama. despite his admiration for Lincoln and Gandhi and King for not trying to tear the other person down, did not.  When Anderson Cooper attacked Clinton over her emails, Sanders said – acknowledging it was not “smart politics,” – that there are real issues of mass impoverishment and inequality and war that Americans want to hear about.  The emails are a distraction, a minor matter.   “Enough about your damned emails.”
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     Clinton, who had taken a shot at Bernie on guns – he was, recall, surprisingly leading her in the first primary state New Hampshire and close in Iowa – shook his hand and thanked him.  Note: Sanders has refrained from taking shots at Clinton, and criticizes the “Republicans” at most in general…
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    There were 26 debates between Obama and Clinton in 2008.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, decreed on her own – without any meeting –  that there would be but 6 debates this year. Confronted by complaint, she has barred  complainers. See the New York Times First Draft below (this column does not appear in the regular paper…).   The reason is that she wanted to help Hillary Clinton to the nomination by anti-democratically, blocking/silencing other candidates and debate.
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        On the Iran treaty which she eventually voted for, Wasserman-Schultz also refused to call a Democratic National Committee meeting.  This created a scandal at the time.  But apparently, the reason she did this is abject partisanship for Hillary: so that no one would object to her trimming by 75% the number of debates.

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     No word of this may get into the commercial press (it was commendably mentioned on Democracy Now on Tuesday morning and, after the debate, because of protest about the barring of a Democratic national committee member on the TimesFirst Draft) because those who have the belief that this is a democracy of any sort might get very very angry.

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      Bernie Sanders is drawing large crowds everywhere he goes.  He has become famous especially on Facebook and through gatherings of thousands from below; yet he gets no coverage in the commercial media or now dishonest coverage designed to suppress his campaign.   In part, the reporting is about elevating negative campaigning and Bernie doesn’t do that.  Instead, he makes sensible practical proposals about what ordinary Americans need.   Thus, the New York Times and National Public Radio will not mention Sanders, if they can avoid it. CNN, owned by Time-Warner (a big contributor to Hillary – see below) really stood out for dishonest punditry in the face of its own focus group which went 4 to 1 for Sanders…
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       Now Hillary gave a very effective performance in the debate.  With Bernie’s intelligence and grace (not her own), she survived the flack about the Benghazi hearings which were designed only to damage her, as former House Speaker candidate McCarthy blurted out.
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      But when Lincoln Chafee said: no one should be a candidate for President who supported the Iraq war, Hillary answered tellingly only the minor point about her qualifications – Barack had selected her as Secretary of State and so, trusted her judgment – and said nothing, not even repeating her recent expressions of regret, about voting for the American aggression on the basis of lies.  
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    Further, Hillary’s most telling comment in the debate- her enemies are “Iranians/Republicans” says just where her “3:AM” Presidency is likely to go.  Like Margaret Thatcher and my student Condi Rice, Hillary cannot get over – though she is often very smart – her “I’m the toughest guy in the room,” “I can drink John McCain under the table,” I will be tougher on the Iranians (and maybe bomb them); no one is more neo-con than me” – persona which she hopes will get her elected.
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     Long ago, Hillary gave a commencement address at Wellesley speaking of a new generation against the Vietnam war. One might hope that her current hawkishness  is corrupt – that to become President, she has long lost track of herself…  But this is now Hillary Clinton…
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   Hillary’s supporters/funders like Time Warner, owner of CNN, called the debate for Hillary.  Yet Focus groups, for instance, at CNN, leaning initially to Hillary, came in 80% for Bernie – and then CNN has removed all reporting of them – as well as all negative comments about CNN’s censorship (see the report from Media Equalizer below).

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    Bernie raised money without advertising, nearly $2 million, from ordinary people.  But “the Paper of Record” seeks to coronate Clinton (rapturous columns from Gail Collins and Charlew Blow) and blots out that Bernie got a major breakthrough to a lot of people who hadn’t seen him and are now “feeling the Bern.”  How did the CNN focus group move from leaning Hillary to enthusiastically pro-Bernie Sanders…?
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    To underline the anti-democracy of the corporate coverage,  why was the debate a) on Pay TV so that lots of people who can’t pay $60 per month for cable couldn’t see it?  What happened to the non-partisan League of Women Voters and why is this  corrupt corporatocracy acceptable, without critical comment, in the mainstream press?  (answer: it’s all owned by big, often single corporations in whole cities…); b) Why were CNN and its “experts” shown up by their own focus group, strongly for Sanders, at the end?
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    But a lie repeated enough times…
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   Why is a $15 minimum wage so dangerous to the establishment?   Why is eliminating student debt-slavery or expanded social security dangerous? Why is the mention of the police murder of Sandra Bland…?
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      The .0001% is so greedy that they will not allow themselves to be saved by a Bernie or possibly even a Hillary moving toward Bernie to reestablish a social compact where everyone might have a chance – something a long way up from here.  As with Obama, Bernie could be elected only if there is a big mass movement.  But this has been, as we can see in city after city, happening with Sanders.
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    Clinton has now, suddenly and decently, flip-flopped on the TPP.  Long bad on trade agreements which  harm working people, she said she had now read this deal – even though we the people still can’t see it… – and said “no.”  But Hillary will not oppose such an agreement in office (nor will many of her toned down promises, like Obama’s to end the Afghanistan war or close Guantanamo – he did try…) – be realized in office.
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     In contrast, Bernie stands up for ordinary people.  His positions are long decent and consistent.  In addition, in a fundamental distinction from every other candidate, Sanders does not have a SUPERPAC or accept donations from billionaires. He does not go in for negative campaigning.  His support has increased dramatically among Democrats and he has been leading the New Hampshire primary (the commercial press was silent on him leading in New Hampshire, but suddenly reports that Hillary has “caught up…”).

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   And in the last quarter, he has raised more money than Clinton with small contributions (average: $31).  He draws big crowds, often 10 or 20,000 which other candidates only dream of.

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     In the debate, Bernie named Sandra Bland (as supporters of Black Lives Matter rightly say, Say her name!) as well as structural racism throughout American institutions. Ordinary people who hear Bernie Sanders will go for him (Cornel West and Spike Lee have been speaking out strongly for Bernie…).
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    The population in America most against the Iraq War and against racist police killings is black and brown….
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     Bernie is a Senator from a mainly white state, but he is anti-racist and he has made a serious effort, as with most other things, to understand and speak to burning issues of justice about this.
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       If many come out to vote – if democracy,  despite being under threat from “Republican” disenfranchisements, actually takes place – Bernie may be elected.  This would be a triumph of decency, and could accompany a Democratic majority in the Senate, and making inroads in the gerry-mandered and anti-democratic House of “Representatives.”
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    Sanders could do many good things.  Reflecting outrage from below at impoverishment and student debt and war,  Bernie’ss campaign means that even Hillary has shifted to the left.  Even on her own, Hillary would do some good things about patriarchy and racism – her response on Planned Parenthood and the Republicans’ extreme Big Government Patriarchy was notable.

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    Bernie opposed the Iraq war (he was a conscientious objection during Vietnam also) and the Patriot Act repeatedly. This, too, is an enormous and positive contrast with Clinton.   He, however,  voted weapons for Israel during its latest slaughter in Gaza.
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        If Bernie were elected (quite possible as people come to hear him – speaking to a national audience was a great victory for Sanders in the debate), many good reforms would be achieved.  Obama, for example, saved us from larger war in the Middle East by not bombing Iran.  Much as I admire Chris Hedges, the idea that this makes no difference, is mistaken and harmful.  Bernie, so far, seems like an even more decent alternative in terms of programs than Barack (Barack was obviously limited by the fact that he is the first black President, and that the America is, to this moment, a ferociously racist place, despite a lot of protest and change from below, for nonwhite people).
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    From silence about Bernie, there is now, in the “Clinton coronation” (see the third article below),  a corporate routine about Bernie the “goofy, grouchy socialist Unicle” routine from the Drudge Report and Rubio to New York Times reporters…

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     But electing Bernie would accomplish some things, and avoid – he does believe in diplomacy – some of the worst.
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   Without a movement from below, including nonviolent protest against,  “kicking at” Bernie about this – cheers for the women in Black Lives Matter who stood up in Seattle with “the Bern” and got him to think about and act on what needs to be done about police murders – nothing good happens.
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Inertia is the rule of the predatory rich in every advanced country.
Democracy is in the streets…
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“Say her name!”
Candidate Sanders named Sandra Bland. 
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We can have a democratic movement which forces or drags along the corrupt establishment, blowing with the wind/fudging New York Times reporters and editors and the dishonorable Wasserman-Schultzes… Even Hillary has gotten a life from Bernie’s campaign, (as Obama was revived by the Occupy protests.  Mass support for Bernie is an example as was democratic support Barack, who sadly demobilized his mass campaign when elected. 

But that movement – and that movement alone – is a future…

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Media Equalizer

Fuming Bernie supporters: Why is CNN deleting our comments?

Hundreds on Facebook complain about network’s pro-Hillary coverage

By  October 14th, 2015, 17:24 EDT

Seeing their comments repeatedly deleted by CNN, Bernie Sanders supporters are hopping mad today.
Already feeling the news network’s coverage had become rabidly pro-Hillary in the aftermath of last night’s debate, Facebook users leaving reactions on CNN’s page are now continually re-posting them, knowing they will be quickly removed. There are hundreds in a seeming battle with the network, with no explanation as to why.
Some users and messages appear to be specifically targeted, especially those accusing CNN of having conflicts of interest that make it naturally inclined to back Hillary.
In particular, they’re citing last night’s initial Facebook poll data showing Bernie had won the debate handily. They are claiming the network is now burying that information in today’s coverage.
That clip from last night’s post-debate show is still on YouTube, uploaded to a GOP channel. Some Sanders backers are linking to this:
After reading their objections, we took screenshots earlier this afternoon, then returning to see many no longer present. It’s from a post linking to “Sanders stretched truth on VA record, some vets groups say”:
CNN anti-Sanders coverage
CNN deleting comments from Sanders supporters
CNN deleting Sanders supporters -2
When we checked back with the post later, some comments seen above were in fact missing, while others had been re-posted by supporters trying to stay one step ahead of the network.
What do you think? Leave comments below, using Facebook or Disqus
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New York Times
First Draft [on line, not in the print version of the paper…]

Top Party Official Accuses Democratic National Chairwoman of Lying and Questions Her Leadership

Photo

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Washington in 2014.Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images
R.T. Rybak, the former mayor of Minneapolis and a vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, on Thursday accused the party’s leader, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of making “flat-out not true” statements about another top party officer, questioned her political skills and said he had “serious questions” about her suitability for the job.
The broadside from Mr. Rybak, which came in an interview late Thursday afternoon, followed weeks of internal party dissension over the number and timing of the presidential debates it has scheduled, capped by an acrimonious public dispute over whether Ms. Wasserman Schultz had punitively barred a Democratic vice chairwoman, Tulsi Gabbard, from the first debate, held on Tuesday in Las Vegas.
The comments from Mr. Rybak, who was interested in replacing Ms. Wasserman Schultz in 2013 and who was the favored choice of some of President Obama’s aides, were notable in part because he is not known as a public complainer. But by the evening’s end, most of the other party officers issued statements strongly supporting Ms. Wasserman Schultz and calling for an end to the public rancor. 
In early September, Ms. Gabbard, an Iraq veteran and a congresswoman from Hawaii, and Mr. Rybak jointly called on the party to hold more than the six primary debates it has planned. Ms. Gabbard has said the party’s officers were not consulted before the debate schedule was set in early August.
The number of debates has outraged supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders and has particularly galled Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, who trails badly in the polls and has clamored for more debates as a way to gain vital national exposure. Mr. O’Malley has loudly suggested that the limited debate schedule was a blatant attempt to help Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose aides had pressed for fewer such encounters; Ms. Wasserman Schultz has denied this.
On Oct. 5, Ms. Gabbard, who as a party officer has not endorsed a presidential candidate, repeated her call for additional debates on MSNBC. The next day, she later confirmed to a reporter, her chief of staff received a message from Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s office disinviting Ms. Gabbard from the Las Vegas debate because of her public remarks. (The party denied that Ms. Gabbard was refused a ticket.)
In a series of televised interviews on Monday and Tuesday, Ms. Wasserman Schultz suggested that Ms. Gabbard was causing an unwelcome distraction by drawing attention from the presidential candidates, and insisted that she had indeed consulted with the party’s officers before scheduling the debates.
Photo

R. T. Rybak spoke in Yankton, S.D., in 2014.Credit Dave Eggen/Associated Press
In a telephone interview Thursday, Mr. Rybak weighed in angrily in response, expressing shock that Ms. Wasserman Schultz “would knowingly say something that is flat-out not true.”
“This is not a back-and-forth between a chair and a vice chair,” he said. “This is a chair of the Democratic Party wrongly stating that she consulted with all of the party officers. I was not consulted. I know that Tulsi Gabbard was not consulted. And this is becoming about much more than debates.”
“The Democratic National Committee staff has never been stronger,” Mr. Rybak said in an interview. ”The one thing that could stop us from having a great election coming up is if the chair continues to create these self-made dramas that are below what a chair should be doing.”
“The fact is for many months we have been trying to get the chair to open up and include many more people” in the decision-making process, Mr. Rybak said. “Like many other people, I have kept my mouth shut, and have tried to make the situation work for months. It is becoming increasingly clear that the chair doesn’t have the political skills — or more likely, want to execute the skills — to make this party a big tent. I blame myself for trying to stuff it, and trying to make things work when it’s clear we have a problem.”
“I’ve tried to encourage the chair to open her leadership, because she has great skills, and works harder than anyone,” Mr. Rybak said. But he added, “I will not stand by and have one of the great leaders of our party, Tulsi Gabbard, have her honesty questioned by the chair on national television.”
“I am seriously questioning whether she has the capacity to do what has to be done,” he said of Ms. Wasserman Schultz. “And that’s why I’m doing what I wanted not to do for a long time, which is go public with my serious questions of whether she can lead this party.”
Informed of Mr. Rybak’s remarks, Amy Dacey, the Democratic National Committee’s chief of staff, essentially conceded that Ms. Gabbard and Mr. Rybak had not been consulted about the debate schedule before it was determined.
“There is no signoff or formal consultation process on debates,” Ms. Dacey said in an email. “Rather, our vice chairs were notified just as they are on other major decisions such as the one to select Philadelphia as the site of the convention.”
But she defended Ms. Wasserman Schultz, saying, “No one is as hardworking or more dedicated to electing a Democrat” as president.
“We have a variety of views in our party, but ultimately we all have to come together to support our eventual nominee,” Ms. Dacey said, striking a conciliatory note. “We’re in regular communication with all of our campaigns and discuss any number of issues with members and officers, and while we are always striving to improve upon that, we have a diverse and talented group of vice chairs and the party very much needs their voices moving forward.”
Among them was Henry R. Muñoz III, the party’s national finance co-chairman, who said he had felt included in the process, adding, “The debate about the debates is over and the debate about issues is on.”
Several other officers issued supportive statements of Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Ray Buckley, a national vice chair and the leader of the New Hampshire Democratic party, praised her and said, “Distracting attention away from our candidates with public discussions on process is regrettable.”
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6 Reasons Bernie Sanders Actually Won the Debate Despite What Pundits Claim – by C. Robert Gibson (October 14, 2015 – U.S. UNCUT)
U.S. UNCUT
6 Reasons Sanders Actually Won the Debate Despite What Pundits Claim
C. Robert Gibson [ http://usuncut.com/author/carl/ ] | October 14, 2015
Bernie Sanders crushed the debates by every measurable indicator except one: pundits’ opinion. 
If we had to decide the winner of last night’s Democratic debate with only the opinions of establishment media pundits, Hillary Clinton won by a landslide. But social media and online polls overwhelmingly chose Bernie Sanders as the winner. So which is true? Is Hillary the inevitable candidate the insider media has been telling us she is since day one, or is the corporate media pushing a pro-Hillary agenda on a pro-Bernie electorate?
The punditocracy is in full agreement that Hillary Clinton was the winner:
NPR [ http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/14/448566228/more-than-anyone-hillary-clinton-helped-herself-in-first-democratic-debate ] wrote, “Hillary Clinton, the candidate with the most to lose, may have come away having gained the most.”
-In a New York Times article with the highly-misleading headline, Who Won and Lost the Debate? The Web Has Its Say [ http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/us/politics/democratic-debate-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-biden.html?_r=0 ], The Times wrote, “Hillary Rodham Clinton was the clear victor, according to the opinion shapers in the political world (even conservative commentators),” citing the opinions of overpaid pundits rather than actual people on the internet.
The Guardian [ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/14/hillary-clinton-won-the-democratic-debate ] added to the mix, stating,”If you need to pick a winner from Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton will do.”
-Vox.com — launched by former Washington Post Wonkblog editor Ezra Klein (who launched Vox after WaPo laughed his $10 million funding proposal out of the room [ http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/ezra-klein-leaves-washington-post-102424 ]) — has been vociferous in their defense of Clinton. Today they ran the headline, Hillary Clinton Silenced Her Critics [ http://www.vox.com/2015/10/14/9529025/hillary-clinton-silenced-her-critics ], full of breathless praise for the former Secretary of State. The article mentioned Bernie Sanders exactly once.
-Revealingly, Poynter.org, which covers the news media, pointed out the media’s favoritism, saying, “Press calls Hillary Clinton the winner, no contest [ http://www.poynter.org/news/mediawire/378601/the-dem-debate-press-calls-hillary-clinton-the-winner-no-contest-almost/ ].”
The Boston Globe was the most obvious in its beating of the Hillary Clinton war drums, as evidenced by these three headlines from this morning:
Bostonglobeclintonwins.png
For people who depend on news outlets like these for their information, they may as well just give in and vote for Clinton, given her apparent inevitability. But the internet tells a different story, in just about every imaginable metric. As this graphic shows, editors of CNN, Slate, and TIME had a starkly different opinion of who won compared to viewers.
viewerssayeditorssay.jpg
1. Facebook
According to US News and World Report [ http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/10/14/who-won-the-debate-according-to-the-internet ], Bernie Sanders was the most talked-about candidate on Facebook, with Clinton in a distant second. A US News liveblog poll, conducted on Facebook, asked viewers to select the candidate they think won the debate. Sanders was the overwhelming favorite, with 82 percent of the vote.
usnewswhowon.png
2. Twitter
Bernie Sanders was mentioned 407,000 times [ http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/10/14/bernie-sanders-wins-debate-on-social-media/ ] on Twitter — more than any candidate combined. He also picked up an astonishing 42,730 new followers during and after the debate, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 25,475 new followers. In an analysis of tweets, 69 percent [ http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/10/14/bernie-sanders-wins-debate-on-social-media/ ] of those mentioning Bernie Sanders were positive. Only 56 percent of tweets mentioning Hillary Clinton were positive. When comparing the frequency of mentions, Bernie Sanders’ name or handle was mentioned 12,000 times per minute [ http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/bernie-sanders-sparks-the-most-social-media-buzz-post-debate ], while Clinton’s name or handle was mentioned 8,300 times per minute.
topsymentions3-1024x457.png
3. Fundraising
In Bernie Sanders’ closing statement, the Vermont senator mentioned how he recently set fundraising records by raising $26 million in the last quarter with over 650,000 contributors giving an average donation of $30. Sanders even threw in a last-minute fundraising ask, and it worked: the candidate gained a whopping $1.4 million [ http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/bernie-sanders-post-debate-campaign-haul-214789 ] in new contributions after the debate.
4. Focus Groups
When the mainstream media polled focus groups to ask who won the debate, group participants overwhelmingly chose Bernie Sanders. CNN selected a group of undecided voters in Nevada; conservative messaging guru Frank Lutz picked a focus group of Democratic voters in Florida; Fusion picked out a focus group of millennial voters from Miami. And in each instance, focus groups thought Bernie Sanders won the debate [ http://www.vox.com/2015/10/14/9530799/focus-groups-democratic-debate ].  Luntz’ participants described Sanders as “strong,” “smart,” and “for the people,” with nearly all participants picking him as their favorite. Fusion’s focus group picked Sanders 8-3 [ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democratic-debate-bernie-sanders_561e5865e4b050c6c4a38358 ].
5. Online Polling
Out of every mainstream media organization conducting an online poll asking participants who won, Bernie Sanders destroyed the competition. It wasn’t even close. Even Fox News and Drudge participants said Sanders won by a huge margin.
sanderswinsonlinepolls.jpg
One of the biggest embarrassments for big media last night showed in online polls conducted by CNN. Two separate polls each picked Sanders as the winner.
cnnwhowon.jpg
Curiously, this poll was removed from CNN’s website, and is only shown here thanks to a Reddit user’s screenshot. CNN removed the poll and replaced it with a pro-Clinton headline:
cnndeletesandreplaces.jpg
Why would CNN so obviously disregard its viewers’ opinions in favor of pushing a pro-Clinton narrative? It might be partially because CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, is one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors:
hillarytimewarner.jpg
6. Google Searches
Bernie Sanders was by far the most-googled candidate of the night, surpassing all of his competitors before the debate, during the debate, and afterward. No other candidate came close.
googlebernie.png
Something is seriously wrong inside corporate media newsrooms. Either editors and pundits are so incompetent at their jobs that they wrongly assume Hillary Clinton was the favorite in last night’s debate, or they’re purposefully shoving Hillary Clinton down our throats and denying Bernie Sanders’ obvious popularity.
C. Robert Gibson is editor-in-chief of US Uncut. His past work has been published in The Guardian, Al Jazeera America, NPR, and the Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter: @crgibs [ http://twitter.com/crgibs ]

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