Thumb on the Scale

Washington Post Ran 16 Negative Stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 Hours
by Adam Johnson, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)
Tuesday, March 08, 2016

In what has to be some kind of record, the Washington Post ran 16 negative stories on Bernie Sanders in 16 hours, between roughly 10:20 PM EST Sunday, March 6, to 3:54 PM EST Monday, March 7—a window that includes the crucial Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, and the next morning’s spin.

Clinton Misleads Voters on Sanders’ Support for the Auto Bailout Ahead of Michigan Primary

Media’s Coronation of Clinton Belies Sanders’ Path Toward Victory
by Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams
Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Despite winning three out of four primary contests over the weekend, despite polling better against Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton in nearly all blue, purple, and light-red states, and despite his continued fundraising prowess, Bernie Sanders keeps getting written off by the corporate media.

“Last night, Secretary Clinton said she was ready for this primary to be over, and if you listen to some of our friends in the political establishment and corporate media, it sounds like they’re ready for the same,” Sanders declared in a letter to supporters on Tuesday.

“The pundits might not like it,” he said on Sunday night, “but the people are making history.”

“I don’t want to disturb the media narrative too much—don’t get people too upset, but don’t write us off,” the U.S. senator from Vermont told the New York Times. “I think we have a path toward victory.”

(L)ooking at an accurate tally of “pledged” delegates—as opposed to super delegates—paints a electoral picture that is “dramatically different” than the narrative “being pushed by establishment media outlets,” journalist Kevin Gosztola wrote on Monday.

“True and accurate numbers are the following,” Gosztola explained. “[A]fter ‘Super Saturday,’ Clinton has 663 pledged delegates. Sanders has 459 pledged delegates. Clinton needs 1,720 delegates to win. Sanders needs 1,924 delegates to win.”

Those numbers are “accurate,” he said, “because ‘super delegates,’ or party leaders, can shift their support at any time. If Sanders wins more primaries than Clinton, there is no reason to think the vast majority of ‘super delegates’ would defy voters and go with Clinton over Sanders. Doing so would be devastating for the party, especially going into an election against a populist Republican candidate like Donald Trump.”

Think Hillary beating Trump is a lock? Think again. To get it done, Clinton must make big moves against big business
by Cody Cain, Salon
Tuesday, Mar 8, 2016 10:45 AM EST

Trump’s supporters are not limited to just the bigots. His supporters extend to people who do not share his reprehensible views, but who are willing to overlook them and vote for him anyway.

Why? What in the world is going on that would cause voters to support a candidate who repudiates their very own views and values?

Suffering. That’s what. Plain and simple.

Income inequality has so ravaged the middle and lower classes that people are desperate for relief. And Trump appears to be a knight in shining armor on a white horse who is galloping to the rescue.

Trump no longer seems likely to self-destruct. He is perceived by blue collar voters as a hero who offers the best hope of rescuing the suffering people. They don’t care if he is gruff, profane, racist, sexist, or any of the rest of it. Even Latinos are voting for him despite Trump’s deplorable insults against them. And labor unions are defecting from the Democratic Party in order to vote for Trump.

Why? Because they believe that they will have better job prospects under Trump.

And it is easy to understand why these people are drawn to Trump. All the other candidates, both Republicans and Democrats, seem like indistinguishable, cookie-cutter, plain old boring politicians who offer nothing but meaningless political platitudes. Trump, on the other hand, is a bold and colorful provocateur who is promising to deliver the suffering people out of bondage and into the promised land.

Why in the world would anyone stick with the boring old politicians?

Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why
by Thomas Frank, The Guardian
Monday 7 March 2016 23.12 EST

Now, I have no special reason to doubt the suspicion that Donald Trump is a racist. Either he is one, or (as the comedian John Oliver puts it) he is pretending to be one, which amounts to the same thing.

But there is another way to interpret the Trump phenomenon. A map of his support may coordinate with racist Google searches, but it coordinates even better with deindustrialization and despair, with the zones of economic misery that 30 years of Washington’s free-market consensus have brought the rest of America.

Many of Trump’s followers are bigots, no doubt, but many more are probably excited by the prospect of a president who seems to mean it when he denounces our trade agreements and promises to bring the hammer down on the CEO that fired you and wrecked your town, unlike Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Here is the most salient supporting fact: when people talk to white, working-class Trump supporters, instead of simply imagining what they might say, they find that what most concerns these people is the economy and their place in it. I am referring to a study just published by Working America, a political-action auxiliary of the AFL-CIO, which interviewed some 1,600 white working-class voters in the suburbs of Cleveland and Pittsburgh in December and January.

Support for Donald Trump, the group found, ran strong among these people, even among self-identified Democrats, but not because they are all pining for a racist in the White House. Their favorite aspect of Trump was his “attitude,” the blunt and forthright way he talks. As far as issues are concerned, “immigration” placed third among the matters such voters care about, far behind their number one concern: “good jobs / the economy.”

“People are much more frightened than they are bigoted,” is how the findings were described to me by Karen Nussbaum, the executive director of Working America. The survey “confirmed what we heard all the time: people are fed up, people are hurting, they are very distressed about the fact that their kids don’t have a future” and that “there still hasn’t been a recovery from the recession, that every family still suffers from it in one way or another.”

In other words, “It’s the economy stupid.”

Hillary’s inevitability lie: Why the media and party elites are rushing to nominate the weakest candidate
by Bill Curry, Salon
Tuesday, Mar 8, 2016 06:00 AM EST

For two years the media has swallowed and peddled the Clinton inevitability line. For two weeks it has said Trump’s nomination is inevitable; this after eight months of saying it was impossible. It is so clueless on both counts because it is so much a part of the system that is under attack and because it relies so heavily on its useless tools and discredited methods. It’s hard to predict the future, it being chock full of stuff that hasn’t happened yet. Even if they get it right, they add nothing of value.

To see the race as it really is one must see the Democratic and Republicans parties as they really are. The story going round is that they’re far apart. It’s true of cultural issues: guns; same-sex marriage; abortion; immigration. But on matters of the distribution of political and economic power and opportunity they are as close as can be. By these I mean: global trade, fiscal austerity, deregulation, information technology; use of military force and most of all what they fight hardest to defend: pay to play politics. It is against this bipartisan consensus of pay to play politics and neoliberal economics that the country, including large chunks of each party’s base, now rises up. This is nearly as true of Trump’s fascist putsch as it is of Bernie’s progressive revolution.

Voters want political reform and economic justice. They know that without reform they’ll never get justice. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who shares that opinion. The election is part of a broader revolt against a failed status quo. Clinton is an architect of that status quo; Trump, a big beneficiary. So she hides her transcripts and he hides his tax returns. Bernie is an open book. It’s why he has the highest favorability rating of any candidate in the race and Clinton has the lowest of any presidential candidate in the history of polling, except for Trump.

Clinton’s national lead over Sanders narrows to single digits
By Nick Gass, Politico
03/08/16 12:00 PM EST

Ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic primaries in Michigan and Mississippi, Hillary Clinton has a nine-point lead over Bernie Sanders in a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The former secretary of state earned the support of 53 percent of Democratic primary voters, while Sanders took 44 percent. While well within the poll’s margin of error, the latest results represent a two-point dip from February’s NBC/WSJ national survey that found Clinton with an 11-point advantage of 53 percent to 42 percent.

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