Hillary Clinton was rapidly losing ground to democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. She was sticking to her depressing impression of the banally evil Margaret Thatcher, who thrived before she died on a strict diet of lecturing the downtrodden that "there is no alternative"" to predatory capitalism.
Now, I realize that I'll be accused of anti-corporate feminism by musing about the art of the cackle, but here goes anyway....
This week, in light of her tanking poll numbers and recent primary defeats, she's imitating a more wickedly flamboyant Margaret. As in, "I'll Get You, My Pretty!" Hamilton playing the dual roles of Almira Gulch and the Witch of the West. She is out for Bernie blood with an over-acted vengeance. There is nothing like answering a question about your opponent with a bout of forced derisive laughter to win the hearts and minds of the same young audience you are demeaning.
Her handlers are betting that Hillary will have more than enough time to quick-change into Glinda of Oz by the time the sands of the hour-glass settle and she can make quick work of Bernie Sanders through a barrage of insults and innuendo. They imagine that they can castigate the millions of millennials who support Bernie, but then magically herd them into Clinton's hot air balloon for her quick voyage back to the White House.
And she is making no bones about the fact that she can't take the Bern for one minute longer. Enough is enough, my pretties, of pretending that this is still a democracy and that your protests will make a lick of difference in the grand neoliberal scheme of things. So it's off with the expensive kid gloves for the big reveal of the boxing gloves that lie beneath, hand-tailored to fit even the most ham-fisted politician.
Now that the contest has finally reached the wealth inequality and consolidated media epicenter of the universe (New York), Hillary Clinton is calling in all her chits from her partners in the neoliberal disinformation biz, a/k/a The Great White Way.
Before the final tally of her Wisconsin defeat was even in, the Clinton machine was circulating the "damaging" transcript of Bernie Sanders's editorial board meeting with the tabloid Daily News. Campaign publicists even helpfully highlighted the bits in which Bernie allegedly goofed in saying (correctly, it turns out) that the Treasury Department, under the president's direction, has the authority to break up the big banks. Tweet the faux-gaffes to your family and friends and then send us a buck, the Clintonoids begged.
The Daily News, which also published an inflammatory front page accusing Bernie Sanders of throwing the Sandy Hook Massacre families under the bus, is owned by right wing billionaire neocon "thought leader" Mort Zuckerman. He and the Clintons have socialized together both in Manhattan and in the Hamptons, where Hillary penned her "Hard Choices" memoir in isolated plutocratic splendor between fund-raising gigs with the rich and famous.
If there is one thing that Hillary does extremely well, it is bringing extremely rich and famous people together for fun and profit. And that includes rich media moguls like Zuckerman, who donated generously to her family foundation before siccing his editorial henchmen against Bernie Sanders in a board meeting that sounded more like a semantic waterboarding.
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich calls the ensuing corporate media brouhaha over the Daily News transcript "absolutely bonkers." He writes,
In an exchange with the New York Daily News editorial board a few days ago, Bernie said he didn’t know if the Fed had authority to break up the big banks but the President does have such authority under the Dodd-Frank Act.
This drew an onslaught of criticism from the media: "Bernie Sanders Admits He Isn't Sure How to Break Up Big Banks," read Vanity Fair's headline. "This New York Daily News interview was pretty close to a disaster for Bernie Sanders," said The Washington Post. "How Much Does Bernie Sanders Know About Policy?" asked The Atlantic. The Clinton campaign even said in a fundraising email "on his signature issue of breaking up the banks, he's unable to answer basic questions about how he'd go about doing it, and even seems uncertain whether a president does or doesn't already have that authority under existing law."
The criticism is bonkers. Bernie was absolutely correct when he said the President has the authority to break up the big banks under Dodd-Frank. He's repeatedly specified exactly how he'd use that Dodd-Frank authority to do so. His critics are confusing the Dodd-Frank Act with the Federal Reserve. Whether the Fed has the authority on its own to break up the biggest banks is irrelevant.
Clearly, Bernie has the Democratic establishment worried enough to try to twist his words into pretzels.
What do you think?No need to actually think this one through. Just follow the money.
In the next several weeks, the consolidated corporate media -- funded by the same banks, pharmaceutical giants, defense contractors and oil companies which fund Hillary Clinton -- will be like a troupe of flying monkeys, in full unified attack mode against Bernie Sanders and his message of a revolution against corruption and the worst inequality since the Gilded Age.
Politico last year published a list of corporate media gifts to the Clintons. At the very top is Carlos Slim, chief shareholder of the New York Times Company, who forked over at least $5 million. Also in the multimillion-dollar range are James Murdoch of Fox News Corp; Newsmax, a conservative media group based in Florida; and Thomson Reuters.
Other donors are conservative publisher Richard Mellon Scaife; Abigail Disney; Howard Stringer, formerly a CEO at CBS and SONY; Bloomberg LP; Discovery Communications; George Stephanopoulos of ABC-/Disney; Time-Warner; AOL; HBO; Hollywood Foreign Press Association; Knight Foundation; Public Radio International; Turner Broadcasting; Comcast; NBC Universal; PBS; Politico owner Robert Albritton; AOL Huffington Post Media Group; the Hearst Corporation; PBS News Anchor Judy Woodruff; and the Washington Post Company.
Follow the money. The corporate media and democracy are antithetical to one another. As far as they are concerned, elections are a spectator sport in which you, the citizen, may participate once every two, four or six years by selecting one of the candidates they have chosen especially for you. Since they didn't choose Bernie Sanders, they are trying to destroy him.
And all indications -- half mile-long lines at Sanders rallies, his improving poll numbers -- simply reveal that the corporate media just aren't very good at what they do. They are abysmally failing at what Noam Chomsky has called the manufacture of consent.
Guess what? The manufacturing has hereby been outsourced from the media conglomerate propaganda machine into millions of independent working minds and rebellious, fed up spirits.
As Auntie Em retorted to Almira Gulch in the very populist Oz classic: "Just because you own half the county doesn't mean you have the power to run the rest of us!"