The core message is that if you are a progressive who refuses to vote for Hillary, then you just have to be a cheerleader of Donald J. Trump, and by extension, totally in the bag for Vladimir Putin. If you dare to criticize Hillary, then you are essentially a deluded traitor to your own country.
As I've written before, Donald J. Trump is the perfect strawman-in-the-flesh foil for Hillary Clinton.
He is so polarizing that the entire media establishment has been affected to the point of abandoning its erstwhile core mission of informing the public. As Matt Taibbi observes, "we have no credible news media left. Apart from a few brave islands of resistance, virtually all the major news organizations are now fully in the tank for one side or the other."
The last month or so of Trump-Hillary coverage may have been the worst stretch of pure journo-shilling we've seen since the run-up to the Iraq war. In terms of political media, there’s basically nothing left on the air except Trump-bashing or Hillary-bashing.Enter the Neocons, who are unabashedly co-opting corporate "liberal" outlets by denouncing Trump and endorsing Clinton and using some pretty slimy scare/smear tactics of their own while they're at it.
Take last week's news cycle:
Red-state media obsessed over a series of emails about the Clinton Foundation obtained by Judicial Watch (a charter member of the "vast right-wing conspiracy") as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit. The emails hinted that Foundation donors might have had special access to Hillary Clinton's State Department.
Meanwhile, the cable-news channels consumed by Democrat-leaning audiences, MSNBC and CNN, spent most of last week hammering Donald Trump's latest outrages, especially the "the Second Amendment people" comments seeming to incite violence against Hillary Clinton or her judicial appointments.
Take this prime example of the new McCarthyesque journalistic genre, just published in The Daily Beast:
"Beware the Hillary Clinton-Loathing, Donald Trump-Loving Useful Idiots of the Left" shrills reporter James Kirchick, claiming with sparse evidence that hordes of progressives are rushing to the side of Donald Trump out of the misguided notion that American adventurism abroad is a really bad thing. If we don't support Hillary Clinton then we are no better than the Weimar-era German communists who, he says, enabled Hitler. Kirchick asserts that anybody postulating that a President Trump would simply allow the "revolution" to proceed more quickly falls right into this category. He cites Bernie Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon as an example of this new breed of lefty fascist-enabler, adding:
Today in America, the stakes may not be as great as they were 80 years ago, but the political strategy is similarly irresponsible. Exultant in their moral narcissism, these lefties for Trump display no concern whatsoever for the consequences of their juvenile behavior. It shouldn’t surprise us that the vast majority of them are white and upper middle class, precisely the sort of people most insulated from the ravages of a potential Trump regime.
But it is the second group of progressive Trump fans, subtler in their sympathies, who warrant the most concern. These are the so-called anti-imperialists who harbor deep revulsion at the idea of American power being used for good in the world. America, they believe, is more often than not a source of evil and disorder—a jaundiced view of our global role that they share with the Republican nominee. Unlike the aforementioned wannabe revolutionaries, most of these progressives haven’t endorsed Trump. But they nonetheless embrace the radical departure in American foreign policy that his presidency promises.Got that, all you disaffected Progs and hippies? If you don't support Clinton, then you are not only an immature narcissist and a snooty racist, you are an anti-American heretical disbeliever in the innate goodness of American hegemony. Shame, shame, shame on you!
Of course, author James Kirchick does not disclose that besides being a "journalist," he is also a fellow of the neoconservative think tank, Foreign Policy Initiative. He gained notoriety a few years ago when he called for the execution of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
Foreign Policy Initiative's founders and Board of Directors include Eric S. Edelman, former undersecretary of defense and national security aide to Dick Cheney; leading Neocon and Clinton supporter/fund raiser Robert Kagan, whose wife Victoria Nuland has been both an aide to Cheney and an undersecretary of State for Hillary Clinton; William Kristol, called by David Corn "the No. 1 cheerleader for the Iraq War"; and Dan Senor, Fox News contributor, AIPAC lobbyist, and foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney.
According to Right Web,
FPI promotes its policy agenda in a number of ways, including producing policy briefings and issue memos, publishing op-eds in major newspapers, and teaming up with like-minded groups to co-host events with lawmakers and other government officials. For instance, in July 2014, FPI co-hosted a “public forum” with the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies to address ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Among the participants at the forum were several members of Congress, including Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Shortly after the event, FPI’s policy director Robert Zarate published an op-ed in USA Today calling for increased sanctions on Iran, claiming that "Iran retains substantial illicit nuclear infrastructure and could potentially produce explosive nuclear material for a weapon in two months."The Daily Beast, which did not see fit to inform its readers of Kirchick's primary function as a paid propagandist for a war-mongering think tank, is owned by IAC, which describes itself as "a leading media and Internet company with more than 150 brands and products serving loyal consumer audiences."
Like other neoconservative groups, FPI also appears to seek out alliances that extend across ideological lines using the mechanism of sign-on letters. Reprising a role PNAC played in the run-up to the Iraq War, for instance, FPI released a letter in August 2013 calling for the U.S. government to consider "direct military strikes" on Syria and to provide more arms for "moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition,” with the aim of tipping the balance of Syria's civil war against the Assad regime. Alongside FPI’s Kristol, Edelman, Kagan, and Senor, signatories included prominent figures from the George W. Bush administration like Elliott Abrams, John Hannah, Douglas Feith, and Karl Rove; neoconservative writers like Eliot Cohen, James Kirchick, and Reuel Marc Gerecht; prominent Republicans like Gary Bauer, Norm Coleman, and Tim Pawlenty; and Democratic hawks like former Sen. Joe Lieberman and New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier.
(Hear that, all you Hillary-hating, non-consuming disloyalists out there in Hippieville?)
IAC's chairman and chief executive is Hillary Clinton mega-donor/billionaire Barry Diller. And guess who sits on its Board of Directors?
It's very hard work being both a mogul and a director, as evidenced by Barry, Chelsea and their spouses slaving away and snorkeling off the coast of Sardinia last year:
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