Thursday, January 17, 2008

Corporate Media versus John Edwards

[Cross-posted at People First Politics]

GoGold
We in the political blogosphere who have a low opinion of the various celebrity puppets, talking heads and pompous clowns of the major news organizations used to call it "Mainstream Media" - MSM for short. Not really wondering why they always echoed right-wing talking points, or make bad attempts to pass off blatant propaganda, disinformation and Britney's latest pantyless booze-binge as real news.

Now the buzzword is "Corporate Owned Media" - COM - for short. COM is actually more accurate, given the major media's heavy-handed attempts to control the 2008 primaries (as well as which Democrat we'll get for President in November, since Republicans don't have a prayer). But these last couple of weeks definitely take the cake.

I am complaining about the decision of the COM to pointedly ignore John Edwards as a viable candidate for the Democratic nomination and pretend that the only ones running are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Despite the FACT that after 1 primary and 1 caucus (of 49, Michigan doesn't count), John Edwards BEAT Hillary Clinton in Iowa and the delegate count is very close. The split works out thusly:

Obama: 25
Clinton: 24
Edwards: 18



That's close enough to be a horse race, folks. Yet Edwards has been dropped from Survey USA's election polls, even in Oregon where he is running strong (and getting more money than the others) because Survey USA has made a "Judgment Call" [h/t sarahlane @ DKos] that he is not a viable candidate.

Excuse me? I think there's something entirely else afoot here. Consider, for instance, how Edwards rated in a recent CNN poll on how the top Democratic contenders would stack up against John McCain - the only realistic Republican candidate. It looks like this:

DemsVMcCain
[Graphic by RedJet]

Hmmm... John Edwards BEATS McCain by 8%, while Obama ties and Hillary loses. Might I suggest that this is why the COM has decided to withhold polling and coverage for Edwards? Who, by the way, is no great friend of the Corporatocracy, and you can bet your bippy the Corporatocracy knows it.

There's really nothing anyone can do to make the COM offer fair coverage, or include any candidate they don't like in their polls. But that doesn't mean John Edwards won't win enough delegates in the primaries to be a real contender in the balloting in Denver this summer, or at least be a "kingmaker" who can send either Obama or Hillary to the White House - on his terms. That's real power. And every Democrat paying attention (after 7 years of Bush-Cheney, an awful lot of 'em are paying attention) knows who's running. The names are on the ballots, the activists are on the ground canvassing daily, the fund-raisers are raising funds, and the activists are activating. Ignoring him will not make him go away.

The campaign has put up a new video web feature called Media Perception Vs. Reality that should be viewed by anyone honestly concerned about these campaigns and the future of America. Citation from that feature:

The new web feature also includes a graph comparing news coverage of Obama, Clinton and Edwards from January 6th through 11th based on data from the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The graph shows that while 25 percent of campaign news stories by major outlets mentioned Clinton and more than 15 percent mentioned Obama, Edwards was mentioned less than three percent of the time.

"For the better part of a year the media has focused on two celebrity candidates," John Edwards for President communications director Chris Kofinis said. "And they continue to act as if there were only two candidates in the race, even after John Edwards beat Senator Clinton in Iowa and poll after poll show competitive races in Nevada, South Carolina and other key states.

"John Edwards has led the field with the boldest agenda for change and he's the only candidate who has the strength and courage to stand up to the powerful entrenched interests and fight for the middle class families," Kofinis continued.


On Friday, January 18 (that's tomorrow when I post this, today if you're just now reading it), Edwards campaign activists are hosting "Go For The Gold," a push to reach $7 million in one day. I have given my small shares previously (as I could afford it), but saved up for this one. Instead of my usual $10, he'll be getting $100 from me and another $300 from friends I've lobbied mercilessly on his behalf. That's a lot for us, and we want it to count.

Since we all know this is how to make our contributions to public radio count for more during their interminable fund-raisers, here's a chance to do it for someone willing to fight for the poor and middle class in this country against our wannabe (and actual) corporate slave-owners. Dig deep!

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