The Iron Curtain

An Essay By Our Member William:

That phrase was of course first famously used by Winston Churchill in a speech in 1946. He was referring to the fact that the Soviet Union had consolidated power in Eastern Europe, and was setting up satellite regimes. Churchill said that “an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” It was a powerful and chilling image; that of a very large totalitarian state completely shutting out all dissenting influences. The power of that image has not diminished with time, though the focus has changed.

I grew up in a small and politically conservative suburb of Los Angeles. Most of my elementary school teachers, and then my junior high school social studies or government teachers, seemed pretty conservative, though they were not usually overtly political. They certainly emphasized the horror of the totalitarian communist state, where the government had complete control of the information disseminated to the public. We learned about Pravda, Tass, and Izvestia, the written and broadcast arms of the state. We were told that the people of Russia had no access to the actual truth, and could not help but believe the propaganda that they were fed daily. This was undoubtedly true for the most part, and it was a chilling thing for me to contemplate then.

The idea that the people of a nation would have no opportunity to learn what was actually going on; that the “news” was fed to them; that facts were censored, and no dissenting opinions were even voiced, was horrifying. Of course, the USSR was not the first totalitarian state, but it was the most geographically far-reaching. The Nazi propaganda fed to the Germans and all the people in the countries they conquered, was of course even more horrifying. How do we get the truth through to such people, I wondered? We learned about Radio Free Europe, and how some brave people were trying to tell the citizens of the Eastern Bloc what was really happening in the world.

Inherent in all of this was of course the pride that we had in America being a free country, where people could question their leaders, and where the news journalists were dedicated to telling the facts, so that people could make up their minds about things. And surely it was true that the history of America was mostly a winning fight for the forces of open journalism. Of course there were the yellow journalists; and the powerful Hearst empire, whose founder may well have caused the sinking of the Maine because he wanted the U.S. to fight a war with Spain. And there was later the red-baiting, and the smears and innuendoes against people who were loyal Americans, by certain segments of the media. But there was always a strong counterforce; you always got the other side, even though in the McCarthy witch hunt days, much of it was intimidated. But for the most part, the truth seemed to prevail.

When I was a young boy, there were four major newspapers in Los Angeles, and they fought for readers. Of course there was some headline hunting; but that many competing journalistic entities was a great thing, because one powerful person or newspaper chain could not control the news cycle. Those days are long over, of course, along with most of the fictional competition of the “free marketplace.”

Now we are in an age where the newspaper, as we used to know it, is all but gone. And this is a tragedy. How many of us enjoyed picking up the paper in the morning, and perusing it carefully at breakfast or lunch; reading all the various articles and editorial pieces? I know that my family did. And our major paper was the Los Angeles Times, which evolved from a pro-Nixon journal in the ’50’s, to one of the world’s great newspapers in the ’70’s. But even at its worst, I remember my parents always being able to find a few opinion piece writers whom they respected. In other words, it was never completely one-sided; nor did most of the important news not get through. And then of course there were the three major networks: CBS, NBC, and ABC, where you felt that you were getting the news, even though of course there might have been some bias among the various anchorpersons or even the entire network, at various times. My parents watched them all, even though they were all on at the same time, during one period. If there were a positive story for our liberal Democratic side, my father, who usually had the remote, would try to catch the different versions of it on all three networks. Sometimes he and my mother would be upset at the way some anchor presented a story, but most of the objections were more about semantics, than any attempt to ignore or misrepresent the story.

And my parents watched virtually every single news show on the weekends. I didn’t quite have their love of it; I got sort of tired of hearing the same people say the same things. But there would often be spirited debates, even on a show like the McLaughlin Group, where at least you could always cheer on Eleanor Clift and Jack Germond. So while none of this debate really got anybody anywhere, at least it allowed both sides to come through; and so one did not feel as if one were being spoon-fed propaganda.

Well now I really fear as if those days are all gone. Year after year, I would watch less of the news channels, because I felt that the presentations and even the subjects were biased. When Fox came along, with their Orwellian, “We report, you decide,” slogan, it was very disconcerting. CNN in the Ted Turner days was adequate. Then MSNBC came up, and was even liberal for a time, but is no more. And CNN has become as bad as Fox, at least from everything I have read. My brother, who was and is a big Obama supporter, was complaining about CNN a few years ago; and of course CNN is far worse as regards Hillary Clinton. I do not know exactly what happened to them, but clearly their corporate ownership has no qualms about distorting the news in order to achieve its ends. In other words, “news” not as facts about whose implications people can debate, but “news” as fabricated or vastly slanted, because the goal of the media entity is not to provide information, but to control the minds and opinions of the public.

How can one think it is otherwise now? When virtually all semi-neutral observers have noted the absolute bias against Hillary Clinton in this very early campaign? I thought that they would have waited a while, but the media is engaged in preemptive strikes, trying to poison the minds of voters, by inventing a ludicrous “e-mail scandal,” which is no scandal at all, not even a mistake. The media does not start with some facts and then try to unravel their meaning. They start with a prefabricated conclusion, and then try to create or omit facts in such as way as to try to trick people into believing what the media wants them to believe. This was done against Gore, and against Kerry; it is not new. But it has steadily gotten worse, to the point now where there is not even a nod to the actual truth of matters, just a pervasive and relentless bias in every story.

Somehow the concept of jounalism as conceived by people like Montaigne, Addison, and Zenger, has been completely lost. In its place is an unholy combination of entertainment and propaganda. The entertainment part of it is determined to make every presidential race close, so as to draw viewers. Further, the political news is presented with an eye toward “sexy” stories: the personal; how someone dresses, how they talk, tone of voice, a particular word or phrase that the media latches onto Things that people who are conditioned to watching “The Bachelorette” can easily grasp. And then the propaganda, which is fed to people along with the entertainment aspects, is virtually as insidious and totalitarian as anything fed to the Russian people under Stalin or Brezhnev.

I could write much more about this, of course. The estimable site HIllary Men has written insightfully about how Karl Rovian tactics of inserting various tested phrases are used in every story, so as to completely color the narrative about HIllary Clinton,. The powerful right-wing think tanks concoct these phrases each day, and fire out the stories to the news networks, who very readily spew them out to the public. It used to seem that perhaps the networks were foolish dupes in this, but now it is apparent that they are very willing participants.

People who always feared that America would become a totalitarian state, always had an erroneous take on it, I felt. The danger is very real, but it is not the government per se which would clamp down the iron curtain on all dissenting or questioning. It would be the ultra-powerful trillionaire corporations, which have virtually taken on the image of a ravenous monster existing beyond even the venal desires of their corporate leaders and boards. They must be fed, they want all the wealth and all the power. Anything that stands in their way must be destroyed. Truth is of no significance to them whatsoever. They will create whatever stories help them to control the populace, and keep someone who might pose a threat to them from being elected. They want to control every branch of government, and any impediment to their corporate mergers, stifling of competition, the laws passed by their bought legislators which have only one intent: to allow them to consolidate and increase their power. Corporations were always that way, of course, but we used to have a free press; and the “muckraking journalists” of the early 20th century exposed much of their dark side. Now we have no free press, as the corporations own virtually all of it. One can still write a book, I suppose; but there would be no corporation to back it, and insure it remains on the shelves, as they do with the anti-Clinton books which they regularly subsidize.

This is a dire picture. I do not like dire pictures; I prefer to think at least somewhat optimistically. But people just have to realize what is going on here. This is about far more than this election, or even about Hillary Clinton, as wonderful a candidate as she is. She is undoubtedly being damaged by the almost breathtaking lies being told about her by the media each day, every day. That is the goal of the lies, of course. To destroy her candidacy; to damage her favorability numbers to the point that she cannot recover. Does anyone see any interest by the media in actually covering issues in this race? I don’t think that the media has any intention of actually discussing anything relating to a real issue, at least not until they can destroy the Hillary candidacy, which is the only goal they have. I suppose they would like ratings, but the corporate ownership will gladly take a small temporary loss, to be able to vastly enhance their profits under a right-wing president who will let the corporations run wild. And the only Democrat who can defeat a right-wing Republican is Hillary Clinton. So they lay off Sanders now, because if he is somehow nominated, they can then bring out the “would you vote for a Socialist?” theme, which would destroy his candidacy. And with Biden, they’ve got all sorts of things stored up, from plagiarism, to age, to many more. They hold off on these now because those two candidates are easy targets. Hillary is the big target, the one they fear; so they are fixing all their guns on her.

Hillary could win even despite this, though I was not prepared for the extent of the shameless and vicious media tactics. But even if she wins, how does she manage to govern, if this is going to be the template for how they cover her presidency? Of course she can speak directly to the people on occason. But how much of her narrative will be ruined by unceasing media attacks, which of course were so effective in helping the Republicans to destroy the Democrats in the last two midterm elections? We are so used to assuming that the media, both journalistic and broadcast, is actually telling us real facts, that if we start to believe that they are not; that everything they say is carefully concocted, where are we then?

Do we now have our own iron curtain clamping down on the ability of our citizens to discern what is actually happening with regard to governmental or political affairs? Oh, certainly we will still get our “entertainment stories” of car crashes and violent acts, and what one celebrity said to another. Those are the equivalent of the “bread and circuses” which the Roman historian Tacitus described as the methods by which the Roman emperors kept the population amused and quiescent. But with regard to the really important matters, those that will affect virtually every person for the next four years and more, can we rely on anything the media now tells us? And even if you or I can still find out things for ourselves; if we live in a country where the majority rules, and most of the voters have been brainwashed or stifled by the corporate media iron curtain which does not allow anything but what they choose to come through, how do we manage to reach enough of those voters to enable them to break through it?


45 Responses

  1. As always, beautifully said, William.
    I have to admit that I’m frightened for our country.

  2. What Sue said, every sentence. Thank you, William!
    Beautifully stated and terrifying to contemplate.

  3. William, I hope you don’t mind my re-posting this article which offers an interesting footnote to your superb essay.

    Maher’s assholery has long been known. Maddow’s BernBot status is disappointing, but predicable seeing how MSNBC was Obot Central in 2008. As VotingHillary noted: “The left media can’t possibly stomp over their credibility because they gave that away in 2008 and have never earned it back with the constant fawning over O for the last 8 years. It’s why their ratings are in the toilet.”
    I do think Palmer is naive about the factors at work against Hillary.


    The vast left wing conspiracy against Hillary Clinton
    By Bill Palmer | September 6, 2015

    Hillary Clinton once quipped back in the nineties that there was a “vast right wing conspiracy” against she and her husband, as those on the right invented one trumped up scandal about them after another. Now in 2015, Hillary faces something of the converse. Oh sure, the right wing is still after her, but by now their concoctions are predictable. Here’s what no one saw coming: from the liberal members of the media on down, there now appears to be a vast left wing conspiracy against her.

    On the surface it seems an absurd notion. After the liberals have had control of the White House for the past six-plus years and has benefited from it greatly, Hillary Clinton represents the best chance to keep the left wing’s control intact. So the left leaning members of the media should be rubber-stamping her candidacy for President, right? Hardly.
    Take a survey of the tenor of the relatively few openly left-leaning prominent members of the media. MSNBC should be thrilled at the idea of President Hillary Clinton, but they just tried to bury her in a hostile interview this week which focused mostly on phony scandals. So perhaps Andrea Mitchell, who conducted the interview, isn’t from the left wing. But her MSNBC counterpart Rachel Maddow is. And if anything, Maddow seems more cravenly out to sink Clinton’s chances than anyone. That’s a shocker considering that Maddow is generally considered one of the fairest liberal voices on television.

    Is it that Rachel is so enthralled by a can’t-win protest candidate like Bernie Sanders that she’s willing to throw Hillary Clinton under a bus in the hopes of propping up her preferred candidate, or is it that MSNBC is merely shifting to hard to the right this year that Maddow has little choice but to go along with it? That’s not entirely clear. But what is more transparent is the manner in which liberal hero Bill Maher has essentially turned his weekly show into a pro-Sanders, anti-Hillary campaign stump.

    When Maher had Sanders on as a guest at the start of his campaign, it was the most puff-piece interview possible. Since that time Maher has made a point of doing segments in which he specifically trashed Clinton for daring to take Hollywood money to fund her campaign – yes, this is the same Bill Maher who famously gives large sums of that same Hollywood money to democratic candidates whenever he feels like it. When Claire McCaskill went on Maher’s show recently, seemingly for the sole intention of talking up her recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Maher never let her get to it before moving on to the next segment. But Maher isn’t the only problem either.

    Look around at any popular left leaning reporter in almost any media format, and you won’t find one of them who is willing to acknowledge that Hillary Clinton is leading the democratic primary by twenty-plus points in every national poll. Forget about whether they like her, they’re not even willing to acknowledge the most basic facts of the 2016 campaign when those facts just happen to make clear that she has a big lead. So why the sudden vast left wing conspiracy?

    There are two factors at play, and you’ll have to decide for yourself whether one or both applies to any given liberal reporter and in whatever proportion. One factor is that these liberal reporters are simply trashing Hillary Clinton for street cred among their left leaning audience. They know Bernie Sanders is trendy right now, and while they’re politically savvy enough to know that Bernie Sanders has no chance of winning this primary, they’re also aware that much of their audience doesn’t know that. So they keep swiping at Hillary, score some cheap points with purist liberals, and they figure no harm done because Hillary is going to win anyway. The other factor is simply that no one watches a blowout, and in order to get their left leaning audience to keep tuning in, they have to paint this race as being much closer than it is. You can decide who’s doing what and way. But some of these otherwise respectable liberal leaning reporters are stomping all over their own credibility in the process.

  4. Thank you, Sue, and GWM4Hill.

    This is perhaps my greatest fear regarding the future of democracy in this country. A dumbed down populace being fed utter lies and propaganda by a corporate controlled media, so that they have no accurate idea of what is really going on, or what the issues are, or what is at stake in the elections. I don’t know what the antidote to this is, but I do not give up hope of finding one. I think that we need another “trust buster” President who will attempt to break up the multinational corporations which are bidding to take over every source of information, so as to be able to create their own self-supporting version of reality..That would be no easy task, but it is a goal. And also, at least appoint people to the FCC who would have some interest in assuring media fairness. And somehow get at least some of the corporate lobbyists out of Washington.

  5. Let’s be realistic here. They aren’t going to stop hammering Hillary, neither the press nor the GOP, and we have to maintain our cool and live with that. It’s not going away. You can’t turn shit into ice cream.

    Can she win? Yes. But she’s going to have to fight for it, which is really good in a sense, because she’s way better when she doesn’t have an easy ride. That’s my take on her. I am pretty confident she will win the D nomination because Bernie is having some fun but on a National level he’s not going to beat her no matter who humps for him on MSNBC or nutroots sites. He’ll lose IOWA and don’t be too sure he’ll win NH. Hillary appears to have plans for her visits there, including celebrating the anniversary of her Beijing speech. As for Bernie, nobody can even think of a piece of legislation of any value he has gotten passed unless you include naming post offices. He screams a lot. He looks old and seedy and like he needs to be run through a carwash. He reminds me of Ralph Nader that way. He will lose. If he doesn’t lose, he will never win a general election, but I don’t think that’s going to be a worry. However, the witch hunt will be stepped up during the general election, so we should regard this primary time as practice for her. She’s going to need it because they will not let up. If they can’t find something on her, they will continue to fabricate “Problems”. We would be fools to expect anything better. She is far too great a threat to the boys in the band.

  6. Great post William
    The news is all skewered to fit the narrative 😡

  7. We are all mad Joe. 😡

  8. You hit this one on the head, William. I am going to share this at some of my favorite Hillary groups on FB (unless someone else already beat me to it). I’ve already tweeted it.

    In regard to “someone could write a book”, Anita Finlay already did that, as y’all can see by the link at the sidebar of this blog. She couldn’t get it past the corporate gatekeepers, so she indie-published it. But one advantage of an indie-pubbed book is that it remains on the market for as long as the author keeps it on the market. Those corporately published anti-Clinton books are available for a few months and that’s it. On an individual level, those books don’t make much of an impact. Unfortunately, as soon as one fizzles out, a new one hits the shelves. As Hillary herself stated, these books are a cottage industry.

    (If there are any newbies here who haven’t read Anita’s book yet, I highly recommend it. She tells it like it is!)

  9. Uppity, I agree with you. I do think that if Hillary can get the nomination, there are going to be some real positives. The extreme Left will be quiet, because no one will listen to them. Unless they somehow support someone’s third party bid, but hopefully that won’t be the case. The Republicans will have a candidate out there, not just a faceless group. Eventually there will have to be some discussion of plans and issues. In 2000, George W. Bush got away with absolutely saying nothing about any issue, but Hillary will not allow that this time. And if people just get the idea of what the Republicans have in store, with the Congress behind them, they might decide that there are more important things than the phony issues the media comes up with.

    But yes, it will be a very ugly campaign on the other side. I am starting to think that Fiorina might be a VP choice, so as to mute the issue of sexism. She can be every bit as unpleasant as any of the male candidates. But right now we have the problem that the Democratic Left is giving cover to the Radical Right, by doing their own attacking of Hillary. Will people like O’Donnell and Maddow and even the awful NY TImes editorial writers continue to attack Hillary with the spectre of the Republican candidate being elected as a result? CNN and Fox won’t change, and it is going to be very unpleasant. But Hillary can keep focusing on issues, and some of that will hopefully filter to the voters.

  10. Jens, thank you.. I do think it is something that the general public should at least read and consider, because in some ways it subsumes many of the daily issues..If people can start to realize that what they are hearing and seeing on the daily news is not news, but carefully scripted propaganda, this might at least be a start in diluting the power of the corporate media.

  11. Yeah foxy, Joe is putting on a nice show to see if he can up his numbers before he decides if he’s going to run. Leave it to Joe to find another way to cheat.

  12. William, the far left with not remain quiet. Some of them will fall in. Others will bitch and moan and snipe just like we did in 2008. So be it, I don’t think it will matter, just like we didn’t matter. Frankly I find that bunch totally lame compared to 2008. Because they are fragmented. There are the ones who are already supporting Hillary and the ones supporting bernie, and of course, the second bunch is nasty and rude and threatening to everyone. You can see that mess on any day at Kos. So we’ll get half of them to fall in, and you know what? Screw the rest of them. That’s what they said about us. So screw em. She will need to get indys to vote for her and she’s not going to get them pandering to left wing nutcases. She will immediately move to the middle because that’s where she belongs anyways. For now, she’s letting Bernie do his pandering to the loons, that takes the weight off of her far as I’m concerned. She knows that she won’t get them unless Bernie implodes, which he might. Or might not. Meanwhile we are just going to put up with the CNN, MSNBC carping. If she can win the primary, one of the best parts of it will be the message that the media doesn’t matter, they aren’t The Power.

  13. I also think we need to pay some attn to the GOP race, who’s standing who’s collapsing. !jeb is a lame-ass and is unraveling. Not that I think that’s a bad thing. Looks like Walker, Rubio and Cruz might tank. Boo Hoo. And Huckster et al, well they’re just there to irritate everybody. Carson is almost too weird to be true. Carly will go so far, but remember, this is the GOP. Those boys aren’t going to give up a cherry slot to some woman. Kasich is the only one in that bunch I would vote for, he’s the only sane one there, which is why they will get rid of him.

    Nationally, the trend of 29 pollsters say this
    Donald Trump 32.1%
    Ben Carson 13.8%
    Jeb Bush 8.3%
    Ted Cruz 6.1%
    Marco Rubio 5.5%
    Mike Huckabee 5.0%
    Scott Walker 4.6%
    John Kasich 4.1%
    Carly Fiorina 4.0%
    Rand Paul 2.5%
    Chris Christie 2.4%
    Rick Perry 1.2%
    Rick Santorum 1.1%
    Bobby Jindal 0.5%
    Lindsey Graham 0.2%
    Jim Gilmore 0.0%
    George Pataki 0.0%

    It’s glorious to see Pataki at zero. I know what a POS he really is. He’s so crooked he could hide behind a corkscew. And nobody does the crooked-mouth thing better than George, except for Dick Cheney and his Spawn. He should be totally embarrassed at the names ahead of him who are beating him. If I were losing to Lindsay, Santorum and Perry I would forever never leave the house without a bag over my head. Anyways, as you can see, everybody else is eating Donald’s dust.

    So what do you think about that?

  14. Hide behind a corkscrew, lol!

    I was hoping that the Democratic race would be such an easy Hillary win that I could enjoy the Republican free for all. But the media stuff is so irritating that I haven’t been able to. But certainly I look at it in terms of whom I would rather have Hillary run against.

    Interestingly, we know ttat the corporate powers don’t want Trump. He is a corporation of sorts, but he is a loose cannon, and you don’t know what he’ll do. So we know that the corporate media will try to stop him. I still have the thought that Trump really doesn’t want to be president, that he just loves the publicity, and that he will bow out at some point. But maybe not.

    If he doesn’t, there will probably quickly be one of the others who emerges as the alternative to Trump. Carson? Republicans and even the eountry at large have flirted with this kind of projective ‘non-political” candidate before. It is a scary reflection of the “know-nothingism” which seems to pervade this country. I guess Carson was a good surgeon, but he does not even believe in evolution. And he wants a flat tax, which would pretty much bankrupt the country. But wouldn’t that be something: a far right-wing Black Republican President?

    Past that, you have the regular pols. Jeb was always the obvious candidate, but they don’t seem to want him. He could pick up the pieces, though, if Trump falls through. I thought Walker would be a major force, as he seemed to sort of evince the modern brand of Republicanism, but he’s struggling. I can’t see any of the other ones getting through the primaries with enough votes. And I can’t imagine that this large field will continue like this. So just on percentages, it seems like Trump or Bush. I will root for Trump, because I think that Bush is smart and very frightening. Trump is more beatable because he cannot really discuss issues. If America chooses Trump over Hillary, we can take suggestions as to what the best country might be to move to. Although a Bush presidency is actually more frightening to me, as it would mean the end of the Democratic Party as a viable entity, after he finishes with his unscrupulous machinations.

  15. Just to emphasize how frighteningly dumbed down the country is, the two leading Republican candidates have never held elective office; never actually voted on a bill, sponsored legislation, run a state government. At least with such candidates, you can pretty well gauge their politics, and how they would govern. But people yearn for the fantasy projective candidate, the one who has no troublesome votes to explain; who just spouts nonsense and makes wild promises.

    Meanwhile, Hillary, who was a highly respected U.S. Senator in a difficult and complex state; and who was a very well regarded Secretary of State, has all this history which people can carp about and microanalyze. This is somehow a negative; many people would rather take a wild stab on someone with no record at all, as if this all were a version of “American Idol,” with no real world consequences. And even worse, they imagine that the serious problems can be solved by some take-charge guy who doesn’t brook interference, perhaps like in a superhero movie. This is of course how much of Europe fell into fascism after WWI.

  16. But wouldn’t that be something: a far right-wing Black Republican President?

    Yeah that would be a regular trip to Disneyworld. It would also help Hillary get elected. We already elected a know-nothing. Please remember when Obama thought he was going to sit down and have a nice convo with the President of Canada. He still got elected. Carson won’t carry the black voters. He’s way off their wall. Nobody pro choice will vote for him and most women will vote for Hillary. It’s a loser for the GOP. I am trying to objectively think of which of these people would be palatable beyond the primary voters. It’s a hard one. It’s not trump, though.

  17. Why is everybody so bummed? For chrissakes, Hillary is winning handily nationally even in the face of all the plotting to wipe her out. She’s a force to survive that kind of crap. If she can get up every morning and carry on in spite of the skewers, why the hell can’t we?

    I’m not sure what I’m going to do here, but if you guys don’t stop bumming each other out, I am going to streak through here naked. And believe me I have enough scars to qualify as the wife of Frankenstein.

    We’ve got to learn something from the Bernouts. and the Paulies. They are upbeat. Their candidate could be pulling 5% and they swear he’s gonna win. It’s not like Hillary is getting buried by Berno. OR that coward Joe who is running without running. Come on!

    Ease up on yourselves! And each other!

  18. Nationally, the trend of 29 pollsters say this
    Donald Trump 32.1%
    Ben Carson 13.8%
    Jeb Bush 8.3%
    Ted Cruz 6.1%
    Marco Rubio 5.5%
    Mike Huckabee 5.0%
    Scott Walker 4.6%
    John Kasich 4.1%
    Carly Fiorina 4.0%
    Rand Paul 2.5%
    Chris Christie 2.4%
    Rick Perry 1.2%
    Rick Santorum 1.1%
    Bobby Jindal 0.5%
    Lindsey Graham 0.2%
    Jim Gilmore 0.0%
    George Pataki 0.0%

    What’s going to be interesting is where the primary voters go when Rubio on down the list drop out of the race. If they go to Bush, game over. But if they spread out among the current leaders, it could get ugly come convention time between Bush and Trump. Trump’s problem is going be to staying the frontrunner for the long haul. There are still many debates for him to screw up, but same goes for Bush.

  19. Uppity @ 8:05 pm, I agree! Here’s the last paragraph or so from #hillarymen’s latest post:

    So this is our admonition: a successful campaign requires our strength as well as Hillary’s. We are backing the candidate who has more conviction, stamina, and intellectual willpower than any candidate in the field, perhaps more than several of them combined. If Hillary stays aloft, gets past the bumps and reaches her destination, we know that long after we’re gone, women and girls will look back at this moment in history as an inflection point when the impossible become the possible.

    There are less than five months to Iowa, six months to Super Tuesday. Let’s help Hillary get across the finish line by matching her intensity and her will to succeed.

    Let’s fight to win.

  20. “Carson won’t carry the black voters. He’s way off their wall.”

    I agree with this completely, but the Dems have a real problem with BLM. They have thumbed their noses as much at Dems as Republicans if not more so. I think BLM is going to shoot off their noses to spite their face and tamp down the African-American vote this time around. But what they are doing is feeding into politicians pandering to the Hispanic vote and in the long run, make the African-American vote trivial for future elections which means less to no attention to their plight in American society regarding political responses.

    In the divide and conquer political climate such as we have today, BLM and the African-American community are going to lose.

    (My English teachers are going to shoot me for that run-on sentence.)

  21. William, very interesting post. Agree that the msm could hardly go much lower. My 21 yo regularly mocks it, and I take that as a hopeful sign, that the young see through the bs.

    By the way, I remember the LA Times and the Herald Examiner, what were the other two LA papers? I started reading the newspaper at about age 10, and became a liberal soon after.

  22. Upps, love it when you’re at your feisty best! Great comments!

    Waving Hi to Jen!

  23. Up @ 8:05 pm: Why is everyone so bummed?

    Great question! Think how bummed we’d all be if Hillary were tanking like Jeb! I agree if Hillary can keep doing this every day, we should stop whining and get to work. We can’t control the media, but we still have a lot of control over the outcome.

  24. I need to power wash my brain. I can’t get the image of Uppity streaking out of it!

  25. William, I love your point about people would rather support someone with no record at all than a highly qualified candidate with a resume that can be attacked. We saw this movie in 2008.

  26. I need to power wash my brain. I can’t get the image of Uppity streaking out of it!

    Not an idle threat!

  27. Annie, there were the TImes, the Mirror, the Herald, and the Examiner. My father worked for the Examiner as a graphic designer. My mother, who ultimately became a VP of Human Resources for large corporations, was a very bright woman who in that era had to start as a secretary, and worked at the Herald. The Herald and the Examiner merged. The Times either merged with the MIrror or took it over. So there became the Herald-Examiner, and the Times-Mirror Company. Then there was a major strike at the Herald-Examiner, which was owned by the Hearst chain. Hearst would not negotiate, so the strike dragged on, and eventually they just closed the paper, rather than try to settle the strike. So now, as you know, we only have the TImes, and then there is the Daily News, a conservative paper for the San Fernando Valley.

    I was too young to follow it all, but I seem to remember that the Mirror was the liberal paper back then. I think Hearst owned the Examiner. The Times was owned by the conservative Chandlers. Then Otis Chandler, a scion of the Chandlers, took over, and he was more moderate, and had big ideas. In the ’70’s, the Times had a great editor, and the paper was as good as the NY TImes in its heyday. But the Chandlers eventually sold to the Chicago Tribune, I believe, And then Sam Zell, a leveraged buyout shark, took it over, and vastly cut staff. I’m not even sure who owns it now, but the paper is pretty much a shadow of its glory days. For a while in the ’70’s and ”80’s, it was a liberal paper, but now I think it is moderately conservative as to op-eds.

    Are there any liberal papers left? I remember that there used to be the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and then maybe the Atlanta Constitution, which were pretty solidly liberal. As the smaller papers got swallowed up, or could not survive, there were only a few large chains which ordinarily were quite conservative,and owned many different newspapers.

  28. To be honest, I don’t want any liberal or conservative “news”papers. I don’t want any liberal of conservative TV news channels either. I want my news straight up with both sides represented without some blabbing idiot with lots of makeup and good hair sticking their two cents in. That’s called NEWS.

  29. Uppity, the news should be given straight. But in the days where newspapers flourished, almost all of them endorsed in presidential races and many downstate races as well. When the St. Louis Post-Dispatch would endorse a Democrat for President, it was at least a bit helpful; the broadcast media might report that, and also quote the editorial. And of course most papers were owned by conservative corporate tycoons, so they were going to be endorsing the Republican, and hence some support for the Democrat was helpful. I don’t think that the betterr papers slanted the news stories; they might run a different mix of independent editorial pieces. You could tell when the L.A. Times was changing its stance, when they would drop some good liberal columnists in favor of conservative ones. Newspapers will always run syndicated columns, so one would hope for a fair mix of those.

    I do agree with you on news channels, where there should not be any bias, but just the straight reporting of news stories. Actually, the news channels are worse, because they are slippery enough not to directly editorialize; they act as if they are just reporting news, but it is always spun with a slant.

  30. I never agreed with the concept of newspapers endorsing candidates. It’s not their business to influence voters. All too often, local newspapers are owned by local people affiliated with politics. This means their newspapers become garbage and nothing even remotely resembling accuracy. They leave important facts out and add in new ‘facts’ in order to influence how things go. Often they influence the success or failure of laws that affect them personally without regard to everyone else. Usually these laws cost taxpayers a great deal of money. This is also true of Gannett type newspapers.

    Some years ago there was a book called The Chain Gang by a guy named McCord. He exposed the absolute sleaze associated with Gannett news. Unfortunately for them, he got his hands on their private memos. It was an eye-opener. I think it’s safe to say that other chains have no problem being just as sleazy.

  31. Oh, I agree. And Gannett is very bad, along with some other chains. Just appalling when the corrupt the very name of journalism in that fashion.

    It seems as if someone is coming around and one-starring my posts! The person never articulates a disagreement or objection, though. What a mature thing to do. Of course we saw so much of that in 2008; chldren playing at politics like it was a video game, instead of something which affected hundreds of millions of people.

  32. Oh, good lord. I am so sick of hearing it’s the end of Hillary. She’s running a terrible campaign. She’s a terrible candidate blah, blah, blah.

  33. Ga6thDem, on September 8, 2015 at 6:21 PM said:

    Completely agree with you on this. She is leading and she will be fine.

    I love the latest headline that she is at a new low in latest poll. OK, first off, this is the first poll since Biden kinda/sorta entered the race. Second, Hillary is leading Biden by 20%. Third, no mention that with Biden entering, Sanders is LAST….but that isn’t news because the Bernie Babies’ heads would explode. And finally, they polled 337 registered voters (almost 100 less than their last poll which was also a very small sample size). Hillary derangement syndrome at its best.

  34. William, thanks for explaining about the Los Angeles newspapers. When I was young, I thought our LA Times was excellent, but sadly, no more. We went to see Toto at the Greek on Sunday night, and the couple next to us were talking about the good old days of the Times when they had a rock music critic named Robert Hilburn. I guess he’s still around and has a weekly radio gig at CSUN.

  35. Annie, yes! Robert Hilburn was the long-time rock music critic for the Times. He was formerly the country music critic there, and that was his real love. I confess that I did not like him a bit as rock critic, because we had much different tastes. But he is a gracious person, and he does indeed have a radio show every week on the CSUN station.. Actually, and apropos of nothing much, my favorite rock critic on the Times was Kristine McKenna, whose Sunday articles in the Calendar section were great. The Times had such good critics in those days: Charles Champin, Kenneth Turan, Michael Wilmington, Peter Ranier for movies; Dan Sullivan (now a big-time Broadway director) for theatre; the superb Leonard Feather for jazz; and then McKenna and a few others for the independent label pop.. Oh, and Howard Rosenberg for television. What a fun read the Calendar section was in those days.

  36. Yeah GA, imagine if she were ahead?

  37. Did anyone watch the abc news interview with David Muir?? All I’ve heard is she said she was “sorry”, but watching the interview myself, she had another emotional moment ala New Hampshire. Did anyone else see it? What did you think?

  38. William, yes, I loved the Calendar section, and reading all those critics! I also thought Hilburn could be a bit peppery.

    imust, I haven’t seen it yet, have been in and out all day. (God, can you believe this heat? Ugh.) I probably won’t get to watch it til late tonight. I hope its nothing dramatically bad. They are talking about it next door at Widders.

  39. Imust, I saw it. She was emotional when recalling advice that her mother gave to her, when asked to do so by the anchor.

    Apparently there is more of the interview tomorrow, dealing with Iran. Unless the anchor wants to spend more time talking about the email issue. Hillary looked somewhat weary, as one would expect when the media has made the entire focus of your campaign the matter of having a private email address. Actually, I’m not quite sure why she is doing these interviews, but maybe she is hopeful that the media will finally get tired of these questions, and she can move on.

    I will add that the first “question” asked to her was something that I would guess has never been asked to any candidate in history, as it is so deliberately unfair. He asked her about some poll where people were asked to give a one-word adjective to describe her; and words like “liar” and “dishonest” were the leaders. Of course what he didn’t mention is that the people polled included right-wing Republicans who would jump at the chance to use those words, just like they did about Obama or Bill Clinton. The way the question was put, it sounded like all the people out there decided that she was a liar, which is so far from the reality as to make the question disgraceful. Then he almost invited her to leave the race, asking if she ever wonders if it is worth it.

  40. Almost forgot to offer congrats to Queen Elizabeth II on her record for being the longest reigning monarch in England’s history. She surpassed Queen Victoria’s reign today.

    Her steady hand has saved the monarchy on more than one occasion and she was the monarch that lead to a change in the law that the eldest child regardless of SEX holds succession rank.

    God save the Queen.

    New post up!

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