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Posts Tagged ‘MSM’

Trump’s Approval Numbers Highlight Disconnect of MSM with Reality

June 10, 2018 9 comments

As many of you must have heard for the umpteenth time by now, Trump’s approval numbers at the time of his election in early November 2016 were among the lowest ever for somebody who went on to win the election. Of course, it helped that the democratic candidate, a certain greedy neoliberal harpy, was probably even less popular than him. I mean, how else do you explain her loss in Midwestern states which have consistently voted for democratic presidential candidates for almost thirty years. Anyway.. that was almost a year and nine months ago.

So.. what are Trump’s approval ratings now? How much have they changed since the election? The short answer is- not much. In other words, his approval ratings seem to mostly hover around the early- to mid- 40s. Of course, if you are naive enough to believe some of the “polls” put forth by corporate MSM shills like CNN or MSNBC, it is possible that you think his approval dipped as low as the early 30s at one point. Then again, they also told you that Trump had no chance of winning the election as late as the evening of Nov 7, 2016.

Trump won the republican nomination, and then the presidency, because his opponents were establishment hacks who had no talent beyond mouthing empty platitudes written for them by out-of-touch ivy league scam artists. Trump, on the other hand, could afford to appear and behave like a somewhat normal human being because he was rich and famous enough to ignore the pressure to appear “presidential”. He, and Bernie, accidentally stumbled on the fact that in the post-2008 era, glib and superficial is seen as phony and dishonest while imperfect is seen as genuine and believable.

And this brings us to the question as to why an almost incessant flow of negative “news” and “opinions” about Trump, since his election, from the corporate MSM and celebrities has had virtually no effect on his approval ratings. I mean.. his approval right now is almost identical to that reported the day before he won the election. Why has the constant drumbeat of “Mueller”, “Collusion”, “Russia”, “Putin”, “Stormy Daniels” and every other scandal we have heard since his election not eroded his support base or approval to any worthwhile extent?

More importantly, why have establishment democrats lost most byelections since Trump’s inauguration. Also, why have the few democrat victories in recent byelections been almost exclusively against highly flawed republican candidates. What does it say about a political party when its senate candidate in Alabama is overjoyed to win a very narrow victory against a racist pedophile? My point is that democrats have not been able to effectively convert public outrage against Trump into electoral victories. Why not? And what does any of this have to do with the almost complete disconnect of corporate MSM from reality.

As I have said before, constantly repeating “Trump is a bad.. bad man” is not a winning electoral strategy for democrats. Even a democrat bootlicking outlet such as Vox wrote that the majority of electoral ads against Trump during 2016 were about his character (or lack thereof) rather than any plan by democrats to improve the lives of their voters. To put it another way, establishment democrats have learned nothing from their loss in the 2016 election, in addition to have forgotten nothing. As Talleyrand said about the post-french revolution Bourbons: “They have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing”.

But why have establishment democrats not learned anything from their defeats? Well.. for two main reasons. Firstly, because they do not want to learn anything which might upset the gravy train of its “leaders”. Secondly, their enablers and close supporters (ivy league sycophants, corporate MSM types, deep state bureaucrats, rich celebrities etc) are unwilling to accept that the long string of electoral defeats suffered by democrats culminating in the rout of HRC in 2016 were NOT a temporary aberration on the road to an eventual triumph of their bright shiny “meritocratic” neoliberal worldview which is a modern equivalent of ‘The Thousand Year Reich’.

While there is a lot of blame to go around, corporate media types and “celebrities” deserve an especially large part- for the simple reason that they are the biggest enablers of this delusional worldview. In addition to being responsible for public dissemination of this bullshit, they provide the bubble where establishment types can hide and pretend that everything is normal. Don’t believe me? Well.. just look at the “news”? Is there a single day when most cable news channels, national newspapers, “public intellectuals” and celebrities do not work themselves into a froth over something about Trump? Do you a remember a single day where they did not criticize him personally?

Now contrast this to their almost total lack of coverage of everything bad which has actually occurred under the Trump administration. How much coverage has been devoted to the atrocious treatment of protesters arrested at the inauguration? What about the continued job losses due to outsourcing which Trump promised to halt? Have you heard much about the very negative effects of the racist midget, aka Jeff Sessions, decisions on people? What about Ben Carson gutting legal protection for poor people in urban areas? What about Trump appointing tons of CONservative federal judges? What about Ajit Pai repealing net neutrality?

I could go on (and on), but my point is that corporate media types and “celebrities” do not care about problems faced by ordinary people in USA. Furthermore, this level of neglect towards issues affecting the majority has been going on for over two-three decades. And guess what.. that is why most people in USA no longer believe what is being reported by the corporate media. It is also why “celebrity” endorsements and condemnations no longer have any worthwhile effect on public discourse and sentiment. To summarize, people know that neither corporate media outlets nor celebrities care about their well-being and respond by ignoring whatever both are pushing.

But it gets worse. We have now reached a stage where people actively believe the opposite of whatever corporate media outlets and “celebrities” are pushing. That is why all those personal attacks and propaganda against Trump end up propping up his approval numbers rather than reduce them. Yes, you heard that right! Trump’s approval numbers would be far lower if the media stopped their personal attacks on him and instead focused on the disastrous effect of his administration’s policies. But that is unlikely to happen because those policies are not really too different from the ones implemented under Obama.

And that you see is the real problem.. corporate media types and “celebrities” hate Trump because he is a vulgar man, not because his policies are significantly different from his predecessors including Obama. To make matters worse, they want to believe that they are still relevant and influential.

What do you think? Comments?

Why Internet “Activism” Against the NRA Will be Counterproductive: 2

March 17, 2018 1 comment

In the previous part of this series, I wrote about why manufactured internet “activism” is based in wishful thinking and why current attempts by “socially responsible” corporations to de-platform gun and ammunition sales were either meaningless or likely to backfire on them. Some of you might wonder.. how can anybody make predictions such as these? After all, corporate media outlets and “respectable” and “credentialed” talking heads keep telling everybody that “it is different this time around” (without explaining why) and how the younger generation has “no interest in defending the right to own firearms”, etc.

Then again, corporate media outlets and the same cast of “credentialed” experts also told their audience that HRC was certain to beat Trump (in the electoral college) in November 2016. They have, in the past, also pushed obvious fairy-tales such as how Saddam possessed “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in early-2003, how american military involvement in Libya would create a secular democracy or how North Koreans were too poor and stupid to develop thermonuclear weapons and ICBMs, etc. My point is that anything coming from these official stenographers has been repeatedly shown to have a very high probability of being incorrect, false and misleading.

And this brings me to why idiotic ideas such as attempts to “target the NRA” through legislation and corporate behavior will have the opposite effect. Perhaps, you might have heard about the infamous and ultimately ineffectual Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. What many of you might not know is that it was simply the culmination of a number of anti-gun laws enacted in the mid-1980s and early-1990s. These included other ineffectual idiocies such as the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 and the 1989 ban on importing “scary looking assault rifles”. As the gun owners know, these and other similar laws did have any real effect on overall availability of semi-auto rifles and handguns in USA. They, also, did not reduce the incidence of spree shootings.

These laws did however greatly benefit the NRA and did wonders for fundraising and membership drives. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that the NRA we know today was largely created by public reaction against stupid and ineffectual gun laws. Prior to 1980s, the NRA was a fairly mediocre organisation involved in things such as promotion of shooting competitions, training people to use guns safely and basically doing some low-key defense of gun owners rights. It involvement in the political arena was largely a non-issue since most democrats and republicans were fine with gun-ownership. That started to change in the 1970 after a small number of coastal politicians started pushing for “gun control” aka criminalizing private gun ownership.

It was obvious to people capable of independent though, even then, that “gun control” did not address the root causes of increased crime levels during that era. It is no secret that the late-1960s, 1970s and 1980s saw a large increase in levels of crime (as perceived by average people) largely because pent-up racial, social and economic tensions were rapidly unmasked in those years. The majority of gun owners, rightly, did not see a connection between their lawful gun ownership and crimes caused by poverty and racial discrimination. FYI, a previous post of mine talks about why establishment democratic and professional-types are so concerned about gun ownership by all those “other” people.

The passage of many ineffectual anti-gun ownership laws in the late-1980s and mid-1990s did however convince a lot of people that the government was out to get their guns. Between 1933-1974 things in USA were run to benefit average people (at least the white ones) in addition to corporations. However institutional changes and corporation-friendly policies since the late-1970s convinced many people that the government had stopped caring about their welfare and saw them as inconveniences to be suppressed and marginalized. Let us just say that the raft of anti-gun legislation passed in the late-1980s and early-1990s merely validated their beliefs. This is also when the current movement to defend private gun ownership started.

But why were gun owners so contemptuous of all these laws and regulations for “sensible gun control”? Well.. because they were not sensible and were about ultimately ending private gun ownership. Let me give you some examples of why those laws were counterproductive, in addition to being ineffectual. The 1989 law by the Bush41 administration to ban import of foreign-made “assault rifles” was intended to stop the importation of surplus AK-47 type guns in USA. The ban on importation of those and other rifles simply led to them being manufactured in USA. The end result of is that today you can buy pretty much any semi-auto firearm of foreign origin, because it is made in USA.

Similarly, the law banning select-fire (full auto) weapons made after 1986 from being registered in USA had no impact on their use in crimes because.. legally purchased full-auto weapons are almost never used in committing crimes. Also, well made guns last for many decades when cared for properly and used sparingly. Passage of the AWB of 1994 was, however, the biggest disaster for the “gun control” movement. As some of you know, the many regulations within that bill clearly displayed that “gun control” advocates had little real life experience with handling and using guns. And that is the most polite way to say they were clueless.

Between the bizarre,hilarious and ineffective regulations on magazine capacity, pistol grips, and gun barrel accessories and their supporters inability to distinguish between semi-auto and select-fire weapons, let alone the internal mechanisms- it is fair to say that the AWB of 1994 did more to increase public support and monetary contributions to NRA and other gun-rights organisations than anything they put out themselves. In many respects, the overall environment is even more unfavorable for similar “gun control” legislation, or other measures, today. As things stand now, establishment democrats are out of power at the federal level and in most states. Even worse, they have manged to lose to unabashedly pro-corporate and anti-populist republican candidates.

The socio-economic environment (for average people) is far bleaker today than it was even eight years ago. Between that and the now-overt loss of public faith in institutions and “experts”, it is safe to say that manufactured “activism” against the NRA and gun owners in general is not a pathway to win elections in most of the country. In my opinion, such “activism” is doing more for the NRA and similar organisations than the AWB of 1994 could ever achieve. To make a long story short, half-assed attempts at creating bad laws and regulations always end up having the opposite effect- and this is not exception. Might write another part based on feedback or further developments in this area.

What do you think? Comments?

Why Internet “Activism” Against the NRA Will be Counterproductive: 1

March 4, 2018 15 comments

Just over a week ago, I wrote a post about why frequent mass shootings are almost unique to the USA- at least among allegedly “developed” nations. The very short version of that post is that the USA is, and always has been, a third-world country.. albeit an affluent one. The way things work in USA, especially as it concerns how people view each other and the institutions around them, is similar to what one might see in Mexico or Brazil rather than Japan, France or Canada. People in USA, therefore, behave and react in a manner similar to those in the former group of countries than the latter.

But what does any of this have to do with the recent wave of manufactured internet “activism” targeting the NRA and gun owners? Why do I think that this wave of internet “activism” and worthless corporate displays of virtue are manufactured? And what makes me think that it will backfire in a spectacular manner, perhaps destroying the chance for the democratic party to win either the house or senate in the 2018 election? Also, why now and not after the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting? Let us start by talking about supporters and enablers of this alleged wave of internet “activism”.

So.. what makes this incident different from that one which occurred about four months ago and resulted in the deaths of three times more people (59 vs 17) and many more injuries (422 vs 14)? Isn’t it odd that the corporate media and certain internet companies did not promote the views of those killed and injured in the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting to even a tiny fraction of what they did for this one? What accounts for the manufactured fascination and promotion of certain students in that school by the corporate media? The short answer to that question is the corporate media will only provide free promotion to those who will support whatever agenda they want to push.

That is why the corporate media does not like to talk about the ongoing genocide perpetrated by Saudi Arabia in Yemen but is totally willing to give tons of airtime and publicity to a 7-year old girl in Syria who allegedly tweets in perfect English though she can barely comprehend that language. Long story short, the first example casts a negative light on the policies of their masters while the later is a desperate attempt to legitimize western (mostly american) military intervention in the ongoing Syrian conflict. But what does this have to do with the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting?

I cannot be the only one who noticed that certain students from that high school who supported gun control were intensively promoted by the corporate media within less than 24 hours of the shooting? I mean.. how come something like this never happened after the Oct 31, 2017 Vegas shooting? Also, how do you account for the almost simultaneous publication of articles by corporate media which push the exact same narrative (example 1, example 2, example 3) about these “activist” students? And isn’t it peculiar that their small protests and meetings with state politicians were unusually well covered by the corporate media (example 4, example 5, example 6).

Why was so little attention given to the fact that the Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, was responsible for the botched response to that shooting in addition to inadequate followup of all those previous tips and complaints against Nikolas Cruz. You might remember that he was busy talking to everyone in the media, in the first few days after that shooting, about how ‘police should be given more power’ and how ‘he supported sensible gun control’. You might also remember how they initially cheered him on and then dropped him like a hot potato after the level of his incompetence and corruption was accidentally exposed.

But it gets worse.. or more darkly hilarious. Many of you might have heard or read about all those noises made by the corporate media about how big corporations are “cutting their links to the NRA”. First of all, the vast majority of such virtue signalling by corporations is meaningless bullshit. For example, one airline which stopped a program to give small meaningless discounts to NRA members had to acknowledge that only 13 people had used that particular discount in the previous calendar year. In other words, most of the manufactured news about how “corporations are cutting their ties with the NRA” is hogwash.

Secondly, all those breathless “news reports” about how certain large box stores deciding to stop selling ‘scary assault rifles’ or put new illegal age-limits on selling guns and ammunition are also meaningless because of the sheer number of small and medium size private business who will continue to do what they have been always doing. Also expect the big box retailers to quietly walk back from their current position within a few months or get sued and lose in court. Did I mention that this type of empty “moral” posturing by corporations has occurred many times in the past- especially in the aftermath of mass shootings.

Then there is the issue of banks and financial institutions trying to enforce gun control by de-platforming gun sales. Once again, there is the pesky issue of legal challenges to such actions. However, the far bigger problem for such actions is that many elected officials would lose their seats and political careers if they did not vigorously oppose such actions. Also, guns and ammo are far cheaper than cars and houses and therefore cash transactions would simply replace those through neoliberal financial institutions. And this brings us to the major problem with fallout of such pathetic attempts to use internet “activism” against the NRA.

Attempting to enact gun control in 2018 or 2020 is political suicide for democrats as well as “moderate” republicans. As many of you know, democrats are hoping that Trump’s failure to follow up on his populist election promises and generally ineffectual governance will result in a windfall during the 2018 cycle. That belief is however too optimistic, because they still have not come up with a better message than “Trump is a bad, bad man”. Given that control of the house depends on winning a number of very close electoral races, pissing off a fairly large body of single-issue voters who will come out in large numbers and vote against you seems like a really bad idea.

In the next part of this short series, I will talk about why every historic attempt at “targeting the NRA” has made it and the pro-gun lobby stronger and how these attempts have paradoxically led to the loosening of regulations on guns.

What do you think? Comments?

Corporate Media Campaign to Discredit Nunes Memo is Helping Trump

February 3, 2018 18 comments

I usually avoid writing on topics involving yet another corporate media manufactured lie or purported outrage, because those bullshit fantasies usually have no worthwhile impact on reality- rather like the proverbial storm in a teacup. The corporate media campaign, first to hinder publication of the Nunes memo and then attempt to discredit it is, however, a bit different for reasons we shall soon discuss. But before we go any further, I will clarify my positions on the background of some of the characters involved in this darkly comic saga.

Firstly, Devin Nunes is a mediocre republican congressman representing a congressional district in rural California– with a passing resemblance to an obese version of the Michael Scott character from the american version of ‘The Office‘. Before his current rise to fame (or infamy), he was just another republican politician who never found a corporate dick which was too disgusting to suck- provided he was compensated for his services. In other words, he is your generic republican politician who was elected because the democratic party candidate was either absent or even more disgusting.

Secondly, my views on Trump are very well-known and my past predictions about him have turned out to be very accurate. As some of you might remember, I predicted that he would win the republican nomination in August 2015. I then predicted that HRC would lose to Trump in the 2016 general election, regardless of what all those credentialed “experts” were saying. My very early predictions about the likely disastrous trajectory of a Trump presidency have held up quite well. I have also written about the probability of Trump completing his first term in Office. To make a long story short, it is highly unlikely that the ongoing Mueller investigation will end his presidency.

Now, let us turn our attention to the Nunes memo aka what most people in USA had already guessed about the Mueller investigation. As some of my more regular readers might remember, I have written numerous posts about how promotion of the “Russiagate” scandal was always a sign of intellectual bankruptcy among establishment democrats. I also wrote about the main reasons why establishment democrats have a desperate need to keep on believing in that made-up story and how they and their supporters in the corporate media have kept up a non-stop campaign which aims to convince people that Trump is a “puppet of Putin” who was elected only because of “russian interference in our sacred elections”.

To be clear, once again- I am not implying that Trump is a competent president. In fact, his first year in office has proven to be train-wreck of epic proportions for everybody but the rich and corporate donors to the republican party (and their minions in the legislature and judiciary). Establishment democrats have, however, largely ignored his abysmal record on a range of issues from providing massive tax breaks for the rich, multiple attempts to destroy important regulatory agencies, destroying healthcare programs and much more. Instead they seem to be unduly focused on non-issues such as his moral character, personal life, alleged collusion with Putin and now ‘obstruction of justice’.

But what does any of this have to do with the corporate media’s reaction to the release of the Nunes memo? As it turn out, a fucking lot! The memo for all its issues, explicitly says that the FBI investigation into the Trump presidential campaign in 2016 was initiated based on sketchy and politically biased sources. In other words, it suggest that the investigation into “Russiagate” and Trump-Russia and Trump-Putin connections is a witch-hunt conducted by people in FBI (and deep-state) who want Trump to resign or be impeached. As many of you might realize, this is precisely what a majority of american who are not partisan democrats have come to believe over the last year.

The corporate media, in its enthusiasm to support establishment democrats, is making things far worse than things might have been. Let me explain.. to begin with, they kept on shouting from the rooftops that releasing the memo was somehow going to cause massive damage to ‘national security’ which seems rather farcical once you actually read that four page document. Now that it has been released, they are assaulting everyone with talking points from the same set of “credentialed experts” who confidently say that the same memo is either meaningless or shoddy.

Which begs the question- how did a memo whose release was going to start the end of days before it was released quickly turn out to be a worthless and shoddy piece of work? Clearly, something is not right with the corporate media- and most people have caught on that problem over the last few years. Some of you might remember how the same media outlets and talking heads tried to tell everyone that Trump’s morals and personal life made him unfit to elected president during the 2016 election campaign.

Remember how over 80% of HRC’s attacks advertisements in 2016 were about Trump’s character and language and how it would affect children watching TV? I wonder how that worked, given that she outspent him by more than 2-to-1. Or what about all those polls prophesying a landslide HRC victory which filled corporate media in 2016. My point is that a majority of people now do not believe what they read, hear or see on corporate media. In fact, they are far more likely to believe the opposite of whatever the corporate media is trying to make them believe- not unlike how people in soviet-era Russia saw the domestic reporting of Pravda and Izvestia.

To summarize, the corporate media’s very visibly coordinated campaign to first try suppressing the release of the Nunes memo and then try to ‘debunk’ it has given that memo far more credibility than otherwise possible. The whole ganging up on Trump , releasing identical ‘debunking’ points about that memo and constant coverage of “credentialed experts”makes Trump look like the victim of an elitist deep-state that is working tirelessly to immiserate average people. To put it another way, the corporate media and their backers have, once gain, achieved the near impossible- make Trump look like the real victim while simultaneously increasing public support for him if he ends up firing more people from the FBI and DOJ. Quite impressive and darkly comic, if you ask me.

What do you think? Comments?