The Media Will Never Back A Candidate You Would Want To Vote For
Here is the dilemma we now face: Any presidential candidate worth voting for will not get the media support needed to get elected, and any candidate the media is willing to support is not worth our votes. Oligarchy, the military industrial complex, and unaccountable intelligence agencies are the problem, and a media owned by the oligarchs, infiltrated and in bed with intelligence agencies, and entirely subservient to the military industrial complex, is not about to let a candidate interested in serving the common citizen become president. It is the media’s job, its raison d’etre, to support war, wealth, and non-democratic means of government.
The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. ― Malcolm X
It is their job to prevent a challenge to arms manufacturers and pointless wars. You have never nor will you ever see a commercial news outlet come out against military intervention against another country. Nor will you ever hear anyone in the media say that military spending needs to be cut. It will never happen. Come out against war and you will lose your platform, as happened with Phil Donahue and Jessie Ventura when they opposed the Iraq War. Support war and you can spout outright lies and never fear losing a place in the media. Witness Brian Williams being given the opportunity to wax poetic about missiles after falsely recounting a story.
“The press of the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it.” ― Jack London, The Iron Heel
It is the media’s job to prevent a challenge to oligarchy and the ultra-rich. You will not hear anyone attack oligarchs or the concentration of wealth into the hands of a few. Should anyone do so, the wrath of the media will soon fall upon them, as can be witnessed in the sudden attacks on Tucker Carlson after he spoke out against Jeff Bezos (He also spoke out against war in Syria, so that could play a factor, as well). Now, the pushback on Tucker Carlson may be perfectly legitimate, but it is odd that it was not so full-throated until this point, when a lot of what he has said has been around for a decade or so.
This is why oligarchs buy the news outlets, in order to shape the narrative in a way that paints them in a good light. This is why the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, bought the Washington Times. It wasn’t because it would significantly add to his wealth, and it was not — as the media described it — as an act of charity in order to help a struggling but necessary institution. Just reflect upon that notion for a little bit in order to savor the ridiculousness of what the media is trying to sell you.
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” ― Gil Scott Heron
It is the job of the media to prevent a challenge to the unaccountable intelligence agencies. Ask yourself when the last time you heard the media be skeptical of the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc. When was the last time there was a scandal regarding an intelligence agency where the media wasn’t defending them? From Valerie Plame to James Comey to Robert Mueller, the spooks are always the good guys in any news story. Increasingly, they are always the good guy in any Hollywood movie, as Black Panther demonstrates (It has come to this, the ludicrous idea that U.S. intelligence agencies are friends to people of color around the world).
So let me reinterpret for you the Mainstream media’s primary assertion for why you shouldn’t vote for candidates they do not approve. When they say “your candidate in unelectable”, what they are really saying is “We will never give your candidate sufficient coverage to allow the majority of Americans to vote for him/her. Should the candidate you like (but they do not) get any kind of momentum, we (the media) will do everything in our power to undermine and smear him/her.” This is the problem we will have to surmount if we are ever to use our democracy as an effective means of change.
Fortunately, the curtain that the media places over reality has never been shabbier. The greater the disparity between the reality and the narrative, the more they will have to stretch that curtain, and the more reality will peek through. We are observing it in many different ways, but until the curtain is pulled back or we no longer accept the picture drawn upon it, things will not make sense for us. That is why Donald Trump’s success in 2016 was so shocking to so many: because it was so completely antithetical to the picture that had been painted by the media. It was outside the narrative, not in the script. But this was precisely why Trump had the success he had, (it wasn’t because of a few Facebook ads). He chose to confront the media directly. He chose not to play their games. Most importantly, he did not bow down to the narrative the media insists all who receive air time must bow down to.
Until we have a prominent voice on the left who is willing to reject the corporate media’s narrative, until there is a candidate too popular to ignore who will refuse to concede the talking points of the media, we are all playing the media’s game, and all of politics will be serving the interests of those who control and own the media. Instead of a clown who performs in front of the curtain, we must have a candidate of integrity willing to pull back the curtain and let reality shine through. We can hasten the day this happens by individually rejecting the authority of a corporate media that time and again lies us into wars and tax cuts and trade deals that do not benefit the people but only the financial interests of the few.
The inspiration for this little essay was watching Tulsi Gabbard on Steven Colbert. If you have any doubt that the media is willing to take down any candidate who speaks out against the war machine, here is the Tulsi Gabbard interview. Rather than the typical piece he usually engages in, one of banal pleasantries and sycophantic softball questions, Colbert echoes the exact same talking points media “journalists” and talk show hosts have used every time Gabbard is given air time. It is an entirely humorless interview, save one lame attempt at the very end. As means of comparison, check out Colbert’s interviews with Beto Rourke, Kamala Harris, and Hillary Clinton. There is a consistent lightheartedness in these other videos that is utterly lacking in the Tulsi Gabbard interview. Sadly, for a long time I thought of Steven Colbert as one of the leading lights of the Left.