From Sanders to Slander: Media Smear Senator’s Supporters with Blatant Falsehoods

For months the corporate media have buried Sanders, treating him as either an amusing oddity or a dangerously inexperienced, even perhaps non compos mentis specimen. They have downplayed his victories and refused to grant him the normal courtesies of the campaign season, opting for empty Trump podiums instead of well-attended speeches on nights of major national electoral victories.

Sanders’ historic upset victories in Michigan and Indiana confounded all national polls including Nate Silver, the erstwhile king of Moneyball political forecasting. Sanders should be a huge underdog story — the kind that used to sell papers.

Instead, we have seen the blackout of Sanders in an attempt to thwart his momentum, and his unprecedented fundraising strength in the absence of major corporate funding. The media depend on corporate funding for their revenues. Do the math.

Is there a line? Up until this point, the media hadn’t actually gone off-script into what can only be called lying in pursuit of mischaracterization of Sanders’ supporters. Consider the chair incident.

A number of media sources have reported that Sanders’ supporters became violent at the convention, including a chair being thrown. What actually happened was that a man lifted a chair and was stopped, and then “hugged into submission”, to quote Adryenn Ashley, the woman whose video inspired the misleading reports. There were no other reports of violence. The wisdom of the crowd prevailed over hotter heads. The New York Times ran with the headline “Chairs Fly in Nevada.” NBC and other outlets have parroted the violence story with no substantiation.

Then there’s PolitiFact. The so-called bipartisan, impartial fact-checker. I’m going to quote Eliezer Yudkowsky, a Research Fellow at Machine Intelligence Research Institute and a big fan of logical reasoning: “Color me profoundly unimpressed by Politifact Nevada here — this isn’t a fact-check, it’s a carefully selective framing and retelling of only the parts of the story favorable to Clinton.”

According to PolitiFact, “Supporters of Sanders believed that the convention rules, which have been largely the same since 2008, gave an unfair amount of power to Lange, the convention chair.” That’s factually inaccurate. The rules weren’t the same since 2008, they changed at the convention. Lange adopted new rules by motion despite not having sufficient support. She interpreted the voice vote subjectively despite the Nays being louder.

From the Las Vegas Sun: “Sanders and Clinton supporters were divided over a vote to adopt a set of temporary convention rules as the permanent rules, with the former largely opposing them and the latter supporting them in a voice vote of the convention called by Lange.”

PolitiFact presents the piece as though Sanders’s supporters were trying to change the rules. When in reality it was the opposite. The new temporary rules were adopted — that was the change which was being objected to.

Today, Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying that the race is over. We’ve been hearing that the race is over for months. If it’s truly done, why have the media crossed the line into the fact-free propaganda zone? What’s the point of smearing a man and his supporters who have lost the war?

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