The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

(Scorn) So, You Read It in the Newspaper

Picture of Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

Commenter Mark From Ireland once relayed that, for an older generation, the idea that newspapers or the media were honest was greeted with scorn.

A study from last year found that only 11 percent of newspaper articles presented Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s views without alteration.

I hope you’re shocked by that number. It means that newspapers were lying about Corbyn’s views almost 90 percent of the time.

Cases like this are common, though rarely this extreme. When people talk about how the Fourth Estate is essential to the functioning of democracy, I laugh. A media which lies 89 percent of the time is worse than no media at all.

72 percent of Americans didn’t wind up thinking Iraq was behind 9/11 in the run up to the Iraq war because the media called out the Bush administration’s misleading statements, but because they amplified them.

The media has its own agenda. If it agrees with a politician, it will amplify his voice; if not, it will attack savagely.  You can see this with Trump, in highlight. The media savaged Trump for his Muslim ban, but they cheered on his missile attack on a Syrian airbase.

Someone like Corbyn is far more of a threat to the powers that be than Trump could ever be. Corbyn wants to re-nationalize vast chunks of the British economy. Trains are a good example, and before you get on your privatization high-horse, the facts are simple: Privatized trains cost more, have higher debts, still require government subsidies and have worse service. They are more expensive and worse on all significant metrics.

Much like privatized medicine, which, by the way, has been proceeding under the Tories per the usual plan: De-fund public healthcare and invite in “private partners” to help. Richard Branson, for example, who bought and fucked up British trains, is involved in health care in the UK.

Corbyn also, as Mandos pointed out, doesn’t believe in bombing people.

Horrors! He is against using nuclear weapons and has said he would never do so.

This man is a serious goddamn threat to how things are done. My God! He wants to build huge amounts of council housing, so that ordinary people don’t have to pay usurious prices and service mortgages.

What would the UK economy be without peons servicing overpriced mortgages?

A UK economy with a lot less fat bankers, anyway.

So, if it is necessary to lie about Corbyn 89 percent of the time, well, that’s what the media will do. They are owned by a very few people, and they do what they’re told. Heck, at this point, most of them even believe in it.

As for Trump, I disagree with a great deal of his platform, but notice that he is being rewarded when he sticks to the Washington consensus (massively favorable media coverage for going after Assad) and gets negative coverage when he acts against it.

You may think that the Washington consensus is better than Trump on some things, and worse on others, and still notice what is happening and judge it to be a negative that the media and deep state (who are together on this) are working so hard to stop a President doing what he was elected to do.

The media campaign against Corbyn has worked. I judge this not by the poll numbers, though they are bad, but by the fact that “casual left-wingers” think he’s a dud. Whenever I interrogate them, their reasons are weak, even wrong. But for a normal consumer of news who isn’t digging, who assumes that the news is essentially correct, the impression is terrible. It’s one fuck up after another.

For example, a little while ago Corbyn released his taxes and the coverage was that he had cheated.

He hadn’t. Some outlets corrected those stories (which no one sees) and most didn’t, and the damage was done.

Lie. Lie. Lie.

And so a man whose policies would cost billionaires massively, who would fund health care, and give wheelchairs back to cripples, is unpopular in the face of someone as monumentally as incompetent and vile as May.

Break them up. Shatter them into a thousand pieces. Enforce ownership rules. Make many of them into cooperatives. And drive their owners into the ocean, wailing in terror. It is what they have earned.

And it will be nearly impossible to have a good society so long as they retain their power.

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Syria and the Cult of the Tough Decision


Quick Hit: France Is Just a Giant Greece


  1. Tom W Harris

    Most likely they didn’t read it in the newspaper, they saw it on the teebee.

  2. Tom W Harris

    Or maybe they got it from a kewl music video.

  3. Tom W Harris

    Anyway, it’s the candy everybody wants.

  4. Tom

    Then Corbyn should sue for False Light. He should also learn to message and get his views out. He does neither of those and thus he falls flat. He won’t even fight back when people are bashing his face in. If you can’t master the media, then you deserve to lose.

  5. Zac

    This is why I always laugh when people criticize various left-leaning Latin American governments for having poor “freedom of the press” grades – those countries’ media ecosystems are wholly owned by some of the nastiest oligarchs on the planet who pose an existential threat to the political leadership and are the enemies of the people, of course there should be no “freedom of the press!”

  6. Ché Pasa

    No, indeed, “news” media is not to be trusted to tell the truth — if the truth is at odds with corporate or in some cases individual publisher’s/owner’s interests.

    They will lie with impunity when it suits them. It is the way our media operates — and has always done.

    The lack of historical memory of media — on the internet especially — is striking. The lies noted today follow on generations of lies, propaganda, sensationalism, fabulism, fantasy, and error compounding error that have been the stock-in-trade of “news” media forever. It’s what they do.

    Sorting through the blizzard of falsehoods is tricky. You may never be able to find the truth. The media is not your friend when it comes to it. There is always an agenda and a purpose, one you may agree with. If you do, then even the most egregious lies can be accepted, the most overt propaganda believed. And the truth won’t matter.

    Skepticism is a virtue, but it won’t win you anything in the end. It’s always easier to go along with the crowd, to believe what you’re told, and to obey. The function of much of the “news” media is to ensure you do that.

    Of course Corbyn will be destroyed by media which see him as an existential threat. Much as Bernie was (but no longer is) seen as a threat.

    Media’s relationship with Trump is much more ambiguous. To the extent he poses a threat — primarily through his chaotic style and behavior — he is given little quarter. On the other hand, he’s a money-maker for media, and as long as that’s the case, he’ll be more or less accepted, even celebrated when he hits on a policy or action that fits the media agenda and consensus paradigm — which many of his policy prescriptions do.

    No genuine leftist will get a fair shake or honest coverage from mainstream or increasingly from alternative media. It’s not going to happen.

    But then, when has it ever happened?

  7. The Stephen Miller Band

    As for Trump, I disagree with a great deal of his platform, but notice that he is being rewarded when he sticks to the Washington consensus (massively favorable media coverage for going after Assad) and gets negative coverage when he acts against it.

    Indeed he is being rewarded, Ian. Joe Scarface (what the hell is it with his hair?) from Morning Blow is in love with Trump again now that he’s on board with bombing the world and CNN is beside itself trying to find ways to criticize Trump now that he’s on board with The Deep State’s plan to bomb the f*** out of the planet, so they’re harping incessantly about Spicer’s gaff concerning Hitler, Assad and chemical weapons.

    All Spicer was trying to say was, Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons. Zyklon B was not a chemical weapon. It was a sedative. German dentists used it on their Jewish patients to sedate them while they extracted the gold fillings and gold teeth from their oral cavities. That’s all. There’s no reason for CNN to get all huffy about it, but then, it’s their responsibility to find something to nag Trump about now that he’s fully joined Team Moloch.

  8. Nice to see your comments section become a safe place for Nazi holocaust deniers like SMB. Not.

  9. The Stephen Miller Band

    No genuine leftist will get a fair shake or honest coverage from mainstream or increasingly from alternative media. It’s not going to happen.

    My experience with these illusive “genuine leftists” on The Net is that they are just as bad as The Lamestream Media and maybe worse because those on a path of enlightenment who escape the clutches of the The Lamestream Media next fall into the lap of these “genuine leftists” waiting on the periphery to capture and contain them before they escape entirely and finally think freely for themselves.

    These so-called “genuine leftists” lie just as much as their counterparts in The Lamestream Media and they seek the refuge, security and authority of the crowd. Comment sections are full of them. They’re Gang Bangers like all the rest. Very few if any stand on principle and will use the crowd to cajole, coerce and stymie free, independent critical analysis at every turn.

    There’s no truth in that either. It’s holding pens within holding pens within holding pens. I once had respect for both you and Hugh by virtue of what you wrote at this blog. No more. I see right through it now. You’re like all the rest and not to be trusted.

  10. V. Arnold

    Ché Pasa
    April 12, 2017

    …Sorting through the blizzard of falsehoods is tricky. You may never be able to find the truth.

    Eh, truth is tricky (a value judgement); facts are better…and easier to find.
    I no longer believe anything (for decades), but try to parse what I can from numerous sources.

    It is oft stated; Trump is not stupid.

    I think he is.
    One can be intelligent and still do stupid things.
    Intelligence is worthless if not “applied” to actions; which includes speech.
    Applied intelligence must include critical thinking; which must also include a broad knowledge and understanding of that which one is in command of.
    Trump lacks all of those very important, learned skills, IMO…
    He speaks in glittering generalities and deeply superfishal bullshit. His speaking ability is quite immature on many levels; all one has to do is listen carefully with a critical ear to hear painfully sophomoric phrasing and adjectives.
    He lacks imagination on a very obvious level; that is dangerous in so many ways; not the least of which is war and its potential consequenses. He believes in the invincibility of the U.S. Military; which has been seriously degraded for decades.
    I am fairy certain Russia could kick U.S. ass, push comes to shove; and I think Russia knows it.
    Luckily for Trump and his cronies (or is it the Cronies and trump); Putin/Russia knows the abject horrors of war and will do a lot to avoid war; but not to its being pushed around by a second rate hegemon…

  11. The Stephen Miller Band

    Nice to see your comments section become a safe place for Nazi holocaust deniers like SMB. Not.

    Case in point. This is an example of blatant dishonesty. My comment was obvious satire, but extremists of any stripe, be they “genuine leftists” or “uber conservatives”, simply have no patience, or capacity, for satire.

    They are so hellbent on subjugating the world to their rigid will, there is no time for satirical child’s play. Someone yesterday mentioned the political ideology spectrum as a horseshoe. They’re right. Those on the far left and on the far right are so close in character & disposition, they’re almost attached at the hip and may as well be.

  12. The Stephen Miller Band

    Many are conjecturing about Trump’s 180 degree turnabout. This explains it nicely. Trump held out longer than most, but ultimately they/it got to him. He’s been miraculously transformed.

    The Peaceful Transition Of Power

    What actually happens during these meetings is anyone’s guess. But there is no doubt a substantial transformative process takes place. If it doesn’t take place with Trump, you can be sure he will be neutralized sooner rather than later, but I doubt it will come to that. What happens during this process is so powerfully persuasive, it can’t be resisted or overcome.

    So, what happens? The Misinformers in The Deep State-Controlled Media will tell you it’s just simply the sharing of rather benign & innocuous State Secrets, but it has to be much more than that considering the About Face Transformation that takes place. The ripples, People. The unique wave pattern. The transformation is the ripple & the waves.

    Some have claimed that the newly elected POTUS meets The Aliens or The Greys for the first time. That sounds rather far-fetched to me, but hey, You Never Know. It certainly would explain such a stark turn about.

    Perhaps it’s similar to a Harry Potter Moment where The Deep State escorts the President-Elect to The Pensieve and shows them all that is, has been and will be and the experience is so overwhelming & breathtaking that the President-Elect is changed forever.

    Or, maybe it’s as simple as The National Security State Goons strap the President-Elect to a seat in a clandestine theater somewhere deep in the bowels of The White House with a device to keep his/her eyelids open similar to A Clockwork Orange, and force the President-Elect to watch the REAL Zapruder Film of JFK’s assassination over and over again until he/she Cries Uncle.

    If I had to guess, I say it’s something more akin to the last theory, but I don’t know. We should know, though, because what prevails from this process is a usurped & coopted former individual who has been transformed into a mere medium or instrument of degradation & destruction. They are given their orders, and the message is, if you don’t follow them, you will be destroyed. And those orders are, obviously, to rape Humanity & the Planet. The message is, keep people alive only to exploit them, and then discard them like you would a husk from an ear of corn. The goal, it seems, is to degrade, torture, denude and ultimately destroy all Life on Planet Earth, and that’s why I say You Never Know about the hyperbole above related to The Greys and Harry Potter. I mean, seriously Folks, something’s happening here, and what it is isn’t exactly clear. We need to make it clear.

    More at link.

  13. Tom


    Or maybe its because Trump realized IS is the symptom and Assad is the disease and if we want to get out of the MidEast and end the wars, we have to cure the disease first.

    Look Assad, no one else, destroyed his country. Peaceful Protestors asked for change and that the men who raped three schoolboys be brought to justice. Assad fired on them. He doubletapped the funerals of those slain. Half his Army when ordered to massacre defenseless civilians defected, so much so that entire tank brigades turned on each other on live television. Assad emptied his prisons of every Jihadist he had in an attempt to pass the revolt off as al-Qaeda.

    In return Assad filled his jails with people whose only crime was to ask for democracy and where they were brutally raped and tortured to death. Assad called in all his foreign buddies to help him slaughter his nation because more and more of his army defected.

    Assad used prohibited Napalm, WP, and Gas on civilians and deliberately target hospitals and schools, and went after market places.

    In effect Assad lost all legitimacy. He did that himself.

    Useful idiots such as Lisa, et al, perpetuated this atrocity.

    Here in lies Corbyn’s problem. Pacifism is nice, but when you have a mad man gassing people on live tv and his actions are spilling all over across his neighbors including an Ally, then Pacifism is immoral and must give way to taking that mad man out.

    Pacifism is simply not a defensible position. You can only have peace by showing you are ready to use violence to enforce it. Otherwise mad men such as Assad will massacre people and the survivors will join any group with the money and weapons to take that fucker down.

    Not everything should be seen through the lenses of Iraq/Afghanistan, each area should be assessed on its own merits and circumstances.

  14. Pelham

    Speaking from 38 years of experience at two major US newspapers, I can confirm your conclusions. I’ve seen the neoliberal bias applied again and again. I’ve also witnessed some terrific, even brave reporting, which now I regretfully conclude served largely as a mask for the core mission of delivering the neoliberal line of thought on all things that really mattered.

  15. highrpm

    news. entertainment. help me make it through the day.

  16. highrpm

    Or maybe its because Trump realized IS is the symptom and Assad is the disease and if we want to get out of the MidEast and end the wars, we have to cure the disease first.

    tombo, correct your geo focus a bit farther south. and when was the last time the apple cart was upright? please give us a history lesson.

  17. Capitalism is just barely better than the alternative: Assad, Putin, Xi.

    We need war, because that is what the leadership responds to. The peace at any price people have any ideas, I am certainly willing to listen.

  18. Ché Pasa

    Re: “genuine leftists”

    There is no genuine active left in American politics, hasn’t been since the mid/late 1960s. Even then, it was attenuated thanks to Red baiting and McCarthyism that was still under way. The House Un-American Activities Committee was only disbanded in 1975.

    As we know, there’s plenty of Red-baiting going on today with all the anti-Russian/anti-Putin hyperventilating, some of it specifically directed at Communists, Communism, and the Soviet Union. It’s insane.

    Since there is an absence of genuine leftist politics in the US, all kinds of opportunists have attempted to assume the mantle of the “Left” – most notoriously Democrats, a party never noticeably leftist. Even Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders was little more than a pale reflection of FDR, who was no Leftist himself, but who recognized that some policies on behalf of the working class helped support the Overclass.

    Libertarians have tried to claim leftist cred, but it always falls flat.

    The Greens might become a leftist party but not so long as they are in thrall to and serve as handmaidens of the Republican Party.

    Anytime a genuine or potential leftist political effort arises in the US, it is promptly and thoroughly co-opted or crushed by the dominant neoLibCon Overclass which operates through pretty much all political parties.

    We’ve seen it happen over and over again.

    Not much different in Europe. The formerly leftist parties are almost all co-opted into the neoLibCon borg, disastrously so. The people no longer have representation in government.

    Corbyn often strikes me as a last gasp before the final extinction of leftist politics in Britain, but you never know. What we think is the end often isn’t.

  19. highrpm

    why do you even hang out here? ian cautions that newspapers publish many lies. simple logic pushes me to question their united positions. what’s their ME mantra? gimme a break. you’ve drunk the poison. nice to read Ahmadinejad is running for pres, again. and what the news’ reaction?

  20. Fox Blew

    I trust YOU Ian. And I also trust some other bloggers. I trust my wife. I trust one neighbour. Hmm…I guess I trust a couple of my co-workers. Holy Toledo! I’m running out of people to trust. And here I was thinking that the whole Neoliberal experiment was based on trust. Trust contracts. Trust your financial advisor. Trust the courts. Trust communication technology. Darn. Maybe it’s just little old me? Maybe I didn’t get the memo? But I have a sneaking suspicion that the trust in our “enlightened” institutions is at an all time low. I will quote De Gaulle (because when the chips are down ALWAYS quote De Gaulle). He said more than once, “this will end badly!”

  21. realitychecker

    The most common and effective way the media keeps you misinformed is by leaving out the key facts that hurt their ‘side’ (and, yes, Virginia, they ALL have a ‘side’).

    That is also what lawyers try to do, and what having an adversary (and for the public, the Fairness Doctrine) was supposed to defend against.

    The best defense available in modern times is to read stuff from BOTH sides of the political spectrum, as distasteful as that may be, because that is the best guarantee you can get that you will at least be exposed to the facts the other side deliberately left out.

    Once you determine that any media or political actor has attempted to deceive you, just don’t ever give them any credibility in the future–they have already revealed all you need to know about them.

    (The truth is hard to know, but the untruths are much easier to identify. As a realitychecker, my only purpose here is to point out when folks are being too willing to accept an obvious untruth or delusion, like, e.g. “we can change everything by doing things the way the system we want to change tells us to do it” lol. I don’t ever intend to simply join a hallelujah chorus, nobody needs the redundancy.)

  22. StewartM

    Heh, I like Matt Yglesias’s takes on the way this is being reported:

    “Trump is an unstable, ignorant, madman with no regard for democracy but I’m glad he’s shooting missiles” is a bizarrely popular take.”

    “Trump may not have legal authorization or a real strategy but by jingo he’s Doing Something at last!”

    “No president who starts wars can be all bad”

    “A television pundit’s tale: “I worried Trump was an authoritarian bully, but then he did a war and now he’s actually good.””

    “If Trump, Netanyahu, *and* the Saudis all like it this must truly be a great day for human rights and international law”

    “After Trump’s critically acclaimed first series of missile strikes, can’t wait for the sequel.”

    As I said, Deep State 24, Team Trump 0 midway through the first quarter and the coach is sitting his starters.

  23. Donald

    “Look Assad, no one else, destroyed his country.”

    Wrong. I agree that Assad is a brutal dictator guilty of massive war crimes, but when you make a sweeping statement assigning him the entire blame for destroying Syria you are a propagandist just as much as the people who defend Assad and deny that he is a war criminal. The US and the Gulf States funded the rebels, thereby guaranteeing that the war would stretch on for years. They bear part of the blame for the death toll.

  24. NoPolitician

    I’m not sure I agree with your broad assessment that the media has “lied” about Jeremy Corbyn 89% of the time. I am not familiar with Corbyn or his coverage, but I can easily see an alternative explanation based on US politics.

    The media often needs to distill things down to an A/B position. Sometimes that is hard. Is Paul Ryan in favor of ending Medicare? He would say that he is not, and if a paper reported that he was, he would dispute it. However it cannot be disputed that Ryan wants to block-grant Medicare and change the government’s obligation from defined-benefit to defined-contribution. That is most certainly not “Medicare”, despite it being named the same thing. It is fundamentally different.

    So is the Media lying when it says that Ryan wants to end Medicare? Is it lying when it says that Ryan doesn’t want to end Medicare? Or should it go report neither and go into a long-winded explanation of Ryan’s nuanced position which most people can’t comprehend?

    Yes, the media often has agendas, but the alternative to trusting the media is the reality we are now in. Trump says that he has had the most successful 100 days of any president. He says that he has created “so many jobs” during this period. The facts show otherwise – but without an trusted arbiter – the media – people are faced with either believing Trump, or not believing him. Do you think the single mother with 3 kids working 2 jobs is going to spend a few hours per night doing the research to figure out if Trump is telling the truth or lying? No way.

    The media, as referees, does not get it right all the time. Sometimes they are in the tank. Still, having them there – and pointing out their errors and their biases – is a lot better than saying “don’t listen to them”.

  25. realitychecker

    @ No Politician

    Actually, it would be nice to trust the media, if only we could believe that they are actually trying to inform us rather than manipulate us.

    But we can’t, because there is too much evidence to the contrary.

  26. SnarkyShark

    Sometimes I play “dictator for a day”. I think of who needs to go against the wall first.
    My thoughts have crystallized. Its the gatekeepers. Fred Hyatt gets burned at the stake on live TV.
    All majority stockholders and Execs in the MSM get shot and bulldozed into a mass unmarked grave. Then they can actually serve a positive purpose as Nitrogen fertilizer. Fox news I would require to continue broadcasting, only in clown make up.
    And that’s on my generous days.

  27. >And here I was thinking that the whole Neoliberal experiment was based on trust.

    Ah – there is your problem –

    “Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.”

    Remember the secondary clause. That is the end of liberalism 101, tomorrow – the necessity of unemployment for trade to work.

  28. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Someone yesterday mentioned the political ideology spectrum as a horseshoe. They’re right. Those on the far left and on the far right are so close in character & disposition, they’re almost attached at the hip and may as well be.

    Thanx, SMB, but I can’t take credit for the concept.

    A French writer named Jean-Pierre Faye invented the Horseshoe Theory.

  29. Hugh

    The primary weapon of class war is distraction. I cannot say this enough times. The media are there to distract us, to deliver infotainment and propaganda. They will ignore many stories, misreport and trivialize others.

    They are both lazy and kept. They do not speak truth to power. They are creatures of the powers that be. They wouldn’t know the truth if they got hit over the head repeatedly by a two by four made of truth. This is unsurprising. They do not comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. They afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable. That’s their job.

    They are Upton Sinclair men to the nth degree: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” And this works at both ends of the spectrum. In print media, reporters make crap wages. So they need that salary or starve. On TV and cable news, a headliner can make $10 million a year. They aren’t working for the rich. They are the rich. Yet it is obscene and surreally funny to see them put on a sweater and do their Everyman shtick. Much like Bill Clinton, they “feel” our pain, –all the way to the bank.

    We live in kleptocracies, all of us. It isn’t that some of our institutions, like the media, have problems. It’s that they are all rotten to the core.

  30. nihil obstet

    Through the early 20th c., many if not most newspapers were clearly partisan. Editors/writers/publishers believed that their point of view was the correct one and presented the facts (or assumptions) that supported it.

    It was an evil day when writers, and editors especially, deluded themselves into the belief that they were “objective” and thus giving only the truth. So they sit in their own club and think that their view of fellow club members, servants, and riffraff outside is simple objectivity. Since they feel that they are noble presenters of the truth, they write up their little blinkered and self-serving view with great righteousness.

    That may be underestimating the actual propaganda involved. Once again I recommend very highly Adam Curtis’ Century of the Self.

    And the great human need to cooperate, to learn, and to join means that their beastly propaganda is effective.

  31. GH

    “Actually, it would be nice to trust the media”

    Until the media bridges the gap between “knowing” and “understanding” we will always find it lacking.

  32. realitychecker

    @ GH

    What I said was:

    “Actually, it would be nice to trust the media, if only we could believe that they are actually trying to inform us rather than manipulate us.

    But we can’t, because there is too much evidence to the contrary.”

    They are DELIBERATELY misinforming us, was the thrust of my comment.

  33. GlassHammer

    They are DELIBERATELY misinforming us, was the thrust of my comment.

    I know I was simply making a broader statement (though I wasnt making it particularly well) that even when we aren’t misled there is always something lacking in the content we recieve.

  34. realitychecker

    @ GH

    Fair enough, all I was looking for was some clarity, as I was not sure what you were trying to emphasize.

    If I am now understanding you, I would still caution against judging these people too gently; I am not at all sure that any in the MSM deserve the benefit of any doubts any more.

  35. Peter

    I wanted to crack up laughing at the idea that this Pinko wizard Corbyn waving his magic wand over the UK train system could begin to transform the country into the utopia where no one has to own a home but are required to live in Stalinist culture factories. The Brexit vote showed what most UK citizens think of the European communalists and their authoritarian elite, left or right.

    Corbyn is a fluke of the universe elevated by ballot stuffing lefties and admired by few people but he does offer those caught in the final stages of Hopium addiction a last icon to robe in lost causes.

  36. Phil Mackenzie

    Feel like this is an over-reach. I agree with the majority of Corbyn’s policies, and it is true that the media have shanked him repeatedly, but this is occluding a more important point: that he is a bad vote-winning politician when it comes to attempt to win either a traditional or an insurgent campaign.

    Like, the media went in on Trump as well, but it worked pretty well for him as a candidate. They went after Bernie, and he’s the most popular politician in the US right now I believe. Either British people are infinitely more vulnerable to the media telling them what to think than Americans, or there’s another problem.

    I feel like political analysts put far too much emphasis on policies in general, and people are mostly too stupid for that to matter. so here’s my explanation: Obama won because he was charismatic. Trump won because he was confident. Hillary lost because she comes across as awkward and disingenuous and always has. Corbyn is unpopular because he is visibly unconfident, unambitious, and slow to respond to things (and for a secondary effect, weak at building functional coalitions, either through friendships or force). May might be a nothing-burger, but she looks poised and reassuring at a scary time.

    Anyway. white small-town working class see Corbyn as a useless champagne socialist. Urban (particularly young) voters love him, but his clear inability to get much done in his party or respond to events quickly are causing people to peel away. casual left wingers think he is a dud because he’s shown almost no ability to change things up. in general I feel like the last year hasn’t exactly been a case study for the massive persuasive power of the mainstream media.

  37. Hugh

    Yeah, Peter, much better to have the current crop of kleptocrats destroying the middle class and turning us all into serfs.

  38. Hugh

    As Trump showed in the US, you can take negative press and turn it to your advantage, if you are willing to attack it head on.

    Having good programs is not enough. You need to be attentive to the electorate and wrap your ideas up in an over-arching vision that resonates with them.

    I suppose you could say that Corbyn has been more successful than Sanders, but I don’t see either as being the complete package.

  39. realitychecker

    @ Hugh

    It seems to me (gut feeling, not provable) that what has been underestimated by almost all the political ‘analysts’ is the degree of resentment that most people have for the whole political correctness thingy, and all the absurd results it has produced. I think most people feel “Who are you to tell me how to act, especially when you are restricting my freedom to please a sometimes tiny minority?”

    I don’t think it is because most people want to actually be mean or unfair to those minorities, I think rather they just deeply resent the idea that anyone would try and put them on a short leash as to their behavioral options. The feeling that you are being trained as if you were a child would likely generate a resentment that runs very deep for most people who have just been going along and following all the rules, but cherishing the idea that they are free to act as they please unless they do direct and measurable harm to others.

    Or is that too common-sensical lol?

  40. StewartM


    Peter is a true believer, and Trump is his messiah, is the conclusion I draw. Just like the Clintonistas and Obamacrats he detests, no amount of evidence that Trump is anything but the usual 1 % kleptocrat who is betraying the people who put him in office will convince him that Trump’s really “for him” and all the apparent betrayals is just Trump playing 11th-y dimensional chess and outsmarting everyone. There is no betrayal, no apparent line in the sand that Trump can’t cross that will change Peter’s mind. He has become like the very people he despises.

    And, I see, Peter’s picked up reality-avoidance from Trump. Apparently like Trump “really won” the US popular vote, Corbyn is only Labor leader because of ballot-stuffing, and Brexit really was all about a rejection of Corbyn, not about neoliberalism.and the Tory party actually in power. For someone who likes to throw “Stalinist” around that’s not a bad start on re-writing history.

  41. Peter


    Projecting snowflake attributes such as belief in a political messiah onto someone else makes me wonder if you are in the early stages of a stroke. You may also think you are clever in somehow turning the table but that looks even more like stroke symptoms.

    Trump is a true member of the .01% and in a position to work for everyone because he personally doesn’t need anyone but his voters. The wealthy can spend all they want to assist him and they will get special attention because he needs them for his programs to retain and create good jobs which no one else can do.

    Trump has already changed his mind about a few issues which is healthy, shows flexibility and in Syria a harsh reality that needed facing. He has already produced results on some of his campaign promises and more will be met. I think this drives the snowflakes to distraction more than anything else, keeping promises isn’t in their realm of comprehension.

    The people whining about betrayal seem to want everyone to feel the lash their favorite political parasite delivered to them in the recent past. Trump should devolve to the same level as their leaders so they can feel better about being willing fools.

    You apparently don’t understand our republic any better than the UK party system and in a real democratic choice the UK citizens told Corbyn and others to stuff it, the EU that is.

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