Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Shock wearing off, finger pointing setting in, plenty of blame to go around for what many view as an outright failure of democracy itself, bringing death to the American exceptionalism we all believed in slowly become myth held up against the challenges of the modern era, current crops of politicians, elected officials to choose from. Common patterns emerging, it was candidate Hillary Clinton’s fault for either being a candidate with so much baggage, bad history with the American public or for believing it was ‘her turn’ and merely that would carry her through, failing to have a message that resonated with voters this election cycle, this year; it’s the DNC’s fault for running such a flawed candidate, a candidate they knew had so many problems, especially when they had another candidate running under the democratic banner people were excited, enthusiastic about, was bringing out of the shadows key voting blocks, young, first time voters, millennials, usual non-participants and who had real reform plans. Free college sounding awfully good to college students drowning in student loan debt, trying to and after getting the educations we told them they needed, Medicare for all music to the ears of people amidst having no insurance despite the gains of Obamacare or living in fear, anxiety over their insurance premiums, projected premium hikes for the coming year because of Obamacare, breaking up big banks and letting Wall Street provide the next needed bailout at least some solace to Americans who lost everything job, home, retirement fund during the financial crisis. So why would they fail to support Bernie Sanders unless they really did have a hidden agenda; not to mention appearing to stack the deck for her purposely shutting out, sabotaging Bernie Sanders, perceptions not at all helped by disgraced actions of party heavyweights Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Donna Brazile, though why we are equally so ready to believe things written on e-mail by people whose names we don’t know, aren’t far enough in the know for us to be expected to recognize their name is a separate question begging to be answered. Pockets of America all too ready to believe stories depicting Clinton arrogance, liberal elitism, accuse her of ignoring swing states, rust belt voters and areas, call her out of touch based on bits and pieces of Wall Street speeches years old, election calendars that only ever focus on a hand full of our total 50 states, unfair though it may seem. 3rd party candidates get ripped here too pegged as spoilers to Hillary Clinton syphoning votes away from her making it easier for Trump to win in a close race, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin attracting crucial millennial votes from a demographic the most disinclined to participate. Thrown into the mix, latest renovations on Russian hacking, Russian connections to Trump, the Trump campaign and Trump staff, evidence Vladimir Putin himself personally chose what to do with the information collected; WikiLeaks now seen as the middle man used to deliver incomplete, altered stories to serve a foreign power’s agenda. Followed by fake news proliferated from social media, most prominently Facebook an alarming number of people didn’t seem to know was fake; announcing everything from pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump to Clinton foundation arms purchases that never actually happened. Hardly left off was the Comey investigation, news conference alerting citizens he was reopening inquiries into Hillary Clinton’s private sever, e-mail controversy, incidentally inquires never classified as closed, 10 days before election day, telling us 3 days before going to the polls there was indeed no new information garnered from the laptop of aide Huma Abedin possibly shared by estranged husband Anthony Wiener. Coming into FBI possession via their investigation into inappropriate texts sent to a minor high school girl by Mr. Wiener. Our seemly blind faith in independent news reporting, rouge groups Anonymous, WikiLeaks and things we’d previously never heard of carrying more weight than established news networks, local variations on the 3 major broadcasters, understanding cable news has its viewpoint slants; ABC, NBC, CBS being standard national/world news whose job it is to report news, not house opinion programing until getting to also available human interest story driven shows like CBS Sunday Morning. Prime scapegoat other than the candidate herself, the mainstream ‘corporate’ media accused of everything from not covering a virtually no name senator out of Vermont, Bernie Sanders, up against well-known name recognition coming not only through Hillary Clinton’s being wife to former president Bill Clinton but her time as a New York senator and her tenure at the state department as secretary of state, to covering outrageous things done by both democrats and chiefly Donald Trump on the republican side as equal, as less abnormal than it truly was. Deemed responsible right up to present day for normalizing him, normalizing what amounts to a dictatorship, an autocracy, treating this is any old election cycle when it wasn’t; asserting Donald Trump’s running and demonstrated success during the primaries constituted a democratic emergency. Thus they, the DNC, media outlets failed to respond to that emergency by running the appropriate candidate, relentlessly calling out Trump on his downright untruths, hyperbole, unconstitutional, not to mention unworkable in practicality versus politics, proposed polices, ignoring stark irregularities at say the republican national convention, stark irregularities now in the things the president elect is or isn’t doing before taking office. To, on the other side, bashing how Hillary Clinton ‘who definitively got better coverage’ in terms of more quantity coverage was covered liberals, progressives and fellow democrats noting a majority of it was negative about e-mails, Benghazi, ‘playing the woman card’ or rehashing ‘90’s BS stories. Chastising networks further for hiring ‘bubble insiders’ already drinking the Kool-Aid to anchor programing al-a CNN and Donna Brazile then trailed by her alleged leaking Hillary Clinton a question padding her chances to win; despite the marginal sustentative effect it had on outcomes apart from perceptions, fault wholly remaining with Ms. Brazile. Unclear, if Hillary Clinton saw the question, knew where her staff got the question due to even the independent media stopping at innuendo, the information not being there to find. Democrats, progressives, liberals, independents, educated, sane persons forever want the media to call out Trump, see it as a mandate now that he is moving to the Whitehouse, see it as a pivotal shortcoming costing them 2016; readily forgotten is there are only so many times you can say this is crazy, never mind and effectively be listen to. Whether you’re talking about a former, current reality star’s foray into politics, achieving a viable political party’s nomination for president, or what crazy thing some down ballot candidate said about social issue X, while chronicling events like the republican national convention where having to cover newsworthy happenings lends itself to becoming white noise. I had the same problem covering blow by blow of primary debates ill-reflective of the staggering number of words in the English language, consistently understood in the modern era, at first glance seemingly infinite words all adding up to absurd, bizarre, strange, abnormal; all accuracy describing Trump’s campaign, ascendance to the presidency. Risk being, repeatedly calling something, someone, an entity, process those words, more on top of them, is you become an irrelevant hum in the background of lives, persons who really should be listening; I fought this by ceasing to cover primary debates, covering adjacent important topics to general election debates and couching my election coverage in information not just the latest Trump shocker or stupid statement said. Then again I am an opinion writer not a straight news reporter, I write weekly not daily, anchoring local, national news, meaning I can function in those parameters where mainstream, daily news media can’t. Multitudes desperately needing to remember those multiple choice tests we took in school where sometimes the answer was all of the above; similarly here the answer to Hillary Clinton’s loss isn’t one thing, big or small, there is no glaring, smoking gun telling us why she won’t be our first madam president, won’t be sworn in on January 20th, it’s everything with a side of issues almost no one is talking about including supposedly independent media. Problem, her failed campaign is 10% Hillary’s personal, political, public speaking shortfalls and 90% the other things listed in different proportions, but she gets 1,000% of the blame alone, any other explanations are categorized as not serious, utter non-sense, deflection— are we tired of, done with being wrong yet?

Conveniently brushed aside, ignored structural problems in our democracy that fueled Donald Trump’s win and sabotaged all democrat, third party chances early on, surpassing the primary debacles in states with closed versions forcing voters to vote under the party they are registered to, on record affiliated with, meaning independents in select areas couldn’t vote Bernie Sanders, vote count devastation wrought by caucus systems seen to drive down voter turnout on top of the closed primary problem were cities, counties, states, not the least bit surprising in electorally important swaths of the country, where people found themselves wrongly deleted from voting rolls for not having voted in a long time. Instead of having voting eligible citizens show up on primary day, vote in each desired category president/vice president, governor, senate/house seats up that year, any local ballot issues present; caveat, you can only vote for one person in each section, only removing documented moved or deceased persons from voter rolls. Gerrymandering instrumental in why democrats couldn’t win back the house in 2016, racial gerrymandering across North Carolina leading to court mandated 2017 local special elections after said gerrymandering was officially deemed unconstitutional; district judges, a little over 2 weeks post the election, ruling gerrymandering not geography is behind republicans’ iron grip on Wisconsin, who hadn’t gone republican in a presidential race since the ‘80’s. Florida, Virginia and North Carolina are in the crosshairs of their courts for adjacent reasons; Michigan a twin case to Wisconsin. Ohio left voters with no real choices; republicans running the table in a staggering number of uncontested races, races won by ridiculous double digit margins. Voter I.D. laws argued in various courts almost up to election day itself leaving the public in limbo ‘knowing’ they wouldn’t be able to vote, so didn’t bother registering; people who earnestly tried to vote but were shockingly unsuccessful in a nation known as the heart of democracy. Including a man who voted at every chance until Wisconsin changed its laws in 2011, still he spent $200, went back to the state of his birth trying to correct what was a clerical error in his original birth certificate, unable to afford up to $400 for an official reprint, encountering social security offices that couldn’t fax documents showing his allotted benefits, current address and his correctly printed full, legal name he returned to the badger state. Again defying logic and common sense, despite his old driver’s license form a pervious state of residence he couldn’t get his Wisconsin state I.D./driver’s license and therefore couldn’t vote in Wisconsin. People who showed up at their polling place only to be told they had already voted when they had not, mirroring primary problems that had people listed under the wrong parties; key states caught red handed wrongly discriminating against minority voters chiefly by finding out how they cast their ballots and systematically eliminating those means. Early and Sunday voting being 2 popular ones, same day registration, campus registration favored among young people nixed altogether or greatly curtailed, one worker admitting in e-mail she didn’t want to open her voter registration booth because it meant more democrats voting; a judge questioned why serval in Florida had not been expediently registered to vote, paperwork problems unlikely or officials wouldn’t have been brought to court, the hearing allowed to stand. Long lines in, once more, key states like North Carolina, even accommodating early voting, due to closure of many polling places, another voter suppression tactic identical to ones used in Arizona during the primaries, people left in line hours upon hours to cast their ballot in 2012. Voter intimidation a serious concern well before and above the shots fired in one area scenario; 2 armed men outside one democratic headquarters claiming they were defending the integratory of the election, but in reality, were generating nervousness in workers and visitors alike. Poll watchers garnering the attention of election officials and courts wanting clarification on what these self-imposed monitors planned to do to avoid exactly what was described. Prisoners, multitudes sitting incarcerated awaiting trial, yet to be convicted of anything who are unaware they retain their right to vote, unable to vote for sheer want of utensils paper, pencil/pen, access to ballots; equally the number of African American, minority persons barred from voting due to felony convictions on their record largely thanks to the war on drugs and irreprehensible policies targeting said groups. Purposefully striking up to 1 in 13 to as many as 1-5 blacks from voter rolls concentrated in predictably southern, electorally significant states like Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Just one of the plethora of reasons Rand Paul and Corey Booker teamed up to advocate for criminal justice reform years ago, it was quickly a major piece of Bernie Sanders’ platform, and the main stream media covered all of it, right down to the shots that rang out at one polling place election day. Facts viewed as malleable to president elect Trump he then has the nerve, the audacity, the unmitigated gall to, on his thank you aka shameless victory tour, say to African Americans, at a rally style event, thanks for not voting. The one documented case of legitimate voter fraud, where an individual attempted to vote nefariously, impetus for such restrictive I.D. laws dwindling the voting pool down to fewer and fewer members of the populous, centering around a white Trump voter who tried to vote twice at 2 different polling stations; arguably attempted because Trump told her to at events shouting people’s votes could be invalidated. Our electoral college process itself citizens increasingly believe is outdated and unfair; routinely sidestepping the candidate with the most votes, for something as weighty as president, favoring in its place a complicated, convoluted system where one person one vote is meaningless, electors can do whatever they want, write in any name they choose, not what the voters voted for. Young Turks you talked about voter suppression, individuals, entities who were bragging about their voter suppression efforts nationwide, but you failed to encompass the magnitude it had over election outcomes; rather choosing to focus on the laundry list of things wrong with Hillary Clinton person, candidate, campaign approach. Gerrymandering gets the same treatment by you commented on generally, attached to specific cases, reported electoral news, court rulings exc.; completely left out of answering the question why Hillary Clinton lost an election seen as hers to win. Winning the popular vote by just under 3 million, a historic high for someone not being sworn in as the next president and all you can say is: don’t get too excited democrats, she amassed less votes the Barack Obama in ‘08 or ‘12 when he won states like Michigan. Well of course she tallied less votes than him either time when voter suppression didn’t reach its full swing until 2012 and after, when people were led to believe they wouldn’t be allowed to vote for want of I.D., onerous paperwork procedures to register to vote, excessive documentation to prove you are who you are and reside in the city or county of X in the state of Y. Of course she landed fewer net total votes in rust belt states, heavy union and manufacturing sectors when phenomenon like what Michael Moore exposed scrutinizing his home state happened; where roughly 90,000 voted every option on their ballot except president takes place, faced with people like Colin Kaepernick defending his choice not to vote citing many ways to effect change, support advocacy than participating in the democratic process, younger voters in the aforementioned areas who either voted Trump or sat out voting at all. When it came time to certify that vote, for the electoral college to convene, cast votes according to their state results you had electoral college members on record doing everything from ‘defecting’ from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders, another elector who wrote in a native American, granted a nice, symbolic gesture, probably borne out of the fight for water rights, sacred burial grounds at Standing Rock, but does nothing to get a candidate running for president to 270, shut out the easily deemed unqualified Trump from the office of the president as our last hope not to destroy our beloved country, John Kasich telling electors for his state to please not write him in. Echoing what happened during the primaries, intentions declared before election day proper, where party republicans couldn’t see their way to voting for Trump, wrote in people they liked, their good political friend; John Kasich, John McCain, Lindsey Graham all found their name on ballots thanks to such thought processes. Except, some states don’t even allow write in candidates, regardless, for the write in to count in terms of electoral math that candidate must be formally registered as a write in candidate in states permitting it; translation, in almost every case that vote didn’t count toward viably electing someone president. Being political operatives at the level national senators and house members are, state governors they should know this long prior to doing it, announcing their plans attending press conferences, in the presence of press to be broadcast on national news giving others, especially the general public, the same idea. But what won and lost this election was how Hillary Clinton foolishly chose to design her campaign not voter suppression, gerrymandering, voter abstinence, voting irregularities, voting machine issues. Downplayed in one way and exalted in the run up to Electoral College voting were frequencies with which the same states keep popping up when examining voter suppression, long lines, excessive paperwork, voter roll discrepancies, voting machine malfunctions. Southern states known for race issues, swing states, battle ground states, must win states if you want to achieve the office of president, and this is the ‘independent media’, supposedly unable to be bought, utterly unbiased, actually doing investigative reporting, calling out their other hated favorite word establishment status quo problems, hypocrisies progressives, liberals, democrats, non-conservatives, non-right wingers worship that the feet of.

A Black Man Brought 3 Forms of ID to the Polls in Wisconsin. He Still Couldn’t Vote.

Nipping at the heels of long standing structural problems unaddressed is the idea democrats would have done better running any other candidate but Hillary Clinton, seen as cold aloof, not genuine or warm, when not hit with outright claims of untrustworthiness, liar, in bed with special interests, what have you, Bill Maher’s on the surface good, sound advice not to run someone who can’t do a rally; obvious go to choice then, Bernie Sanders. However excluding Bernie momentarily, who my work alone covered extensively to report it seems as if he woke up roughly a week before primary application paperwork was due and decided he wanted to run for president, whose stated goals would do more for the country at the grassroots, lower government level, continuing as senator, pundits who wanted the ‘horserace’ implying Sanders had a chance when he truthfully didn’t lacking the network and connections to actually become president. What better candidate was sincerely available, bumbling answers Lincoln Chafee who couldn’t explain his Glass Stiegel vote, let’s not mince words wacko kook Jim Web who when asked about political enemies recited a creepy story about killing a person in Vietnam? How about democratic low energy counterpart to Jeb Bush Martin O’Malley touting his gubernatorial stewardship of Maryland encompassing troubled Baltimore when it was A-in flames due to unrest over the senseless arrest and resulting death of African American, innocent man, minding his own business, Freddie Gray; B analysis tracing many of the systemic, institutional problems leading to that unrest to policies enacted by O’Malley or policies directly mirroring New York’s stop and frisk he failed to disband? Currently their go to criticism is to stop running corporatist candidates, calls for establishment democrats to step aside, but worth repeating is who are these mysterious, mentioned candidates waiting in the wings to take the places of major named democratic operatives; who is chomping at the bit to get into politics, has the viable credentials to run for any democratic office, let alone president of the United States, apart from Hillary Clinton? Who, if anyone at all, in the general public today, apart from a child/student yet to come of age wants a career in politics; congress being nearly the top most hated entity especially in government, second only to perhaps the IRS? Forging ahead to the 2018 midterms, 2020’s election, who other than ‘corporatist’ candidates, people presently involved in politics have any conceivable chance at getting elected for any national office, senate, house, a presidential bid considering it takes money, lots and lots of money, to run a most basic campaign; to renting campaign offices throughout your state prepping for a gubernatorial race, throughout a large city running for mayor, multiplied exponentially for president, local, national ad buys, paying minimal staff to organize your ground game, do research, polling, man campaign offices even using overwhelming percentages of volunteers? Remember Trump’s billionaire status was acceptable to such obviously working class little guys because he said he could fund his own campaign therefore wouldn’t be beholden to donors, special interests, didn’t need anyone’s money making him wholly independent; now that turned out not to be true, he ended up begging the public and top republican donors for money, but few heard about it being individuals who deliberately switch off their TV when the news comes on. Next it’s her pied piper strategy, elevating Trump and republican rightwing extremists to get all republicans to move right sealing her victory; dismissing the development voters went right and it backfired royally, who couldn’t have seen things turning out the way they did cataloging how she ran her campaign? Criticisms ranging from she’s a horrible public speaker to she had no story to tell the American people, how late she showed up in Michigan, how much they don’t feel the economic recovery despite president Obama’s rescue of the auto industry. What on earth makes Clinton critics think they would have listened to a different strategy, anything but exactly what they wanted to hear is another great mystery joining a growing pile; when they needed to be told the hard truth that though their wages have stagnated they still have jobs, if they can’t handle the cyclical nature of that industry consider job retaining. Similar truths applicable to coal, manufacturing, people who need to be told the reason you’re struggling to achieve the American dream is you are in a dead industry; when only after Trump was elected and continued to talk about abolishing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) did individuals in say, Kentucky get scared he might actually do it. A man in coal country who voted for Trump on his promise to bring jobs telling a CNN reporter black lung benefits may be going bye, bye, with the dissolving of demonized Obamacare; contrasting starkly Hillary Clinton who went to coal, manufacturing country and said yes we will gradually put coal out of business to offer you retraining in more sustainable, stable industries, versus Trump who vowed to bring back jobs being swallowed by automation in the 1960’s. When select voters stopped listening to Bernie Sanders ‘the disenfranchised favorite, victim of partisan rigging’ when he talked about free college, voting for Trump, another who railed at a post-election town hall hosted by Sanders about social safety nets and that they felt they weren’t getting out what they put in, told if those are your views you should have voted for at least Hillary, who cast a ballot for Trump; indicating an electorate that can’t find their own self-interests with both hands and a map. Let’s also review the evidence, damming DNC hacks leading to the resignation of 3 top DNC personnel and the public humiliation of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz landing ultimately on Hillary Clinton; boiled down to people being idiots on e-mail, hatching strategies to see their preferred candidate win, actions not supposed to happen because the DNC maintains neutrality. But, and it’s a big but here, as apoplectic as they (David Packman, Cenk Uygur, Kyle Kulinski and the rest) are in believing they caught out the DNC doing horrible wrongs to democracy, precursor to the Podesta e-mails, Clinton campaign information ‘exposed’, there is no proof or solid inference the preferential treatment, deck staking towards Clinton went DNC wide, no clear indications talked about on e-mail strategies were implemented, never mind effective. Zero anecdotal reports or poll number data revealing constituents who voted differently, chose someone not Sanders because they thought him an atheist, because they fell for claims he didn’t have his act together; in fact an article blasting the media for failing us contained reader comment, a full month before, showing they didn’t believe he had his act together, had the necessary framework to be president conclusion reach all on their own. “I agree that the media failed us but you have the context backwards. Sanders never had a chance. He was never a serious candidate. He lacked the support from Democratic voters, he had never put any effort into building the relationships and support needed to mount a successful campaign. The media failed to tell us that. They went along pretending he could win because it made for a better story. They always want to tell the horse race and they loved Sanders because he allowed them to talk about “what is wrong with the Clinton campaign.” Even after her sweep of the Northeast in March when the primary was effectively over they kept up the charade. This is how they failed us. They supported the delusions of Sanders supporters even when there was no chance of victory.” [Sic] Missed entirely is, the persons holding titles listed in Mr. Packman’s graphic, he was so proud to demonstrate, are the very ones who resigned or that closed primaries, known about going in when Sanders chose which party to run under, cost him the primary more than anyone ‘rigging’ anything. Simultaneously there is no proof people heard on voicemails holding their greedy hands out for mega donor perks got any of what they were seeking, a cancer patient was bumped from their seating replaced by an even bigger donor, anyone actually paid the gargantuan amounts to receive listed perks in what might have been a rough draft pamphlet for all we really know, later determining portions of WikiLeaks e-mails had been altered. Dido the betrayal in regards to fundraising and the joint DNC Hillary Clinton events where states only got .5 to 1% of monies raised, most going to Clinton or the DNC; forgetting she did the fundraiser and the DNC is the national arm of the democratic party where the D triple C (democratic congressional campaign committee and the DLCC (democratic legislative campaign committee) are responsible for local house, senate, exc. fundraising, candidate support, realities culled from the bullet points on their website about sections, not to mention it’s in their very names. Yet Hillary Clinton lost the election because she was too arrogant, elitist and hero WikiLeaks exposed her colluded corruption. Racism, sexism xenophobia, homophobia had nothing to do with her loss despite characterization of her presidency as a third term for Obama, the controversial black, ‘Muslim,’ ‘Manchurian candidate’ president ‘who tricked the system to get in the Whitehouse;’ who wants to give more rights, citizenship opportunities to whom, blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, ‘shiksa feminista’ women. Racism was at best a secondary factor when even now we have citizens in this country comparing first Lady Michele Obama, who is the epitome of stylish, poised and put together, challenging the class and dignity of Jackie O and Nancy Reagan, not that they’ll ever admit it, to an ape in heels, a Trump backer posting on social media she should go live in Africa with apes. Racism, sexism, hate, applied to current election opinions, numbers and Hillary Clinton were outdone by economic issues, people with no jobs, people seeing their jobs to go Mexico, China hearing her ringing endorsement for TPP, independent there are metrics to back up the former over the latter. Donald Trump himself saying she didn’t look presidential; code for she’s a woman and doesn’t look particularly good as one, reshaping his previous comments on Carly Fiorina’s face to fit candidate Clinton. Purported economic issues allegedly outpacing one Trump supporter who touted biblical mandates women not have authority over men as the reason Hillary Clinton can’t be president, a Trump voter who said homosexuals should hang, Trump’s campaign chair heard/seen on camera claiming racism didn’t exist before Obama’s presidency prompting her resignation, Trump supporters upset Clinton aide Huma Abedin has a Muslim sounding name, channeling Michelle Bachmann saying blacks were better off during slavery. Unabashed truth, Hillary Clinton lost because people were so willing to believe every nasty thing ever said about her for 25 odd years in an era where facts no longer matter, Hillary Clinton lost because people wanted nostalgic fairytales of yesteryear instead of dealing with reality, Hillary Clinton lost because of systematic system flaws; people weeping on election night, protesting by the thousands in every city nationwide several nights after tells us who a majority truly supported, warts and all, what the people truthfully wanted and didn’t get.

Getting down to the more thoroughly discussed, but not fully understood topics attempting to answer Hillary Clinton’s loss or more abjectly Donald Trump’s win, corruption played an overwhelming roll in who won this election and is a driving force behind who didn’t; never was it just his business conflicts we had to worry about, his foundation, stories of workers not getting paid, his staff’s close ties with Russia, confirmed communication between them. Beyond initial suspicions of Russian hacking framed as too farfetched, too much Hollywood machination, conspiracy theory fodder to be real, Donald Trump’s ‘joking’ challenge to Russian hackers imploring them to please find Hillary Clinton’s lost, missing, purposefully hidden e-mails, hinting at vast rewards from American media jarring enough the press talked about for days, a journalist in that very press conference asking him point blank, and not letting up until they got an answer, if what he was doing gave him pause, open, straight forward questions on basic, anchored news, if he just asked a foreign power to commit espionage against his own country? There is credible evidence the Kremlin wanted Trump to win, having nothing to do with him per say, rather out of abundant hatred for Hillary Clinton, fear of greater sanctions that they then sat about using social media and other means to make that happen, culminating in Vladimir Putin’s already mentioned hands on involvement to the point of personally deciding what to do with hacked information collected. Lock step with Russian plans to nationalize the internet essentially banning Microsoft’s globally used products to be replaced with good old Russian ones, amounting to more than an act of nationalism but because he thinks Microsoft collaborates with US intelligence; paranoid, listening to Edward Snowden too much? It’s Donald Trump’s continued denouncing of intelligence agency findings implicating the former Soviet Union country not China, not some 400 pound person on their bed someplace, a repeated line given when confronted about the situation; when you have a top Russian general ‘who has Putin’s ear’ saying he gave him the strategy 3 years ago designed to cause “a perfectly thriving state to sink into a web of chaos,” but oh no there’s no Russian ties to the hacking going on. Next, no contrary to president elect Trump’s tweeted statements mainstream media didn’t wait until after the election, after Hillary lost to complain about hacking, they reported on breaches, potential interference by Russia as early as October 7th when reported hacks to 2 states voter rolls occurred along the same timeline as incursions into the DNC, only question being whom to attribute it to, yet we’ll play it that way to delegitimize recounts, attempts to verify election results because I won, enough said. While it does appear initial reports regarding the hackings’ origin were somewhat drowned out by pussy-gate, the leaked Access Hollywood tape where Trump was caught unrestrainedly bragging about non-consensually groping women, engaging in sexual assault and harassment, which should have disqualified him for office among voters anyway, it was certainly not abandoned; hacks on the DNC covered in real time, as they unfolded, over the summer, number one culprit from the start, Russia. Now we discover not singularly did they go after the presidency but a half a dozen House races too; RNC proudly asserting to news media they weren’t hacked could be proof suggesting superior security to the DNC’s woefully lax cyber defenses or just provides more circumstantial evidence of Russia’s goal, maybe both. Russia likewise responsible it seems for much of the fake news dominating social media constituting a propaganda war. Known for sure, it doesn’t end there domestically surpassing, realistically superseding Megyn Kelly’s bombshell book revelations Trump tried to pressure her to go easy on him, threatened her, made her fear for her safety, amplified by both staff and followers, plausible claims he offered gifts to her and her network (Fox News) in exchange for positive, more flattering coverage divulging some took the bait. Startling implications by themselves preceding what Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner let slip in an interview about buying one sided, no commentary, no challenge coverage from a major media outlet holding ownership, dictating major coverage over multitudes of small stations in key swing states i.e. Ohio; reach so expansive they get more viewership than say cable’s CNN. Mindboggling on 3 vantage points A- Trump did this simultaneously shouting crooked Hillary when she merely attempted to win fair and square with standard political ad buy, B- that a giant TV consortium agreed to do what he wanted, no thought to what he was flooding small, local areas with or ethics in journalism, news coverage, finally C- that we wouldn’t know about it if Mr. Kushner hadn’t been foolish enough to open his big mouth. Are we still mystified as to how he won the rust belt, when everything they hear from/about candidate X is his own spin and everything they hear about candidate Y is negative? Each significant revelations covered by media when unearthed, Kelly’s information wasn’t hidden coming with the release of her book, invited commentary part of post-election analysis; independent media seeming to have gotten the jump on the Kushner story, yet that’s how exclusives work, not to mention he was speaking with business executives not media, regardless of kind/type, when he alerted the world to how he helped his father-in-law win. Drawing a major parallel, Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s alleged media collusion against Bernie Sanders mandated no less than 3 stories to 1 Kushner exposé on identical independent media shows; though she declined the purportedly offered free ad buy Trump eagerly accepted, sourced from the increasingly dubious WikiLeaks, who prior to 2016 had a, soon to be understood, unearned reputation as truth telling, investigative journalism no one in established media, politics exc. wanted you to hear. Until they became the pawn Russia used to wage a propaganda war on America’s election system, until e-mails came up altered, things were disseminated without vetting or context; standing out, one alt-right, white supremacist e-mail originating in the Netherlands sent as spam to 20 people, John Podesta’s name on their list. David Packman’s example of horrible media collusion involving the Boston Globe hinged on an op. ed. (that’s opinion editorial for those who don’t know) editor coordinating her work with a Clinton campaign stop. Feigning journalistic ignorance he doesn’t know, isn’t particularly interested in letting his audience know op-eds are opinions where people are allowed to and expected to take sides; since she’s obviously on the side of Hillary Clinton and had John Podesta’s e-mail address she attempted to put this together, no definitive answer on if it worked. For all his examples he lacks graphics of documents save one, a moderator post-debate congratulating her performance. Providing more perspective on the entire matter, TYT (The Young Turks) finally admitted for all the ‘evidence’ mainstream media basically worked for, on behalf of, acted like a PR agency in her name, the e-mail they had was incomplete, no end game outcome to be determined based on those correspondence discussing a singular ‘puff piece article’; fact you’re talking at most a dozen ‘uncovered’ articles spanning the entire election cycle going back to the primaries, intention to run announcements summer 2015 done this way. WikiLeaks maintaining journalistic superhero status until their bias began to show claiming non-partisanship, claiming neutrality, refusing also to work with the New York Times or the Washington Post because they are one brand of partisan or another, as the sites store was/is selling anti-Bill Clinton bimbo poll clothing, offering visitors opportunity to vote on which is worse statements and order a t-shirt in a variety of colors. Until Julian Assange’s refusal to curate lead to questions and a well-known documentary editor calling it immoral; because, Assange is a publisher not a journalist, is much more interested in personal pique, hating, in this instance Hillary Clinton, as opposed to what is in the public’s interest, true journalistic focus. Worse ‘independent’ media, portrayed as above all that, can’t read articles in their own circles, perhaps Mr. Packman should have taken the time to read the Salon links below exposing Assange’s motivations; of course this is the same David Packman who days, weeks after beating up the DNC, Clinton, mainstream media then came out saying exit polls point to the election indeed being rigged against Hillary Clinton, make up your mind. Plus Ecuador can see fit to turn off Mr. Assange’s internet sick of him interfering with another country’s election, because they believe in the integrity of our election where the independent media can’t muster the want to, to say he is at best no better than everyone else, at worst serving his own agenda for profit. Nor is the situation referencing public understanding as a section of TYT’s network Secular Talk radio programing’s host puts it, ‘it’s not called hacking when they are releasing stuff we needed to know about anyway,’ calling BS on the polled 50% of democrats who believe Russia tampered with vote tallies specifically. Ignoring unless they drilled down precisely with a series of direct questions on tapering with tallies, hacking voting machines, registration rolls or, closer to what actually happened, using fake stories and suspect WikiLeaks documents to dissuade people away from one candidate (Hillary Clinton) and towards their favorite (Donald Trump) it’s all the same voters, democrats asked if Russia manipulated our election, which they did. Dovetailing into, it may be shocking to hear someone say American newspapers became arms of Russian intelligence but it appears only a slight exaggeration more congruent with social media, yet not as outlandish, off the wall as first thought; when they regurgitated what WikiLeaks put out using only a small disclaimer they hadn’t been able to verify the content, not nearly enough emphasis on what that meant for what people were about to hear and its validity, lack thereof. And part of the things we really needed to know about was Mr. Podesta’s creamy risotto recipe and women’s empowerment comments referencing Niki Minaj’s butt? Neither is James Comey a handy scapegoat excuse democrats default to, to explain how they lost an election so bad, rather a media one liner short hand pertaining to the cataloged series of irregularities he engaged in from the beginning. Announcing his findings in a press conference where he subsequently scolded Clinton like an errant child, his promise to keep congress informed should there be any new developments, not what the FBI should be doing; catering to what congress believes should and shouldn’t be investigated often leading down ribbit holes culminating in his ‘reopening’ of the Clinton e-mail investigation to 3 days prior to voters hitting the poles then say, oh nothing here. Warrant for those e-mails, to look at the Abedin/Weiner computer for such material incredibly flimsy containing little evidence, indications the FBI already knew most of what was there, related to Clinton were duplicates of things previously examined; further he defied his boss in going ahead with the announcement to reopen and very succinctly violated the Hatch act in the process. The Hatch Act explicitly stating the FBI, being government personnel, government personnel of the executive branch may not engage in actions to disparage or support entities along partisan lines; going hand in hand with justice department protocols only disclosing information pertinent to investigations, never derogatory personal, professional details uncovered linked to person X, in reverence to the access they are allowed into people’s lives, and not doing so at minimum 60 days out from an election to avoid undue influence. Yet Donald Trump who singled he was ready to lock up Hillary Clinton for her perceived wrongdoing hasn’t so much as mentioned surprise, surprise, bringing director Comey before the appropriate disciplinary board, demanded he submit his resignation for what he did to the American people possibly changing their vote. Fundamental question, instead of how Hillary Clinton could have possibly squandered this election is how we expected Hillary Clinton to combat the many headed hydra, many headed Arachnid, 8-armed octopus, many tentacle poisonous jellyfish mess she was confronted with virtually alone.

It’s the hypocrisy of Trump’s cabinet and advisor choices held up against repeated campaign slogans; leaving off his calling Hillary Clinton the swamp, bought and paid for by lobbyists, special interests, Wall Street—based on speeches she did to earn a living, be productive in a political off season—the reaming he gave Hillary Clinton calling her cooked, corrupt, vowing to locker her up. Immediately reneging on promises to drain said swamp and hiring what number are we up to now of Goldman Sacks high rollers, Wall Street, big money, huge corporation executives and operatives. It’s vice president Mike Pence who wants to keep his congressional correspondence as a lack luster senator in Indiana’s legislator sealed, such a seal, if implemented lasting until his death; why is this not front page, breaking news on Fox, a large than life headline on Breitbart, why is no one asking him what he’s hiding, asking for an investigation, calling for him to step down especially looking at the new one Hillary Clinton was ripped over the DNC, campaign chairman, WikiLeaks e-mails alone? Electronic transmissions allegedly missing from the freedom of information request submitted in Pence’s case, so called white papers outlining plans to combat the ACA, president Obama’s executive action on immigration, even LGBTQ rights raising familiar questions about transparency and who decides what indeed is public record; déjà vu anyone considering you were ecstatic, right along with your running mate, the FBI announced its reopening of the Clinton investigation. To say nothing of you are against people getting healthcare, young immigrants who were brought here as children given the right to work, gain education or engage in military service, against LGBT rights that stem violence and hate crimes; obvious next question, why? It’s president elect Trump’s deputy national security advisor who also challenged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s e-mail on top of Michael Flynn Trump national security advisor choice, an appointment not subjected to senate confirmation, who famously said at his RNC convention appearance if he’d done a 10th of what she had he would be in jail. Calling for her to drop out of the race due to seriously endangering our national security with her private server; only to find out he ‘unknowingly’ shared classified information with a foreign government (Afghanistan) receiving no discipline because he was unaware and did no damage to national security. Ironically paralleling FBI final determinations on Hillary Clinton, Flynn who also has a history of recurring such behavior turning around to do the same thing with Pakistan; paralleling Hillary Clinton almost exactly having had a private internet connection installed in his pentagon office, though that was expressly forbidden, where Clinton’s ‘home brew’ server was uncharted territory. Continuing we have no idea what the purpose was for that internet connection, what he could be hiding besides the damming evidence already given; where we were given an explanation for Clinton’s server and, delved into facts allowed us to make inferences pointing to her protecting classified documents more than the state department could, creating her own 21st century work environment when one wasn’t provided for her. Apparently it’s only criminal when you, my political opponent, do it; because, David Petraeus guilty of equal mishandling of classified intel, feeding it to a mistress was on a legitimate short list for secretary of state. Flynn who was additionally caught on Breitbart circa August 2016 talking about boarder signs in Texas directing ISIS fighters how to illegally get into the country he had personally seen photos of; relevance, scary as it is, this is who’s in charge of Donald Trump’s national security team, is substituting, heading up his daily intelligence briefings. Happening in tandem with his questioning, downplaying Russian hacking only to nominate Rex Tillerson, not the least bit shy about his glowing friendship with Vladimir Putin; however, Americans are to behave gullibly enough to believe there is no collusion between Russia and Trump, they had nothing to do with his win, whether he knows it or not, Russia likewise missing from foreign intelligent, national intelligence briefings and goals is mere coincidence. Even people stereotyped as from the holler, lucky to have all of their chromosomes, suffering the ill-effects of illiteracy, a 2nd grade reading level and maximum 5th grade education, diminished IQ aren’t going to fall for that. Developing an unsettling pattern, if there wasn’t enough of one demonstrated above, secretary of the interior pick Ryan Zinke, a former navy seal, something Trump touted, used travel vouchers to renovate his Montana home and visit his mother insisting he was on official duties, actions blatantly constituting fraud if true; Trump’s administration shaping up like a get out of jail free card, second chance for white collar and low level military criminals. Falling in line with 73% of republicans who think his corruption could be a good thing and a spokesperson who said corruption isn’t illegal if done in the open; segregate Newt Gingrich who floated the idea of a blanket pardon for advisors who break the law. Reaching new lows, not singularly James Comey defying his boss, breaking justice department policy, serious chances he violated the Hatch Act detailed in the previous paragraph, characterization ironically not given by democrats instead chiefly shouted by a former ethics layer for George W. Bush, we can hear the echo now, of all people, but that he refused to attach his name to a list of intelligence agencies, officials naming Russia responsible for hacks on government institutions a-la the DNC citing its proximity to the election, effect said information might have. No answering qualms about throwing Hillary Clinton under the bus solidifying accusations the FBI, James Comey’s section of the FBI is/was Trump land otherwise staffed with Hillary haters showcasing an unmistakable double standard hallmark of 2016’s election cycle. Still we’re wondering why democrats, persons like John Podesta are upset about the lack of warning to the DNC, the Clinton campaign about what they suspected was going on, granted they had documented horrible security, staff who needed to be taught how to be safer guarding their e-mail; that being said FBI officials plainly didn’t take it seriously enough either, because there was no simple knock on Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s, then DNC chair, door to inform her of the threat, explain it’s negative implication to our very democracy. Think we know why, but democrats, progressives willing to say something are just being sore losers. Finally rounding out this section it’s the basic expectation, function of the media up against the sheer number of times he, candidate, republican nominee, currently president elect Trump threw out media outlets from press conferences, rallies and events, how people holding adequate, proper credentials, asking reasonable, public would want to know questions, were ever supposed to do their jobs in that environment. There was Jorge Ramos tossed for speaking, posing a question when he wasn’t called on, simply because Trump didn’t like aforementioned question, his mocking of a reporter with a visible disability because he wrote an unflattering piece, not to be confused with inaccurate, staffer reactions to standard reporting including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski who wanted the New York Times reporter who published Trump’s partial 1995 tax return jailed. Exercising multiple levels of amnesia or ignorance to the fact A- we have freedom of the press in America where we don’t imprison people for doing factual reporting unless they in the process commit treason, endanger national security or public safety, none of which apply here; Trump’s twitter account posing more danger in that regard. B-the New York Times had said return sent to them, dropped in their lap choosing to then publish presented information as the only window into Trump’s finances we the public had counter to 40 years of precedent on pervious candidates and C- his ‘predicament’ could have been totally avoided had he held to tradition, transparency in the modern age. Next throughout the campaign Trump amassed a growing list of prominent, reputable cornerstone newspapers no longer allowed to cover stops, Politico, the Washington Post to name just 2, was fond of telling reporters to be quiet when pressed with tough questions hardly limited to the exchange on inviting Russia to hack Clinton’s emails where he insinuated the reporter wanted to save her, when legitimately questioned about money given to veterans in lieu of attending a primary debate he called well a known ABC World News Tonight reporter a sleaze. Having secured the presidency still his antagonizing the media continues booting the reporter who investigated the Carrier deal he so proudly proclaims from a Trump jobs event while all indications point to Trump’s newest media ventures his 24 hour network getting Whitehouse press credentials. It’s the reshaping he now wants to do of the press, press’ relationship with government, curtailing free speech, curtailing journalistic freedom, hinting at less access, less information flow, less briefings, anyone who covers him in a way he doesn’t like won’t get the chance to again, if you want to cover him you must engage in propaganda style writing, threats to open up liable laws to sue press entities, individual journalists for basic investigative reporting, giving of facts if they are critical of Trump; liable, defamation and slander not things we could get the media on in the days of bizarre stories about Michael Jackson proven wholly untrue and career defeating but possible under president Trump, reason to do anything except celebrate.

Less may sound good in the dawning era of fake news taken to a whole new level, don’t be fooled; if it comes to pass it will mean a less informed populous and more means by which the government, with Donald Trump’s view on corruption, can hide more things from the American people, real news the antidote to made up, invented propaganda, nonsense gotten far, far out of hand. Understanding fake news is less another easy crutch to lean on sweeping away all sustentative reasons why Hillary Clinton isn’t our next president instead one of half a dozen items in a kaleidoscope not to be too quickly dismissed dissecting Hillary Clinton’s loss or the unheard of rise of Donald Trump. Fake news wasn’t delved into much before this election cycle because, preceding this election cycle general consensus was people knew such news sources were on par with The National Enquirer, Star magazine, supermarket tabloid TMZ level ‘stories’ to be taken with a grain of salt, much skepticism or ignored entirely; that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have been digesting the climate. Nor is fake news new it was Washington’s bag of scalps as the Salon title below depicts at the birth of this country, yellow journalism in Mark Twain’s day, propaganda disseminated through the WWII era painting Jews as filthy and here all along history’s markers leveled against blacks, full on tabloid gossip by the time names like Michael Jackson became household fare. Fake news until very recently seen as comparatively harmless limited to supermarket tabloids, accompanying websites good for a needed laugh, largely impacting celebrities and who they were seen in Hollywood hot spots with, bad, drunken, drugged out behavior exposed, rants, bar fights, whose having whose baby regularly disproved via DNA testing, housing Nostradamus predictions that never came true, debunked theories on UFO’s, aliens, rare diseases that might be real but the finer details wrong. Yet fake news of the 21st century isn’t just taking on a new, polished format drawing people to it, using new venues to captivate people, social media: twitter, Facebook, Reddit; people unaware, until right now the ‘news’ in their Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat feed needed to be vetted, needed to be checked for accuracy let alone authenticity versus something someone fabricated out of their head. So when Catholics, religious persons inclined to listen, however marginally, to the pope saw a ‘news story’ claiming Donald Trump was endorsed by pope Francis it got their attention combined with his make America great again slogan, touted business acumen. Remember that’s how they ‘caught’ a Clinton aide and the Beachbit he used to wipe her sever, forget that conversation thread was about permanently changing an e-mail address it was still heralded as a smoking gun to data cleaned servers (???), which of course had some nefarious purpose aside from privacy of personal or business information had it been anyone but a Clinton, Bleachbit’s open source status utterly ignored. When national government officials have to be scolded not to tweet ‘news’ articles on serious issues (climate change) from known dubious sources, cough Breitbart, when state officials shout they aren’t a news source then insist on adding their voice to the collective noise sans taking or exercising any responsibility for their posts deemed news by design or whose prominent name is on it, adopting an attitude best summed up “I report, you decide if it’s true or not,” how is anyone else supposed to know? Despite America’s long history, love affair with tabloid level gossip stories, entertainment juiciness this mutation of fake news is increasingly more dangerous, not singularly interfering with an election by saying for instance Donald Trump won the popular vote when he demonstrably didn’t, a story traced to conspiracy theory kook Alex Jones who also thought Hillary Clinton and president Obama smelled like sulfur (without ever having been close enough to smell them it might be added creepy as that sentence is in itself) thus making them demons. False reports Hillary Clinton had died after her phenomena fainting spell, a veterans group leader who seriously thought she had/has Parkinson’s and is wearing/using a deep brain stem battery pack to control tremors, the aura around e-mails, Benghazi two words carrying a life of their own thanks to unsubstantiated rumors she was asleep that night, consistently ignored correspondence from ambassador Chris Stevens to telling military personnel to stand down when it came to getting our people out of there even though she was nowhere in the military chain of command making that impossible. But Russia’s propaganda war involving salacious news, paid trolls to disseminate their version of information straight out of the cold war; inciting violence and potential business ruin, a fake news story asserting Hillary Clinton was running a child sex trafficking ring out of a local pizza joint lead an armed man from North Carolina to D.C.’s popular Comet Ping Pong where he opened fire, fortunately injuring no one and surrendering peacefully when realizing no children were in danger. A Florida woman believing the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was a hoax threatened one victim’s parent and is now facing 4 federal counts that could land her up to 20 years in jail. Kellogg’s and Pepsi are now subject to social media driven boycotts the former because they refused to advertise their breakfast cereal, synonymous with family, in an arena for white nationalists and the latter due to a misinterpretation, misrepresentation of what the CEO said about Donald Trump; where she congratulated him on his election win, urged those voting for someone else to mourn but move on, right wing media heard she loathes Trump supporters. And it’s transcending America, the western world going across the globe carrying all the flashy propaganda and real feel making groups like ISIS so destructive; it lead to tensions between Israel and Pakistan alarming considering both possess nuclear weapons, capabilities. Fake news’ spreading presence and why makes accusations thrown at the ‘mainstream, corporate media’ almost hilarious when you comprehend most of their appearance on Facebook exc. is due to profits, advertising given by these propaganda, agenda, not news, information driven sites. When viewed as legitimate news entities no longer care about facts, about presenting the truth, spokespeople are saying there are no such things as facts anymore to little effective challenge no wonder sane people who base their thoughts, political views, voting decisions and stances on issues on rational thought believe select sections of America are living in a Matrix type simulation we must all first break out of before we can make reality a place Trump voters want to occupy. Tempting as it may be social media can’t be blamed for all the popularity and proliferation of fake news or its consequences; you can’t make people listen to, believe what they don’t want to hear, absorb information contradicting their ideology. People so readily believed the Clinton Foundation was buying illegal weapons from a foreign country because it fit the narrative of Hillary and Bill Clinton as corrupt, evil, treasonous, money grubbing persons; individuals, like that armed man in the pizzeria who wanted to investigate Comet Ping Pong, reacted so extremely because it fed the long running meme, before there was such a thing, that the Clinton’s are hippie pervs who conned their way into the Whitehouse. A speculating story president Obama banned military Christmas cards plays well among those willing to pay attention because it is right in line with ‘the war on Christmas’ and how leftist, liberals, progressives, atheists are trying to take religion out of the season; it must be happy holidays, season’s greetings not Merry Christmas, the Starbucks cup war of last year independent Hanukah is celebrated in the same month and kwanza celebrating attributes of African heritage, beginning the day after Christmas has been around a full 50 years all deserving their due respect, dually playing into themes Obama is a secret Muslim, Manchurian candidate not a real, true American. Christian fundamentalist proclamations Trump may be the messiah garners the following of Christians because their pastor, their preacher, their leader, person or persons they trust in spiritual matters said so; their belief in a higher being giving them comfort, a place to run to when the world is too harsh for them, seems to have gone mad and stories of god’s power, in whatever form, make it plausible for them to believe anything is possible, why you have individuals coming forward saying, oddly to rational persons, god intervened. What to do about it is a lot more complicated than pointing them toward facts they will reject anyway, one author suggested a dialog getting down to the feelings behind their intuitive belief system whether it’s changing gender rolls or economic anxieties; others hold fast to the notion Trump voters don’t deserve our empathy, most importantly because they made what that author calls a moral decision to vote for someone who is a clear and present danger to democracy. Who has promised enforce a larger police state against blacks and Latinos, deport millions of illegal aliens and use of Japanese style internment camps, proposes banning Muslims from America to list but a few of his examples; putting forth a lasting idea is to perhaps redefine where facts and rationalism should be used over intuition, gut feelings and emotions. Because we all believe in things studiers of human behavior call ‘magical beliefs,’ things defined by faith not necessarily evidence; the chaos comes in comprehending Trump voters used this over facts and voting records, hearing what candidates genuinely said in debates, speeches campaign stops to determine their ballot choices. Intuition not to be dismissed either in a variety of situations cops, detectives, prosecutors will tell you about gut feelings that led to a little extra investigation proving person X guilty, good Samaritans, neighbors, friends will often talk about something not being right with a guy or later discovered to be abused kids, there are people who can walk into a room, a scenario and immediately detect something is wrong; that alertness saving their life, finding people in a trapped building or preventing physical, sexual assault of your person. What’s missing is segments of people seem to have lost direction on which skillset to use in which portion of life and need to be retaught; we need to reemphasize an importance on facts, logic and rationalism in decision making such as voting. Thus Hillary Clinton lost and America’s future becomes anybody’s guess, when it was supposed to go the other way not because Clinton was perfect, ran a perfect campaign, but because Trump represented a different kind of national emergency, a democratic emergency and we collectively responded the opposite of what we should have in our own interests.

Concluding, worth clarifying once and for all, it is not the corporate media, big conglomerates though they look like corporations all the same, make money like any other large business, business category in this country, if you are talking about ABC, NBC, CBS stations carrying a half hour national news per day, breaking news, special reports on major national, world events, deaths of influential figures then it is just the media. And simply because CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, HLN may meet the definition of both corporate and cable news doesn’t mean they are wholly, majoritively inaccurate, skewed in their coverage; in fact they better explain certain things on programs like the Rachel Maddow Show, All In with Chis Hayes, Hard Ball With Chris Mathews for want of time on regular national news, possessing room to create lines ups, bring on expert guests talking in depth about issues hosts don’t have extensive acumen with which to do so, enfolding commentary and opinion clearly identified under those two markers meant to give perspective. CNN and HLN carried expert analysis from retired sergeant Cheryl Dorsey on Terrance Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott; who else would you want commenting on police violence than a former police officer who served a community, routinely wondering at the current training given profiled officers caught amidst these tragic incidents absorption of that training? CNN is the network reporting first Donald Trump using illegal immigrants to build his hotels, then foreign workers to staff his businesses, his wife’s immigration problems and was she legal when she began working here as a model closely followed by MSNBC. But one of the things Donald Trump and his surrogates have been able to do really well is delegitimize the press, call them biased, shoddy, self-serving and have the public believe them; Newt Gingrich said if you’re not with us you are the enemy sentiments expressed throughout the campaign and noting the date on the above Salon article well after. Problem, the media is the 4th estate, the media is an integral part of how the public is informed about world, national and local events; lost in echo chamber shouting about which brand of media is worse liberal or conservative, is independent media legit and how do I find legit independent sources if that’s what I’m looking for, battling a sense no one is telling the truth period, when they do mess up, do get it wrong, when journalists openly act with impropriety they are called out, are shamed, are fired. 60 Minutes had to work hard to win back public trust and ratings after its Benghazi coverage, Brian Williams was fired from NBC Nightly News after it came out he lied about being shot at in a helicopter while covering troops in Iraq circa 2003. Granted he got another job on an MSNBC program, but in a zombie timeslot covering completely different aspects of news so that what happened can’t happen again; anchor calling out even making it to legendary faux news network Fox where entities like Shawn Hannity have been forced to eat a pretty consistent diet of crow; first it was his offer to pay for president Obama’s plane ticket out of the country, then his admission he relied on a producer and an IM message to determine whether a story about president Obama’s potential for prison time was accurate as he we fed the story on live air and after the specious confirmations went ahead with it. Earlier in the year saw Fox News analyst Wayne Simmons accused of fabricating his CIA ties leading to his guilty plea on fraud charges that could land him 40 years in jail, and this is who people were believing to give them information on terror related issues, thought he was legit due to his connections with the CIA he can provide no proof of, substantiated lying about his history to also get contracting work. Close of the year saw Fox make numerous errors in their blatant war on poor people stories discussing fraud in the food stamp program; claiming most recent data from this year, that was actually last years, asserted it fraud was at an all-time high when it’s statistically declining. Leaving off critical context that A- there is fraud, waste and abuse in all areas of government, B-food assistance to poor people is 0.1% of the federal budget versus say defense, but we have to cut it to save ourselves from ruin; gross inaccuracies forcing an apology. Issues arise calculating this happens at Fox News so much when they are deemed part of the mainstream media though increasingly people rightly believe they shouldn’t be, precisely because of listed instances and a long history of same compared to strictly mainstream outlets, print media giving corrections on minor details not detracting from the substance of the article, presented material, changing its meaning significantly or at all. More non-mainstreamers, republican, conservative news outlets/personalities also hit by expected truth in media, what happens when you violate that code, who remembers the sponsors who fled, Rush Limbaugh, radio stations he was pulled from justifiably post calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a slut for testifying to a congressional panel about women taking birth control to treat medical conditions combating religious employer objections and the hardship, health threat it creates; repudiation for his sexist, misogynistic, yet completely predictable, response to the Trump Access Hollywood tape calling consent overrated? Pulling further from the files of media consequences for poor professionalism or a lack of ethics the decidedly unfair case of Don Imus fired from his radio show after the worst case of trying to use black vernacular calling female basketball players nappy headed ho’s while describing their toughness, athleticism. Proving there is accountability in media, but it’s not nearly as titillating as the concept the media can’t be trusted, you can’t believe anything you read or hear on ‘so called’ news usually followed by lines like you can only trust me, insert title, religious, affiliation, banner as independent media, amateur reporter here. Unnoticed by persons espousing said viewpoint is how many times the media gets it right, prints corrections, retractions and updates chronicling story developments; apt to comment on how depressing the news is, can’t they report something good, glumly turn it off disheartened and uninterested. Still no one trusts the corporate media anymore, independent news personalities will tell you it’s because they champion the status quo, tell you everything in the establishment, a term used synonymously with politics and media, is fine, they feign and fake non-partisanship, neutrality, non-bias playing one side or the other for ratings if nothing else, ideology thrown in too. No, no one trusts the media anymore because it has become cool to beat up on them, openly bash them, go beyond skepticism to disparagement; it has become chic to only get your news from online sources only found there, to only watch independent news persons, Facebook, twitter feeds perfect, forwarded by friends, trending that means more believable to current generations. Except that gaining information this way leads you down rabbit holes like Pope Francis endorsing Trump, Clinton foundation arms buying and banning of Christmas cards cereal and soda that didn’t happen or are unnecessary an alternate reality more scary and dangerous and not just for ‘believers.’