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Pro-Trump tabloids resemble state-owned Russian media

By VegasJessie

The suspicious outcome of the 2016 election was almost a foregone conclusion to those who controlled the message. We never had a clue that Donald Trump, reality TV star, could actually win. But Trump’s powerful allies in tabloid, yes tabloid, media overtly and subconsciously damaged Hillary Clinton beyond repair, and our overconfidence in the election outcome was our downfall.

How the hell did this happen?

It’s obvious in retrospect, that we must look to THE most complicit and influential sources of pro-Trump (and anti-Hilary) propaganda, The National Enquirer.

The Tabloid Fourth Estate is openly trying to expedite Trump’s hold on power. Politico breaks it down:

It’s easy to imagine that tabloids don’t matter; the Enquirer is a relatively small voice in the media kingdom, with a weekly circulation of only 342,071, down from the 5.9 million it commanded in the 1970s. But that misses the importance of the constant cultural background noise it adds to American life: There are 37,000 supermarkets in America, with an average of about 10 checkout stands each, and many stands feature a wire rack displaying the Enquirer, the Globe, often the company’s other tab, the National Examiner, and celebrity magazines. According to an industry study, American households make an average of 1.5 trips to the supermarket each week. Every customer passes by the checkout stand, which means that even people who never purchase a tabloid still absorb the ambient headlines, and those headlines can shape their view of the world.

In another era, Trump’s history of tomcatting, unscrupulous business dealings and grandiose tastes would have made him a perfect tabloid villain. But in that era, all the tabs would not have been owned by one person, who happened to be a friend of Trump: David Pecker, CEO of American Media, the New York-based publisher that owns the Enquirer, the other tabloids and Radaronline, its Web tabloid. The two worked together in the late 1990s on Trump Style, a magazine for guests of the Trump properties, when Pecker was a magazine executive at Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. Pecker acknowledges their personal closeness, and reports have documented what looks like a significant amount of back-scratching.

Trump, taking cues from his pal Vladimir Putin, adopted the Russian leader’s philosophy on controlling the message:

As a former KGB officer and head of the KGB’s successor agency, the FSB, Putin knows the value of information. His concept of the media, however, is a far cry from the First Amendment. For him, it’s a simple transactional equation: Whoever owns the media controls what it says.

“There should be patriotically minded people at the head of state information resources,” Putin told reporters at his 2013 annual news conference, “people who uphold the interests of the Russian Federation. These are state resources. That is the way it is going to be.

Oddly enough, a very effective and notorious technique of deceptive Russian media-domination is to label any news contrary to the head honcho’s perspective as ‘fake news.’ Trump’s adaptation of the old KGB technique which labels anything negative in the media as ‘fake’ is identical to Putin’s active measures. That means the powers that be will convulute reality as fiction while presenting lie-infested propaganda as the gospel truth. His sycophants fall for it, hook, line and sinker.

Shame and reputational risks do not appear to be a factor in Russian decision-making. In early-2016, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov did not shy away from repeating a patently false fake media story about the rape of a Russian-German girl by a Syrian asylum-seeker in Germany.

Moreover, a version of selective naming and shaming—or targeting of political adversaries with false allegations of misconduct—has been used by Russian propaganda to discredit political adversaries in the West. Russian propaganda, and Putin personally, have sought to deflect the attention from the fact of the intrusion into the DNC server and the top leadership of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to the information released as a result of it that has presented various political operatives in an unfavorable light.

If the name Lavrov seems familiar, that’s because he was one of the two Russians who were invited INTO the Oval Office, along with Russian media, WITHOUT American media present. Trump seems insanely overconfident that his love of all things Russia won’t arouse more suspicion and the investigation into his collusion with Putin will amount to a big nothingburger. He must be certain that the complicit right-wing media domination will sabotage the multiple investigations into his criminal conduct and allow him to continue the chaotic destruction of the American Democracy.

Media Matters reveals how his audacious media ventures will guarantee his administration (and the chaos-loving GOP) more ‘victories,’ all obtained by any means necessary.

Thanks to the deregulatory efforts of President Donald Trump’s Federal Communications Committee, the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group announced today that it will purchase dozens of televisions stations across the country, allowing the company to spread its conservative programming to new markets and consolidate the ownership of broadcast stations in fewer hands.

Sinclair’s conservative programming bent has a lot of impact because of the concentration of its stations in presidential swing states. The Tribune purchase will give the network more influence, as Tribune’s television portfolio includes stations in states with high political value, like Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, and Ohio.

When Trump seeks re-election in 2020, he will be able to count on the support of a massive network of television stations helmed by a conservative who owes his company’s latest growth to the (so-called) president.

If you think this can’t happen again, these Republican villains have already begun to tie our hands so we can’t fight back. By the 2018 midterms, policies will be in place to prevent any investigations into future election-machine hacking. They intend to keep the (likely compromised) GOP in power.

This article was originally published on Crooks and Liars.

 

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9 comments

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  1. Joseph Carli

    The notion of political propaganda and spin is nothing new..who can forget the classic line in the Bible where “Jesus” tells the deceiving huckster trying to trap him to ; “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”, referring to the roman coin with the head of Augustus on one side..the implication being that the coin is the evidence of Rule by Authority and ownership of that authority is by the Roman Emperor.

    We in Aust’ are cursed with the Murdoch millstone around our necks..and one hopes against hope that come a new Labor govt’ those traitors of the Murdoch stable are brought before a tribunal to answer for their betrayal of the trust of the Australian people.

  2. Marcus

    There is no doubt the media played a role in the 2016 election as it has across all the western democracies. When it comes to the presidential election as well, lets not forget the Corporate media who gave Trump literally Billions of dollars of free press while ignoring the actual issues and other viable candidates. I still recall CNN showing an empty podium waiting for Trump to make some inane comment, while at the same time Bernie Sanders was speaking before a packed stadium of 30,000 people they did not cover…so let them pretend to resist now, but they had their chance to be relevant and blew it. Same with Morning Joe and all the rest.

    Having said that, lets also not forget why Clinton did not secure the votes she needed to see of the Trumpian dystopia. It had very little to do with Tabloid press, or Russia or anyone else…it was Hillary herself, and the corporate ownership of the political process. Just some examples:
    – Clinton was one of the most unpopular candidates in Presidential history…with one exception…Donald Trump. What exactly did she do to turn this situation around? with core voters? Arguably nothing, and that was her choice not the tabloids.
    – Having cheated Bernie in the primaries, what exactly did Hillary do to bring those who voted for Bernie to support her? Lets just hear one of her quotes just after that fraudulent process came to a close “I have more pledged delegates and I am winning, because of what I stand for and what I have done…” basically a big “get stuffed” to them. how would you feel? Do you think she you would have done something to 45% of DNC people that did NOT vote for you? Hillary didn’t, and tabloids had nothing to do with that.
    – Did Tabloids force Hillary to continue to attend secretive fundraisers for her donors?
    – Did Russia influence force her to corruptly work with the DNC to cheat the primaries at every chance she got?
    – Did, the tabloids make her choose NOT to visit key “rust belt” states at all during her entire campaign…not once.
    – Who is responsible for making speeches to Wall Street Banks for millions of dollars over time?
    – Please tell me what kind of campaign is built on “I am with Her”…a self serving one with no vision perhaps?
    – Why did Hillary go an unprecedented amount of time between press conferences over the campaign?
    – Who made up false stories of Bernie Sander’s “Bernie Bros” and the numerous lies her campaign spread about his voting record and what he stood for?
    – Who scoffed at even the idea of better healthcare, fixing student loans, and pretty much doing anything different when the electorate was clearly interested in change? No Tabloid or foreign power forced he to discard solid policy platforms the people obviously wanted.
    – Who was it would not appear before any more than small controlled groups with limited tightly controlled over the course of her campaign right to the end?
    – Who exactly forced Clinton to at least break regulations and potentially the law in regards to personal email, on top of everything else she has done over time?
    – Clinton’s campaign advertising was almost 100% focused on personality of Trump as opposed to policy? How did that work out, and did the tabloids force that on her?
    – What options did exactly did Clinton and the DNC give Latinos/Blacks etc in comparison to Trump? What policy settings were different or offered a clearly better choice?
    – What options or alternatives did Hillary put forward for changing the corruption of money in politics? She is one of the the most corrupt politicians in the US, everyone knows it, and offered nothing to change that reality.
    – Lastly, what did Hillary stand for? What was her vision” how was she going to make things better for the average person in the US?

    I could go on for so much longer and point out each and every policy setting that was not going to be popular in the electorate of 2016. In the end the fault for Hllary’s loss has EVERYTHING to do with Clinton, the DNC and the Corporate Oligarchy that owns them. Hillary lost because she was a PAID corporate shill who cared NOTHING for the American people and held views that shifted depending on who was in the audience…even her accent changes depending on where she is talking.

    The ONLY one to Blame for Hillary’s loss is Hillary, and the corporate oligarchy that owns the political process.

    Marcus

  3. stephentardrew

    I really get bored with the endless comparisons to Russia. It is just another capitalist country doing its best to maintain the oligarchy and has no special handle upon corruption.

    If you are going to argue the point argue on the grounds of internal inconsistency and corruption not odious comparisons. We all know that corporates and oligarchs share the same self-interest and goals world wide and there is more than enough corruption and inequality in the US to point to without the endless deflecting onto Russia.

    US you are a self-inflicted basket case in the process of disintegration through greed and nepotism. Unless the US takes responsibility for itself, by itself, nothing will change. Noticed the Clinton’s have connections with Russia’s oligarchs yet little is said. The bias is glaring.

    Australia is no different we continually deflect by claiming we must support this nation of greed and endless war while ignoring the obvious facts by taking direct responsibility for our actions. So we compromise our ethical values to satisfy the fawning need for US protection.

    Australia needs to stand alone, and as Malcolm Fraser noted, remove ourselves from US influence and alliance. What makes us any better than the US or Russia?

    Well I will give you a hint it is called self-delusion.

  4. Maeve Carney

    This article clearly shows why Clinton lost, there is a complete lack of any real substance. Also a huge lack of understanding of Clinton and her ineffectual campaign, a lack of understanding of the involvement of the mainstream media with their millions of readers and viewers. I strongly doubt a tabloid of such small readership you named could have anywhere near the impact you ludicrously imply. No, Trump won because all media focussed on him and Clinton had nothing at all to offer. Being a woman doesn’t make up for all her other obvious deficits.

  5. diannaart

    There was a relentless smear campaign against Clinton – for example, the child sex slave in basement of fast food outlet, which was actually invaded by an armed believer in the gutter press.

    Clinton won the popular vote, by over 1 million.

    Trump won the electoral college vote. He won in more states than Clinton.

    BUT

    Trump did not win by a huge majority – although we’ll never hear that from Trump; winners are grinners after all.

    Neither Clinton nor Trump were seen as very good candidates.

    Despite Clinton’s failings she remains the least worst option. But too late now, the lowest paid people in the USA are now losing healthcare cover, their wages are not going to increase, nor will higher education become an affordable option.

    Interesting to watch history being re-written by many in the above commentary.

  6. Michael Taylor

    I think Clinton ended up with 3 million more votes.

  7. Ricardo29

    Remember too, that Trump only got 24% of those eligible to vote, hardly a ringing endorsement. But I agree that the DNC and Hillary shot themselves n the foot by their willingness to outrageously fiddle the voting systems to disadvantage Bernie. They deserved what they got, though whether the American people deserve Trump is another matter. A grossly dishonest media, with a very few exceptions, and gerrymandered voting patterns, make it very hard for the Democrats to win, look at the results of by elections since, Republicans won despite Trump’s poor polling, and after one candidate assaulted a reporter.

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