Media and The DNC Leaks

August 2, 2016 (San Diego) The media has refused to talk of the content of the DNC leaked emails and even tried to get Julian Assange to confess to a Russian leak last Sunday. This is after there is increasing evidence that the leak was not from the Russians, Fairness and Accuracy in the Media (FAIR) has in particular done yeoman’s work. They quote the New York Times acknowledging that the Clinton campaign had no evidence of a Russian connection. Yet their headline was all but clear on this.

They write:

 “Clinton campaign officials have suggested that Russia might be trying to sway the outcome of the election,” Times reporter Eric Lichtblau writes in the second paragraph. Here, one would think, would have been the place to mention that those officials have no evidence for their claim.

They point out that there is no evidence is in the next to last paragraph, on page 23, where most readers would have not dared go. So here is the question. There is a solid reason why the press is refusing to talk of the contents, and passing mere allegations as hard news. We found a close relationship between media and the DNC in our perusal of the leaked documents.

The Role of Media

Mass media has always played a role in elections. This is not just in the United States, this is world wide. What you report on, how you report on, and why, sets a media narrative for the election. In this case, the US Media, by now, has had it confirmed. They have a lot of influence in the Democratic Party. They also have decided that the good guys this time around are the Democrats. This is not new, and you need to sell papers after all.

What is a serious ethical issue is the close relationship between at least one Politico reporters and the party.

This is from Luis Miranda, head of communications for the Party:

“Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it,” Paustenbach wrote to Luis Miranda. “Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

Politico in fact, has become a to read publication by party insiders, with the morning story summary distributed every day. In fact, we even learn from those stories that there are some internal doubts about the Transpacific Trade Agreement. Either that, or Politico has those doubts and they have been passed around like popcorn. Given that other trade agreements have had a very negative effect with American workers, this does not quite surprise us.

Democratic leadership subscribe to Politico. It could be the fact that Politico is read as an intelligence brief on the other side, since the publication is despised in DNC sites such as KOSS or Democratic Underground, or that the party is practicing misdirection and they read this because they agree with it. For the record, we did not come across one story from The Nation, let alone In these Times. Those are progressive publications.

Reading Politico though, one learns things like where former reporters go to work at. For example, Terry Neal who started at the Washington Post and moved to Hill and Knowtown, a Lobbying firm, has now joined the Podesta Group. Ok, so what does that matter? John Podesta is managing the Clinton presidential bid.  We are quoting the online story, not the exact copy in the email leak.

Granted the Politico tip sheet is full of good information if you want to know where insiders and next to insiders are going. Or for that matter what they are doing. That particular one has a few tidbits as to who is registering lobbyists in the beltway, which is also an interesting exercise. To no surprise Walmart is getting new lobbyists, as well as Lockheed Martin and the Federation of American Hospitals.
They also have regular news reporting, and Politico figures prominently, not so so much the rest of the beltway media, such as the Washington Post, which usually goes out In a digest with other media.

Here is a little tidbit that caught our attention in one of these Politico stories in the leak, not one that particularly surprised us.

GOLDMAN HEDGED AGAIN – Goldman Sachs now has a former partner high up in the Clinton campaign (Gary Gensler) and the Trump campaign (Mnuchin). Mnuchin’s hiring should theoretically make it very hard for Trump to slam Clinton’s ties to Wall Street. But like everything with Trump he will do it anyway and probably get away with it

By the way, for those who will reject even the concept that the DNC is reading Politico and passing it intact, here is the story in the Politico website. We expect some base voters to believe that, since quite frankly they have been told repeatedly that Politico is right wing and they hate democrats.

Political parties doing this is not surprising. Having a reporter pass the story to the party to vet before publication is. That is what the media does not want to talk about. Having their circulation go up by insiders reading their material is a good thing. Reporters vetting their own material with the party is not. It does create a more than just obvious conflict of interest.

Sanders is not a Democrat.

This talking point did not just make the rounds on social media, and was repeated by deep partisans like good parrots, but it started with the DNC. This is when the pattern that the party was not being fair was clear. After Bernie Sanders approached Politico this is what Debbie Wasserman Shultz, former head of the DNC had to say in private communications.

Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.

Now let me be clear on this. She has a right to her views, and I am sure being told her operation was not fair, never mind they were supposed to be fair, had to sting, But when this spreads to social media where attacks on Sanders fans were deep and painful is a whole different matter. Also Sanders has caucused with Democrats for his whole career. He will continue to do so as well.

While we have not found it, the threats that the party wants to close primaries in all states next time around is no longer a fantasy from foot soldiers online. We have found many of the talking points in internal communications. Moreover, I am sure that some within the party would love to do that. They had a scare this time around. They expected a pushover, and they got a real race in their hands because many, now former Democrats, wanted to return the party to it’s Rooseveltian roots.
The efforts went further than that, On May 20 Miranda wrote:

The Israel plank, that they see it as an ideal issue to marginalized Bernie on

This was in response to a note from DWS:

Wait, you mean HFA pushed that Sanders wants to moderate our Israel plank in the platform or that they do?

So the scheming was all the way to the end. It was not about getting a positive end for the party. It was about destroying anybody who opposes them. They started early with attacks on Sanders’ record on civil rights, which was far better than Clinton’s. This is a classic Karl Rove tactic, attack your opponent on their stronger point. Incidentally, Priorities USA, a Karl Rove formed Super Pac is now working for the Clinton campaign. Last time around they aligned with Mitt Romney.

On Trade

From the material being passed we are seeing some doubts emerge that this free trade agreement will be that great, and that the TPP will be the best thing ever since sliced bread, This might explain why the platform, which for the record, is usually not worth the paper it is printed on, was not so hip on it. It is not just that the Sanders campaign pressured for the changes. Honestly, they are not that hip on it. So that will lead to a sub rosa battle between the administration and the Clinton campaign. But having that in internal party traffic released to the world was not on their time.

Organized Labor

We have not found all of it yet, but the Detroit News did. The DNC, to no surprise or shock to us, holds the unions in contempt.
This is part of neoliberal philosophy and the disciplining of labor. So this did not surprise us at all. Organized labor is a problem, and has to be weakened as much as possible.

 Yet the emails that have been released highlight the rather one-way relationship between the Democratic Party and labor unions. DNC staffers see the unions as good soldiers in skirmishes with Republicans, as a pain when it comes to getting things done and, ultimately, as pushovers.

This started shortly after the 1968 convention, when Democrats started to push Unions out of the catbird seat and has ended with the party caring about Wall Street far more than Main Street. These are not incidental, or accidental positions. But labor is still acting as if they are truly in the driving seat when they are not. Neither party likes them. So we will have to question the role of labor at this point if they want to survive?
But if you were wondering why the Clinton campaign has been imitating Joe McCarthy and screaming REDS every chance they get, this is why. The content is very troublesome. The media has obliged because they do not want to be shown for this deep cooperation either. In fact, let’s call it what it is: This clear conflict of interest.

Oh and in the breaking news department and to no surprise to us, it was first broken by Politico, Amy Dacey, DNC CEO just stepped down. The story reads:

Democratic National Committee CEO Amy Dacey resigned Tuesday, sources with knowledge of the move confirm to POLITICO. Dacey is the first senior aide to depart in the wake of last week’s dump of hacked emails to WikiLeaks, though she follows the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the Democratic convention.
Other senior aides have been expecting the axe to fall on them too, and there’s a chill around the offices just off Capitol Hill as staffers wait for more resignations or firings. However, many people in the building had not been alerted to Dacey’s departure before the news broke.

If you want to know what is happening in the DNC, read Politico first. They are getting all these scoops for a reason. Oh and unlike CNN, they seemed to have dropped the Russians did the leak angle.

Important update, not just Dacey is gone. Here from the New York Times, add Miranda and Brad Marshall Though the Times is doubling down on the Russian angle instead of really concentrating on the content.

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