Monday, November 06, 2017

Four Lies About Donna Brazile that Party-Protecting Reporters Made Viral


A slogan you will never see from the national Democratic Party until its current leadership is cleaned out and gone (source)

by Gaius Publius

The larger story — Those who control most of the Democratic Party, and those in the media who aid and abet them, are to their last breath fighting any attempt to turn the country and the Party in a more progressive direction. That resistance to change (the other #resistance, by the way) ended in Party failure during the electoral revolt of 2016, and it will continue to end in Party failure unless the Republican Party succeed in failing first.

The attempt to keep control of the Party out of the hands of anyone with Sanders-like appeal and policies is relentless and ongoing, and its media enablers are well placed and ubiquitous. The latter include many New York Times writers and editors; many Washington Post writers and editors; most journalists, commenters and hosts at NBC and MSNBC; and more.

The smaller story — That game of enabling resistance to change is playing out now in the mainstream Party and media reaction to Donna Brazile's recent revelations.

Donna Brazile, Dupe of "Russian-Fueled Propaganda"

As soon as the first Donna Brazile excerpts were published alleging collusion between the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC to make sure Clinton was the nominee, collusion which started as early as 2015, the attacks on Brazile began. As a reminder, here are a few of the articles covering Brazile's original charges:

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC [Brazile book excerpt; Politico]

Former DNC chair torches Clinton in new book [CNN]

Book Reveals Clinton Campaign Effectively Controlled DNC As Early As 2015 [NPR]

The reaction from both Party operatives and their friends in the media was immediate and brutal.

One recent example: The go-to charge usually leveled against Sanders supporters and Republicans — that anyone critical of the Democratic Party mainstream is a dupe of "Russian-fueled propaganda" — was wheeled out and leveled against Donna Brazile, a Party insider for decades, as well:

 Jesse Ferguson, DCCC and HFA insider, on Donna Brazile (click to enlarge)

Charges of "Russia! Russia! Russia!" are being made meaningless by this kind of mindless, automatic response to any and all enemies, no matter who or where.

Lies and Lying Liars — False Claims Against Donna Brazile That Journalists Helped Make Viral

In particular, four false charges against Brazile, refutations of her claims that are grounded only in lies, have been spread recently by mainstream journalists and publications in their own kneejerk attempts to defend the Party from attack, often using Twitter to make the false charges go "viral."

Let's look at one such charge in depth, courtesy of this piece by Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept. Then we'll list the other three with only brief comment. Again, note:
  • Each of these charges is false.
  • Most have been retracted, though almost invisibly.
  • Few of the retractions have been acknowledged by the original authors of the charges.
The first false accusation in depth:
Viral Falsehood #1: The Clinton/DNC agreement cited by Brazile only applied to the General Election, not the primary.

On Wednesday, Politico published a blockbuster accusation from Donna Brazile’s new book: that the DNC had “rigged” the 2016 primary election for Hillary Clinton through an agreement that gave Clinton control over key aspects of the DNC, a claim that Elizabeth Warren endorsed on CNN. The Clinton camp refused to comment publicly, but instead contacted their favorite reporters to publish their response as news.

The following day, NBC published an article by Alex Seitz-Wald that recited and endorsed the Clinton camp’s primary defense: that Brazile was wrong because the agreement in question (a copy of which they provided to Seitz-Wald) applied “only to preparations for the general election,” and had nothing to do with the primary season. That defense, if true, would be fatal to Brazile’s claims, and so DNC-loyal journalists all over Twitter instantly declared it to be true, thus pronouncing Brazile’s accusation to have been fully debunked. This post documents how quickly this claim was endorsed on Twitter by journalists and Democratic operatives, and how far and wide it therefore spread.

The problem with this claim is that it is blatantly and obviously false. All one has to do to know this is read the agreement. Unlike the journalists spreading this DNC defense, Campaign Legal Defense’s Brendan Fischer bothered to read it, and immediately saw, and documented, how obviously false this claim is[.]
Note not only the substantive point — that the charge can be proved false just by reading the agreement — but the methodology used to spread it. In this specific case the methodology was: "The Clinton camp refused to comment publicly, but instead contacted their favorite reporters to publish their response as news. ... The following day, NBC published an article by Alex Seitz-Wald that recited and endorsed the Clinton camp’s primary defense. ... That defense, if true, would be fatal to Brazile’s claims, and so DNC-loyal journalists all over Twitter instantly declared it to be true, thus pronouncing Brazile’s accusation to have been fully debunked."

This means that the "DNC-loyal journalists" who spread this story either did not read the agreement or did not care if their assertions were untrue. Their main purpose in either case seems simply to be this — Allow no harm to come to the pro-corporate wing of the Democratic Party.

Behavior like this is the very essence of propaganda and the opposite of responsible journalism.

Three More False Claims Against Brazile

Greenwald's piece details three more false claims made against Brazile that mainstream media editors and writers helped spread. These claims are:
Viral Falsehood #2: Sanders signed the same agreement with the DNC that Clinton did.

Viral Falsehood #3: Brazile stupidly thought she could unilaterally remove Clinton as the nominee.

Viral Falsehood #4: Evidence has emerged proving that the content of WikiLeaks documents and emails was doctored.
About the first, Sanders made public his own agreement, which showed no such thing. About the second, the Washington Post's editors made that claim in a much retweeted headline to a story that contained no such statement.

The final claim — that the leaked Wikileaks documents were doctored — is simply an evidence-free assertion that many reporters and Party insiders seem simply to want to be true. About that, Politico wrote:
Clinton’s team hasn’t challenged the accuracy of even the most salacious emails released in the past four days, including those featuring aides making snarky references to Catholicism or a Bill Clinton protégé describing Chelsea Clinton as a “spoiled brat.” And numerous digital forensic firms told POLITICO that they haven’t seen any proof of tampering in the emails they’ve examined — adding that only the hacked Democrats themselves could offer that kind of conclusive evidence.
Would it not be incredibly easy to prove the claim true, by simply producing a single doctored email? The fact that none has emerged, that not one email released by Wikileaks has been challenged by its authors, itself compels the conclusion that no leaked email has been forged.

For the Many or For the Few?

Thus the battle rages, between the defenders and enablers of the Party status quo and those who wish to change it. But as these skirmishes appear and fade from the national media radar, keep the following more important points in mind:

     1. The nation has had it with pro-corporate, big-money governance. The electoral revolt of 2016 has failed in both parties, which is not good news. In general, if electoral solutions prove impossible, non-electoral solutions will be tried. Non-electoral "solutions" are by definition real revolutions.

     2. If the Democratic Party can't be fixed, it will continue to be abandoned.

     3. The deadlines of our twin tsunamis are short. We have less than a generation, likely fewer than two presidential cycles at most, before all hell breaks loose.

Those twin tsunamis are first, undeniable, irreversible climate chaos and the panicked reaction to it by rich and poor alike. (If events follow the pattern, the rich will abandon the poor, and the poor will take revenge.) And second, uncontrolled public rage against "government for the few," an anger that will explode like a pressure cooker if there's no alleviation.

As a visual example of the forces aligned for change, and the forces aligned against it, recall this:

(Click to enlarge)

Keep this also in mind. It's not just the parties making this mess; it's their media enablers, greater and lesser, that keep the pressure on an  increasingly unforgiving public. Media enablers are just as much at fault as those whom their lies defend.


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At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOW are we ready to admit that there remains nothing of value in the Democratic Party to convince a thinking voter to remain a member?

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Burton said...

No, because the DNC is not the Democratic Party. It's an organization to handle money for elections on the national level. And right now, those running it have seen the writing on the wall because Bernie almost managed to beat their anointed heiress without bowing to its dictates.

I realized belatedly that I, too, was conflating the party and the DNC. Granted, the party at its various levels has been brainwashed into allowing the DNC/DCCC/DSCC to dictate who the candidates will be because that's easier than working to find the money themselves. Ironic that the DNC may have managed to undermine its own agenda with the HFA money-laundering scheme, at least among some of the party faithful.

The current efforts to get as many progressive activists into local and state party organizations has had some success, and the people fighting those battles are ticked off enough any losses are likely to be temporary. And, if we can, we should at the same time work to create a new party, just as the Republicans did 170 years ago.

Maybe my realization that throwing out the Democratic Party baby with the DNC bathwater arose because I've been training myself out of accepting the sweeping generalizations the media and those in power have brainwashed us into accepting. What better way for the GOP and their New Dem enablers to stay in power than to convince progressives the Democratic Party is useless? That way, the former continues to win elections because their power base is faithful till death and the latter get to collect those nice fat checks without having to actually do any work. Call it political welfare.

Nope. Time to stop playing that game. The Democratic Party may be on the way out, but like the Whigs it will suffice while we build up a replacement.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, you could not be more wrong.

First, conflating the DNC/DxCCs with the party oligarchy is proper. They're the same thing. The role of the DNC used to be to raise money and dole it out to candidates and build state aparatii for the party. Gooning primaries and the convention in favor of the money's favorite whore is relatively new.

Conflating the above with the voters is wasteful, true. But the rate at which the voters lose patience with being ratfucked by whom they elect is not nearly enough to get to the point where a replacement is even considered.

So say that utter corruption will do until a replacement magically appears is the dumbest assertion of yours I've ever read. As long as the democraps survive with state offices and ANYONE in congress, voters won't even consider getting behind anything new. Kind of an inverse chicken/egg. As long as one exists, the other never will.

One last thing. Brazille knew. Elizabeth admits she knew. It follows, then, that Bernie also knew (after listening to a recent podcast, he nearly admits he knew). Yet Bernie turtled and Elizabeth and donna eagerly supported the perpetrator of that fraud.

Leaving brazille out, we all consider Bernie and Elizabeth among the VEEEERY few 'better' democraps. yet they all supported a known corrupt organization and the known corrupt, lying bank whore that benefitted from that corruption and fraud.

And Bernie has the cheek to publish a book using the term "revolution". Judging by his own consistency in his actions, he is/was never a revolutionary (though he campaigned as one). He was no less an opportunist than trump. He used the same mass disaffection of the entire system to try to get himself elected.

A revolutionary would have taken his 'revolution' independent after being ratfucked by the DNC and would have hollered about the ratfucking everywhere.

As it is, he refuses to say any such thing. I hate to say this, but Bernie and Elizabeth are both major components in the same problem.

And, Elizabeth B, the only solution for that problem is for the democraps to burn to the ground and a new truly progressive entity to replace it. And right fucking now (if not 30 years ago).

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well actually Anonymous, Sanders did refuse to sign an agreement that would allow money laundering contributions to his campaign and circumvent campaign finance laws in doing so. And running as a Democrat gave him far more visibility and ability to mount a serious challenge to Clinton in a way that running as an independemt would not have, for all sorts of reasons. I do think he played nicer than, in hindsight, than the Dems derserved but even that has helped him remain the most popular politician in America with Warren coming in second, even with their faults. The truth is you don't overthrow or even expose many decades of entrenched, systemic corruption in one election cycle. But Sanders helped make a hell of a good start for progressives to either take over the democrats or have the push to really create a viable alternative party and let the Dems die as they seem to be set on committing suicide anyway.And if you are a politician, its always always smarter to let others scream on your behalf about how you were ratfucked while you say it in a less angry but firm way so you don't sound like Trumplestein.

At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:28, I will always disagree. He ran as a D and got SOME attention just due to that, true. And he even got SOME DNC voter data to use. But the voter caging and fraud more than made up for that.

He SHOULD have taken his people and walked out of the convention and gone independent AT THAT POINT. He SHOULD have told the kind of truths that he still, to this day, refuses to do... about how the superdelegates are designed to be antidemocratic and favor the money; how he got ratfucked in at least 6 state primaries; how polling showed $hillbillary up by 4 to 6 points but he was up by 10 over THAT; how intractably corrupt the entire democrap party is; and all the rest of what we all know.

Bernie and EW certainly know all the truths... just like some of us who have paid attention know just from what they do (and refuse to do). Yet they still serve the corruption by staying in the nest of vipers. That makes them part of the problem... because they refuse to be part of the only viable solution.

The democraps will never be taken over from the bottom up. There will never be enough good people elected for long enough to do that. They've been building their oligarchy and firewalls for 35 years. It's impregnable. You should realize this.

How easy it was for Clinton and his DLC to breach the party of FDR's mechanisms and firewalls... and how impossible it appears to breach the corruption's machine and firewalls. The power of greed... maybe humans just are not built for longevity.


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