Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The "Berners" are ready to Occupy the News Channels for Bernie Sanders

There is a movement afoot that has Bernie Sanders supporters ready to occupy the media for next Tuesday's primaries.

What caused this stir is something Chris Matthews, of MSNBC, stated on the air to Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders' campaign manager, "I'm told by the experts on numbers around here at NBC and elsewhere that come June 7th, the day of the California primary, . . . that at eight o'clock that night Eastern Time the networks will be prepared, including this one, to announce that Hillary Clinton has now gotten over the top - that she will have won the nomination. In numbers, it's done! What will that do to turn out if that's five o'clock Pacific time with three more hours to vote in California, who will be least likely to vote?  Sanders' people from 5 to 8, or Hillary's?"

It was at this point that Humpty Dumpty establishment finally had their big fall. This arrogant proclamation by Matthews infuriated the Bernie crowd.  Afterwards, social media became abuzz encouraging the faithful to stand up to these establishment media giants in the same spirit that Sanders has crusaded throughout his life - through peaceful protest.

The issue is that only the pledged delegates, i.e, those that are mandated by the voters, are locked-in delegates.  The superdelegates are basically floaters.  They can change their mind everyday from now until the convention.  Nothing is written in stone for them.  Weaver explained to Matthews that the pronouncement would be inaccurate because the superdelegate count is basically a poll, not a vote. He compared it to calling the California primary election based on polling numbers rather than the voters on election night.  

What made matters worse is the response Matthews gave to Weaver, "I don't want to have this conversation."  

Of course he doesn't but it was too late for that.  As a result the "Berners" are mobilizing. There is talk of showing up at the door of NBC at Rockefeller Center, CNN at Columbus Circle (both in New York City) to express their displeasure with the establishment media who they are convinced has been out to get Sanders from the beginning.

What makes it look particularly bad for MSNBC is the hypocrisy.  It is hard to reconcile that their commentators routinely chastise Republican policies that suppress the vote while their basic reporting policy will do the same thing come Tuesday night.

If the media follows through with its pre-mature announcement,  it will be just another in a long list of ways the entire establishment has been trying to contaminate the democratic process in the primary process. It is this kind of system that gave birth to the Trump and Sanders' phenomena.  It will be interesting to see how they all attempt to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.