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Steve Bannon may be gone from the Oval Office, but Breitbart, where he landed on his feet, loomed large in defeating our Hillary Clinton online offensive in 2016. Those of us on the social media campaign bus tried our best to get Hillary Clinton’s message out. When you look at the first few graphics in this report, you may be stunned, as I was, at how little media attention her issues received.

The study illuminates the degree to which opposing sides used social media differently – and postulates as to why. It also shows which major media sources played important roles and how we, the electorate, used them. That Breitbart even figured in as “major” came as a surprise to me.

I am neither a data analyst nor a campaign strategist. I am not sure what we could have done differently based on the results of this study. What I do see is that we failed to battle the Breitbart offensive effectively. It was astoundingly successful. Click on the upper right link on the page to download the full pdf text.

Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Title: Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Author: Benkler, Yochai; Roberts, Hal; Faris, Robert M.; Etling, Bruce; Zuckerman, Ethan; Bourassa, NikkiNote: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
Citation: Faris, Robert M., Hal Roberts, Bruce Etling, Nikki Bourassa, Ethan Zuckerman, and Yochai Benkler. 2017. Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society Research Paper.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: In this study, we analyze both mainstream and social media coverage of the 2016 United States presidential election. We document that the majority of mainstream media coverage was negative for both candidates, but largely followed Donald Trump’s agenda: when reporting on Hillary Clinton, coverage primarily focused on the various scandals related to the Clinton Foundation and emails. When focused on Trump, major substantive issues, primarily immigration, were prominent. Indeed, immigration emerged as a central issue in the campaign and served as a defining issue for the Trump campaign.

We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.

Our data supports lines of research on polarization in American politics that focus on the asymmetric patterns between the left and the right, rather than studies that see polarization as a general historical phenomenon, driven by technology or other mechanisms that apply across the partisan divide.

The analysis includes the evaluation and mapping of the media landscape from several perspectives and is based on large-scale data collection of media stories published on the web and shared on Twitter.

Read the full report – click the Download Full Text link >>>>

There were stories here that I never encountered, e.g. the one about immigrants with “blistering STDs.”

There are lessons here. Maybe our team did not spend enough time in the slime of the opposition websites to battle their disgusting lies. We thought the opposition, like us, actually accessed traditional sources, which, as the study shows, did not give Hillary’s issues any kind of fair hearing because, you know, her emails!

I must thank Jen Michigander for sharing this study with me. She is the intrepid one who has spent a lot of time moving among the shadows at the opposition pages.

 

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What kind of decaf have morning media pundits been drinking for the past year? Why are they acting like they awoke in a stupor this morning in the wake of that presser at Trump Tower yesterday? How did they not know that this is who Donald Trump is and that he is not going to change? On “Morning Joe” someone even used the word “mourning.” Really? How is it that you all failed to predict this?

Why is this a question?

This time last year Andrea Mitchell was obsessed with Hillary’s emails and coughing spells. She was not alone. They all were!  Maybe that is why they missed Hillary’s speech in Reno on August 25, 2016 when she issued a strong warning about what Trump was doing and what his presidency would look like.

From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican party. His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.

SNIP

Trump’s lack of knowledge or experience or solutions would be bad enough. But what he’s doing here is more sinister. Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters.

It’s a disturbing preview of what kind of President he’d be.

And that’s what I want to make clear today: A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far, dark reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military. Ask yourself, if he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?

Now, I know that some people still want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. They hope that he will eventually reinvent himself – that there’s a kinder, gentler, more responsible Donald Trump waiting in the wings somewhere.

Because after all, it’s hard to believe anyone – let alone a nominee for president – could really believe all the things he says.

But here’s the hard truth, there is no other Donald Trump. This is it.

And Maya Angelou, a great American who I admire very much, she once said: ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.’ Well, throughout his career and this campaign, Donald Trump has shown us exactly who he is. And I think we should believe him.

She went on to enumerate instances when the Department of Justice filed charges of discrimination against Trump and remarks he made on the campaign trail regarding a variety of minority groups. She warned.

This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name ‘white-genocide-TM.’ Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people.

His campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image – a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills – that first appeared on white supremacist websites.

The Trump campaign has also selected a prominent white nationalist leader as a delegate in California. And they only dropped him under pressure.

When asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump wouldn’t do it. Only later, again under mounting pressure, did he backtrack.

And when Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them.

Through it all, he has continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones.

You remember, he said that thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t.

Yesterday, Trump told the press and the American people that there were people “very quietly” protesting the removal of a statue. That did not happen, either. He told us he saw things that we did not, and at one point he told us what we know and what we think.

If the pundits had listened to Hillary instead of worrying about her cough which turned out to be pneumonia, perhaps they would not be so stunned and astounded today.  Perhaps they might have worried more about Trump’s mental status than about Hillary’s temporary, curable cough.

The last thing we need in the Situation Room is a loose cannon who can’t tell the difference, or doesn’t care to, between fact and fiction, and who buys so easily into racially-tinged rumors. Someone so detached from reality should never be in charge of making decisions that are as real as they come.

That is yet another reason why Donald Trump is simply temperamentally unfit to be President of the United States.

Now, I hear and I read some people who are saying that his bluster and bigotry is just over-heated campaign rhetoric – an outrageous person saying outrageous things for attention. But look at his policies. The ones that Trump has proposed, they would put prejudice into practice.

SNIP

the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, Breitbart embraces ‘ideas on the extremist fringe of the conservative right.’ This is not conservatism as we have known it, this is not Republicanism as we have known it. These are racist ideas. Race-baiting ideas. Anti-Muslim, anti-Immigrant, anti-women –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’

Now, Alt-Right is short for ‘Alternative Right.’ The Wall Street Journal describes it as a loose, but organized movement, mostly online, that ‘rejects mainstream conservatism, promotes nationalism and views immigration and multiculturalism as threats to white identity.’

So the de facto merger between Breitbart and the Trump Campaign represents a landmark achievement for this group. A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party.

SNIP

On David Duke’s radio show the other day, the mood was jubilant. ‘We appear to have taken over the Republican Party,’ one white supremacist said. Duke laughed. ‘No, there’s still more work to do,’ he replied.

So no one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed. Racists now call themselves ‘racialists.’ White supremacists now call themselves ‘white nationalists.’ The paranoid fringe now calls itself ‘alt-right.’ But the hate burns just as bright.

And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. But don’t be fooled.

There’s an old Mexican proverb that says ‘Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.’

But we know who Trump is. A few words on a teleprompter won’t change that.

He says he wants to ‘make America great again,’ but more and more it seems as though his real message seems to be ‘Make America hate again.’

And this isn’t just about one election. It’s about who we are as a nation. It’s about the kind of example we want to set for our children and grandchildren.

Next time you see Trump rant on television, think about all the children listening across America. Kids hear a lot more than we think.

Another year of school is starting and parents have to worry about how safe it is for their kids to listen to the president speak! Teachers are unsure as to how they can approach a current events unit.

This morning many media pundits seemed to be suffering that post-adrenaline hangover we all feel after a shock. If they had listened to Hillary last year they might not have been so surprised. In fact, perhaps they would not have been complicit in drowning out her message and her substantial plans to improve everybody’s shot at the American Dream. Instead, they ignored those policy speeches. They are shocked. Shocked. That a POTUS would defend Nazis and the KKK.  Are they woke now? The jury is out.

You can read Hillary’s entire Reno speech here >>>>

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This article is not new. It dates back to the end of March. In light of this past weekend in Charlottesville, it merits another look. A pro-Bernie faction continues its attempts to muscle into leadership roles in the Democratic party while Sanders himself remains stubbornly an Independent (which is fine with us since we do not want him in the party). They disparage true Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Jon Ossoff  and parrot Bernie’s inflammatory and untrue words, believe propaganda generated abroad, and threaten the very breadth of the party with extreme policy demands. (Bold emphasis below is mine.)

Sanders defends Trump voters: I don’t think they’re racists, sexists or homophobes

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) on Friday defended voters of President Trump, saying that the election was Democrats’ to lose and that the party needs to better represent the working-class voters who supported Trump and other GOP lawmakers

“Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there. Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with, it wasn’t that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election,” Sanders said while speaking at an Our Revolution rally in Boston with fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Sanders went on to say that a “fundamental restructuring of the Democratic party” was needed to win future elections and that problems with party’s current setup is why many were quick to support Trump in the election, not because of some of the rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Please do keep reading >>>>

On the trail, Hillary Clinton was fond of quoting Maya Angelou: “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” Then, she was applying that maxim to Trump.

In March, Bernie told us who he is. I missed this article the first time around, but we should look at it now and understand who Bernie is.

Over the past several days, Trump supporters have claimed on social media as well as IRL face to face with Trump protestors that they support Trump but are not racists or Nazis. The reply from the Resistance has been “Yes, you are.”

In March, Bernie said: “Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there.” Been where? He neglected to clarify that. We can agree that there are probably people who voted for Trump who are not among those supporting him at his recent rallies and who would not participate in Nazi/KKK marches, but by not condemning those folks, their support is implicit. Bernie prefers to cut them slack rather than hold their feet to the fire.

As you see, he then went on to blame us for losing an election that was phenomenally well-supported, well-run, and ran the best-prepared, most thoroughly experienced candidate any of us had ever seen in our lives. I take exception to Bernie’s words! Not true!

A “perfect storm,” as Hillary has termed it, of influences and actions robbed the party of a victory and the country of the president we deserved.

Discord is a loaded term with a negative valence. We feel uncomfortable when it intrudes upon what we consider the normal flow of life. On the other hand, we live in a democracy and are accustomed to dealing with the messiness of it – including the inevitable discord and necessary compromise.

Accord, on the other hand has a positive valence. By trying to cozy up to the “populist” Trump supporters, Bernie has told us who he is. His “accord” with the Trump folks, however, is less than comforting or comfortable. He has told us who he is. We should believe him. He and his ilk have no place in our diverse party. Period.

Here’s Hillary. We are #StillWithHer.

Here is the text of her speech connecting Donald Trump to the alt-right.

Hillary Clinton in Reno

Here is her “deplorables” remark in context.

Statement from Hillary Clinton

I cannot suppress this addition.

Bernie Sanders Deletes Numerous Tweets That Blamed Trump for Charlottesville Violence

I come from a blue collar family – not elitist by any standard. My parents worked together in an aircraft plant until I was born. They scraped to send my sister and me to Catholic schools so, not by choice, I did study Latin.

“Alea jacta est.”

Loose translation: “If you are prominent in some way, your first tweet has been screen-saved by somebody.”

Latin is so succinct!

 

 

 

 

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I know this will get me in trouble with some people, but I really don’t care anymore. I am burnt out every which way and sick and tired of people urging another campaign when all they bothered to do (maybe) was vote. Maybe!

To all the people typing #HRC2020, please consider this.

From the moment on May 31, 2008 that the Rules and Bylaws Committee threw Hillary Clinton delegates Obama’s way, a faction of the Democratic Party began saving money.

We called ourselves PUMAs, and the money we saved was with an eye toward a future Hillary Clinton candidacy.

This PUMA faction remained close-knit over the years via social media. There are Facebook groups and a network of people who stayed connected. We were not closed or secret. We were not afraid. We were public, open, and proud. We encountered abuse and fought back. We were dedicated to Hillary and her agenda.

When Hillary declared in April 2015, this faction sprang into action. We were ready. We had stayed in training. We donated, signed up to start fund raising, joined various campaign committees, and volunteered.

Some younger folks quit jobs to join the campaign, travel around the country at their own expense, and volunteer in battleground states. Bear in mind that when they did this, they gave up income and job benefits including health insurance and retirement plans while their student loans remained due. They did it anyway.

The rest of us signed up to volunteer locally. We phone banked, knocked on doors, and traveled en masse by bus to nearby battleground states on weekends to walk the neighborhoods and knock on doors.

Campaigning was at least a part-time job for us. For some it was a full-time job, and we paid to do it. We did it with pleasure and devotion.

All campaigns come to a frenzied end. 2016 was no exception. The primary season and then the general were furiously busy no matter what your role in the campaign was. It was a two-step that we had not been through in 2008. We poured everything we had into it.

After the results on 11/08/2016, the battle was not over. Soon thereafter, official recounts were initiated. We had to round up folks to participate in recounts in some states. The work continued. Many volunteered.

It is very easy to type a hashtag, especially if you had little or no investment in what was done between April 2015 and December 2016.

You are not only demanding that Hillary run and do it all again. You are demanding that all the people who made these sacrifices jump back into action with ease.

Here is the truth. Those that relinquished their jobs to volunteer then had to find other jobs and begin all over again – and, as I said, many still have student loans to repay.

The rest of us depleted our “discretionary spending” budgets over a seven year period to support that campaign.

None of us will be in the same situation in 2020 as in 2016.

Those in their 20s then who gave up their jobs will be going into their 30s in new jobs, building new retirement accounts (we hope), and seniority.

Those in their 30s and 40s then will be inching toward retirement while facing increasing heath benefit premiums as well as college tuition for their children.

Those in their 50s and 60s then will be retiring and no longer have the resources to support another campaign at the amounts they donated in 2015 and 2016.

This last was the demographic with the most money to contribute in the last campaign.

The folks who were in their 70s and 80s in 2016 (also large donors and very active at the younger levels) are and will be dying out.  All the stress, in money and man hours (strange expression – woman/man hours) will be on veterans in the 30 – 70 age group.

There is not a huge base (as we had in 2015)  that will be in their 20s in 2020 that is dedicated to Hillary. That demographic has been decimated by the Bernie Sanders incursion into the Democratic Party.

To demand that Hillary Clinton run again is also to put extra stress on the base that has stood behind Hillary for ten years.

I am not saying what Hillary will or should do. That decision, always, is hers alone.

I am saying that when you make this demand, I hope you have a plan to gather resources supplementary to those we are losing which are many.

I have not seen any of the #HRC2020 folks state, as many did spontaneously in 2008, that they are putting savings away for the 2020 campaign. I have not seen any swear that they will quit their employment to campaign.

The #HRC2020 contingent appears to be nothing but a cheering section.

It does not happen by magic. It does not happen by hashtag. It happens by hard work. It takes money, and for most of us that means that it takes savings.

Not one of us who campaigned hard has regretted the work or the expense. We would do it again. But those are not the people I see demanding Hillary to run again.

Many of us are spent. We need time to catch up with what we spent over the 2015-16 campaign cycle. We cannot save in three years what we saved in seven. Our resources have changed in many cases.

It is way too early to talk about 2020 anyway. If Democrats cannot win Congressional seats in 2018, the Trump agenda threatens to bulldoze all of us.

Put that hashtag to bed unless you are prepared to put your money and your livelihood behind it right this minute and declare so.

I should not even have to tell you to do this since everyone who made that promise in 2008 did so spontaneously, with no prompting whatsoever, made good on that pledge, and worked their hearts out in the last campaign.

It is easy to type. It is not so easy to do the hard work. If you did not campaign, if you did not contribute, please spare us your comment.

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Susan Bordo, author of The Destruction of Hillary Clinton, has chimed in on the pre-publication “reviews” of Hillary Clinton’s upcoming memoir. While Hillary’s book will not be released until September, alt-right psychics and soothsayers are already anticipating the content and critiquing the unpublished work.

August 4, 2017

What Keeps Happening: On the media’s preemptively panning Hillary Clinton’s new book

by

The book hasn’t even come out yet, but it is already being “reviewed” in the conservative press. A small sampling: Damon Linker, in the Week: “There is not a chance in the world that Clinton’s memoir will frankly examine and reflect on the true causes of her catastrophic defeat.” Matt Vespa, in Town Hall, predicts the book will be “an extended version of her alternative history in which Russia, the FBI, the media, the DNC, and Republicans all conspired to torpedo her presidential ambitions.” Stephen L. Miller, of Fox Newsactually goes as far as to state unequivocally that the book “definitely won’t tell you what really happened.” The book’s title itself—What Happened—has been described as “ridiculous” by Bre Payton of The Federalist, implying that it’s pure hubris for Clinton to claim that knowledge; she then produces examples of the most vicious take-down tweets of the cover.

Describing a book without even having read it is a ploy familiar to those of us who teach, and I really don’t expect any better from the conservative press than a version of “Clinton CliffsNotes.” I was taken aback, however, when Chris Matthews of Hardball sneered at the press description that Clinton, in the book, would be describing the multiple “forces” that she had to contend with during the election. “Forces?” I remember him asking. His scrunched-up face signaled skepticism over the choice of such a volcanic image. Let’s not go too far here, implied Matthews (who in 2008 described Clinton as “witchy” and “a she-devil”), she wasn’t exactly an innocent Dorothy swept up by powerful winds.

Read more >>>>

Bordo states, “What’s so startling, however—even to someone like me who has followed the twists and turns of Hillary-hating for decades—is its persistence during the nine months since the election.” It is remarkable. Just last night, Trump generated a “lock her up” chant at a rally in West Virginia. I do not remember any president continuing to disparage an opponent so long after an election.

On the other hand, since the 2008 election I have been part of a large, tight network of Hillary supporters who have remained close-knit for almost 10 years and counting.  I do not recall any candidate retaining such an active, passionate support base after losing a nomination.

We were ready when, in April 2015, Hillary said, “Go!” We had never left training camp after 2008. We had kept up with her, followed her through the State Department, her speaking tours, and her book signings. We were ready for Hillary.

Testament to the campaign Hillary ran in which we all participated was the enormous popular vote she won. When you outdo your opponent by nearly three million votes, you can hardly be called a loser. Obviously other forces were at work to bring you down.

That is Hillary’s story to tell. Her team looks forward to her book tour and to reading what she has to say about her historical run in her own words.

 

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Now we know the title of Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir about the 2016 election.

Hillary Clinton Is Writing Campaign Memoir Called ‘What Happened’

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has announced the title of her forthcoming memoir on the 2016 campaign: What Happened. The book will be released Sept. 12, according to Simon & Schuster’s website. “In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net,” Clinton writes in the introduction. “Now I’m letting my guard down.”

Read more >>>>

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the introduction of What Happened

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

Good title! It’s the question we all we asking that night.

You can find more info and pre-order the book at the Simon & Schuster website.  If you sign up for updates, you qualify for a free ebook.

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A year ago tonight, we made history.

history-made

07-26-16-G-05

Wear your Hillary gear today!

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