Jul 26, 2016

A Perfect Symbol of Media Capture: DWS Booed, MSNBC Caption Says “Cheered”

Monday morning saw Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former DNC chair, booed offstage at the Florida Democratic Delegation Breakfast; while it was transpiring, MSNBC's caption read that she was being cheered. A concise example of establishment media trying to force a positive narrative about establishment politicians. "Regulatory Capture" happens when regulators have too close a relationship with the industry they are to regulate; "Media Capture" happens when those in the media have too close a relationship with the individuals they are to cover.
By Liam Miller / filmsforaction.org
A Perfect Symbol of Media Capture: DWS Booed, MSNBC Caption Says “Cheered”
Was anyone saying "Boo-urns"?

Monday morning, the first day of the Democratic National Convention, as Debbie Wasserman Schultz attempted to address the Florida Democratic delegation breakfast, she was booed loudly and ceaselessly; and was ultimately forced to leave the stage.

In what might be the most perfect microcosm of media bias toward the Democratic establishment, MSNBC’s caption at the moment boos for Wasserman Schultz were picking up steam, and as she exhorted the crowd to “settle down”, read: “Wasserman Schultz Receives Cheers at Florida Delegation Breakfast”. The caption remained even after she had abandoned the microphone, and while another speaker sought (unsuccessfully) to soothe the crowd.

It’s an absurdly minor point of detail; they report cheers as she gets booed off stage. But it shows how thoroughly the attempt to craft a pro-establishment narrative infects the media – to manufacture consent, as Noam Chomsky says. They had decided to run that caption long before the event; and they ran it even while the exact opposite was taking place. Whether it represents dissonance-riddled willful ignorance or deliberate deception is moot. Boos are cheers; war is peace; HRC is progressive.

MSNBC of course covered the booing later, speaking to Andrea Mitchell from the floor by phone (though the announcer hedged, saying they heard “cheers” and “jeers”); but in the moment, as Wasserman Schultz was on stage, they had their own narrative cued up and ready to go. If events hadn’t been so diametrically opposite, that narrative would have remained.

Even if it is not the least bit surprising, it is still chilling. Here the offense is obvious; but the gutwrenching truth is, the myriad and manifold ways the media slighted and marginalized Bernie Sanders throughout the campaign were almost always far more difficult to see, and easily dismissed as paranoia.

And so it goes.

MSNBC’s utter haplessness at this moment in particular would be terribly funny if it weren’t such a heartbreakingly concise epitome. Sanders’ supporters have been gaslighted by the media the entire campaign. Now, with the leaked DNC emails raising furor after furor, another example – however picayune – of the media rallying around the political establishment at the expense of truth is sickening.

It is, even so, no reason for demoralization. The revolution continues despite the establishment in all its faces. Moments like this remind us that what we’re up against – while sickening – is simply no match for our concerted, dedicated vigilance.

If we’ve learned nothing else, it’s that we can count on one another for that.

Rate this article 
Activism
Trending Videos
Iran Attack: Israel Drags World To World War 3
12 min - The red lights are flashing.David Hearst is editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. Support DDN on Patreon  
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min - If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it...
Born Sexy Yesterday: A Hollywood Movie Trope That Maybe Needs to Die
18 min - "This video essay is about a gendered trope that has bothered me for years but didn’t have a name, so I gave it one: Born Sexy Yesterday. It's a science fiction convention in which the mind of a...
Trending Articles
Call Outs, Canceling, Shaming and More: Activist Tactics That Need a 2nd Look
The Importance of Rites of Passage
Subscribe for $5/mo to Watch over 50 Patron-Exclusive Films

 

Become a Patron. Support Films For Action.

For $5 a month, you'll gain access to over 50 patron-exclusive documentaries while keeping us ad-free and financially independent. We need 350 more Patrons to grow our team in 2024.

Subscribe here

Our 6000+ video library is 99% free, ad-free, and entirely community-funded thanks to our patrons!