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The Media’s Delinquency & Manipulation of the Primaries

We are still a little under two months away from the first Presidential Primary. If you are listening to the mainstream media, the GOP nomination is all but sewn-up and the establishment Republican apparatus has agita. What’s got the inside-the-beltway crowd so nervous and frustrated? Well, Donald Trump is up 13.1 points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls that survey the sentiments of Republican voters. This, in and of itself, is a good reason to break out the Prylosec® if you are an establishment Republican operative. But the GOP rank-and-file really needs to take a step back and understand what has been done to them so that they can truly have their voices heard come election time.

This election cycle has been unofficially titled the “Election of the Outsider” and rightly so. The public sentiment regarding politicians – especially the agenda-driven professional class of politician – is on par with that of journalists and lawyers. If the Mariana Trench could be filled with all of them the collective attitude of the nation would skyrocket. But what We the People are being led to believe is an “accurate accounting” of our collective sentiment has been manipulated to a great extent. Again, as in the non-vetting of Barack Obama in the lead-up to the 2008 General Election, the mainstream media is grossly negligent in doing its job.

Consider for a moment this fact. Not one ballot has been cast in any primary or caucus anywhere across the country for any candidate, Republican or Democrat. Yet the mainstream media and professional polling institutions – agenda-driven entities that control the wording of the polling questions – say they have determined, for the entirety of the electorate, via a micro-sampling of the citizenry, who will be the nominees for each party.

Additionally, the major media outlets that have been “awarded” the honor of hosting debates made command decisions to limit the number of candidates on stage, and even then they decided to break the over-glorified press conferences into two tiers, thus limiting the public’s access to the full complement of interactive possibilities.

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Then, after every new poll is released and every “debate” is completed, a cadre of failed political operatives-turned-pundits get on-screen and pontificate and suppose about a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses; favorability and faux pas, and “conclude” (read: decide for you and I) a candidate’s viability in the Primary and then General Elections. Of course, they always use the polls to validate their speculation as fact.

Not one actual vote cast, the so-called “debates” selectively featuring candidates, the political operatives-turned-pundits presenting speculation as fact, and only one true reality emanates from of the process: most voters have been manipulated into believing that some candidates are viable while others are not.

Just as in 2007, when then-Senator Obama was so green in politics he resembled The Great Gazoo from the latter-year Flintstones cartoons, the mainstream media is failing to spotlight the political philosophies, ideologies and platforms of the many candidates running for President of the United States. In 2007 they became sycophants to a “moment in history” and failed to adequately vet a rookie politician whose lack of experience should have disqualified him in any thinking person’s mind for the highest office in the land. Today, the mainstream media poses “gottcha” questions when they should be asking exploratory questions of substance of the candidates. Two sets of questions come to mind, although I can think of many more:

1) Mr. Trump, can you please define what being treated fairly by the establishment GOP means? If a legitimately arrived at brokered convention were to occur would you consider that being treated unfairly? And, if so, how do you qualify denying rank-and-file GOP convention delegates their chartered right to affect a brokered convention?

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2) Dr. Carson, some pundits have accused you of not being up to “political wonk” speed regarding foreign policy and some of the social issue items. Can you explain how you would vet and assemble your cabinet? And would you be as stringently selective about your cabinet members, department and agency heads, and advisers as you were with your neuro-surgical teams?

These are the kinds of informative questions that actually provide insight into a candidate’s mind; his/her thinking process; his/her decision-making process. These are the kind of informative questions that inoculate the public from the pabulum that is the pre-fabricated political talking point; scripted lines agreed upon by committee and vetted by Madison Avenue focus groups for their “won’t put the candidate on record as having a stance” qualities.

The voters would be better served if the mainstream media actually practiced journalism instead of the entertainment that passes as opinion-journalism. They would also be better served if the “debates” – which, again, are nothing more than gerrymandered press conferences in the style of American Idol – were discontinued altogether, replaced by one-hour specials spotlighting each of the candidates in a conversation of pointed political, ideological and operational questions about the candidates’ agendas and platforms. If the GOP and DNC were smart – and I think we all know they exist at the lowest common denominator when it comes to innovation and communications – they would each create a 24/7/365 cable channel that did exactly this.

Alas, if the “debates” were to expire and thoughtful investigative forums were to emerge that would mean the mainstream media would lose its ability to manipulate the public in the selection process to pick the next leader of the free world. And if the political parties were to actually do due diligence on behalf of the voters by thoroughly vetting the candidates in an open and honest manner they, too, would lose their ability to influence the process by which a “chosen one candidate” is elevated to the station of “nominee.”

So, pardon me if I don’t get as excited as the politically manipulated over the 13.1 point edge Mr. Trump has been awarded by the mainstream media over the rest of those in the GOP primary race, or the 23.3 point spread they have awarded to Hillary Clinton in the Democrat race. I’ll wait until actual votes are cast to determine which candidates We the People believe are viable and which are not. I’ll wait for the actual primary elections and caucuses to start.

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About Frank Salvato

Frank Salvato is a partner at TRR Consulting Group, LLC, a reputation management and organizational strategies group. He serves as managing editor of The New Media Journal. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His analysis has been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, and Accuracy in Media, and is syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the author of six books examining internal and external threats facing our country. He can be heard twice weekly on “The Captain’s America: Third Watch” radio program syndicated nationally on the Salem Broadcasting Network and is a host on The Underground Podcast Network.
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