What Do These ‘Missing’ Candidates Have in Common?

[NB: Check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

I’m putting this question to the media folks who come through here on the regular. Don’t think we don’t notice your foot- and fingerprints.

Last week I pointed out the Senate’s GOP caucus ignored — for lack of a better word — Donald Trump’s mental and physical decline.

But it’s not just the GOP members of the Senate who’ve turned their chickenshit backs on a growing national security threat posed by Trump’s slide.

It’s the media. They’ve enabled the continuing blindness among Trump supporters because they refuse to mention Trump shows signs of cognitive and physical impairment.

They leave it instead to late night comedy shows to point out how bad Trump’s condition has become.

But now the media is doing something just as bad as ignoring a mounting national security threat.

They are erasing the women candidates when they discuss the primaries and caucuses.

It’s not just the media but the ecosystem which relies on the media — like Nate Silver.

Can’t imagine what systematically ignoring the women candidates will do to their polling, can you?

Nate and Clare note Buttigieg has zero stories compared to Bloomberg, but…

Warren is tied with Buttigieg in that poll and yet there’s no mention that Warren has zero coverage, too. Klobuchar is not that far behind that she doesn’t at least deserve a mention.

The media will argue they don’t choose the candidates, but they do — they do by the amount of coverage they provide the public before each poll, before each caucus and primary.

They continue to report this election using stale horse race methodology.

And the political ecosystem like Five Thirty-Eight’s team just follows along for the ride. “Who, us?” they’ll say after the fact.



At least AP News noted last Thursday that Warren had raised $6 million online after the Iowa caucus. But then CNN covers her and calls her “struggling,” which isn’t exactly an appropriate description for a candidate who came in third in Iowa, behind a presidential candidate who’d campaigned there in 2016.

We know the media has noticed, scratching their heads and asses while just plain not covering the women candidates:

… On CNN Sunday, The Nation’s Joan Walsh addressed the topic as well. “I’m a reporter. I understand some of why this happened,” she said, noting that Sanders and Buttigieg led in delegates in the Iowa caucuses while expected front-runner Joe Biden’s disappointing performance was a “big story.”

“But the woman who finished third — a decent third, not her dream — was really… I was watching multiple cable stations that were jumping around and skipping her,” Walsh said. “Even on the night of the Iowa caucuses, lots of people cut from her to Biden because Biden is the bigger story in that it was a very sad performance.” …

Amy Klobuchar hasn’t gotten much better coverage. It didn’t help that Klobuchar made a gaffe this week but even that received little coverage compared to the men on the ballot who have been wall-to-wall gaffes all along. We can see it, we can even pull our own graph to prove it:

How much of the New Hampshire primary performance could be laid not on the women candidates, their policies, or campaigns? We’ll never really know because the media continues to ignore them.

Don’t even think of saying, “But she ran a bad campaign,” about either of them. The same claim was made about Clinton in 2016 — it’s a familiar refrain. Knowing what we know now about the media’s gross failings, like this NYT classic from October 31, 2016:

…how much of Clinton’s “bad campaign” was the media’s fault with horse race coverage, “But her emails,” and misleading, badly timed stories while foreign influence operations wreaked havoc on Americans’ sentiments?

How much of the crappy racist coverage has already led to another all-white field as it winnows out the remaining women?

If Trump gets re-elected, gods help us all, a big part of the blame will sit firmly on the media for its entrenched misogyny, racism, and its failure to adapt a coverage model for contemporary politics.

And if Trump has a meltdown while in office, at the expense of American security, much of the blame should sit on the media for ignoring the problem just as they ignore the women candidates still in Democratic primary race.

~ ~ ~

This is an open thread.

175 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Just ridiculous how much damage our media has done to our election process let alone democracy.

    This is the front page of the NYT today — link will change tomorrow — and on it there’s only a story about Bloomberg, nothing else about the primary or any other candidate.

    • BobCon says:

      A lot of it comes down to the press’s deep loathing of covering issues. The basic fact is that Bloomberg (and Buttigieg) simply doesn’t have the depth on the issues that Warren, Klobuchar, Sanders and Biden have.

      When that is the case, it’s easy for them to erase candidates, and Warren is probably the one who gets hurt the most.

      A similar dynamic really hurt Clinton against Trump. The press completely refused to address Clinton’s ongoing advantage in substance, and as a result created a narrative where substance doesn’t matter.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Facts might have a liberal bias, but the MSM is largely conservative, notwithstanding the neocons’ mythology that the press is incorrigibly left wing.

        The consolidation of media ownership the last thirty years has also made more of the press subject to more rightist pressure from corporate owners.

        When it’s not leaning right, it normalizes so as not to offend the right. That is a major victory, earned over three decades of street-fighting by Republicans.

        • BobCon says:

          I think they are especially conservative in the nonpartisan sense of really disliking change.

          They have been covering campaigns this way since 1976, and by this point the people who understood that ’76 was radically different from the 1950s and ’60s elections are gone.

          The Sunday talk shows have booked the same types of guests for 60 years. Cable TV panels worked the same way since the 1980s. Internet reporting is not too different from the old wire services.

          Ironically, change is all around them. Most notably, the GOP has metastacized into an overwhelmingly malignant, undifferentiated body, but the press can’t accept it. Nor can they accept the corporate forces sweeping the business, the changing world, or the changing electorate.

          And they can’t accept the massive feedback loop of special interests, lobbyists, PR flacks, and the press. They want to pretend they’re not in the story, and as a result end up distorting events even more.

          The press wants to live in the past, and it’s hurting everyone else a lot.

          • Chaparral says:

            BobCon hit it on the head. The media, the ‘press’ does not have the courage or fortitude to admit and to report the biggest forces, the biggest ‘stories’ at play in America today. They cannot accept that much of mainstream America today is young and brown and female. They could not survive the honest truth that corporate forces of wealth, power, and greed are dismantling the American system of government at an accelerating rate. They do not have the courage to say the blatantly obvious truth that the single sole motive of the Republican party is to protect and maintain power at any cost without regard to the preservation of a functional government or the welfare of the American people.

            Where is Studs Terkel when you need him?

        • Justlp says:

          They also don’t bring up the lies & hypocrisy that Trump displays every single day. Or the fact that he is desensitizing the public by repetition of his lies and leading us into an autocracy with the most appallingly speed. If only they would spend time playing clips that directly contradict his current activity with his former criticisms of government officials – golf trips anyone? MSM is becoming increasingly irrelevant with the rise of social media & microtargeted messaging, but they are our best hope of being the place where truth should be sacrosanct. It’s so depressing.

          • cavenewt says:

            Ever watch six-year-olds play soccer? It’s just a mob of kids clustering around the ball. That’s what I think of when I see the media coverage, as they chase en masse after the latest Shiny Thing.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You might get a similar pattern here, but the wider Democratic electorate would probably produce a flatter distribution curve.

    • orionATL says:

      you might never guess from reading the newspaper or absorbing teevee, but caucuses are a misleading sham. attendance is greatly restricted by practical considerations. the caucus is a dying institution. after having about 14 dem caucuses in 2016, the state parties have reduced that number to only 3 in 2020.

      thus, in 2020 one inconclusive result from a caucus state where the “top” two dem candidates got ~ 25% each, and one inconclusive primary result where the same top two got the same ~ 25% have now established a TRUE democratic front runner – the old redfaced windmill left over from 2016, senator bernie sanders. name recognition also helps; ask george w.

      the media have annointed sen. sanders as the front runner based on exactly what ?

      1. an iowa dem caucus that attracted a toal of ~175000 votes and

      2. a new hampshire primary that attracted a total of ~300,000 votes.

      this in a nation of + 320 mill people where, in 2016, in excess of 120 mill people voted in the presidential election.

      are we being a bit too literal right now about who is winning, lads, lassies, and editors of the press?

      • bmaz says:

        Caucuses seemed kind of quaint and cool a long time ago. But they are indeed kind of un-democratic at this point, and too convoluted to make sense. Let people in a state vote, and then count the votes. Like, you know, a primary!

      • orionATL says:

        well, well. ain’t it wonderful what a couple of insignificant little states can do for the nation:

        “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on the strength of his performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, has surged nationally and now holds a sizable lead over all of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

        Former vice president Joe Biden, who led Sanders in a Post-ABC national poll in January, has seen a sharp drop in his support after finishing fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary. Biden is now in a battle for second place with former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

        Former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, who won the state-delegate-count battle in the Iowa caucuses and came a close second to Sanders in New Hampshire, is in single digits nationally….” ***

        note above the total number of voters participating in the iowa and hew hanpshire dem candidate selection events – tiny, tiny, tiny.

        the media always choses the candidate. that’s how we get reagin, bush, trump.

        *** washington post 2/19/20

      • cavenewt says:

        Is it a dysfunction of our society that we are so fixated on “winning”? Doesn’t matter to me whether you’re talking about a debate or a caucus. It’s too early to talk about winning.

        The whole caucus thing seems so silly. Do any states use ranked voting in their primaries?

        (Appropriately, whenever I try to dictate the word “caucus” the computer renders it as either “coccus” or “carcass”.)

    • P J Evans says:

      Now up to 38K votes.
      Warren 33%
      Sanders 25%
      Bloomberg 13%
      Klobuchar 9%
      Biden 8%
      Buttegieg 7%
      Unsure 3%
      Steyer and Other: tied at 1%

      • P J Evans says:

        I think you must not have spent much time there. It’s very much in touch, and you learn which writers to avoid.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Demerits especially for NBC. Its recent promotional ad for the next debate is a quick sequence of headshots, with a lone group shot at the end.

    It gives Warren less than a one-second exposure, Bloomberg got two longer shots, Buttigieg the same, Klobuchar nothing until the final group pic. Biden, I think, had the same screen time as Bernie, who is higher in the polls and on the up tic, while Joe is hanging on by a thread. The sequence was men up front, women in the back of the bus.

    These carefully crafted messages come across to headline-only readers only subliminally. But they scream unacknowledged bias to those paying attention.

  3. Scott says:

    Nope not having it. The media has reported plenty on Trump’s crimes, unfitness, mental illness, etc.
    If Trump gets elected the only people responsible are the American people.
    So many Americans support him because deep down they share his bigotry and hatred of the other and they feel empowered.

    Americans own Trump and Trumpism

    • Rayne says:

      Cite stories — not op-eds — in national media within the last 12 months which specifically address Trump’s physical and mental decline, apart from his trip to Walter Reed late last year.

      EDIT: Mm-hmm.

    • OldTulsaDude says:

      If the Republican party is not thoroughly repudiated at the polls, it is difficult to imagine what the future will look like – they have become they American version of the Taliban, incapable of compromise or self-doubt and absolutely convinced of their right to force everyone else to believe the same – for their own good.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      My experience is that much of the MSM – not even counting the fawning Murdoch press – portrays Trump as legitimate and normal, exceptional only in some of his “enthusiasms,” to borrow the fictional Capone’s phrase.

      The MSM frequently edits his statements, making them appear legible and understandable when they are not. Sometimes it quotes his rants at length, as if they were logical, considered statements. It rarely provides context, and tends to brand his everyday lies as errors, presumably unintentional ones.

      In fact, Trump has made a career of lying without consequence and admits to no obligation, even as president, to tell the truth to a reporter. To him, it’s all a marketing game and the press falls in with it.

      In short, whatever Trump says, the MSM tends to normalize it – present it in an approving way – rather than confront it. To my mind, that’s stenography and PR, not journalism.

      • ernesto1581 says:

        “To him, it’s all a marketing game and the press falls in with it.”

        Pump and dump. One of the oldest games going. Nor did he invent it, just gets to play it on an existential stage.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      The corporate media reports on *some* (less than half) of Trump’s criminality, and occasionally make a comment on his “apparent cognitive decline”, but they report it in a carefully constructed, bland and neutral way, with a lot of “he said-she said-they said” FakeBalance. And on the same page of the newspaper, or in the same tv show, they will carry a pro-Trump surrogate’s opinion, or a story about how much his “base” still adores him even tho they’re going bankrupt or barely living shabby paycheck-to shabby paycheck, and their kids have no future.

      And the corporate media DOESN’T report on the truly horrific, cruel and sadistic conditions of Trump’s refugee-concentration-camps located *all over the country*, where people are living in unheated run-down warehouses, shacks, old tents; children kidnapped from parents are abused in cages, and all are being half-starved on rotten food, forced to work for no pay, no medical care. Not. A. Peep.

    • Mooser says:

      Americans own Trump and Trumpism.
      And every Trumpist thinks they will be the one, after all others betray Trump, to say “Sign here, Grandpa” and guide his hand.

    • cavenewt says:

      They’ve reported some. But not nearly enough, and not seriously enough.

      They are complicit in that they constantly fall for the latest Shiny Thing. In that, they play right into Trump’s hands.

  4. Baba Singh says:

    And, um, you yourself don’t mention Sanders once? Part of the Bernie Blackout by talking about media blackouts, are we?

    • Rayne says:

      Hey, did you look at the fucking chart I posted in the body of the post?

      Apparently not because you’d have seen BERNIE HAS PLENTY OF MEDIA COVERAGE. It’s the line in RED.

      Do NOT start Berniebro shit here. We do NOT owe any candidate coverage here.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Rayne, What is the event that prompted the bump in interest for everyone roughly midpoint between Jan 1 and 24?

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there Baba, this post was about media not Bernie Broing. We are staying out of the race until the general.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      Emptywheel is not a part of the Mainstream corporate media.
      There are a lot of online sites, especially YouTube, reporting actual news, giving frank opinions upon the criminality and insanity of Trump and his goons. And people are turning to these outlets.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      I’d rather have the media efface Bloomberg and leave the music be whatever it will be.

      Badfinger had a song about fools and their money. Didn’t they?

      Ha-ha! From the movie, “The Magic Christian.”

  5. BobCon says:

    Bill Thompson’s campaign against Bloomberg was seen by the NY press as completely Quixotic and he was largely shut out of coverage. But Bloomberg ended up only winning reelection 51-46, and it’s not ridiculous to wonder if Thompson could have swung a few percent and won if the press hadn’t erased him in a self fulfilling prophecy.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It is what it is, but it’s far from collapsed. In fact, it’s robust. But corporate media admire left leaning politicians as much as Bloomberg and Trump do.

      It likes women candidates less. Look at the money pouring into AOC’s thirteen challengers, both centrist Democrats looking to “reclaim” her seat and Republicans primarying each other to challenge her.

  6. Vicks says:

    So feedback please, as to WHY the media does this?
    Serious question,
    Are they trying to pick the candidate? If so what is the reward?
    Are they trying to entertain their readers? If so why are they picking the boring ones?
    Please their readers? Good luck with that.
    It’s always the money, but I don’t see how with the exception of the Fox/Trump bonanza why or how any one of the current candidates would be more lucrative than the other.
    Rule the world?

    • P J Evans says:

      For the TV people, it’s ratings. Ratings = eyeballs for their advertisers. Money!
      For the newspaper people, it’s eyeballs for their advertisers. Also money!

    • BobCon says:

      A big piece of the explanation for the awfulness of the DC and political media is to see them as a high school clique. The women who manage to succeed in a male-dominated version of these environments tend to be ones like Kellyanne Conway or Maggie Haberman who are massive enablers of the hierarchy.

      Elizabeth Warren told a well known story about meeting Larry Summers when she first arrived in DC. They had a long discussion about issues, when Summers closed by telling her that there were two paths open to her. One was an insider, who could get things done, the other was an outsider, who would get nothing done. The key to being an insider was to never, ever badmouth another insider. As Warren put it, she had been warned.

      The DC/political press corps goes to enormous lengths to protect Trump because, in the end, they think he is in the club. He has sold the DC press on the idea that his attacks are all just part of the Kayfabe, and in exchange they won’t break the illusion. Bloomberg is obviously a longtime member of the club.

      What the idiots in the political press corps don’t admit to themselves is that in the real club, they are on the outside. They can all be good boys and girls, but the reality is that the Bloombergs and Trumps will turn on them when they think the time is right. No amount of giving ill-deserved anonymity, no amount of beat sweeteners will ever change the fact that they have no respect for what the press does, no interest in a free press, and an endless disdain for every reporter who deviates from the script they are supposed to follow.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        I think the explanation is more that confrontation makes for ‘news’ (small n). Everytime Trump does something outrageous it drives readers to whatever media to see what happened, what the backstory is, what so and so says about it.

        As long as there is confrontation there is a story to write, whether it is between the left and the right, or within the parties.

        • BobCon says:

          I don’t disagree about the attraction that the media has for conflict, but it’s Kayfabe — an understanding on the part of both Trump and the press that it’s the ritualized taunting of pro wrestlers.

          Except the press doesn’t get that Trump and the GOP aren’t kidding. They act like it’s a joke when he talks about banning Mexicans and Muslims, but they are serious, just as they want to crack down on the free press, eĺiminate Obamacare, gut public education, and all the rest. He feeds them just enough plausibility to treat it as grist for talk shows, they pretend that the club is still running as it always has.

      • sand says:

        “In the club” and there is an actual club. I don’t think I had heard of the Alfalfa Club before the Trump presidency, but I have been vaguely disturbed by it since he took office. Previously, I would’ve liked to have thought that these types of things are benign. These days, the picture of Bezos and Sanchez here (https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2020/01/28/jeff-bezos-threw-a-party-after-the-annual-alfalfa-club-dinner-so-what-exactly-is-the-alfalfa-club/#5b9420fd6060) is a bit disturbing. Wealth, power, collagen, low-cut dresses, misogyny, drunkenness, mistakes, who knows what. It feels gross. I’m not generally bothered by drunkenness or the Washington Post, but I want some good, old-fashioned, boring, inefficient bureaucracy to keep things under control.

        Also, I’m all in for more Elizabeth Warren stories to help me understand how to stop this country from turning into Deutsche Bank.

        • holdingsteady says:

          At least we have Katie Porter questioning Jerome Powell
          Thank you, California!
          Here in Alaska, we are attempting to recall our governor, wish us luck please

      • coral says:

        Warren got a lot done, even before being elected Senator. I expect she’ll continue, either as President or as Senator.

        That said, this primary season, on top of 2016 and 2000 has broken my heart.

  7. Vicks says:

    It’s payback time. Trump has invited our state coward, Cory Gardner to stand on the stage with him at his rally in Colorado Springs Thursday.
    I’m have a hard time imagining Cory pumping his fist and chanting something filthy to make the fans hoot and holler, but it appears he is in it to win it, no turning back now, he lost his soul and now he’s going to lose this election
    Oh wait, Amy, is coming on the same day, location TBA.
    That’s two days from now. She best get on it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Well, the location says something. Colorado Springs is as far right – lots of fundamentalists and secessionists and fundamentalist secessionists – as the right imagines the People’s Republic of Boulder to be far left.

      • bmaz says:

        Haven’t lived there in quite a while (still go up occasionally), but Boulder is not quite as liberal as it was always stated to be. Even CU is not, and the rest of the place costs too damn much for hippies to live in. Long been that way.

        • Vicks says:

          I’m not a native, but it appears that with a few exceptions the hippies are mostly poseurs (think hipster hybrid) and on a personal level there there is an odd elitist thing that I have experienced multiple times, that somehow a Boulder address makes an individual more interesting.
          Tulsi Gabbard will be “present” in Boulder this evening.
          It’s a bummer about the Colorado Springs vibe, it is a gem of a city, and one of the few places anywhere near Denver that still has a semi manageable cost of living.

          • bmaz says:

            Agree as to both those descriptions. Boulder is a beautiful, and wonderful, place. But the thought that it is Haight Ashbury of San Francisco in the 60s is laughable. The “hippies” there are trust funders, and long have been. And CS is beautiful, there really are an abundance of wackos there though which, as you say, is truly unfortunate.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Oh, I agree. It’s beena long time since Allen Ginsberg was there. I tried to frame the comment as a perception built on the right’s mythology.

        Tech, finance, and plain money descended on beautiful, left wing Boulder. Its real estate prices rival those in the Bay area. That has driven down diversity and moved the traditionally liberal town to the right. I think the description of the Springs is still correct.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      On the news this morning was a story about a movement to incorporate parts of Eastern Oregon (VERY Fundamentalist/survivialist/secessionist) with conservative parts of Eastern Washington (same flavor) and what is known in California as “The State of Jefferson”, the extreme North East of California (same flavor on steroids) into a super state of Idaho, called Greater Idaho.

      People are pushing for a ballot initiative:

    • Streetpictures says:

      As excruciating as the last few years have been, at least I could think it was ‘them’ who fell so easily for disinformation + manipulation. Watching 2020 is utterly heartbreaking, as the left runs full force into the same vortex.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, it is “the left” huh? Care to elaborate, or just going to throw that crap out as your first comment here?

        • Streetpictures says:

          Argh. I’ve been around since FireDogLake days, I just rarely comment cuz I’m terrified Bmaz will yell at me.
          I’m devastated at the lack of coverage of Warren’s campaign. I believe a lot of traditional media doesn’t even know how to read her model of leadership. She is doing something deeply radical, not just to be the first woman US president, but to redefine the role itself as empathetic and collaborative. What I find discomforting is that the erasure isn’t just from the media, its from within our own ranks as well. Folks who cling to last millennium ideas of what a leader should look or act like + go absolutely off the rails when challenged.

          • orionATL says:

            streetpictures –

            thank you for this thoughtful comment.

            the concept of senator warren testing a new mode of leadership is very interesting. i would appreciate it if you could elaborate on your insight.

          • bmaz says:

            Earl and Orion are right. And I was likely wrong. I am so used to references to “the left” being generated in disingenuous motif, that I judged you wrong. Please do comment more often. If you have been around us that long, you care and have something to say.

  8. loon says:

    Just a thought on those quaint caucuses – the media overkill on front runner status – especially from two small states not representative of all of the USA – helps to shape the future outcomes as opposed to just reporting on it. I’m not a fan of a national primary (yet), but it seems that a first primary of four states (no caucuses!) consisting of Iowa, NH, Nevada, and SC on the same day would be a better approach. A mid-western state, a northeast state, a western state, and a Southern state. It would still require some of the “retail” small town campaigning which I think is truly beneficial, but would be more representative and result in a clearer outcome (even if the top 3 to 5 candidates tied because that would still be more representative than a single state).

    • Alaska Reader says:

      I’ve always had trouble with the idea that Nevada is a ‘western’ state.

      If it don’t border the Pacific, …it’s all the midwest.

      I’d much rather we all vote at the same time.

      (as an Alaskan, I know all too well what it’s like to have the winners declared before our polls close.)

      • bmaz says:

        Ahem. Have you ever been to Nevada (other than Las Vegas)? Or Arizona?

        Trust me, they are “western states”. Calling it the midwest is laughable. In fact these states are more “western” than any that “border the Pacific”.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That New Yorker map must get around. Nothing west of the Hudson but Chicago, Dallas, Vegas, and Rodeo Drive.

        At best, the Midwest stops at the Front Range, the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The West includes most of what the US stole from Mexico, from Colorado to the Pacific. Deserts, high plains, watering holes and fertile valleys, dry, temperate, and rain forest mountains, great rivers, and coastal California.

        Nevada is smack dab in the middle of it. More than two-thirds of its land is owned by the Feds, from national parks to countless acknowledged and unacknowledged bases, facilities, proving grounds, and waste dumps.

        Nothin’ prettier than the high desert at sunrise, nothing colder than the mountains of Reno or hotter than the Mojave, little more beautiful than Tahoe, and nothing more crass than the business that makes Vegas tick, although it gives rise to a lot of unions. But it’s all the West.


        • holdingsteady says:

          I Love Nevada, drove the loneliest highway (80?). Ruby mountains rock!
          Originally from Michigan (Midwest? more east I think)
          nomenclature about geography stumped me as a kid and still now as an old lady.
          Signed – an Alaskan

        • P J Evans says:

          I consider Colorado to be western. The Midwest, for me, is all east of the Plains. (For people in the east, it’s Ohio to Illinois.)

          • bmaz says:

            Colorado is totally western. Drive in and through any part of it other than Denver/Boulder, and it is clear as day. And it is beautiful.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Yep, Denver is standard large urban area, and Boulder is an expensive western dude ranch. It’s almost under glass. It gets western in a hurry outside those areas, like about a mile west and a couple north of Pearl Street.

              • bmaz says:

                My last year in Boulder I lived in a little designed community in North Boulder on Wonderland Hills lake. If you came out of there and turned left/north, it was very country almost immediately. It has expanded a bit now, but the openess still hits you in a hurry.

                My favorite is still Clear Creek Canyon on the way out of Boulder then Golden and west to the ski areas.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  I used to like walking up towards Eldorado Springs.

                  The openness hits you in a hurrier in the winter.

                • Honeybee says:

                  A place I have visited north of Boulder several times is NCAR, center for atmospheric research, where they even have some good news on irrigation and climate change. Plus it lives inside a beautiful building by I.M. Pei.

                  • bmaz says:

                    I will try to remember to check that out next time up there. Sounds great. Brother in law still there, with a place in Breckinridge too, so we do go up occasionally.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            The Midwest traditionally includes wheat and corn country on both sides of the Mississippi. I would put all of Colorado in the West, along with Kansas, OK, Texas, Dakotas, etc.

            The colonial era Midwest – North of the Ohio, East of the Mississippi, and West of Pennsylvania – I would now call Great Lakes. Illinois and Minnesota are part of both.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Oh, thoroughly western. Cheyenne has fewer than 60,000 people. Boulder has almost 100,000 people.

              • cavenewt says:

                Wyoming has the smallest population of any of the 50 states, including Alaska.

                That’s why we always get picked on about being over-represented in the Senate. People never seem to remember that the creation of the Senate and the House was a compromise in terms of representation.

                Or at least that’s what I learned in grade school. I’m finding that more and more of what I was taught, in history at least, bears only a passing resemblance to reality.

                • holdingsteady says:

                  Someday I’ll visit Wyoming, very much missed going on my son’s college tour which was an awesome road trip I put together and included Wyoming

                  I live I in Anchorage but Fairbanks is the best town I’ve ever been to due to the outstanding people

                • holdingsteady says:

                  Follow up
                  The representation question is tricky.. e.g.
                  California gets soooo many (mostly great … the amazing Adam Schiff) representatives vs our Alaskan extremely stupid 1 rep don young.
                  But having 2 senators from Alaska does seem problematic. Not sure of the right solution.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  Reasons and excuses are not the same thing. The Senate, like the House of Lords, has always been undemocratic and has outlived its utility.

                  Like much of DC, it’s not going to be fixed anytime soon, not after Trump has taken a wrecking ball to the whole place.

            • Geoguy says:

              For me, the American West begins near the 100th meridian. East of that the land is generally arable without irrigation. West of that is semiarid high plains with less than 20 inches of rain a year where agriculture isn’t possible without irrigation. The meredian passes through N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. One of my favorite places is the Badlands in S. Dakota which is not that far west of the meridian.

      • cavenewt says:

        “I’ve always had trouble with the idea that Nevada is a ‘western’ state…If it don’t border the Pacific, …it’s all the midwest.”

        As someone who was born in the Midwest and still visits family is there regularly, but who has lived in Wyoming and Utah my entire adult life, I take great exception to your comment.

  9. The Hang Nail says:

    Ever notice that the media never seriously questioned why there were no serious opponents to Trump? Even at the height of impeachment no pundit stopped and said, “this is bad, maybe not impeachable, but had enough that a Republican should step forward and challenge his nomination”. There was complete media silence even though one of Trump’s main arguments was that voters should decide. But Republican voters never get a chance to decide. I realize that Trump has a lock on the party but the pundits could easily have challenged the narrative.

  10. Geoguy says:

    Rayne said “I’m putting this question to the media folks who come through here on the regular. Don’t think we don’t notice your foot- and fingerprints.” I couldn’t agree more about those media types. I have heard on the radio many near quotes lifted from here, usually one to 2 days later.

    I noted this a few days ago; the article posted Feb. 10 on the website WALL STREET ON PARADE titled “10,599 Corporate Lawyers Have Donated to Buttigieg’s Campaign: Here Are the Dirty Little Secrets” helps to explain the animosity toward Elizabeth Warren. It’s a fascinating take on Buttigieg and Bloomberg.

  11. BroD says:

    You’re right, Rayne! I exploded about this tonight at dinner when the network news head-lined the contest between Sanders and Bloomberg.

  12. skua says:

    Rayne, thanks.

    Your post leads people in critical posions (journalists) towards new actions that will produce better informed American voters.

  13. diggo says:

    Isn’t the problem at least partly due to the owners of media, the dog whistles they issue to their editors, which propagates throughout the entire organization including to all the presenters and journalists?
    Additionally, in these times of shrinking newspaper staff and TV staff, training is a HUGE problem. the real mentors are long gone….and journalism is lost without mentors. Today’s journalists have almost no time to research the topics the are expected to report on and almost no time to deliver the story. They get paid less than ever before and MUST always consider the fact that sooner or later they may have to take a job in a less- than-truthful media organization such as Murdoch’s Mordor. Murdoch’s people have elephantine memories and never hesitate to punish.
    The problem with today’s young journalists is they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t really possess what might be called a “society-wide vocabulary” so they just write what they think they know, which is often balderdash.
    Of course, this perfectly suits most media proprietors.
    The fact we expect better of them shows we aren’t grokking the underlying problem. 90% of journalists (probably more) are not and never will be Marcy Wheeler.

  14. Peacerme says:

    It’s about health insurance and the banking lobby, in my humble opinion. The media is convinced that people love their insurance. Insurance company’s and banks are a huge monolith that depend on one another. The media spends an inordinate amount of time telling us we don’t want to lose our insurance or have it taken away. They are the ones erasing Warren and promoting one bad billionaire after another. (The world will die if Bernie or Elizabeth wins. I think they fear warren-the banks and insurance lobbies- the most!!). I think they fear warren more than Bernie. Warren’s consumer protection for banks pissed off the banks that had to add layers of checks and balances. My liberal brother works for one of the largest banks in the world and HATES Warren.

    Her gaffes have been few. Her organization strong. Her message clear. Media keeps telling us she can’t win cause she’ll “take our health care”!! This is bogus!! It’s not health care!

    It floors me. Poor people don’t want to buy insurance. We don’t give a rats ass about keeping “our health care”. Cause it’s not health care. But you’d swear by watching the coverage that it’s impossible to live without it!! If we want to get MORE people out to vote and reach the disenfranchised the media needs to quit acting like it’s impossible to fight off the insurance industry and quit acting like people WANT insurance!!! After Warren put out her plan, CNN, morning Joe, msnbc Chris Matthews railed on Warren. Poor people are not worried about losing their health care. We are not going to the doctor. We are dying. See any book written by Julie Lynch from university of Pennsylvania. The poor are dying.

    Joe Scarborough abd the msnbc crew spent a lot of air time trying to save their health insurance coverage!! She slipped in the polls from that point forward! Warren argues repeatedly that she would expand Medicaid and see what people would choose. If people want to pay they can pay, if they don’t, they can join an expanded Medicaid plan. It’s ridiculous like we wouldn’t discuss how to do it or that she wouldn’t alter her plan. Crazy!! So smart, but Warren is not mentioned without referring to “she’ll take your health. care”. Joe talks about how Dems can be condescending to the poor. And those are the ones going to Trump. Insurance is for rich people and it looks ridiculous to have all these rich people clutching their health care!! How do I explain Bernie?? He’s a socialist and the media monoliths don’t believe he will win. Warren is a capitalist!! But she knows the system is rigged. Lots of poor and brown people KNOW this. When they present about predatory loans they only mention how people who shouldn’t have gotten loans were the problem. Never mentions the fines to banks for illegal behavior!!

    Who really wants to pay a HUGE monthly fee, to get partial coverage, and to have insurance decide what tests you can have???? It’s a complete white wash. There’s no advantage to keeping your health care!! None!! But the message is a constant as if that’s a bad thing. In my opinion the fallacy of health insurance continues to be distorted and protected. That’s why Warren is not getting covered. Klobuchar made a better showing but in most polls she never makes it past Warren. It’s Warren they are ignoring the most. And they aren’t covering the evilness of “insurance” which health it does not insure!!

    Sorry this is a rant. I have been pissed about this for months. Listen, msnbc does not mention Warren without how she will take their health care. Nor does CNN. In my opinion much of this has to do with money!!

    For the record, I want banks to follow the laws. And I want insurance for health to go away. Warren is the only one who would truly help poor people and the disenfranchised but they quit covering her honestly after her plan came out. And she’s a woman and just like they offed the brown people it’s because the upper crust doesn’t believe they can count on new voters to win. But if only the same old voters vote we cannot best trump. There has to be an unpredictable event to save this election. Our only hope was to get the masses out to vote. And Dems have not worked together toward that end. If Bloomberg wins black voters will not come out in droves. Warren could have paired with Corey booker and we would have a chance!!

    • hldingsteady says:

      Thank you Peacerme, loved your comments , helps me so much, thanks again !
      Bloomberg is very very wrong

      Quoting you :
      But she [Elizabeth Warren ]. knows the system is rigged. Lots of poor and brown people KNOW this. When they present about predatory loans they only mention how people who shouldn’t have gotten loans were the problem. Never mentions the fines to banks for illegal behavior!!

    • JV says:

      Good points. I think you are on to something with the “health” insurance industry.
      I recall how when Bill Clinton was President and one of Hillary’s “projects” was healthcare/insurance how the media went wild against her.

    • @pwrchip says:

      Peacerme great comment, I hear you about Warren and I had been a supporter for her cause up until she used the open mic strategy against Bernie to get an open mic off the cuff response from him. Which was unnecessary that could have waited for a later interaction but it’s little things like that, that put me off about candidates. It says volumes about character and their lust to win no matter what.

      I have been a long time Bernie supporter for ages but chose to support others until I found things (policies) that lost my support for them. So now I’m back supporting Bernie, my concern initially was his age but even after his heart attack he’s still going strong. I look for genuineness and he has a historical record for his causes if only he chooses Stacey Abrams as his running mate that would be an awesome team IMO.

      So Warren just blew it for something I can’t ignore, I was disappointed when she never apologized for doing it at that moment, she offered an apology after being confronted but too little too late for my concern.

      • Peacerme says:

        I do think there is an intolerance to a woman being angry. Seems a small slip compared to Bernie’s temperament?? I am going to ignore his handling of anger toward Clinton? (In order to vote for him, because that was not one blip but several). He may have had valid reason to be angry but we don’t know that Warren didn’t have valid reason to be angry. I do think there is an awful penalty for women if they show anger.

        But I agree it wasn’t Warrens finest moment. With that said, I love Stacy Abrams.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        I have to say that the ONLY thing that matters in this election is beating Trump. This is not a typical election, it is a crisis that does not allow for the luxury of petty analysis of personality quirks.

        We need the most electable candidate available. If that requires holding your nose so be it. There is NOTHING any of the Democratic candidates could do in office that would come close to being as bad as what Trump will do in a second term.

        If Trump is re-elected his first term will look like childs play by comparison.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The most obvious thing about the polls showing Democrats beating Trump is that they all appear to be within the margin of error – and that they ALL beat Trump, every one of them.

          We shouldn’t lose sight of what we expect the winner to do once in office, and how much energy and people they would bring to the task.

          Ante-bellum mythology to the contrary, what’s gone before can rarely be regained and was never as good as the mythology. We need to build anew to meet today’s needs, starting with healthcare and debt.

          • Molly Pitcher says:

            ANYONE running for the Democratic nomination will be able to clean up a substantial amount of the mess Trump has made. I am hearing, here in the Bay Area, a lot of self-righteous expectations for meeting very aspirational goals. I don’t think that this is the time to sacrifice improvement over what is for the perfection of what could be.

            I dealt with a LOT of Bernie Bros here in Silicon Valley in 2016. When HRC got the nomination they stamped their little feet and pouted that their candidate got the shaft so they were sending a message to the DNC by not voting. That did not work out so well.

            I am driven by the fear of that attitude shaping the outcome again; that is why I am dedicated to electing a winner, ANY winner.

            • Molly Pitcher says:

              I should add, that Bernie, in particular scares me, because Trump & Co. really want to run against him.

              Notice how Biden is no longer mentioned by the right now that he is sinking in the polls ?

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                Trump’s a liar. His preference changes depending on how much sand he thinks he can throw into the Democratic gearworks. He’s the last guy whose advice I would take in choosing a nominee.

                It takes a lot to clean up anything, especially when the limelight is no longer shining on it. I think some candidates would be much better at that than others.

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s polling mostly Democrats, which is fine when you’re asking about Democratic candidates in primaries.

        • P J Evans says:

          All polls are self-selecting in that you don’t have to participate in any of them. (I’d say that 40K responses are far more than most polls get.)

          • SaltinWound says:

            Number of responses doesn’t matter. I suppose all polls are self selecting in that there is an element of choosing not to opt out, but not all meet the criteria of “self selection bias”

  15. Fran of the North says:

    Minnesota primaries on Super Tuesday. Eye witness report from the front lines:

    On Saturday, a friendly Warren campaigner stopped by to say hello, encourage participation in the primary and ask whether we had a candidate in mind. We’re an Amy household for any number of reasons, but even after sharing that fact, we had a great discussion of the urgency of the matter and our common goals for the upcoming national election.

    THAT doesn’t sound like a campaign on the ropes to me. That sounds like a candidate who is running to win.

    Where are the stories of grit and fortitude in the face of the systemic challenges for women candidates in the MSM?

    • P J Evans says:

      My county is going to machines, of the kind that were so much trouble in Georgia in 2016, so I switched to vote-by-mail to get an actual paper ballot. It’s getting mailed today.
      The machines were certified even though they haven’t passed the certification tests. I wonder who got paid and how much for that piece of maladministration.

      • J R in WV says:

        The machines were certified even though they haven’t passed the certification tests. I wonder who got paid and how much for that piece of maladministration.

        Now you caught my interest. Voting machines that have been “certified” without passing the certification tests?? IN what wonderland universe is that possible? Can a prosecutor take advantage of this situation?

        I thought Minnesota was pretty clean politics… this sounds like Louisiana politics, near the bottom of the swamp!!

  16. Eureka says:

    Warren and Klobuchar are on fire vs Bloomie — worth tuning in to the debate even if you’re supposed to be doing something else (ahem, work-to-do piles).

    I want a transcript of Warren’s opener, wow.

    • Eureka says:

      ^ screen-printed on a t-shirt, on an “I VOTED” sticker…

      These responses were to NBC’s opening question, i.e. NBC framed it (as Bloomberg v Bernie). Then the women broke/smashed/adjusted it properly.

      • BobCon says:

        “NBC framed it (as Bloomberg v Bernie).”

        These idiots are like the NFL announcers who try to frame a game as QB vs. QB and can’t break from the script when the stars of the game turn out to be a running back and a linebacker.

        Joan Didion in 1988 was writing about the corrosive effects of scripted political reporting, and these hacks still can’t see it.

        • Eureka says:

          Yes! I was just thinking lately of Didion’s compilation ( _We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order To Live_ ) — pretty sure most relevant essays are therein.

          A related debate post-script must be noted: this am, the Morning Joe crowd bellowed about how none of the candidates talked foreign policy, coronavirus, etc.

          Uh, have Joe and Mika checked their dial? I hope that their listeners did, and recalled that it was *NBC* who “moderated” this debate, directed its content. Gaslighting nonpareil, so casual…

    • Eureka says:

      941p the massacre resumed (they are still talking about Bloomie’s NDAs five mins later — all seem to like Warren’s idea that MB release them on national tv)

      • Eureka says:

        For Warren’s part, yes indeedly! TY harpie!

        Also, when she said the word “billionaire”* in this context, I heard “asshole.” [This is why I am not on the stage, reason x billion.]

        [one arrogant *___ for another… ]

        {Whole prior order — but who cares, this was the best part — was Lester Holt pitting Bernie & Bloomie, Bernie answers (Liz raises hand, ignored) Bloomie answers, then Warren spoke, then Klobuchar IIRC ]

      • harpie says:

        9:11 PM · Feb 19, 2020

        WARREN: I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians. And, no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg. Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like red-lining and stop-and-frisk.

        Look, I’ll support whoever the Democratic nominee is, but understand this: Democrats take a huge risk, if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another. This country has worked for the rich for a long time and left everyone else in the dirt. It is time to have a president who will be on the side of working families and be willing to get out there and fight for them. That is why I am in this race, and that is how I will beat Donald Trump.

        • Eureka says:

          Wow, it’s even more impressive in print — if that is possible! Harpie, thank you so much for transcribing!

          This would fit OK on a shirt, too– big-bold-type WARREN (followed by text) on front, and LOOK (with the rest) on back.

          [Now to work on the fantasy social schedule of places to wear these fantasy Liz Slays It shirts — Warren Words would make quite a line.]

  17. Eureka says:

    Reminded by debate content re Rx drug costs: JAMA has made this study freely available for a “limited time” (may have to go thru link they provided to reporter in reply, not sure):

    “Insulin for sale on Craigslist?…”

    Analysis of Unregulated Sale of Life-Saving Prescription Drugs Online in the United States
    This cross-sectional analysis examines the prevalence of unregulated resale of insulin, albuterol, and epipenephrin online in the United States.

    • P J Evans says:

      She took him down pretty thoroughly.
      There was a question about whether someone who has a majority but not a clinching number of delegates should get nominated anyway. They all said no – except Sanders. (Isn’t he the one who has complained the most about super-delegates throwing the nomination?)

      • Eureka says:

        Indeed, indeed.

        Also, seems Bloomie kind of liked being owned by Warren — that part where he smile-smirked in admiration when she took the sheath off with the hostile climate / NDA questioning. For a moment, perhaps, he forgot she was addressing _him_ and enjoyed the whiff of her power (it got rapidly uncomfortable after that).

        It’s like he forgot he was in public, and wasn’t going to win this one later, in reflection and remodeling, in his own mind.

  18. Eureka says:

    Also, I get worried every time Bloomie and Bernie turn beet red at each other (like just now about who has how many houses where at what tax rate)

  19. orionATL says:

    elizabeth warren is not tough enough to beat donald trump?

    elizabeth warrenn would snatch donald trump’s lunch out of his chubby little fingers and eat it in front of him.

  20. Fran of the North says:

    It appears that perhaps this thread worked to change the dialog. Amanda Marcotte at Salon and Greg Sargent over at the Wapo both have op-eds which praise Senator Warren this morning.

    Of course a great debate performance didn’t hurt either.

      • harpie says:

        NSC aide who helped discredit Russia probe moves to senior ODNI post
        Kash Patel, a former acolyte of Rep. Devin Nunes, is now a top adviser in the Office of National Intelligence.
        02/20/2020 08:00 PM

        Kash Patel, a former top National Security Council official who also played a key role as a Hill staffer in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe, is now a senior adviser for new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, according to four people familiar with the matter. // It’s not clear what exact role Patel is playing in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community. He started at ODNI on Thursday, according to an administration official. […]

      • harpie says:

        […] The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Mr. Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant. […]

    • harpie says:

      The vanity, paranoia and vindictiveness of
      The President of the United States is a

      • harpie says:

        8:59 PM · Feb 20, 2020

        Amid all the discussion of Maguire’s firing and the insta-installation of Grenelll and Kash Patel, can we go back and talk about the fact that Pompeo tried to hide a pull-aside w/Lavrov and STILL hasn’t explained it?

        Also can we revisit that one reason GOPers on HPSCI don’t believe Putin affirmatively wanted Trump is partly bc Kash Patel ran interference on that point when he was at HPSCI?

        • Eureka says:

          I’d bet this kayfabe was a Lavrov-Pompeo topic (though the press should still ask him). From AP via WaPo Feb. 20, 2020 at 12:58 p.m. EST:

          Georgia blames Russia for cyberattack, US, UK agree

          TBILISI, Georgia — Georgian authorities on Thursday accused Russia’s military intelligence of launching a large-scale cyberattack [Oct. 28th] that targeted the government and private organizations with the goal of destabilizing the ex-Soviet nation .

          The United States and Britain also weighed in, strongly condemning the alleged action by Russia in October. A senior Russian diplomat dismissed the accusations.


          U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Russia’s GRU military intelligence for the attack. Pompeo said in a statement that the operation “directly affected the Georgian population, disrupted operations of several thousand Georgian government and privately run websites, and interrupted the broadcast of at least two major television stations.”

          Pompeo described it as part of a “continuing pattern of reckless Russian GRU cyber-operations against a number of countries.”

          “These operations aim to sow division, create insecurity, and undermine democratic institutions,” he added.

          Strong words, Mike, strong words.

          What about your own country, Mike?

        • Eureka says:

          But ooh, I bet higher up on the chat list was scheduling the impending detente-ish week with the Taliban (saw that story break not long after commenting).

    • Eureka says:

      This whole thread — gutting IC leadership, but also including subplots like the possible Taliban peace deal in Afghanistan*; whatever Pompeo & Lavrov were up to (this time) — cues, yet again, that the original crowdsourced whistleblower complaint page everyone worked on is chock full of elements of the big-picture story (minus Ukraine being the WB complaint topic).

      In retrospect, it seems like the Ukraine-focused impeachment perhaps delayed, by months, some of these other “deliverables.”

      *e.g. Trump back in August or so was looking to host the Taliban at Camp David for same… with RU involvement in the deal-brokering (at the same time Trump & Mnuchin (IIRC) were cooking up some very off-beat Iran story).

      Instead, the second his WB trouble came to public light, Trump had to pay off Erdogan (Putin) (Assad) first and burn down the Kurds and US presence in a hurry, and send troops to protect Putin’s oil …

  21. Eureka says:

    (1) Estimated population of US = 329,227,746 as of January 28, 2020 per wiki.

    (2) Bloomberg has spent $464 million of his own money on his presidential campaign, filing shows
    MarketWatch|11 hours ago
    Presidential campaigns are revealing their fundraising and spending activities as of Jan. 31 because they face a Thursday deadline for reporting figures

    • Eureka says:

      Yeah, Jenny, that is heartbreaking. It reminds me of the oral history of a WWII US Army nurse, working in Germany in the late spring and summer of 1945 to try to heal concentration camp victims near death from typhus, TB, starvation, and more. The nurse was terrified of the Hitler youth still roving by in packs. (After the Germans had surrendered and the other adults were generally behaving civilly.)

      It also reminds me of this act of carefree cruelty, how Trump supporters glued tiny MAGA hats onto pigeons to release for the dem debate:


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