The interests of corporate media are incompatible with a true left movement.
In Iowa on Tuesday night, CNN hosted a debate among Democratic candidates for the president.
Measures were taken to thin out the crowded field of contenders, leaving just six hopefuls to share the stage. But for many voters there were only two candidates who really mattered.
Since the weekend, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have been embroiled in a petty conflict stirred up by anonymous sources and divisive hashtags. The only progressive candidates on the stage—who held to a truce for so long—have now been framed as enemies by the disputed content of a private conversation that took place more than a year ago.
Bernie was on the Defensive in the First Debate of 2020 | NowThis www.youtube.com
Did Bernie Sanders say, in 2018, that he didn't think a woman could win this election? Bernie denies it while Elizabeth Warren stands by the leaked account. Meanwhile, all of their exchanges are subject to a level of scrutiny that isn't healthy for anyone involved. People have been freaking out about the way moderator Abby Phillip ignored Bernie's denial, immediately following it up by asking Warren, "What did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?" Likewise, the fact that Warren didn't accept Bernie's handshake was fodder for outrage.
Twitter is the environment where Sanders' most die-hard supporters hold sway, and they have poured their effort into hashtags like #NeverWarren, #LyingLiz, and #WarrenIsASnake. For many Warren supporters who backed Clinton in 2016, the whole mess carries echoes of vicious attacks against Hillary and the sense that female candidates are held to a higher standard and treated to harsher punishment than their male competitors.
CNN tried to politically assinate Bernie last night. Why would we EVER turn that on again? CNN has no power if we… https://t.co/tmLruygEjP— Carol Leonard Earn My Vote (@Carol Leonard Earn My Vote)1579109521.0
The question of whether the people spreading these hashtags hold sexist views is beside the point. They play into a perception that the Sanders campaign belongs to so-called "Bernie Bros" and to a brand of exclusionary sexism that disguises itself as moral outrage—yet always seems to be directed with extra vitriol toward women.
Bernie Sanders has given no indication that this is the kind of messaging he wants his supporters to be spreading. It doesn't benefit him. As he said of the drama during the debate, "This is what Donald Trump, and maybe some in the media, want." Sanders knows that if he—or Warren, or any progressive candidate—has a chance of overcoming the corporate media-backed centrists who want to quash any hint of real reform, it will only be with the unified support of every progressive demographic. If Bernie's stated mission of "justice for all" means anything, he won't want to alienate voices that advocate for feminist perspectives—nor can he afford to let his supporters do it for him. So the competing hashtag among Warren supporters, #BelieveWomen—borrowed from the #MeToo movement—represents a serious problem for him, as well.
@BarbaraRansby Because women deal with this ALL THE DAMN TIME and she knows how this “feud” will play in the public… https://t.co/RNqkxA3ppD— Amalia Anderson (@Amalia Anderson)1579057742.0
So far this drama has only served to turn these groups of supporters against each other. Warren can't win if voters who prioritize economic justice have decided she's a "snake," and Sanders can't win if people who prioritize women's rights think he's a sexist. But there is another trending hashtag that both groups might be able to get behind: #CNNIsTrash.
The control of political news by a handful of massive corporations is a serious threat to our democracy. The interests of those corporations and their financial backers are fundamentally aligned against progressive movements, and Bernie Sanders' recent surge in the polls made him a particular target. Once it was clear that their efforts to ignore him had failed, CNN and the other media empires made up their minds to use every line of attack they could find.
Mika gets it. #CNNisTrash https://t.co/M3SlVFzwOI— Ԍεοϝϝ 🌹 (@Ԍεοϝϝ 🌹)1579091064.0
Throughout the debate, CNN consistently phrased questions and ran chyrons that framed Bernie's stances in the most negative possible light. It's easy enough with issues like increased spending and free trade—where the line of attack is already established—but what they were really desperate for was something that would split the left and trigger progressive in-fighting. Bad blood, left over from 2016, already had some potential to pit feminists and "brocialists," but then Elizabeth Warren's campaign gave them a gift.
The anonymous hearsay, and then the confirmation from Warren, were guaranteed to reopen old wounds and retrench the familiar factions that she supposedly wanted to avoid. The only two options that are being treated seriously are the suggestion that Sanders is a sexist or that Elizabeth Warren is a traitor. There's no real consideration for an error in communication or an imperfect memory of events on either side. So far, so good as far as CNN is concerned. The drama is good for their ratings, and a centrist president is good for their tax burden.
If Warren and Sanders want to move past this controversy and cement the kind of progressive unity they will need if either of them hopes to win, then they need to cut the corporate media platform out of the equation entirely. There is no debate, no segment, no panel discussion that can heal these wounds as long as CNN or any other corporate media empire is hosting. Sanders and Warren have to meet on their own terms to have a public conversation about their shared vision, their shared values, and what they think and believe about sexism in politics and in the United States writ large. A live-streamed summit.
If done right, they might be able to piggyback on the attention being paid to all this hateful drama, and find a way to repair the damage that's been done—to pull us all away from the destructive tendencies that consume our politics. Fortunately, there may be hope for that outcome. Tom Steyer was not just the random billionaire who bought his way onto the stage Tuesday night, he was also the random billionaire awkwardly standing in the background as Sanders and Warren spoke to each other in the aftermath of the debate.
The tension in the exchange was palpable even from the distance of that wide shot. But Steyer was right in the thick of it. After Warren left Sanders' extended hand hanging, the two exchanged a few words and some stern looks while Steyer hovered nearby. He has claimed not to have been listening, but he did say, "They were talking about getting together or something." Let's cross our fingers that they do so soon—preferably before the Iowa Caucuses.
Only the two of them—without the interference of Twitter noise or media bear-poking—can sort this mess out. If they do get together to resolve their issues, and gift the country a symbol of restored unity, there might be some hope left for this election, and for the future of our nation.
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Ah, the nostalgia...
Today's youth doesn't understand the joy that came with shredding on a plastic guitar.
As Guitar Hero became a global phenomenon, groups of friends spent countless after school hours trying to conquer complex offerings from Van Halen, Metallica, Buckethead, Slayer, and the Charlie Daniels Band. The next day, they'd regale their peers with their efforts, as one friend would chime in and say he knows a guy's cousin who allegedly scored 100% on DragonForce's elusive "Through the Fire and Flames" on "expert" difficulty.
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e4ec17d42433b32aa057463532e4103c"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z3SpHXSpM98?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Loosely based on the odd 1988 film of the same name, The King of Pop rescued kidnapped children from the evil Dr. Big and kicked some syncopated musical ass along the way. (Alleged) <a href="https://www.popdust.com/finding-neverland-pulled-popdust-opinion-2634235057.html" target="_self"> irony aside</a>... The SEGA side-scrolling beat-em-up game was launched on computer and arcade consoles–and actually possessed a lot of charm.</p><p>The game was soaked in Jackson jams, and Bubbles the Chimpanzee even made multiple cameos throughout the game, aiding MJ by sometimes transforming him into a robot with higher health and laser eyes. The only downside of this game was that MJ didn't do any slick karate; alas, he relied instead on magical powers. </p>
Rock and Roll Racing<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="20e34b12bf2ccb04d97aad487793f58b"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HtUqEI12TFw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>With a ludicrous premise that spawned a cult following, 1993's Rock and Roll Racing was one of the earliest efforts in competitive multiplayer games. The game pits four racers against each other, with each armed to the teeth. The racers get four laps around various courses, all while mega-hype rock tracks like "Born to Be Wild" play in the background. As strange as it was, the game was so successful that it spawned a sequel.</p>
Revolution X<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8b5e413830bdab21a9615a7b191cbb8b"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FD6i979WKwM?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The New Order regime and their vile leader, Helga, have kidnapped Aerosmith! Armed with nothing but a big gun, only you can save Steve Tyler and the gang from certain doom! The insane arcade shooter used Aerosmith more as a throwaway plot point than anything else, as the game's soundtrack merely recycled "Eat The Rich," "Sweet Emotion," "Toys in the Attic," and "Walk This Way," and the shoot-em-up style gameplay is mind-numbing yet entertaining. But if you saved the gang from certain doom, you could party with them at the end of the game, and that was something, I guess.</p>
PaRappa The Rapper<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="20fc6eb0e3582cb40f281a49bf94734e"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RMUX6b82Zbc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>A game that should be cited as a huge inspiration for the music games that came after it, the odd Japanese PSone title had players break it down by pressing buttons in a certain, timely order. The songs were catchy, and almost anyone can pick it up and enjoy. The game is regularly cited as one of the best of all time; with surprisingly versatile game dynamics and a kooky cast of characters, PaRappa The Rapper is nothing but good vibes for the whole family.</p>
Def Jam Vendetta<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1ecfe679bd2cf04e7a5132ade436e176"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qoSs8vMIBM8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>While nostalgic gaming fans will undoubtedly cite <em>Dem Jam: Fight for N</em>Y as the superior entry in the series, <em>Def Jam Vendetta</em> was a historical moment for rap fans, as it was the first to feature cameos from legendary rap artists. Combining rap with pro wrestling, the fighting game received rave reviews and was praised for its detail. Its soundtrack was one of gaming's best, and with the ability to play as legendary rappers like Method Man, DMX, Joe Budden, and Scarface, it served as a one-of-a-kind gaming experience.</p>
DJ Hero<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d3e2662a9735c3a76bda3fb58110ac4d"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/W1jOWYGZ9As?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The first major spinoff from <em>Guitar Hero</em>, <em>DJ Hero</em> was oddly not like the former at all. With a plastic turntable, players could become a scratch DJ and experiment with legendary songs from DJ Shadow, Grandmaster Flash, and even Daft Punk. But as good as the game was, it unfortunately didn't sell well due to a collective waning interest in music video games. DJ Hero served as a preview of where the genre could have gone had it not fizzled out. Today, with Hip-Hop and EDM popularity at an all-time high, DJ Hero inevitably feels like a tragic, missed opportunity.</p>
Whistleblower files official complaint on disturbing conditions at Georgia detention center.
A whistleblower who worked as a nurse at a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Georgia has come forward with a claim that immigrants are facing serious medical neglect in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic—as well as an unusually high rate of hysterectomies.
The whistleblower is Dawn Wooten LPN. She has worked at the facility for three years as a licensed practical nurse, and has over 10 years of experience working as a nurse in prisons. She originally worked full time at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Georgia but was demoted to an on-call position in mid-July after repeatedly complaining to staff leadership about the dangerous working conditions. Irwin is a private prison which houses immigrants detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and is run by LaSalle Corrections, a private company that runs immigration detention facilities in Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana.