“In short, there are a hundred ways in which you can listen to your conscience. But that you take this or that judgment for the voice of conscience—in other words, that you feel something to be right—may be due to the fact that you have never thought much about yourself and simply have accepted blindly that what you had been told ever since your childhood was right; or it may be due to the fact that what you call your duty has up to this point brought you sustenance and honors—and you consider it “right” because it appears to you as your own ‘condition of existence’ (and that you have a right to existence seems irrefutable to you).”
–Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 1882
A process whereby, or an entity wherein, something is transmitted is a medium. Certainly, writing is the medium through which I transmit or communicate my thoughts. When you have more than one medium, or more than one version of a medium, then you have media, a word that, in its plural form, is seldom spoken in the United States. When the innumerable media are amalgamated, when they bind to one another and consolidate unto a solidified mass, then the term becomes singular—the media, as it is helpfully labelled—and we are referring not to a medium, but to a monolith. By its nature, a monolith is oppressive and threatening, hence why we invariably rebel against it. The media is no exception: whether we are right-wing conservatives condemning fake news or liberal progressives castigating propaganda, we perpetually war against the monolith; we tirelessly fight to overthrow the media.
Our mistake is to attempt to destroy one piece of the media at a time, as if the removal of a single brick could collapse an entire castle. When we read Dan Merica’s article, deceitfully presented as if it were a work of objective journalism, we immediately expend our collective salvo on a furious discrediting of his clumsy butchery—and easily so, as Merica lives up to his incidentally clownish, jingoistic name. In a piece for CNN, Merica reports on Hillary Clinton’s accusation—really, more of a juvenile taunt—that Tulsi Gabbard is coordinating with “the Russians” to discourage us from voting for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in November 2020. He acknowledges that “Clinton did not provide proof about how Russia is ‘grooming’ Gabbard”, but a few minutes later, he quotes Clinton’s spokesman, who says: “If the Russian propaganda machine, both their state media and their bot and troll operations, is backing a candidate aligned with their interests, that is just a reality, it is not speculation.”
Quickly, we submit countless quintessential questions. Why does Merica obtain quotes from Clinton’s spokesman on two separate occasions, yet he does not reach out to Gabbard for comment even once? How does the occasional praise of punditry, delivered through media like RT, who have no affiliation with Gabbard’s presidential campaign, amount to “grooming”, a term that implies a direct partnership between Gabbard and Putin? Furthermore, why did Merica, in the same paragraph in which he noted Clinton failed to present any evidence, immediately describe “allegations that Russian news and propaganda sites often report on Gabbard’s campaign and that moments in Gabbard’s campaign have been reportedly amplified by trolls and bots on Twitter”? Why did he voluntarily and generously justify Clinton’s baseless claim? Why did he emphasize the Russians’ suspicious habit of reporting on Gabbard’s campaign while refusing to make mention of the Americans’ curious habit of ignoring her campaign?
Any one of these inquiries should be enough to raise irreversible doubt of Merica’s intentions and integrity, but he will never answer any of them. He doesn’t have to, because he didn’t write for us. He didn’t write for those of us who have “amplified” some of Gabbard’s “moments”, in his words; why would he, when he believes there are very credible reports that we are merely “trolls and bots on Twitter”? We don’t really exist, not in Clinton’s unerring judgment, so why do we deserve the courtesy of a rebuttal or response?
Here, we struggle to remember whether we are speaking of Merica or Clinton. Merica is the writer, and his piece for CNN is the medium through which Clinton delivered her calculated slander—but which, then, is the piece, the component, the single brick of the castle we are trying to demolish? We don’t know, and if we don’t know what we are aiming at, then how can we hope to accomplish our end in destroying the structure, in demolishing the media? We can’t, of course, which is why we have to step back from Merica’s piece and look elsewhere. Yes, we want to focus on this little fragment, on this unintimidating challenge. Why didn’t Merica, when he pointed out that Jill Stein had dinner with Putin in 2015, point out that Clinton has dined with the Russian president, as well? Why didn’t he—no, no, no more! We can’t get distracted! We can’t devour this miniature morsel and consider ourselves nourished! No, we must take a broader view of this wall, this wall that we would penetrate, and soon.
We will decline to scrutinize a corresponding report in the BBC about the same issue. Maybe our error is to emphasize the informative instability of mainstream corporate sources, and perhaps we can learn from the example set by smaller, independent outlets. Well, Vox certainly presents itself as a member of the “alternative media”—of the alternative media—so surely they will report from a position hostile to the establishment? The publication’s piece, written by Riley Beggin, bears an interesting title, one which depicts Gabbard’s “clash with top Democrats”. Immediately, we pause: why does this writer describe Clinton as one of the “top Democrats”? I thought she wasn’t running for the party’s presidential nod. In fact, and you will forgive me for returning to Merica’s piece, I believe Clinton’s spokesman ridiculed Gabbard’s claim that Clinton is running “proxies” through the other candidacies as “divisive language filled with vitriol and conspiracy theories”. Why, then, does Beggin suggest that Clinton wields executive influence in the Democratic Party?
We should, and shall, credit Beggin for covering prominent figures’ criticism of Clinton’s remarks. She quotes Van Jones of CNN, though she frames his pointed commentary as denunciation of “the Russians” more so than of Clinton, and she quotes Marianne Williamson, a legitimate outsider to the Democratic Party’s primary process, in her passionate defense of Gabbard. My only complaint of Williamson’s statement is that it does not mention Clinton, nor did a similarly supportive tweet by Andrew Yang, which didn’t appear in Beggin’s article. Indeed, most of the mainstream support has sidestepped Clinton completely, offering either, as in Jones’s case, unrelated remarks on Putin, or, as in Yang’s case, a quotidian appeal to patriotism, as symbolized by Gabbard’s military career. In covering this controversy, the American corporate press reduces Clinton to an afterthought, not unlike its erasure of Joe Biden in the reaction to Ukraine-gate.
Are we any closer to an understanding of the nature of the monolith? Probably not with Beggin, who is begging for acceptance within the corporate echelon: as crudely as Merica, she fortifies the dumbfounding myth that support for Gabbard’s campaign is a myth of the Kremlin’s imagination. Going as far as to note, with completely credulity, that “some believe that support is not real” due to the allegation, still unproven, that “Russia used social media and other tools to exploit American cultural fragmentation” in 2016, Beggin lends credence to the suggestion that “bots and trolls” are the bedrock of Gabbard’s base.
How are we supposed to react to this? This is an accusation born of intellectual suffocation, of an unsustainable deprivation of human contact. In writing that Gabbard’s support is nonexistent, that it is a synthetic marketing scheme engineered by Russian intelligence, Beggin—or, really, Clinton, as Beggin is just one more medium through which Clinton promotes her conspiracy theory—states, in no uncertain terms, that those of us who have written in favor of Gabbard, have campaigned for Gabbard, have attended rallies for Gabbard, are either robots manufactured in Moscow or, perhaps more practically, paid agents working on Putin’s behalf. It’s ridiculous, of course, just as laughable as Pieter Fredrich’s slanderous claim that I am working in collusion with Gabbard, but this is what these irrational spirits are reduced to: because they have nothing with which to condemn Gabbard in fact, they must devise fictitious offenses through their desultory stargazing and woolgathering.
Clearly, the ostensibly “alternative media” won’t help us, either. Maybe we should go back to the corporate media? I noticed that Bill Maher had a conversation with Susan Rice on Friday evening, hours after Hillary Clinton’s fallacious accusations were disseminated in the American press. Rice, of course, is one of Clinton’s friends, though she declined to mention this when, at the very end of Maher’s show, she weighed in on the controversy by accusing Gabbard of “embracing Russia”. I didn’t expect much in the way of intellectual professionalism from Rice, who, along with Clinton, persuaded President Obama that it would be a good idea to murder eighty thousand Libyans, just so Clinton would have an “achievement” to run on in 2016; nevertheless, I think Maher’s audience should be made aware of this conflict of interest.
Hey, wait a second. Didn’t I already write about this? Didn’t I write about Bill Maher sitting down for an extremely distasteful interview with one of the women who encouraged Obama to dismantle Libya and to plunge that country into insurmountably tragic chaos? Oh, wait, I’m thinking of that interview from 2019/09/21, in which he failed to ask Samantha Power why she encouraged Obama to annihilate Libya, to disassemble civilization in that country so completely that one can purchase sex slaves in the public square. Yes, she is a different war criminal, but also one of Clinton’s good buddies. And Power recently published a book in which she celebrated her political achievements and, of course, credited Hillary Clinton. Actually, Rice just published a book wherein she discusses her successes in government and lauds Clinton for being such a bosom friend. And now that you mention it, I think Clinton just released a book, too. Kind-of an interesting coincidence, eh?
Clinton’s reach within the corporate media is impressive. Why is she omnipresent, and why are so many “journalists” afraid to acknowledge her innumerable moral failings? Why is she sacrosanct? Why is she taboo? I understand why left-wing commentators are squeamish to speak out against the presidential candidates—Gabbard notwithstanding, it would seem—lest the Democratic Party suffer on the ballot, but why is Clinton included in this consideration? It’s as though she’s planning to mount a third conquest for the presidency, and exerting her unquantifiable institutional clout to render all resistance impotent. It doesn’t matter if she’s a war criminal and a terrorist. It doesn’t matter if her husband raped children with Jeffrey Epstein. It doesn’t matter if registered Democrats want her to stay out of the race. She must maintain her presence and her puissance, even if some believe “that support is not real”. Hillary Clinton must be president, and in construction of a diode, at the end of which is her inevitable electoral victory, she will use every resource in the media . . . every resource in her media.
And so, we reach the truth. The Clintons are an obscenely wealthy family, in no small part because they maintain close professional ties with the Murdoch family, Thomson Reuters, Google, and many other prominent producers and sellers in the marketplace of information. They receive much more money from organizations like the Coca-Cola Company, which has donated “somewhere between $5 million and $10 million” to the Clinton Foundation, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has given “somewhere between $10 million and $25 million”, but still, they ensure they maintain an immutable presence in the media. Accordingly, one must ask how much of the field-tilting in the Democratic Party’s current primary process—which, of course, is facilitated indispensably by the media—is achieved by Clinton’s instruction, or by Clinton’s hand. If Clinton wants to run for president yet again, she will receive all the assistance she needs in the press, which is only logical: she and the media have invested very heavily in one another through the years.
Concordantly, it is impossible to examine this treason of journalism against Tulsi Gabbard without acknowledging who has issued the treasonous orders. We can fault the individual writers and actors for their participation in this dystopian charade, and we have faulted them, and we will continue to do so, but to move forward without recognizing Clinton’s pervasive influence would be an injustice and an empowerment of Clinton—and any empowerment of Hillary Clinton is in itself a form of injustice. Therefore, it is our responsibility—all of our responsibility as journalists, as voters, as citizens, and as people—to declare: “Hillary Clinton, the minister of misinformation, is a traitor of journalism.”