However, it's not a conspiracy of print, digital and TV supporting Democrats. It's an often-secretive effort taking the low road in attacking Clinton and promoting Trump
Donald Trump has complained loudly that there is a media conspiracy tainting the 2016 presidential election. He is right.
“The media is so dishonest and corrupt,” Trump said during the third presidential debate on Oct. 19, “ they poison the minds of the voters.”
This article will prove without doubt that Trump is correct. There is a very significant media conspiracy to sway the election.
However, it is not a conspiracy involving the Washington Post, which has shown great courage and integrity in its coverage, or the New York Times, which continues to set the standard for journalism ethics; or CBS, ABC or NBC - and it isn’t a plot against Trump.
It isn't a plot by NBC to withhold the damning Access Hollywood tape that was leaked to the Washington Post, or by news organizations go lightly on either Trump or Clinton.
Does the mainstream media sometimes reveal how it really feels? Of course. Hollywood exec Gavin Palone wrote in The Hollywood Reporter on Oct. 20, 2016, about his perception that even CNN anchors sometimes can’t hide their feelings. “The bias I am talking about at CNN is often subtle, “ wrote Palone, “residing in how its anchors are nicer and more comfortable with the Clinton surrogates and interviewees than those allied with Trump, who tend to receive a lot of curtness and sarcasm.”
That is still a far cry from the very real conspiracy working round the clock for the election of The Donald. In some cases it acts in obvious way even the public can recognize - but in many others it disguises the real intent behind the anti-Hillary stories and pro-Trump views.
Hillary on the other hand has paid advertising but no string of news organizations openly working for her election, despite what Trump has suggested.
She has raised a record amount of money to market her message but for the kind of headlines that can sway public opinion, she must rely on the kindness of strangers (journalists), and their bosses in the newsroom and corporate.
That is not the case for Trump. Despite his protests about the boogey men of the press, he is the one who is benefiting from a vast right wing financed conspiracy which includes the most powerful cable TV channel, a daily newspaper in New York City, the largest circulation national newspaper, a popular conservative celebrity website and various other tabloids.
One reason Trump has done well with working class voters is that they are the tabloid press readers. The subliminal campaign in this conspiracy is targeted at them.
Let’s first catalog the roster of powerful news outlets openly supporting Trump, often with news stories and editorials.
FOX NEWS CHANNEL
It will be no surprise to anyone that Fox News, the Conservative TV powerhouse controlled by Rupert Murdoch, is very much in the bag for Trump, even with Roger Alies out of the picture.
There have been a few FNC voices there that have tried to stay real, including Megan Kelly and Chris Wallace, who represented the journalistic fraternity well as the moderator of the third presidential debate TV version of mud wrestling.
But for the most part Fox has continued an agenda of trashing Clinton at every opportunity while swallowing hard and supporting the Trump brand for the White House.
If there was any doubt that Fox was part of the pro-Trump media conspiracy, it was eliminated when the network’s star Sean Hannity came out openly as not only a supporter of The Donald, but also as an advisor to his campaign.
This might seem like a conflict of interest but Hannity coolly declared he isn’t a journalist, so those pesky ethics concerns are not for him. So he can give Trump a platform on his show, and often does, that is unabashedly and completely in the Trump camp. Trump has even cited Hannity in his comments as someone who can attest to everything he says on the campaign trail.
The Fox News Channel did censure Hannity when he appeared in a Trump campaign promotional video. But the fact the new Fox News Channel commanders (all Ailes trained but slightly more sane) have accepted Hannity’s position that he is just a guy who does a talk show on a news channel, but he is not a newsman or a journalist.
In other words, the fair and balanced network is wink; wink, winking at having Hannity openly promote Trump.
It isn’t surprising that the Conservative minded website Breitbart slants its news and views to favor Trump no matter what revelations emerge. It is also aggressive about trying to prove Hillary is a crook given any excuse, no matter how flimsy.
The site has become almost an extension of the Trump campaign with its founder Steve Bannon, now CEO of Trump’s campaign. He took a leave of absence from Breitbart when he joined the campaign but never actually resigned.
THE NEW YORK POST
It’s no surprise that Murdoch’s newspaper version of a junk yard dog, The New York Post, supports Trump - not just on the editorial pages, but also in the news, feature and gossip pages. It has to its credit broken some stories unfavorable to The Donald, but the overall tone is consistently anti-Hillary, pro-Trump.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
It is also not a surprise that the Murdoch controlled Wall Street Journal’s editorial and op-ed pages are in the bag for Trump. Despite the occasional admission The Donald may have screwed up, Fox has pushed the Republican Party line.
I do have to give credit to the Wall St Journal for maintaining a high level of integrity in its excellent news pages.
The second person from the right is David J. Pecker, CEO of American Media Inc.
THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER
The opposite is the case with the most blatant example of Trump’s media conspiracy, where one company controls numerous publications and they all trumpet Trump and constantly look to smear Sec. Clinton.
American Media Inc. (AMI) is the successor to the company that founded the National Enquirer, which it continues to publish. Today its titles and properties also include The Star, The Globe, National Examiner and Radar Online.
It has used all of its relevant media to support Trump. It began during the primaries when the Enquirer ran a story that said Ted Cruz had affairs outside his marriage.
“Cruz did more than rip the Enquirer story as a ‘tabloid smear,” wrote media critic Howard Kurtz on Fox News in March 2016. “He said, “It is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.” There is, however, no evidence of that.”
“Trump said in a statement that he “had absolutely nothing to do with it” and “did not know about it.” In a passive-aggressive postscript, he said that while the tabloid had been ‘right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz.’”
“The Enquirer said in a statement,” added Kurtz, “that it’s not influenced by anyone other than its editors and reporters…Trump is friendly with David Pecker, the parent company’s CEO, and the Enquirer has endorsed him—but neither of those things prove any link to the story.”
As soon as he won the primary, the tabloid terrorists began to blast Clinton repeatedly.
A SNEAK ATTACK
There is no way for the target audience – working class, not well educated, not well informed – to know how to sort truth from fiction as it waits in line to buy a six back and hamburger.
The Enquirer isn’t what it once was. From 1990 when it sold over three million copies a week, it now sells just over 500,000 (as of a 2015 audit). However, it still is a force in American culture and a staple at over 30,000 grocery and supermarkets, prominently displayed on the ten or so checkout lines.
Some recent Enquirer headlines have blared: “Hillary Fixer Breaks Ranks: “I arranged sex trysts for her” – with men and women.
And “Bill Clinton Love Child Prostitute Mom Tells All,”
The Enquirer’s relentlessly, pro Trump anti Hillary posture is often linked to David J. Pecker, who has been with the organization since a1999.
On July 19, 2016, none other than the New York Post carried an article, which said Pecker had been promised he would be appointed an Ambassador when Trump is elected. His spokesperson called that “ridiculous.”
“The CEO does acknowledge that he has been pushing favorable Trump covers — and anti-Hillary covers — because that is what readers want,” reported the NY Post.
“Our readers have clearly spoken and they want more news about Trump and his vision for America,” Pecker told The NY Post. “The pro-Trump and anti-Hillary covers have seen newsstand sales pop 23 percent. That is the only poll data that I care about.”
American Media’s control over the supermarket checkout stand space is assured by its ownership of the primary company that distributes these publications and stacks them next to the register.
Newsweek's cover in 1996
DISGRACED DICK MORRIS GRINDS IT OUT
As part of its campaign, The Enquirer appointed political operative Dick Morris as its chief political analyst and correspondent. Morris has worked for Republicans and Democrats, most notably as a strategist for Bill Clinton in his difficult 1996 re-election.
Ironically, in the fall of 1996 Morris was forced to resign after revelations from a $200 an hour Virginia prostitute who said she had a long-term relationship with Morris, because of a company owned by American Media. The story appeared in The Star, which paid the hooker just under $50,000 for her story, and a promotional appearance she made on a tabloid TV show.
Morris worked for Fox and other TV and news outlets but his reputation was such he reportedly was having a hard time finding new outlets for his political punditry when American Media hired him earlier this year.
In early 2013 when Fox dropped Morris, New York Magazine’s Gabe Sherman wrote: "Morris's Romney boosterism and reality-denying predictions became a punch line" inside the network. In recent years the network's executives had also repeatedly been subjected to inquiries from reporters concerning Morris' pattern of ethical misdeeds.”
Morris proudly accepted the job with American Media. “The National Enquirer is one of the few journalistic outlets that has the courage to publish the truth,” Morris was quoted when he was hired. “As this critical election approaches, I am thrilled to have a perch from which to tell the unvarnished truth, particularly about Hillary Clinton -- facts other publications just don't print because it doesn't fit.”
One recent Enquirer headline screamed: “Dick Morris: Bill Clinton’s Sex In the White House.”
Pecker is not the only link to Trump that could be behind the relentless attacks on Hillary Clinton - not just in the Enquirer, but also in The Star and in the other company tabloids. Nowhere is the stream of vitriol more blatant than on Radar Online, which American Media recently boasted has seen its audience steadily grow.
A recent Radar headline was, “Voter Fraud Lawsuit Hits Hillary Campaign: “They’re Nailed.” Another said “Hillary Heath Crisis Revealed. “
The Globe reported it sent two reporters to go through trash at Hillary Clinton’s home, leading to a story that said she eats so much junk food; she could drop dead “at any moment.”
The ownership of American Media after a 20010 bankruptcy fell into the hands of Wall Street investors who held the company debt. The two key hedge funds in control are Angelo, Gordon & Company and Avenue Capital Management.
Another irony s that during the primaries Trump denounced hedge funds and said he would close loopholes that allow them to profit off the efforts of working people.
A screen grab of Google listing stories on the National Enquirer site, most anti-Hillary
THE BIG MONEY BEHIND AMERICAN MEDIA HAS TRUMP CONNECTIONS GOING WAY BACK, CONTINUING TODAY
Angelo, Gordon was founded in 1988 by two former L.F. Rothschild brokers, John M. Angelo and Michael L. Gordon. It is an “alternative fund,” which means it looks for markets outside the mainstream. One area of specialization is distressed real estate properties where it can buy cheap and make big profits. That is how it came to first be in business with Donald Trump.
The relationship with Trump goes back to at least 2010 when the hedge fund put up a portion of the $225 million that helped Trump Entertainment Resorts emerge from bankruptcy. At the time, Trump was fighting with controversial hedge fund manager Carl Icahn, who years later during the 2016 primaries he would tout as someone he might choose to re-negotiate all of the U.S. international trade agreements, because he would get better deals.
Trump also became investor in Angelo, Gordon, for an amount that has been placed between $2 million and $10 million.
Angelo, Gordon’s investment in Trump’s Atlantic City properties turned out to be a bust with the last of four major casino hotels closing this past September.
Trump’s investment in Angelo, Gordon apparently has not gone well either. Reuters report on March 16, 2016, that the Angelo, Gordon funds (open only to those with a net worth of $1 million) had lost an average of 8.5 percent last year, while the stock market and hedge fun industry benchmarks broke even or close to it.
The other big investor in American Media is the private investment fund Avenue Capital, which is run by Marc Lasry, a Moroccan-born billionaire American hedge fund manager. Besides Avenue, he is co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks pro basketball team.
ONE ENQUIRER BACKER HAS TIES TO CLINTON AND TRUMP
Curiously, Lasry has a history of friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton and even President Obama. At one point Obama wanted to name Lasry Ambassador to France, but he had to drop out when his relationship to a woman who ran a huge New York betting and money laundering operation became public just before he was to face Senate scrutiny.
His ties to the Clinton’s have continued. In 2015, he was an early supporter of Sec. Clinton’s White House bid, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars when it was most needed to seed the campaign.
Lasry reportedly also was a $1 million investor in Eaglevale Partners, a hedge fund co-founded by Hillary’s soon in law Marc Mezvinsky.
Lasry’s son worked for the White House as an associate of White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, a longtime Obama associate and friend. His daughter was on the staff of Rahm Emanuel when he was in Congress.
In 2010, after the investment and deal with Trump was done, Lasry became Chairman of Trump Entertainment Resorts. He resigned that position in January 2013, claiming his work was done.
A year later the company was in bankruptcy again.
Clearly, however, the relationship between Lasry and Trump has continued, and he has watched as American Media has done its best to take down Hillary and elect Trump, without ever admitting a bias or making it clear to its readers that it has an agenda in the 2016 political process, and his name is Trump.
So yes there is a media conspiracy to tilt the election, and it is being done for the most part in an underhanded way, but it is the one that is trying to elect Trump - the one you won’t hear him discuss when he complains about media bias.