Bernie Won. But Corporate Media Crowned Hillary Victor All the Same.

October 7, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

While mainstream media pundits fell in line this week to declare Hillary Clinton the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate, signs suggest that it was Clinton’s main rival, Bernie Sanders, who in fact emerged victorious. 

Not only did the U.S. senator from Vermont have “the biggest soundbite of the night,” as Sanders’ senior adviser Tad Devine told Politico—referring, of course, to the “damn emails” line—but he also raked in post-debate donations, won several online polls and focus groups, and dominated the internet and social media over the course of the evening. 

“According to Google Trends, Bernie Sanders won the debate,” said Lindsey Cook for US News. “He was the most-Googled candidate post-debate in every state and led Google Search results into [Wednesday] morning. Sanders was also the most-discussed candidate on Facebook, followed by Clinton, then [former Virginia Sen. Jim] Webb.”

Politico reports that the Sanders campaign “is touting the debate as a victory expected to expand his audience, boost fundraising, and, most important, peel off Clinton supporters to his cause. Indeed, at a fundraiser in Hollywood on Wednesday, Sanders said he had raised $2.5 million since the debate.”

And Gawker added:

Polls and focus groups are “admittedly a wholly non-scientific pair of metrics,” wrote The Atlantic‘s Russell Berman on Wednesday, “but the results got the attention of former advisers to President Obama, who said they saw the same dynamic play out during the debates eight years ago.”

Corporate media, however, ignored Sanders’ success and clear resonance with voters, choosing instead to push a pro-Clinton storyline.

“Professional political reporters pride themselves on knowing what is really happening,” Gawker‘s Hamilton Nolan argued. “It would be more accurate, though, to say that they establish what is really happening, by creating the narrative that defines our messy political process in the public mind.”