News media debates: CNN/NYT


PHOTO/UPI/Duck Duck Go


It was good to see Bernie Sanders in great form after his heart attack.

Although, the Democratic Party leaders, Republicans, billionaires, health industry, and many big businesses who exploit their employees and consumers were most likely not happy. Leaders of countries as Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, Israel, and others, who are comfortable with Trump also were probably disappointed at Bernie’s return.

Who’ll pay

There is an unwritten rule: debates are conducted according to the agenda of the news media that is controlled by giant conglomerates. They do not identify the dire needs of the common people, the majority, and how these can be fulfilled.

Debate topics are chosen by the very well-paid media moderators and the questioners. Sanders’s medicare-for-all program (now adopted by other Democratic Party candidates) has rattled the healthcare industry and TV channels. During the advertisement break, the health industry makes its presence known. A consistently asked question is who will pay for the program and whether people will be taxed to fund the program. No one ever asks who will pay for the ballooning defense spending, or discuss the remedy for mass incarceration, or that why the mega corporations make zero tax payments.


The opponents of the Universal healthcare always raise the question of people losing choice of selecting their healthcare provider. This phony argument is very old despite the fact that among developed countries the United States is the only country that refuses to provide medical care to all its citizens. In spite of that, the health care cost in US is double of other developed nations and yet more than 30 million people lack health insurance!

Pete Buttigieg

So the health insurance industry rep was there to remind the audience that people need a “choice” and not Medicare-for-all. That rep was Pete Buttigieg: a well groomed, boyish looking, young, white male – a type of guy corporations love to have, who receives corporate money, like most other candidates – except Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who rely on small donations from common people. Another plus factor for corporations supporting Buttigieg is that he is gay, so they can tout that they support sexual diversity. Other candidates who do not endorse Medicare-for-all are Joe Biden (Obama’s vice president) and Amy Klobuchar, both corporate funded and known as “moderates,” “pragmatists,” etc, that translates to pro-corporate and anti-commoner.

Federal jobs

Most Republican politicians looking for a government position or fighting an election for a post, campaign on the platform of maligning the government, reducing budget deficits, balancing the budgets, cutting down the staff, and thus saving taxpayers’ money.

However, once in power, the budgets are neither reduced nor balanced, but, many government employees do lose their jobs; and the losers are then at the mercy of the private sector.

For the 2020 campaign, even Democrats have started raising these points. Andrew Yang is one of them. Also, Tulsi Gabbard opposes the Federal job guarantee program. She could have suggested the government should pay good money to its employees and create federal jobs to reduce under-employment and unemployment, especially among certain segments of society.

Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard mostly plays the role of Dr. Jekyll well, and in a perfectly-tailored white suit. She was, however, right on target in her opposition to the US’ wars for regime change in other countries. She called the charges leveled against her by the New York Times and CNN as being a “Russian asset” as “completely despicable.” Bakari Sellers, CNN’s really despicable commentator labelled Gabbard as a “Russian puppet.” The liberal media is not too different from the guy in the White House whom they frequently cite for constantly lying.

(During the 2016 election campaign, Hillary-supporter Sellers sent a letter signed by 60 other black politicians to the co-chairs of the Democratic platform committee to avoid mentioning Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its settlements, to fight back the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, to accept Jerusalem as the permanent capital of Israel, etc.)

Gabbard favors granting refugee status as a “first priority” for minority groups, including Yezidis and Christians. But her hatred for Islamists prevents her from extending the same sympathy for Muslims. Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former advisor, is impressed by her views. She had a meeting with President-elect Trump the same month he won the election.

The divisiveness in the country is not to Gabbard’s liking and would like to see unity among the populace, a very noble cause indeed. But her Dr Hyde persona is not in the dominant news media. She should extend that noble concept of unity to other countries also, particularly India. She is a Hindu and demonstrates love for the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and is quite friendly with him. India is a Hindu-majority country and Modi and his cabinet members are Hindu fanatics trying to turn India into a Hindu state. Minorities, such as Muslims and Dalits are targets of their fanaticism. She should tell Modi to treat all the citizens equally and create unity. There should not be selective lip service but demonstration of consistent and deeply felt principles applicable to all.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

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