Feed The Rich, Eat The Poor

As many of you will be aware the would-be Democratic Party candidate for the US presidency, Bernie Sanders, has been hammering down in recent months on the corrupt practices of Wall Street and the soaring levels of income and wealth inequality in the United States. Now the millionaire business executive, Lloyd Blankfein, has emerged from the boardroom shadows to play the victim card on behalf of the billionaire class and his firm, Goldman Sachs, the multinational investment and banking company an American senate committee almost certainly decided was “Too Big To Jail”. The Hill carries a report on a recent CNBC interview with Blankfein:

“The head of Goldman Sachs believes being singled out for criticism by Bernie Sanders represents a “dangerous moment” for the country.

Lloyd Blankfein, the Wall Street giant’s chief executive, said Wednesday that the Democratic presidential candidate might have gone too far in personally targeting him.

“To personalize it, it has potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street … but for anybody who is a little bit out of line,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

Sanders has railed against Wall Street throughout his populist campaign, accusing the financial industry of ruining the economy and holding down the middle class. And he has singled out Blankfein and his company as a poster child for the greed and recklessness he says is endemic in finance.”

Of course the oligarchy in the United States could just take a leaf out of the clandestine playbook of Sheldon Adelson, the casino bank account behind many a right-wing Super PAC and non-profit, not to mention what is left of the once popular Tea Party movement. Instead of pleading for special treatment from the news media, just go out and buy some of your own. Politico Media:

“After a brief spell of normalcy seemed to return to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, all bets are now off.

A new publisher has appeared overnight at the paper, a new editor will be installed as soon as Friday, and, sources tell me, stories involving new owner Sheldon Adelson are being reviewed, changed or killed almost daily.

Further, the newsroom is abuzz with word of a list of a half a dozen or so journalists whose work has rubbed Adelson the wrong way over the years, and who may soon be targeted for departure in what one insider describes as a “house-cleaning.”

In addition to such departures, the Review-Journal may see a flurry of resignations sooner than later.

What began as an abstract fear of a powerful new owner’s political hand wanting to steer the paper’s news coverage, after Sheldon Adelson was revealed as the “secret” buyer of the Review-Journal in early December, has become a reality. Says one knowledgeable insider flatly, “Adelson bought the paper because of the content.”

Longtime Gannett executive Craig Moon, announced as publisher on Thursday, has quickly moved to reverse both business decisions and prominent editorial moves recently implemented, some of them with public fanfare, that aimed to protect the integrity of the newsroom’s news report.”

Not that we in Ireland can really speak on such matters. In this country the so-called independent media, newspapers and radio stations, are the playthings of our millionaire class, to be handed around like prizes in a draw. Though they follow the same rules as in the US: this above all, to thine own master be true!

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10 comments

  1. Hiring a Gannett executive would appear to be par for the course for Adelson. Gannett is the bottom of the barrel among major corporate US media publishers. They spike stories to curry favor with advertisers, pull material unfavorable to corporate interests and use whatever means – legal or illegal – to drive competition from their markets. As an operation Gannett has the morals of an alley cat.

    That said, American politics on both sides of the aisle is rife with these sorts of big money types who plays loose and fast with the rules and have far more influence that most of the electorate realize.

    1. I read a few articles recently examining the Gannett style in relation to regional newspapers across the US. Heavy on the editorial voice, light on the reportage, journalists working in three or four different roles, no photographers, copy-and-paste articles localised in-house by newsrooms across the group, product placements and currying for favours with local politicos, etc. I’m sure stuff happens on the Left too (Soros, etc.) but the likes of Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers are in a league of their own.

      1. I worked for a Gannett paper in the late ’90s; worst journalism experience of my career – by far. How many times can you go out and “localize” a stock market story. I never found out, because I did it dozens and dozens of times before I left for greener pastures. What exactly is the typical American going to say about the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising or dropping 200 points in a single day? Very little worth printing, in my experience. Gannett is neither left nor right, they simply are money-focused, to the point of good-journalism-be-damned.

  2. This is a staggering comment: “To personalize it, it has potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street … but for anybody who is a little bit out of line.”

    Is Blankfein saying that if someone steps out of line (whether it’s “a little bit” or not, in his view), it shouldn’t warrant exposure and should be swept under the carpet? There are rules in place and those who step out of line via their engagement with those rules are personalising it themselves; they’re making it about them, being above the rules by bending or breaking them. That’s hardly Bernie Sanders fault.

    1. That’s certainly my impression. Apparently “stepping out line”, in the case of Wall Street, is a handy euphemism for criminal activities. It says much for the mindset of the billionaire class that they view uppity-politicians as a real and present threat to their way of life.

      Of course, the Clintons are so heavily in debt to the big corporations that they have no real worries there. Sanders is the one giving them the jitters.

  3. Clinton lost the campaign in the debate last night with her “I’ll look into that” while her body language said “no way” wrt to her speeches to Goldman Sachs. The political media ran with it today and pressure is building to release the transcripts. Either they’ll compromise her, or they’ll be anodyne. Then one will ask why so much money for trite words? She’s screwed either way unless the speeches were substantive and there are no recordings to contradict any edits they might make.

  4. Actually they have come a long way in America. Just thirty years ago, Mr. Sanders would have gotten framed for something by now and locked up.

  5. Why?
    30 years ago American parties were more left-wing than nowadays. The Republicans have gone so far to the right that it’s ridiculous.

    1. You quite clearly only know very little about America. I lived there 30 years ago and still live there almost half the year even now. They are the most left of centre they have ever been and are still quite conservative compared to European standards. The Republicans indeed have moved to a realm that is beyond ridiculous. The Democrats also have moved a considerable distance further left from the middle, but have generally preserved some sanity. The American political arena certainly has never been this polarised before. Listen to the song “Joe Hill” sometime (of course I recommend the Luke Kelly version), and you will know what I am referring to in terms of “setting up” the representation of the common man. It is quite a sport in America.

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