US Corporate Media Refuses to Challenge Prolific Ad-Buyer Bloomberg on Record or Platform

© AP Photo / David J. PhillipDemocratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - Sputnik International
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will participate in his first Democratic Primary debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Bloomberg has quickly advanced in national and Super Tuesday polls by spending massive amounts of money on advertisements, Darren Gibson, host of the radio show Southpaws, told Radio Sputnik.

“The rise of Michael Bloomberg is the symptom of at least two major problems with the election system in the US, the first one being Citizens United,” Gibson explained to Loud & Clear hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker Wednesday. The landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court case in 2010 allowed labor unions and corporations to spend money to advocate for the election of candidates.
“The US Supreme Court said that money is speech and corporations are people,” Gibson noted. “That really pulled the gloves off, especially for politicians and anybody who wants to buy an election, such as Michael Bloomberg.”

“The other problem is that elections have become popularity contests. Voters don’t care about platforms anymore; they care about name recognition … the voters are listening to all of these stories coming from the corporate media without thinking critically about: ‘What does this politician stand for? What are his platforms? What are his policies? What has he done in the past?’” Gibson explained.

A New York Times report published Saturday revealed that Bloomberg had provided the liberal policy think tank Center for American Progress with at least three grants worth around $1.5 million by 2015. According to the Times report, the payouts may have affected the contents of a report the think tank compiled that year on anti-Muslim bias in the US. The report included a chapter on surveillance of Muslim communities in New York by the New York Police Department while Bloomberg was mayor.

According to the Times, the CAP’s draft report “included a chapter of more than 4,000 words about New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities; Mr. Bloomberg was mentioned by name eight times in the chapter.” However, when the final report was published, there was no mention of Bloomberg’s name, suggesting that he managed to buy his way out of potential backlash.

​“There is no pushback from any of the corporate media: MSNBC, CNN, Fox. None of them are pushing back on any of the corporate narratives, especially Mike Bloomberg’s,” Gibson noted. 

“And yes, it all has to do with money. I just read a study that came out … that Michael Bloomberg, as of February 10, had spent over $300 million on television and radio advertising, and he is upping his radio advertising. As of the week of February 10 through the 16, he was the number eight advertiser nationally. He beat out [American telecommunications company] Sprint. He barely lost out to McDonald’s. That’s how much money he’s spending,” Gibson explained.

Bloomberg has seemingly spent more of his personal funds on campaign ads than any other presidential candidate in US history. 

A report by the Washington Post reveals that Bloomberg has spent $50 million so far on digital ads on online platforms alone. By comparison, US President Donald Trump has spent $20 million on all his ads - including digital, broadcast and cable - this year during his 2020 presidential campaign. Ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics revealed earlier this month that Bloomberg has spent more than $300 million on TV, radio and digital advertising since announcing his campaign in November. 

According to Gibson, Bloomberg’s agenda is all about helping himself and his “rich friends.”

“If you want to know about Mike Bloomberg’s agenda: in 2014, he spent $2.3 million in the state of Michigan to help then-Governor Rick Snyder - the same Rick Snyder that signed right-to-work legislation in Michigan, reinstated the emergency management law after voters overturned it and poisoned Flint’s water due to his emergency managers. This is Bloomberg's agenda. This is where he spends his money. It’s not on helping the little guy. It’s on helping himself and helping his rich friends, and that’s the bottom line to it,” Gibson explained. 

The South Carolina Democratic primary is coming up on February 29 and might culminate in a “tough race” between Bloomberg and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, he predicted, noting, “The last poll that I saw had [former US Vice President Joe] Biden winning South Carolina … But you might be surprised there. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was going to win Michigan in 2016, and Bernie Sanders squeaked out a victory there in the primary. That was shocking.”

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