- Hits: 456
On Tuesday April 23rd, 2019, CNN on at least four occasions focused their propaganda lens on Bernie Sanders’ view about whether incarcerated felons in general should be allowed to vote whilst still incarcerated. Sanders’ view was given in response to a question during his CNN town hall event of the previous night (the third of five consecutive town halls featuring Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg respectively). Notably, the question at issue for Bernie was rhetorically phrased i.e. should the Boston marathon bombers have the right to vote whilst incarcerated? The tendentious suggestion underlying the question is that if one thinks all citizens, even bad people, have the right to vote, then one supports the Boston Marathon bombers and murder. This is an obviously fallacious inference since one can consistently reject murder but support universal suffrage. Despite this obvious fallacy, this question for Bernie was apparently conceived by a student at Harvard University. It strains credulity to think that students at Harvard are so uninformed about basic logical fallacies: the naive are then forced to face the possibility that perhaps the questioner may have been politically motivated to ask a tendentious question (to make Bernie look bad to the viewing public). Bernie (himself a former long distance runner) answered honestly that in his opinion prisoners should not lose their right to vote. He provided the outline of his reasoning, given the brief time available: denying prisoners the right to vote is part of a wider attack against democracy in America. Once the government suppresses person x’s right to vote (because of reason y, e.g. they are black, or they are in jail or whatever) then this leads to a situation in which any marginalized group might be arbitrarily disenfranchised (though Bernie didn’t explicitly mention it at the time, Nazi Germany’s treatment of marginalized groups comes to mind and also how the Trump administration treats those groups). BRIANNA KEILAR included a piece in her show about the controversial revelation of Bernie’s view regarding incarcerated prisoners having the right to vote. Keilar didn’t mention that many countries around the world allow prisoners the right to vote. There was no discussion amongst panelists about Bernie’s reasoning - just about the potential political consequences of his statement (i.e. negative for democrats). Panelists included conservative Catherine Ham, a Hillary Clinton supporter, a Trump supporter, and most notably Mehdi Hassan, who has worked for Al Jazeera and The Intercept. Hassan pointed out that people shouldn’t underestimate Bernie’s ability to change public opinion on the issue of incarcerated felons having the right to vote, citing Bernie’s introducing issues like Medicare for all in 2016. This policy of Bernie’s was regarded as radical at the time but is now regarded as popular. Following on from Catherine Ham’s conservative assessment, Hassan mentioned that the idea of incarcerated felons voting is not insane, citing the fact that many other countries around the world (e.g. Canada) have this policy. The other panelists were at a loss to respond. Later that day, WOLF BLITZER (subliminally) did a hit piece on Bernie, without discussing the merits of his argument. Wolf had been interviewing Rep. Mike Cucellini about the question of impeaching Trump, when out of the blue, unrelated to the previous topic he asked Cucellini about whether he agreed with Bernie that felons should have the right to vote. The answer was no, but no cogent reason was provided or even considered. The interviewee mentioned the fact that other countries do allow felons to vote, but this was somehow distasteful in America (without explaining why) - as if he was responding to the assertion of Mehdi Hassan earlier that afternoon on Brianna Keilar’s show. CHRIS CUOMO (most blatantly) did a hit piece on Sanders, in his ‘Prime-Time’ show and also during his hand over to DON LEMON. In the first segment of his show (Let’s get after it’) he had panelists including (former Bernie advocate and campaign-worker) Simone Sanders and Paul Begala. None of them discussed the issue of whether Bernie was right in his argument - they just discussed the political consequences of his claim. Significantly, in Cuomo’s hand-over to Don Lemon, the former casually announced that Harris had now ‘revised’ her stance about felons voting (Cuomo provided no context about where he had got this information from, e.g. a tweet, e-mail etc.) Whereas she had been reported on MSM the day after her townhall as having claimed that we need to have a discussion about the question, this statement contradicted her previous more complete answer during the town hall on live tv to a questioner in which she basically agreed with Bernie. NO FOOTAGE REMAINS ON THE INTERNET OF HARRIS INITIALLY AGREEING WITH BERNIE ON THIS ISSUE IN HER TOWN HALL, BEFORE CHANGING HER VIEW TO ‘NEEDING TO HAVE THE DISCUSSION’ WHEN PRESSED BY DON LEMON. (ALL THAT REMAINS IS COVERAGE OF HARRIS CHANGING FROM ‘NEEDING TO HAVE THAT DISCUSSION’ TO (NEXT DAY) NOT ADVOCATING FOR INCARCERATED FELONS TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE. This strongly suggests that the ‘powers that be’ in America are against American democracy by preventing voters from knowing what candidates said during town hall debates, thus proving Bernie’s point that voter-suppression is rife. If voters are ignorant of what candidates have said regarding their policies, they can’t make informed choices about who to vote for.