By Peter Daou and Tom Watson
One of the most insidious aspects of U.S. politics is the fabrication and dissemination of conventional wisdom by the national media and commentariat.
We’ve dubbed the manufacturers and purveyors of conventional wisdom the innerati:
The “innerati” are a motley group of high achievers scattered along the Acela corridor — reporters, pundits, bloggers, politicians, strategists, opinion makers, operatives and insiders who frame the national debate. By luck, effort or circumstance, they are in a position to determine what America thinks and talks about.
When these insiders settle on a narrative, the public hears it incessantly until it is imbibed and regurgitated in polls. Those polls are then used as evidence that the narrative is valid, when in fact it was artificially created and spread.
Because the innerati speak with seeming authority and conviction, people are inclined to believe them when they spew the usual anti-Hillary storylines (she's unlikable, robotic, polarizing, calculating, etc.) but that doesn't make the spin any more factual. What seem to be "truths" are in fact often manufactured talking points, funded by shadowy groups:
An expensive and sophisticated effort is underway to test and refine the most potent lines of attack against Mrs. Clinton, and, ultimately, to persuade Americans that she does not deserve their votes. While the general election is 16 months away, Republican groups are eager to begin building a powerful case against the woman they believe will be the Democratic nominee, and to infuse the public consciousness with those messages. The effort to vilify Mrs. Clinton could ultimately cost several hundred million dollars, given the variety and volume of political organizations involved. Crossroads, the group behind this effort, is led by none other than Karl Rove, the strategist who brought us George W Bush.
In simple terms, the process of creating conventional wisdom about Hillary goes like this:
MEDIA: “She’s dishonest, she’s dishonest, she’s dishonest, she’s dishonest…”
PUBLIC: “Hmm, I think she’s dishonest.”
MEDIA: “See, we told you she’s dishonest!”
Using frames created by well-funded conservative oppo research groups, the innerati have worked overtime and unscrupulously to convince the public that Hillary is unlikable, that she is dishonest, and that her supporters lack passion.
Each of these narratives is demonstrably false.
Hillary’s supporters are extremely passionate and engaged. She leads in the polls and has broken fundraising records.
Hillary is neither dishonest nor untrustworthy, notwithstanding the media and commentariat intentionally deceiving the public with deceptive and false poll results, which we’ve debunked in painstaking detail. As we’ve explained:
Hillary's emails have been microscopically analyzed by every rightwing activist with a laptop and every reporter with an agenda, in a massive crowd-sourced investigation tapping the online database. And they've come away with .... nothing. Not a single allegation that Hillary said anything untoward or unethical. Not the faintest whisper.
Which brings us to the new ABC News/Washington Post poll. There are several numbers to process, but we’ll highlight the ones that blow the “unlikable” meme out of the water:
Democrats see Clinton favorably by 79-17 percent, but Sanders just by 47-24 percent. Sanders’ rating is +23 points net positive within the party, vs. Clinton’s +62 points. In the wings is Joe Biden, with a 72-17 percent among Democrats.
So Hillary is +62 favorable among Democrats, Biden is +55, Sanders is +23. The innerati will point to the fact that Republicans dislike Hillary in greater numbers, but we’re in a Democratic primary not a general election and in this primary, Hillary is the MOST likable candidate.
The object lesson:
DON’T BELIEVE THE ANTI-HILLARY HYPE.
Peter Daou and Tom Watson founded #HillaryMen to provide actionable analysis of the 2016 campaign focusing on the gender barrier in U.S. politics. Peter is a former senior digital adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a veteran of two presidential campaigns (Kerry '04 and Clinton '08). Tom is an author and Columbia University lecturer who advises companies and non-profits on social activism.