Is the DNC Stocking the Flint Debate Crowd w/ Hillary Supporters? [OPINION]
It has proven next to impossible, even for local media, to obtain tickets for this Saturday's Democratic Presidential Debate at The Whiting in Flint, which raises some interesting questions about the DNC's strategy.
It's no secret that the Democratic National Committee has shown favoritism towards Hillary Clinton from very early on in the race. It makes sense that the DNC would be skeptical of Bernie Sanders party loyalty, because he identified as an Independent for so long. However, Clinton's message has started to sound so much like Sanders', that they can't say he's not a Democrat without saying the same of Hillary. That's where the party has moved to, and a lot of that has to do with Senator Sanders, who is closer than ever to Hillary in national polls.
So here we are, just a few days out from the seventh Democratic Debate (if you're keeping score, that's four less debates than their Republican counterparts will have had after tonight's event in Detroit), which will take place at Flint's Whiting Auditorium. The Whiting is a small venue (around 2,000 capacity) for such a huge event, but no public ticket information had made available at the time of this article. In fact, our company has even been getting stonewalled for press credentials despite applying very early on. So who the hell is getting into this thing?
According to ABC12, the DNC and CNN are in charge of all tickets, and it sounds like a number of those have gone to politicians, and people hand-picked by the two parties. state representatives, city councilmen (please tell me they didn't give walking sideshow Eric Mays a ticket), and other party insiders will all be there, but you know who won't be? Either of us.
Since the DNC have already shown favoritism towards Clinton, and CNN is owned by a company (Time Warner) that has donated almost $600k to Clinton's campaign -- what's to stop them from strategically stocking the crowd with Clinton supporters? It doesn't sound like much of an advantage, but this is a nationally televised event, and how bad does it look when the crowd at a debate boos a candidate? Really bad, not to mention the headlines it makes for the entire week after. That's just the kind of momentum the Clinton campaign is hoping for in this still uncertain primary season. I'm not saying that is for sure what's going on -- it's just something to be aware of while watching from home.
And yes, I did use the term "still uncertain" there. Regardless of how the media is reporting this Democratic primary -- it is far from over. Many outlets are counting Sanders out already, despite the fact that the delegate count is currently Clinton: 595 to Sanders 405. The media keeps including superdelegates, who are pledged but not official. They don't vote until late July, and could easily turn on Clinton exactly like they did in 2008. If Sanders has decisive victories in a couple of key states, she can kiss those pledges goodbye.
I am a Sanders supporter (as you can probably tell), but my goal in writing this article is not to get you to vote for my candidate. I wrote this solely to point out that much of this election is being manipulated. That's nothing new, but this year it's a little more heavy-handed than usual. Just remember that no matter what jokes you hear on Comedy Central (owned by Time Warner) or speculation on CNN (owned by Time Warner) about certain candidates being done for, you should ignore them next Tuesday and vote for whoever the hell you want to. Don't let organizations convince you that the horse they bet on is the winner before the race has even started. That's not how America works.