Our media can't get enough of Donald Trump - but Bernie Sanders barely gets a mention.
BECAUSE OF HIS COMMENTS ABOUT BANNING all Muslims from entering the United States, presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been all over the local media this week. He's even been fodder for talkback radio.
This interest in Trump isn't new though - barely a day has gone by when he hasn't been in the headlines about something. It was just a few days ago that he received widespread coverage for his nonsensical and offensive claim that thousands of American Muslims had cheered when the two towers had come down on 9/11.
Compared to the media coverage Trump has received, the Democrat's Bernie Sanders has barely got a look in. Unlike Trump, Sanders isn't making the six o'clock news bulletins that have even thought it was newsworthy enough to show Trump getting pecked by a Bald Eagle.
Yet, if the polls are right, Bernie Sanders has as much public support as Donald Trump. Some polls indicate Sanders actually has more support.
So why are is the New Zealand mainstream media tuned in on Trump, while Sanders gets the cold shoulder?
Everyday our media promotes the ideology and values of neoliberalism and the market. Alternative views don't get a look in. Indeed when the conservative pro-market views of Labour leader Andrew Little are described as 'left wing' there hasn't so much been a narrowing of the political debate in this country but the rubbing out of any meaningful debate at all.
While we might debate just how 'left' Sanders actually is the fact remains his views and policies cut across the cosy neoliberal consensus that has existed in this country for decades, just as it has in the United States. Our corporate media can't handle someone like Sanders, especially when he says things like this:
"We need a political revolution in this country involving millions of people who are prepared to stand up and say "Enough is enough," and I want to help lead that effort."
As far as the likes of Patrick Gower, Duncan Garner and co are concerned, Sanders might as well be speaking Klingon. And the only reason media 'personalities' like Mike Hosking or Paul Henry would mention Sanders is to launch an attack on him.
The views of Bernie Sanders might lead our media being forced to talk about 'democratic socialism' and its challenge to the market orthodoxy. It might lead to having to seriously ask why none of our politicians are talking like Sanders - or like Jeremy Corbyn in Britain. Who knows where this might lead?
Instead it much prefers to focus on the sideshow that is arch capitalist Donald Trump. He's good for a few sound bites, he fits nicely into the ratings-driven infotainment shows that masquerade as news shows. Never mind that what he is saying is puerile and offensive - its still preferable than talking about the left wing ideas and policies of Bernie Sanders.