This is a political post. Please feel free to skip reading this post if politics isn’t your cup of tea! I am not posting this to initiate conversations about one candidate or another. Rather, I am using this experience of mine as a demonstration of the need for critical thinking about the news we watch or read as well as the need to get our news from a variety of sources, including alternative (one of my favorites is The Young Turks) or international news outlets and via primary sources, namely live-streams (thought text, photos, and recorded videos posted to social media are also great).
I was in Philadelphia July 25-28th as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The DNC organizers did their very best to convey party unity on TV without actually making a real effort to achieve it there on the ground. Though many alternative media sources, international media, and some smaller press picked up on this and reported out on it — oh, and Fox News, of course — the majority of mainstream media seemed to leave news of the reality out of their broadcasts. 24-hour news stations touched on some of the issues, but also seemed not to make it a priority (as seems to be the case when CNN cut away from a protest to show Boys 2 Men on stage) or seemed to put a positive spin on things that clearly were not (as seems to be the case when Debbie Wasserman Schultz is clearly booed and CNN labels the heckling interruptions as “cheers”).
Knowing that mainstream media often ignored important things regarding Bernie in the past year or so, I went in to the convention keenly aware of how important it was for me to document what was really going on outside of the mainstream media’s focus. I signed up to be a live-stream broadcaster on a Facebook group created for the purpose of gathering as many of our convention live-streams (both inside the convention and outside from protesters on the streets) as possible in one place.
The following is a compilation of half a dozen live-streamed videos I broadcast on Facebook over the approximately 1.5-2 hours of the event (I was there in it… and I don’t know how long it really was). I tried to keep the integrity of the videos and only edit out the completely dull parts where nothing at all is happening. It’s 17 minutes long and I don’t expect many to be interested in the entire thing, so here are the “chapters” if you will. (Note that I also included the recap I recorded that night below this video.)
0:10 Vermont completes roll call of votes.
0:45 Bernie takes the mic, motions for Clinton to receive nomination by acclamation.
2:20 Chair calls for a vote on the motion, Hillary declared the nominee.
3:50 Alaska’s Bernie delegates walk out.
4:19 Halls filled with Bernie delegates walking out and chanting.
7:50 Delegates leave the arena to the media tent.
8:55 Delegates gathered in center of media tent, holding signs, many with mouths taped or gagged, many are giving interviews.
9:25 Many delegates sit down, interviews continue.
11:10 We attempt to return to the arena for the Mothers of the Movement.
12:10 We discover we are blocked in, delegates and other credentialed people protest inside and out, interviews continue everywhere.
13:25 Protesters show love for each other and anger at the DNC through the glass.
14:55 We are finally freed, some returning to the arena, others leaving to join protesters in the streets outside the fences.
15:46 Back in my seat, seeing all the empty seats left open by protesting delegates.
16:43 Picture of me inside the media tent protesting at the window.
My recap of my experience recorded later that evening.
Meanwhile, mainstream evening news recorded or broadcast live after the walkout and sit-in — continued with the message of party unity and made zero mention of the protest (watch from minute 1 through 6, and again starting at 19:30 to the end).
Compare that with how alternative media broadcast the events. Here is The Young Turks’ report of the event, including our spokeswoman’s interview.
Here is a report by Laura Flanders representing independent media (from 2:45 to about 5:00 addresses the protest).