MEDIA

Here’s What Hillary & the Dems Talked About All Day

Something I learned from WikiLeaks and the DNC

Photo by Peter Ivey-Hansen on Unsplash

Anyone who is half awake is familiar with WikiLeaks, the international non-profit organization that publishes news leaks, and classified media provided by anonymous sources. I’m guessing that unless something from WikiLeaks has been repeated by other news media, very few of us have actually rooted around in that trove of truffles.

In the past I’ve taken a peek or two, but not very aggressively with any real purpose. If you’ve got time, set aside the book you’ve been reading to spend an hour or two perusing the lay of the land. It may surprise you how vast the terrain really is.

We’re well aware of Hillary’s 33,000+ emails reside here. Did you know that someone grabbed and forwarded Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email contents? And then there are all those DNC emails which I learned something from.

The WikiLeaks archives contain much more than our U.S. dirty laundry. Toxic dumping in Africa, the 2009 nuclear accident in Iran, the Peru oil scandal in 2008, killings by the Kenya police, secret Scientology documents, Yemen files, Syrian files — it’s an enormous vault and the folks behind the project have turned the lights on so that anyone can see what’s heretofore been hidden from public view.

To call WikiLeaks “Dirty Laundry” is a misnomer. If you rummage through the goulash, you’ll find that much of it is simply a hodgepodge of ingredients adding up to a meaningless brew. That is, if you’re looking for dirt.

What you’ll actually find is much more meaningful: how these various networks actually work and think.

What prompted me to sift through all these emails (I do not mean to suggest I did THAT. I mean, “all the emails” that I sifted through.) was Sy Hersh’s book Reporter. Two things he noted. First, that any journalist worth his or her salt will be a reader first. That is, you have to do your homework. Second, his anecdote about being taken to task by Ted Koppel on national television by people who never read the book he was being beaten up for, a common issue writers face.

With regard to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) emails, I’ve not found anything really damning, yet. Rather, I’ve found an organization dedicated to a singular task: capturing the next presidential election.

Email after email contains links to articles relevant to this singular ultimate purpose. It is a continuous feed of information that ties to their primary objective. Here is an example from May 2016.

From:FreundlichC@dnc.org
To: Comm_D@dnc.org
Date: 2016–05–11 09:32 Subject:
NYT: Donald Trump Shares His Opponent-Branding Secrets

Article by Mark Leibovich, May 9, 2016 NYT

Get used to “Crooked Hillary,” for better or worse. That’s Donald Trump’s comic-book villain name for Hillary Clinton. It’s gaining traction on Twitter and in other forums across the virtual schoolyard. Soon it will be chanted at Trump’s rallies, painted on posters and deployed as a heckling epithet against the probable Democratic nominee. Trump is confident the name will stick, and he’s usually right about these things.

“I feel it, it’s an instinct,” Trump told me over the phone. He envisions “Crooked Hillary” as the latest triumph in a series, after “Lyin’ Ted,” “Liddle Marco” and “Low Energy Jeb,” the nicknames that he affixed to his vanquished Republican rivals, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. Trump has a knack for coining just the right moniker, the perfectly dismissive and catchy thing. “It works, it flows,” Trump said, admiring his latest work.

(You can see where it goes in the link that preceded this.)

The real takeaway for me is that the DNC was exceedingly focused.

They didn’t win in 2016, but the character of their activities was driven by a singular aim: to take the White House.

In 1984, while living in the Twin Cities here in Minnesota, I myself became part of a political campaign. What I learned was that as soon as an election is over — and I’m talking about days after, if not hours — the party that lost is already meeting to set up their strategies for attaining a different outcome in the next election.

If only American businesses were this focused. Instead of sharing documents of significance that would help the corporate mission and build the corporate brain, I’m guessing that at least 50% to 75% of all emails sharing articles and videos have nothing to do with business and are more along the lines of amusing, time-wasting entertainments.

The Gallup organization actually generated numbers on this matter, stating that “only 33% of American workers are engaged in what they are doing.”* According to some of the other WikiLeaks emails I read, only about 5% of Congress is working on getting anything done, other than get re-elected. **

It’s amazing how entropy keeps this old freight train running, even when it all appears to be so broken.

*State of the Workforce Gallup Study: Rx to Make America Great Again

**For the record, I made up that last stat. It may be more, and it may be less.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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