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Political Battle Rap: Breaking Down Obama’s Back to Back Diss Track

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If you don’t know Alphacat by now, get familiar. He’s been killing it on YouTube with his spot on impersonations of old POTUS Barry. But, just this month, he broke the internet with his best-produced and best-choreographed video yet: Back to Back. This video takes Drake’s original diss track and turns it into a response against Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the Commander-in-Chief.

This video hits on the core controversies of Donald Trump’s rise to prominence: his virulent anti-Mexican statements, his advocacy of family values while being questionable in his own personal life, and his opposition to mainstream conservatives.

This video makes a lot of claims about Donald Trump, as a man, as a candidate, and as a public figure. But it’s not always a good idea to trust the “interwebs” to be completely accurate about politics.

When it comes to politics, it’s always a good idea to fact-check it before supporting a candidate. Finding political facts can be hard because there is so much bias out there, especially on the internet. You would think News sites are a good first step, but even then, journalists and the channels they work for can become bias or even make mistakes and editors can insert their own views. Fact-checking organizations are better, but the best option is to go to the source: the politicians themselves.

Alphacat spit straight bars on this track, riddled with references that refer to many issues going on in recent heated campaign battles. Break down the lyrics in this diss track and see what political facts you can uncover.

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The Deconstruction of Donald Trump

 

The United States of America has had its share of polarizing politicians — people loved by half the country’s citizens and loathed by the other half. Perhaps the most polarizing of all-time is the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. From less serious topics (like his hair) to much more important issues (like immigration reform), everyone seems to have a strong opinion about the man known as “The Donald.”

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Donald Trump: The Real Estate Mogul

Through the years, Trump has stood out for a variety of reasons. In the 1970s, he took over his father’s real estate company, the Trump Organization.  The company bought or built some of the most recognizable buildings in New York City, including Trump Tower, the Grand Hyatt, and the Javits Convention Center. Even in those early days, Trump was no stranger to controversy, as he developed a reputation for winning at all costs.

Trump Properties In New York City Draw Increased Scrutiny As He Embarks On Presidential Run

The next decade also proved fruitful for Trump, as he purchased the Plaza Hotel and many other profitable real estate properties. During the 1980s, Trump also began a family of his own after marrying his first wife Ivana in 1977. His wife and kids did little to keep him away from his business, though, as the Trump Organization continued to expand.

 

Hitting Hard Times and Rebounding Strong

Trump finally encountered significant obstacles in the early 1990s when the real estate market declined and his business lost much of the money he had earned over the past several decades. According to the site Biography, “Some observers saw Trump’s decline as symbolic of many of the business, economic and social excesses that had arisen in the 1980s.” Just as they would later in his life, Trump’s critics seemed to celebrate his struggles.

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However, Trump’s business eventually rebounded and he began to enter other arenas — notably, television and politics. In 2004, his reality show The Apprentice became a huge hit by highlighting Trump’s outsized personality and knack for business. And in the past calendar year, any American who didn’t know Trump as a billionaire or TV star quickly learned about him as a politician. Despite the doubts of many well-known critics, Trump seized hold of the Republican primary process and now it looks as if he’ll be named the party’s presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in July.

 

Love To Love Him or Love To Hate Him?

There are few Americans who don’t have strong opinions about Trump. From supporters who insist that he’ll “make America great again” to detractors who think he’s a “bigot and a racist,” Trump seems like he relishes his position as a polarizing figure. Now, the big question is: Which side are you on and how do you justify that perspective?

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The 2016 Propaganda Election: What is the Media Telling Us?

 

Take a minute to ask yourself, who you would vote for in this election and what information are you using to make that decision. Is it information you received from the media? Do you remember what channel or news outlet you got that information from? Where did you get your information and have you ever questioned the quality and accuracy of this information?

“A strong argument could be made by all candidates — Democrat and Republican — that there has been some level of media malpractice as it relates to the amount of coverage received by their campaigns and that of the Republican front-runner, and they would be right. “

 

Where are you getting your information?

The presidential hopefuls all have their own websites and social media presence that we can seek out to learn about them. However, we receive information all the time, in a variety of mediums, that influence our thoughts, opinions, and beliefs, whether we seek it out or not. Consciously or not, we as a people are constantly bombarded with information that we assimilate into our perception of reality. It’s up to us to sort through what is truthful and what resonates with us.  To be a critical thinking participant in a democracy, we must listen to our hearts and our reason, and make subsequent choices.

During the Primary elections, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were both hoping for the Democratic party candidacy.  Back in March, Hillary Clinton won most of the state primaries. Afterwards, Bernie Sanders gave a speech for almost an hour, in Arizona, to give hope to his supporters. This speech was not covered by any of the major cable news channels, not even a summary.  Instead, they focussed on awaiting a Donald Trump reaction to the evening. Rather than airing Bernie’s speech, the leading news networks left their cameras on Donald Trump’s empty podium! 

“The New York Times recently quantified the ‘free’ media time given to the presidential candidates, showing that Donald Trump received almost $2 Billion worth of free air time.”

Is the coverage equal?

The Tyndall Report monitors the weekday nightly newscasts of the three American broadcast television networks: ABC World News, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News.

Hillary Clinton’s coverage on television was far greater than Bernie Sanders. In December of 2015, the Sanders campaign complained in a news release about the lack of Sander’s coverage.  They stated, “(The Sanders) campaign, that has drawn the biggest crowds on the presidential campaign trail, has been all but ignored on the flagship television network newscasts.”  The Tyndall Report’s annual totals for 2015 found that Clinton received 121 minutes of campaign coverage on the networks while the “noticeably under-covered” Sanders received only 20 minutes.

The bulk of the Sanders campaign’s complaint seemed to be aimed at the coverage of the Republican front-runner, Trump, whom the campaign accused the networks of “wildly overplaying,” “while at the same time wildly underplaying Sanders.”

A strong argument could be made by all candidates — Democrat and Republican — that there has been some level of media malpractice as it relates to the amount of coverage received by their campaigns and that of the Republican front-runner, and they would be right. It’s not out of the question to state that if any candidate had received the huge media coverage of the current Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, they might be in a stronger position now. The New York Times recently quantified the ‘free’ media time given to the presidential candidates, showing that Donald Trump received almost $2 Billion worth of free air time.

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Who is the media catering to?

Charle’s M Blow wrote an opinion piece for the NY Times that brought up many good points about the role the media has played in the current election season.  There appear to be two parallel universes of Democratic voters this season — one disproportionately older, the other disproportionately younger — whose habits make them almost invisible to each other.

Clinton’s voters may be less likely to show up to rallies, or post on social media or be serial commenters who commandeer comments sections, but they do show up to vote. But these are the same voters who are less likely to hear much news about Sanders.  Sanders gets the “cool” vote from the millennials and first time voters, but again, this demographic has sadly not voted consistently enough to make an impact.

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In a February Pew Research Center survey, a plurality of people 18 to 29 years old said that the social media was their most helpful source for learning about the 2016 presidential election. A plurality of those 30 and over cited cable news as the primary source. Network news was the second most popular source for those 65 and older.

Indeed, the Tyndall Report pointed out that nearly as much coverage of Clinton was about controversies as about her candidacy. In addition to the 121 minutes of campaign coverage Clinton received on the nightly network newscasts in 2015, she also received “88 minutes devoted to the controversy over her emails as secretary of state and 29 minutes to the investigations into the Benghazi Consulate attack.”

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Is there an agenda?

Whether or not this media coverage will have an impact on the election results, remains to be seen.  And then, its up to us and watchdog’s like the Tyndall Report, to reflect on how the media may have affected the race.  As for now, we have cold hard facts to look critically at the coverage of each candidate.  Why do certain candidates receive more media attention than others?

“It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. [Laughs] The money’s rolling in …. This is fun.” – Les Moonves, CEO of CBS

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Some say that the media is simply a leftist propaganda machine that aims to promote liberal sensibilities, and paints conservative issues in a negative light.  Within that accusation, there are signs that the media is biased around a specific democratic candidate as detailed in this article.  Others say the opposite, that the conservatives have made a concerted effort to move away from the liberal media, and examples of this can be debated legitimately.  Such as the case with the coverage of 9/11, with the Bush administration vs the scrutiny President Bill Clinton received during his scandal in the 90’s, as well as Donald Trump’s popularity in the news.

Are they chasing ratings?

The CEO of CBS, Les Moonves, has on several occasions expressed his delight about the revenue that Donald Trump’s campaign is bringing to his network. He even went as far as to say, “Man, this is pretty amazing. Who would have thought this circus would come to town? It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. [Laughs] The money’s rolling in …. This is fun.”

Whether or not this will change in the future is not relevant to this year’s election, what has been done is done.  Now, we must become aware that the media may not give us a clear picture of the candidates, and then try to balance our own knowledge and make our own choices based on that.

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