The Media-Silicon Valley Nexus Loves Covering Cronyism – Until It Involves Democrats

Seton Motley | Less Government |
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We very much dislike government cronyism. It is one of the very many very awful byproducts of government that is too big for the britches we are forced to purchase them.

And we have incessantly documented how ridiculously biased is the traditional media.

And we have repeatedly chronicled how the center of the media world has moved from the ridiculously Leftist New York City-Washington, D.C. corridor – to the insanely Leftist Silicon Valley. Subscriptions aren’t driving this high speed rail – nearly so much as are clicks, Tweets and Shares.

And most important of all – Search results. Before you can click, Tweet or Share something – you first have to find it. And if you’re scanning the Web for news using Google – far and away the most used search engine – you’re almost certain to get skewed Leftist results.

The traditional media world and the Silicon Valley media world – are in near harmonic convergence. The former continues to skew the news – and the latter skews what you get when you go a-looking for it.

Google dominates the Search world. Three years ago, Google – all by its onesies – was the search engine used on 67% of computers and 83% of mobile devices. So let’s say 3/4 of all U.S. Web searches – are done by Google. And they aren’t biased at all.

So let’s look at a news story – and see how both the traditional media and the Silicon Valley perform with it.

In Missouri, there are cronyism charges being leveled against Republican Governor Eric Greitens – and Democrat U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. Involving a company named Express Scripts and a no-bid prescription-drug-tracking contract they received.

To be clear: We are not passing judgment on the guilt or lack thereof of either elected official. This is strictly an analysis of how each is treated by the media. Guess who’s garnering most of the coverage and Web search attention?

We executed Google searches for “eric greitens + express scripts” and “claire mccaskill + express scripts.” If you’ve been paying any attention at all – the results won’t shock you.

Here’s a screen grab of the top Google results for Greitens:

Seton Motley | Red State |

A whole lot of news outlets have tapped into the fact that Greitens received ten grand from Express Scripts – and then awarded them a no-bid contract. It dominates the Google Search results. Oh – and notice the nearly identical headlines, so monomaniacal is the media.

And now – here’s a screen grab of the top Google results for McCaskill:

Seton Motley | Red State |

Where you would think McCaskill’s biggest problem in this regard – is her getting incorrect the figure on opioid use. But there is a whole lot more going on than just that.

Remember all the media coverage of the $10,000 Greitens received for his inauguration from Express Scripts – which they then tie to the no-bid contract Express Scripts received?

Let us contrast that amount – with what Express Scripts has given to Claire McCaskill. Which, to Google’s credit, can be found by clicking the first link Google delivers. To the media’s discredit – almost no one appears to have written anything about it.

Seton Motley | Red State |

Seton Motley | Red State |

Wow – $119,000+. In just the 2014 cycle. That’s nearly twelve times more than Express Scripts gave to Greitens’ inauguration fund. What did Express Scripts get for their coin from McCaskill? Let’s check Google Search Result #5 – with all due credit to the non-traditional-media Leftist HuffPost:

Senator Claire ‘Conflict of Interest’ McCaskill: “Has United States Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) no sense of ethics? Is she not embarrassed by her glaring conflict of interest in advancing the interests of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts that generously underwrites her political ambitions?…

“The federal government highly regulates the markets in which Express Scripts operates, including Medicare Part D created by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. As a member of health care-related committees, Senator McCaskill is a position to use her legislative clout to boost Express Scripts’ bottom line. Her incentive to do so is obvious even to an ingénue.

“Express Scripts employees and its PAC have donated more than $150,000 to McCaskill’s Senate campaigns and her leadership PAC. According to Open Secrets, she was the largest recipient of Express Scripts’ political donations in 2010 and 2012.

“On its government relations web page, Express Scripts candidly acknowledges that its contributions target legislators who vote or go to bat for polices beneficial to it: ‘Contributions are disbursed according to the following criteria….Has the candidate voted for or announced positions on issues important to Express Scripts and our plan sponsors and patients?…Has the candidate demonstrated leadership on key committees of importance to our business?’

“Senator McCaskill has shown herself worthy of Express Scripts’ contributions.

“Missouri Governor Eric Greitens recently awarded a no-bid contract to Express Scripts to track opioid and other prescriptions. The award came two months after McCaskill, wielding her influence as a United States Senator, urged state lawmakers to enact legislation to establish an electronic database of controlled substance prescriptions.

“On July 31, 2015, Senator McCaskill presided over a Senate Aging Committee hearing in St. Louis to which an Express Scripts executive, Brian Prim, vice president and general manager of government programs, testified in support of more muscular cost controls on Medicare Part D prescription drugs and specialty medications like those required to treat Hepatitis C.

“McCaskill also helped Express Scripts in a contract dispute with Kaleo concerning the price of naloxone, which treats overdosing on opioids. She and other Senators wrote a letter to the CEO of Kaleo complaining about outlandish naloxone price jumps.

“Further troublesome is the McCaskill Family Foundation’s stock ownership in Allergan, an opioid manufacturer that has been sued by the Ohio Attorney General for failure to warn users adequately of opioid risks. In March 2017, the Senator announced an investigation into Allergan’s rivals: Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Insys, Depomed and Mylan….

“Senator McCaskill should recuse herself from participation in any congressional action that might materially influence the profitability of Express Scripts or the wealth of her family foundation. That might lose her Express Scripts’ donations, but it would gain her public trust, which would be far more valuable to her and the county.”

Each one of those paragraphs chronicling yet another example of McCaskill cronyism – should have led to a whole raft of stories in the same vein as the identical Greitens stories on the comparably modest $10,000.

I doubt they did – because the traditional media is…the traditional media.

And if they miraculously did swerve into doing their actual jobs – Google almost certainly would have buried the stories when you searched for them.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the epic detective Sherlock Holmes. In “The Adventure of Silver Blaze,” Holmes solves the case by noting that a dog didn’t bark at the culprit – because the dog had a relationship with the culprit.

So it so eminently is with the Media, the Silicon Valley – and Democrats everywhere.

This first appeared in Red State.

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