For the most part, there wasn’t really anything controversial about CNN’s presidential debate last Tuesday, which is exactly how the mainstream media likes to present their “debates.” They’ll never offer anything challenging to their viewers. All they do is shower the flavor of the week with attention and adoration while largely ignoring any candidate who might have something interesting to say; or worse, those candidates will never make it to the stage in the first place.

Really, these debates have nothing to do with informing the public on their presidential “choices.” When election season nears, outlets like CNN have only two objectives. First, they want to fuel their dying ratings, so of course they’re going to give the most air time to whoever happens to be popular. And second, they will manipulate the discourse surrounding the debate, because their secondary mission is to shill for whichever candidate is the establishment pick. And boy, did CNN manipulate the hell out of this debate.

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For starters, the debate was clearly all about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Everyone else on that stage, existed only to maintain the illusion that an actual debate was taking place between diverse voices. Just ask Jim Webb.

“It’s a reality that the debate was being portrayed as a showdown between Mrs. Clinton and Bernie, but if you’re going to be invited to participate and people are going to judge whether you, quote, ‘won’ or not, at least you should be able to have the kind of time that’s necessary to discuss the issues that you care about, that you’ve worked on,” Webb added.

Webb frequently criticized Cooper earlier this week for ignoring him during the contest in Las Vegas.

He admitted on Thursday that he even joked with Sanders about the situation while they were on the debate stage.

“I even turned around to Bernie Sanders at one point and said, ‘Bernie, say my name, will you? Say my name,’ Webb said.

“In that kind of environment, I was either going to be Mr. Angry or I was going to be a potted plant,” he quipped. “That was the only way to try to get into the conversation.”

And after the debate, CNN went into full propaganda mode, as they fawned over Clinton, and called the debate in her favor. The rest of the media pundits quickly fell in line, and declared her the clear winner. But everybody who watched the debate from home seemed to have a different opinion. In fact, the mainstream pundits seemed to be completely at odds with the American public.

Seventy-one percent of participants in Slate’s online poll, for example, favored Sanders, while only 16 percent preferred Clinton. Time’s web poll of nearly 235,000 had Sanders at 56 percent and Clinton at 11 percent (Webb: 31 percent).

At Daily Kos, which caters to hardcore partisan Dems, 56 percent of nearly 22,000 participants said that Sanders won, vs. 38 percent for Clinton. MSNBC’s poll of 18,000 had Sanders at 69 percent and Clinton at 12 percent.

Sanders also showed appeal among the visitors to right-leaning sites: The conservative Drudge Report found that of more than 315,000 people, Sanders polled at 54 percent and Clinton at 9 percent (former Sen. Jim Webb got 25 percent). A poll by KSWB-TV, Fox’s San Diego affiliate, found that 78 percent of 45,000 respondents thought that Sanders won, as opposed to 15 percent who favored Clinton. The Street, a financial news website, found that 80 percent of 13,000 respondents dubbed Sanders the winner, while only 15 percent thought Clinton won.

CNN’s pundits, as well as just about every other actor in the mainstream media, are clearly trying to pull Clinton’s campaign back from the brink. If they were anything like their viewers, their opinions would be a little more diverse, but they’re not. Make of that what you will, but if you ask me it sounds like they’re taking orders from somebody.

And when fawning over the establishment pick isn’t enough, they can always just shut down the opposition by deleting their comments in droves.

Already feeling the news network’s coverage had become rabidly pro-Hillary in the aftermath of last night’s debate, Facebook users leaving reactions on CNN’s page are now continually re-posting them, knowing they will be quickly removed. There are hundreds in a seeming battle with the network, with no explanation as to why.

Some users and messages appear to be specifically targeted, especially those accusing CNN of having conflicts of interest that make it naturally inclined to back Hillary.

In particular, they’re citing last night’s initial Facebook poll data showing Bernie had won the debate handily. They are claiming the network is now burying that information in today’s coverage.

Mind you, this has little to do with Bernie, even though he beat her in just about every poll on Earth. He may or may not be a viable candidate in the months ahead, but no matter who replaces him, outlets like CNN will continue to give Hillary the debate. No matter how much the public comes to hate her, they will keep pulling for her, and they will continue to shut down any opposition candidate, because the media is bought and paid for.

And if all goes according to plan, the conservative side of the mainstream media will find their establishment pick to run against her. And like most previous elections, neither candidate will be substantially different in any way. When America’s media machine goes to work on our elections, you can rest assured that the results will be anything but democratic.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.