Award-winning journalist John Pilger says that Donald Trump’s election victory “could be seen from miles away,” and has blamed a union of political, financial and media figures for standing behind a “grotesque campaign” to elect the “corrupt” Hillary Clinton.
“The only people who are surprised are those who allowed it to happen – and I am speaking about the liberal class in the US,” Pilger told RT’s Afshin Rattansi during a lengthy interview on RT UK’s Going Underground.
“They told us that only the status quo – a corrupt, war-mongering candidates will be acceptable to the majority. We will have their hyperventilating, and their frustration, and their frenzied reaction for a long time. But, they’ve created Trump…”
He added that the shock surprise is similar to that which occurred after Brexit – “how dare these people vent their frustrations at the ballot box?”
The 77-year-old journalist believes that the arrogance was on display as far back as when Clinton was given a straight run to the nomination during her primaries, with her only real challenger, the outsider Bernie Sanders, treated with contempt.
“They corrupted a voting system, within the Democratic Party that ensured that another populist, Bernie Sanders – though I don’t think he would have beaten Trump – could not win, and instead the embodiment of the status quo, who has declared the whole world a battlefield was made out to be the ‘candidate of sanity’ or ‘the candidate for women.’”
Pilger criticized Clinton’s entourage, noting that she was backed not only by Wall Street heavyweights, but nearly all of the major arms manufacturers in the US, creating an unappealing image for a woman those at home and abroad already saw as a “warmonger.”
“Most of the world regards that kind of behavior from the most powerful country in the world as abhorrent, and she has been the personification of that,” said Pilger.
Pilger, who has won multiple international prizes for his documentary-making and activism, also said that US media, in which all but one national newspaper backed Clinton, acted as “anti-journalists,” looking to catch out and “demonize” Trump, without even attempting to weigh up his message.
“One of the most revealing things about the campaign has been the exposure of journalism as the extension of the same established power. They are not independent, they are echo chambers… And the most respected are the worst. The New York Times has become a sort of Cold War propaganda sheet,” said Pilger, who also criticized the tactic of blaming Russia and Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, for exposing genuine email communications related to Clinton.
Despite praising the President Elect for “articulating the frustrations of ordinary Americans very well,” Pilger remains cautious about the next four years.
“Whether Trump will be any better is unclear. He says he is anti-establishment, but he will come with his own establishment. I don’t believe for a moment that he is against the establishment of the US in a wider sense – indeed he is a product of it,” said Pilger.
“The truth is, there was no one to vote for.”