I think what a lot of people miss about the progressive movement is that, for many of us, our political and ideological identities are a singular parts of our selfhood. “Not me, us”, “fight for someone you don’t know” – these are more that just applause lines, they are ideals woven into the fabric of our hearts, minds, and spirits.
We want everyone to have a livable wage, unconditional access to healthcare, a chance to get an education, a fair criminal justice system, money out of politics, and a habitable planet for future generations. These are not radical ideas. In fact, the majority of Americans support the majority of our positions. They are just what we see as the modern take on the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement – equitable, necessary, evolutions in our social contract that just so happen to be the winning political play, too.
Here’s what people miss: while we fight for and believe deeply in these ideals, that does not mean we blindly worship our candidate. For me, it became about much more than him long ago. Bernie was simply the Organizer-in-Chief, and to that end, he was an imperfect standard bearer.
Many of us are desperate for new leadership on the progressive side of the house. We deeply appreciate what Bernie has done, but we need to do better than him. We need someone who can cast our message in a new light, who can couch our calls for revolution, democratic socialism, and “taking on the establishment” in a way that is more accessible to new voting blocs. While we may strongly believe in these things, we need to expand our purview to understand that not all people align with these sorts of verbosities and naming conventions.
Again, because the majority of people believe in our core policies, we need only to pair our agenda with a renewed message that allows for a broader coalition. Bernie failed in this regard, and we failed.
In my mind, another way in which Bernie fell short, in both 2016 and 2020, was in erring on the side of measured challenges of his opponents, as opposed to more targeted attacks on their records.
As discussed in my last post, the Democratic machine does the progressive movement no favors. They will examine our candidate’s every flaw under a microscope – from his comments on Cuba to the ill-advised 1972 Man-and-Woman essay – they will slander, twist, and name-call him and his supporters to no end, while letting their preferred candidates go un-vetted.
Yes, we need to alter our message to welcome a broader coalition, but we must also double-down and augment our truth-telling on the records of opposition candidates. At the local, state, and national level, for too long, centrist democrats have gotten away with drifting to the right, taking big money’s coin, and straying away from the policies that most Americans are calling for (and need).
The media will not purvey this truth, so Bernie needed to. If he had, Democrats might not have ended up with with a dangerously flawed candidate, just like we did in 2016, at the top of the ticket.
Encore: Me(dia) and You
Jeez, Jack. Are we really going to get into the media again?
Yes, reader. In my mind, the news that we consume, and the interests that fuel it, are worthy of constant examination. Entertain me once again as we revisit briefly what has been covered previously in this space, some quick history, and how we got to where we are in 2020.
Back in the 1970’s, there was no network news “business.” ABC, CBS and NBC – the big three broadcast networks – all covered the news, but in general, none drove profit from their news programming. They presented news programming to meet the public-service requirements of Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Entertainment programming drove enough revenue to their balance sheets so that they could operate news programming at a loss, untethered to a profit motive.
Of course, everything has changed since then. As the chart below demonstrates, what was once a decentralized industry delivering information from an array of sources is now hyper-consolidated into just six (some say seven) media titans – AT&T/WarnerMedia, Disney/21st Century Fox, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and ViacomCBS, with Fox Corporation bringing up the rear (Sony is not in the business of news media).
Today, the big three networks of old now live within one of the six mass media megaliths, operating in a competitive environment that demands bottom-line profit, driven by shareholder pressure. These titans wield control of 90% of the information we consume, influence once distributed across 50 companies in 1983.
How did we get here?
In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act into law. Designed to de-regulate aspects of the telecommunications business, it was the first overhaul of the law that created the FCC in more than six decades.
“It promotes competition as the key to opening new markets and new opportunities,” Clinton said at the bill signing.
Objectively, the law did not achieve those desired outcomes. In 2005, a report from public interest group Common Cause found that political forces blunted its impact.
“In many ways, the Telecom Act failed to serve the public and did not deliver on its promise of more competition, more diversity, lower prices, more jobs and a booming economy. Instead, the public got more media concentration, less diversity, and higher prices.”
The law was “essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies,” and “opened the floodgates on mergers” as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) described it.
As media regulation was dialed back, smaller outlets began getting swallowed up by larger media conglomerates at a fervent pace, and those massive conglomerates began to merge with each other, and with Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) like Comcast and AT&T. The shared outcomes of internet accessibility profiteering and profit-driven media became ever intertwined, and our modern information landscape began to take shape.
From Comcast’s $30 billion purchase of NBCUniversal, to the $85 billion acquisition of 21st Century FOX by Disney, to AT&T’s $100 billion takeover of TimeWarner, to the aforementioned ViacomCBS merger, eleven- and twelve-figure media and telco M&A’s have now become the norm.
The rise in technology and internet access posed a unique challenge and opportunity for the evolving media/telecom landscape. As discussed in my post on big media’s evolution and role in the 2016 and 2020 elections, media outlets have decidedly adopted a more “sporting” tilt, opting to fill their primetime and social media channels with panels of partisan pundits in order to foment a preferred narrative, as clicks, views, and shareholder pressure became more important (and profitable) than traditional news programming.
As deregulation, consolidation, the rise in technology, and marriage between ISP’s and media megaliths, helped contribute to bloating balance sheets and stock prices over the past two decades, so too did targeted investments in politicians and political PAC’s by the media and telecom lobbies.
In reports produced by the Center for Responsible Politics, we can observe that, from 1990-2009, each of these institutions contributed tens of millions to Political Action Committees (PAC’s), diversifying among both Democratic and Republican PAC’s:
1. General Electric (past owner of NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, and others – assets now owned by Comcast)
2. Walt Disney Co. (owners of ABC, ESPN, and others),
3. News Corp. (now dissolved with assets from the Disney merger spun off into Fox Corporation, which owns Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, Fox News, Fox Business, and others)
4. National Amusements (past owner of CBS Corp. and Viacom, now the newly formed ViacomCBS),
5. Time Warner (now part of AT&T/WarnerMedia, owners of CNN, TBS, Cinemax, TNT, Warner Bros, CW, and others)
Their investments in political campaigns and agendas have clearly paid off – efforts to revisit the 1996 Telecommunications Act have long been thwarted in Congress. Anti-competitive M&A activity has continued unabated, as have record-setting profits and the dissolved, slanted narratives that drive them, and no action has been taken to curb this activity, despite a massive evolution in technology and how we consume information over the past two decades rendering such action entirely necessary.
Despite record-setting outside spending over the last decade, dark money contributions became more difficult to track in the wake of 2008’s Citizens United ruling. With some basic research, however, we can observe where the media/telecom lobby put their money in the 2016 Presidential Election, as we approach where we are in 2020.
According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, be it cable television, print and periodicals, radio or telecom services – Hillary Clinton was, by far, the largest recipient of donations from big media/telecom of any candidate in the 2016 election from either political party.
More troubling perhaps is a report from Politico that reveals the Clinton Foundation received donations during the election cycle, some of them very large, from most every major media company directly: Viacom (not yet merged with CBS), News Corporation (not yet spun off into Fox Corporation), Time Warner (not yet acquired by AT&T), NBCUniversal (not yet acquired by Comcast), and Comcast itself.
Media moguls like Mort Zuckerman (owner of US News & World Report and the New York Daily News), and Robert Allbritton (owner of Politico) also made sizable donations. George Stephanopoulos, one of ABC News’ most visible journalists and a former staffer for Bill Clinton’s administration, was also under scrutiny for not disclosing a $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation.
In summary, six media/telco megaliths now control 90% of the information we consume. They exist as a result of a decades-long consolidation effort augmented by the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and have dramatically increased efforts to wield influence in Washington, with a massive lobbying presence and a steady dose of campaign donations to politicians in both parties – with the goal of allowing for more unchecked asset consolidation and profit accumulation.
On April 24th, 2019, Joe Biden kicked off his 2020 bid for the Democratic nomination with a $2,800 per-person fundraiser at the home of Comcast’s Chief Lobbyist, David Cohen. Cohen oversees Comcast’s massive DC lobbying operation, which spent more than $4 million and involved more than three dozen lobbying firms in the first quarter of 2019 alone.
At the time, Biden’s campaign promised to not accept contributions from Super PAC’s or registered federal lobbyists (Cohen and other former corporate lobbyist donors to his campaign are unregistered).
Despite clear backing from the corporate and billionaire-class in the following months, as his fundraising fell far behind other candidates heading into the 4th quarter of 2019, Biden went back on his promise and dropped his opposition to Super PAC support.
In October, a Biden Super PAC was organized by corporate lobbyists from the healthcare, finance, defense, and, you guessed it, the media/telecom industry.
Here are some of the key players involved in organizing the Biden PAC in question:
1. Steve Schale: A former Obama campaign strategist and registered state lobbyist with Cardenas Partners, a Florida lobbying firm founded by former Jeb Bush adviser Al Cardenas. Schale’s current client list includes Disney and AT&T, along with the Florida Hospital Association, JetBlue Airways, and State Farm Insurance.
2. Larry Rasky: A longtime Biden supporter, Rasky is the founder of lobbying firm Rasky Partners, which is currently registered to lobby on behalf of Raytheon, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Rasky partners website lists a number of successful client campaigns on its website, touting efforts to win congressional support for banks and defense contractors. Disclosures show that the firm was previously retained for communications services to the Education Finance Council, a lobby group for student loan companies.
3. Bernard Schwartz: A wealthy financier who has organized dinners with prominent centrist Democrats in order to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., from gaining the Democratic nomination. Known for deep-pocketed donations, in 2016 alone, Schwartz, through his foundation, gave $1 million to Third Way, a centrist group backed by corporate donors that has vigorously opposed Medicare for All and other ideas centered on tackling economic inequality.
In the past, Biden has been critical of the very instruments that he’s now using to fund his campaign:
“Lobbyists aren’t bad people, special-interest groups are not bad people, but guess what? They’re corrosive,” said Biden during a 2007 campaign event.
“It’s human nature. If you, Lynn, bundle $250,000 for me, all legal, and then you call me after I’m elected and say, ‘Joe, I’d like to talk to you about something. You didn’t buy me. But it’s human nature, you helped me, I’m going to say, ‘Sure, Lynn, come on in,’”
“The front of the line is always filled with people whose pockets are filled”
With these observations in mind, knowing that the same money and influence that backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 is backing Biden in 2020, let’s examine the latter’s record as the media hasn’t, and ask ourselves three important questions:
1. As other big lobbies have, why have the big media/telco lobby invested massive human and financial capital into political campaigns, if not to expect some sort of return?
2. Might this return be to have elected officials that are friendly to abundant consolidation and deregulation in the media and telecom industries?
3. If we take the above as true, could the information we consume from said media outlets be more apt to favorably cover their preferred candidates, those they are invested in?
According to RealClearPolitics, in 2019, the news mentioned Joe Biden over twice as much as his closest competitor, Bernie Sanders. They even mentioned Kamala Harris more than Sanders, despite a clear gap in polling between the two. After their two big wins in Nevada and South Carolina, respectively, Bernie received three times more negative media coverage than Biden.
The blanket #Joementum positive media coverage culminated in a a three-day, $70 million earned media tsunami for Biden in the lead-up to Super Tuesday.
While Biden enjoyed significantly more coverage than his opponents, that coverage did not equate to fully vetting the candidate prior to his ascension as the presumptive nominee. What many voters did not hear or learn enough (or at all) about his record and positions, are as follows.
He led the disastrous war on drugs and still opposes cannabis legalization despite the fact that two of his children escaped consequences for drug use. He architected Plan Colombia, internationalizing the War On Drugs, resulting in mass death, displacement, and destruction of food crops in Colombia, while opening the country to US business interests.
On a report of CIA torture, he said their actions were not a “black stain on this country” but a “badge of honor”.
He voted to ban immigrants with HIV, locking Haitian refugees up in Guantanamo Bay, voted to build border walls, and voted to expand deportations and indefinite detention for immigrants…multiple times.
He supported sending military to the border long before Trump. He has opposed amnesty for immigrants, and supports requiring them to learn English. He helped expand the system Trump now uses to commit human rights violations by 3,600%
He has an ugly history with the pro-choice movement. Up until last summer, Biden supported the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion under programs like Medicaid, enforcing a hideous denial of affordable care to poor people. He also worked to undermine the ACA’s coverage of birth control. He also opposed equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community until very recently.
He wrote a racist Crime Bill that led to record-breaking mass incarceration and bragged about writing the Bill. As part of his crusade against desegregating schools, he was the only member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to block two black appointees to the Department of Justice. He defended fellow segregationists and proven racists like John Stennis, Strom Thurmond, and James Eastland.
He voted against abolishing the electoral college, against labor protection reinforcements, and awarded a $1.5 billion contract to his brother’s construction firm despite his brother having no prior residential construction experience.
He plagiarized fossil fuel groups’ language in his woefully inadequate climate crisis plan, and opposes meaningful action on the climate crisis like the Green New Deal, instead pursuing the “middle ground.”
He has said he would veto Medicare-for-All, even if Congress were to get it to his desk, even as a pandemic rages around us, even as 30 million Americans are now without health insurance, even as the majority of Americans support the proposal.
He sided with banks to overturn Glass-Steagall, deregulating financial institutions and partially leading to the financial crisis of 2008. He voted to slash the top income tax rate, and voted to cripple the estate tax. He voted to deregulate the credit card industry, while a Delaware credit card company (MNBA) was his top donor from 1989–2000. That same company ended up hiring his son.
At a $2,800 per-person fundraiser in New York, he declared to a room of wealthy donors “I need you very badly” and promised that, if he were elected “No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.”
He has advocated for the cutting of Social Security for over 40 years, a fact that Bernie called out at the very last Democratic debate, to the relief of progressives. The debate pitted the two candidates one-on-one – Bernie finally did the what the media hadn’t in bringing light to a stain on Biden’s record. In turn, Biden had a chance to address his past.
He didn’t. Despite the race being all but over and with a chance to appease the progressive wing, he lied about his record on Social Security, one of five lies he told during that final debate.
In a world where media was not beholden to candidates and the news was covered fairly, a party front-runner lying on national television might make news, but in CNN’s post-debate coverage, Biden’s lies were cast as a “policy brawl” waged by Bernie, and they failed to link the YouTube video, that shows clear evidence of Biden’s statements, which Bernie implored viewers to watch during the debate.
The big headline that relegated their “policy brawl” to a misleading footnote was Biden’s announcement that he would select a female running mate.
And what of his history with women?
His infamous treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearing is well known, as is his non-apology 28 years later.
He intimidated a woman when confronted about his lack of support for reproductive justice (akin to his recent “you’re full of shit” to a blue-collar worker in Detroit or his confrontation with a veteran on the Iraq War in California – the Trump campaign ads basically write themselves).
He has a long history of groping, sniffing, and kissing women and young girls, covered by the Daily Show in 2015 (Jon Stewart squirting hand sanitizer into his eyes has aged well into 2020), and even by the Washington Post back in 2015 (this video is disturbing).
The latest of eight women to accuse Biden of sexual inappropriateness, Tara Reade is the first to allege that he sexually assaulted her.
For nearly three weeks after it surfaced, Reade’s claim against Joe Biden was ignored or downplayed in the media. Only the weekend after Bernie dropped out (on Easter Sunday, no less) did a story finally get published in the New York Times – the very first from a major media outlet.
That story was eventually altered, without written explanation to accompany the updated article, to remove a statement. A tweet with this same statement has since been deleted:
In a fascinating interview, the Executive Editor of the New York Times, Dean Baquet, admitted to removing the statement at the behest of the Biden campaign:
Interviewer: I want to ask about some edits that were made after publication, the deletion of the second half of the sentence: “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” Why did you do that?
Baquet: “Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.”
Interviewer: And why not explain that?
Baquet: “We didn’t think it was a factual mistake. I thought it was an awkward phrasing issue that could be read different ways and that it wasn’t something factual we were correcting. So I didn’t think that was necessary.”
Of course, the New York Times is not alone in their botched coverage, as every other major news outlet also failed to provide timely and fair assessments of Reade’s claims.
Biden sat for at least four interviews with cable news hosts in the six days that followed Reade going public with her claim, including an hour-long CNN town hall. None of the forty-one questions he fielded were about the allegation.
During September 2018, when Christine Blasey Ford first came forward with her allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the story captivated the media’s attention, with CNN mentioning her name 1,898 times, and MSNBC 1,878 times.
In contrast, in the first month after Reade came forward, mentions of her name on left-leaning cable news have been almost nonexistent. CNN mentioned her nine times, while MSNBC mentioned her name just once. Broadening the search to any mention of “allegations” against Biden still yields just 15 mentions on CNN and 10 on MSNBC. Google searches for Reade’s name are just a tenth of those for Blasey Ford’s over their respective first months after going public.
As more layers have gotten peeled back to her story, and new evidence surfaced confirming that Reade’s mother called in to Larry King Live on August 11th, 1993, and referenced her daughter’s claims, CNN played their part by removing it from their archives:
Perhaps even more loud than the media’s preferential treatment of Biden, and equally detestable non-coverage of Reade, is the deafening silence or backpedaling of “Believe Women” among #MeToo advocates.
From the flagship #MeToo group, Times Up, refusing to support Reade, and reiterating its support for Biden, to the litany of top Democratic women who have either remained silent on the issue, endorsed Biden without making comments, or come to his defense, as a feminist and strong believer in the movement, this has all been very harrowing.
Right wing news is all over the “gutting” of #MeToo.
Biden has denied Reade’s claims, but has also resisted her call to release a cache of personal documents housed at the University of Delaware that she claims could be revealing. His campaign and surrogates are now twisting a NYT follow-up story, claiming that the story proved conclusively that Reade’s allegations were false, claims the NYT themselves are now rebuking.
It’s a mess.
Can you imagine?
This is already one of the longest blog entries I’ve ever written. It’s also been one of the hardest to write.
As the general election approached in 2016, I penned this post, making the case to fellow Bernie supporters to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton. At the time, it didn’t feel like a hard or uncomfortable post to write.
Obviously, I have gone a different direction with this entry. In that 2016 post, I tip-toe’d around Clinton’s ugly record before making my case for her. Here, well, I didn’t do much tip-toeing. And no, I’m not ready to make my case for Biden.
Laying bare the indefensible positions, votes, statements, and lies of the presumptive Democratic nominee gives me no pleasure.
The Democratic party is the only one I’ve ever known to most closely align with my policy positions. In that spirit, let me be clear: I am not so narrow-minded that I think a Biden presidency wouldn’t be objectively better for some progressive reform than four more years of Trump, nor do I think Biden’s poor record comes even remotely close to that of the current White House occupant. That was not my point, that is not my point.
Indeed, my point is not to say that I’m unconcerned with or unaware of the stakes, that I prefer a potential 7-2 conservative SCOTUS majority and overwhelmingly conservative judiciary for the rest of my life, to a Biden presidency. That alone would mean unfavorable rulings for climate change, gerrymandering, executive power, executive oversight, Congressional authority, civil rights, money in politics, and so, so much more, taking a sledgehammer to everything Bernie, Warren, and the progressive movement at-large has ever stood for.
My point is not to say that Reade’s claims are true, surefire.
My point is that the corporate media had and still has a vested interest in covering Biden favorably, and not thoroughly examining or socializing his record, a service they did not grant to Bernie. Because of this, there’s a good chance Trump gets re-elected in November.
Much like many on the left say of Trump’s actions “can you imagine the uproar if Obama did/said that?” progressives have long similarly scratched their heads:
Here is an exhaustive, well-researched compilation from another blogger of Biden’s lies on his participation in the Civil Rights movement over the years (why are these things left to bloggers? Oh, right…).
Instead of hitting you with more links for this next part, I implore you to do your own research.
Go to Google. Search “Joe Biden Civil Rights lies”, and tell me if the search yields anything from CNN or MSNBC.
Similarly, try searching for “Bernie Civil Rights”, and see if anything appears from CNN of MSNBC (as a reminder, these two prominent left-leaning media outlets are owned by AT&T/WarnerMedia and Comcast, respectively).
In either case, you’ll find nothing from them, even though it has been proven that Bernie actually did stand shoulder-to-shoulder with black activists in the fight for their rights.
Can you imagine if Bernie lied about being arrested while visiting Mandela, about his record on Social Security, or if he architected, argued, and/or voted for any of the past deplorable policies that Biden did, many which now contrast the core tenets of the Democratic platform?
Can you imagine how the media would cover it?
My point is this:
The Democratic machine, and the ever-consolidating media/telecom megaliths, in bed together, have refused to vet a deeply flawed, uninspiring candidate, instead opting to prop him up and send him to the general election, where he will take on the powerful, sophisticated GOP machine, backed by a deep warchest, Russian influence, and a vast, potent propaganda network that won’t treat him with the kind of delicacy that his closest primary opponent did. Just like they did in 2016.
You already know that Fox News and Trump will come after Biden unabated. They’ll act in total bad faith and attack him on his policy record, in complete disregard of their own party’s far worse history on such policies. Social Security, Civil Rights – Fox News programming, Koch-funded attack ads, and Russian bots on social media will chip away at his voting blocs using these issues in key states and, just like in 2016, it might just keep enough people at home on voting day.
They’ll continue to hit him on Ukraine, on his declining mental state, and on Reade.
Just as Democrats and their media did with Blasey Ford, Tara Reade will become a household name on the Republican airways, if she isn’t already. The President’s own crimes will go unmentioned, and Democrats will be forced to further coalesce around an awkward “believe women, except when it’s our guy” stance.
Faith in the #MeToo movement and in left-leaning media will continue to degrade, and the woman that Biden selects as his running mate, someone who would be tapped to run as his replacement 2024, will have the hardest job in the world. She’ll be forced to defend his stance again, and again, while bearing the massive weight of generations of female empowerment and activism, of women and girls across the country, by being the potential first ever female Vice President, running alongside an alleged sexual abuser.
In the eyes of many voters, Democrats will have completely abandoned the moral high ground, abetting and augmenting our country’s devolved political discourse.
Biden, removed from his comfort zone of face-to-face, retail politicking amidst a pandemic, will continue to come up short in owning the moment, in delivering the digital presence and resolute messaging the party needs him to deliver.
Unthinkably, there is a very real chance that the most corrupt President this country has ever seen will be re-elected in November.
Still time for Hindsight.
One other difference between my 2016 post and this one is that the former was published in July, with most every primary already in the books.
Here and now, in 2020, it’s not too late.
I’ve given the side-eye to the New York Times for their coverage on Reade in this post, but their editorial section has produced some unexpected gems recently. First, this opinion column – “Bernie Sanders was Right”:
“Bernie Sanders has ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, which is a tragedy, because he was right about virtually everything. He was right from the very beginning, when he advocated a total overhaul of the American health care system in the 1970s. He remains right now, as a pandemic stresses the meager resources of millions of citizens to their breaking point, and possibly to their death. He was right when he seemed to be the only alarmist in a political climate of complacency. He is right now that he’s the only politician unsurprised to see drug companies profiteering from a lethal plague with Congress’s help.”
Second, this opinion column – “Democrats, It’s Time to Consider a Plan B”.
“For a candidate mainly favored for his presumed electability and the perception of empathy and decency, this is a serious liability. To preserve the strides made on behalf of victims of sexual assault in the era of #MeToo, and to maximize their chances in November, Democrats need to begin formulating an alternative strategy for 2020 — one that does not include Mr. Biden.”
I am likeminded. Obviously, reader, you know my preferred “Plan B” (it starts with a “B”). No, he is not the preferred candidate of the media/telecom lobby, but he’s the one with the policy platform that we desperately need at this moment and, as discussed, the majority of Americans support these policies.
No matter the candidate that replaces him, Biden needs to drop out. In the midst of the worst pandemic and worst Presidency of our lifetimes, he is a risk we cannot afford to take.
It’s not too late for hindsight.