The Democrats' Presidential Primary Is Exposing Mainstream Mediaâ€™s Selfish Agenda
For sometime now the Billary Clintonâ€™s campaign has been complaining that mainstream media has been unfair to Hillary Clinton. But is this true? Lots of supporters from both the Clinton and Obama camps, have (at various points of this marathon) attacked the media treatment of their candidate; the Clintonistas in particular have gone to great lengths in trying to drive this point across. Comedians and comedy shows have lampooned their very complaints. And yet all mainstream media is doing is nothing short of pursuing their unaltruistic everyday agenda of: sensationalism and controversy-creation. It is not only about providing information for public dissemination and action; it is also about profits.
Mainstream media likes to stir up the pot; they like to create controversy even where there wasnâ€™t, or even when there isnâ€™t. This sells computers, newspapers, books, magazines, et al. This brings high ratings relative to viewership and listenership. Itâ€™s unfortunate but it is true. A political brouhaha is a gatekeeperâ€™s orgasm. If they canâ€™t find one, well, they fabricate it. Thatâ€™s what they are doing right now with this so-called contest between Obama and the Clintons. They bend the truth to keep it alive. They twist the facts to perpetuate this media-farce. It is one big charade. It is slowly becoming a joke; eventually we will all laugh. Hopefully the joke wonâ€™t be on the obvious democratic nominee: Barack Obama. This unnecessary continuum isnâ€™t funny; the ammo being provided for Republicans to use after Labor Day, could blow up in the faces of optimistic party-loyalists. Are they getting this?
Mainstream media should be informing and educating the general public. It should be as honest and truthful as humanly possible; but is it? It should be an edification tool, not a vehicle used only for high ratings and big profits. It should be more civic-minded and less self-absorbed. Mediaâ€™s status as the fourth estate didnâ€™t come about accidentally. Political scholars have written countless dissertations about the importance of media in reifying our democratic ideals. Unfortunately, for political-idealists like myself, mainstream media often times leaves a lot to be desired; it is why I believe the political blogs have become so popular. With all the warts attached, political blogs have gotten real close to the true pulse of the polity; even more so than the framers of the constitution envisaged.
I wanted to wait until after next Tuesdayâ€™s primary to write this, but since I am taking for granted that Barack Obama will win the Mississippi primary that day, I will go ahead with this column now. I expect Barack Obama to win the Wyoming caucus later today, if only because his campaign staff has an impressive record of bringing out caucus goers loyal to their cause; and also because I have heard from on the ground (where the boots are) that Obama has out-organized Clinton in this state; in a big way. His campaign has been on the ground here for quite some time now. But even if he loses the Wyoming caucus, that outcome has little bearing on what I want to say here; only 12 delegates are up for grabs; he will get his share no matter what.
Last Tuesday night, mainstream media bandied about the story that Hillary Clinton had won Texas; but it wasnâ€™t true. Responsible journalism would have necessitated qualifying the Texas call, given the partial results of Tuesday night; but they didnâ€™t. Texas has a two step contest- a primary and a caucus- much like a few other states. And now the Texas democrats have given a preliminary account of both the primary and caucus results, which shows that overall: Obama won at least three more delegates than she did. And also, that he won at least 100,000 more votes when both contests are combined. She won the primary in the day and he won the caucus in the night. This is a fact, and yet mainstream media perpetuates the myth that Hillary won Texas. What could be their motivation here? Think about this as you sip your latte today, folks. By all objective measures Billary Clinton lost Texas. The word was that Texas was their last stand.
It doesnâ€™t end there. In California, the official results of the Super-Tuesday primary shows that Obama gained a net of 8 delegates in the recount (he picked up four subtracted from her total). Yes, she won California and came away with more delegates; but her total was overestimated. Further, in auditing the primaries and caucuses already official, Obamaâ€™s pledged delegate lead widens. In the few (remember some contests are still incomplete since there are other steps left) that remain unofficial, preliminary assessments show a similar pattern upon review.
It still doesnâ€™t end there. Mainstream media keeps reporting that Obama won eleven straight contests in February; fact is: he won more than that. They know that it is darn near impossible (mathematically) for Billary to get to the convention with more pledged delegates than Obama, but they wonâ€™t report that, since it dampens audience enthusiasm for their needed horse race scenario. Plus it helps to enable Billaryâ€™s presidential addiction, which in itself is a story worth maintaining (for them).
They know that he will win more caucuses and more primaries in total- than she does- by the end of this process. This is a fact. They know that it is again highly improbable for her to surpass his vote total, since he is presently close to 750,000 votes ahead (once Florida and Michigan is left out of course). They know that if you include in the count, all the foreign contests already completed, the win column widens in Obamaâ€™s favor. Mainstream media has all of this information at their fingertips. They choose to ignore various aspects of the truth.
Furthermore, they have polls out of North Carolina, and projections out of Mississippi, showing that he will stomp her in those two primaries; knowing fully well that she must win at least two of out of every three of the dwindling delegates that remain, to attain what will be in his pledged delegate total range. They also know that the way the pledged delegates are collected in this contest this year, he will do well in Pennsylvania (another firewall state for Billary- like Texas was-lol), even if she wins by more than 10 percentage points.
Look, Super-Tuesday was held out by mainstream media as a good day for Hillary Clintonâ€™s campaign, the truth was she came out of that day down many delegates, and has been losing more ground ever since. Her supposed â€œbig winsâ€ last Tuesday will net her less than ten pledged delegates in plurality. That mainstream media has allowed Billary to move the goalpost after each big primary day is shameful. Now her campaign talks about super-delegates, and momentum, and big states (selectively of course, as if other states donâ€™t matter), and who is best suited to withstand the Republicanâ€™s attack-machine, and who is or isnâ€™t ready to lead from day one, and who should answer the phone at 3:00 am, and all the other bullshit that obfuscates the fact: contemporary presidential nominations are won by winning more primaries, more caucuses and more pledged delegates than your competitors.
Thatâ€™s it; there is no other criterion. Even the super-delegates know this. Even the question of winning a larger popular vote total is moot; but even here Obama comes out ahead.
In desperation, Billary is now considering a do-over in Michigan and Florida, after unethically calling for those delegates to be seated from those window-dressing contests earlier. Donâ€™t they know that Michigan was won by Jesse Jackson? And if Jesse won it then, what do you think Obama will do now? And yet, even if she won both of them it wonâ€™t matter much, since Obama will pick up delegates either which way.
For Clinton to get this nomination, she will have to get more than two-thirds of the super-delegates to vote her way at the convention; is that even realistic a proposition? The party will be destroyed if these people reward the loser: the gold medal. Yes, the logistics are in place; but the feasibility isnâ€™t. Already, Obama has over a quarter of the super-delegates locked down (with another fifty stashed for a rainy day). Does anyone with all their marbles in place, actually think that the super delegates will overrule the expressed will and intent of the voter after Bush v. Gore of 2001? Look, as I have said many times before, Obama will end up win more wins and more pledged delegates than she. Case closed. Mainstream media knows this, but their main objective here is to selfishly facilitate the media intensity surrounding the pseudo-competitive aspects of this primary. It sells. It brings in profits.
I am sure that Billary Clinton and their high-priced team of money-burners also know the facts. Maybe Hillary is trying to â€œbogardâ€ her way onto the ticket as the vice-presidential nominee; or maybe she is trying to bloody up Obama, so that McCain will come along and pick up the pieces in November; giving her an opportunity to come back in four years? Whatever her reason for perpetuating this charade-especially after losing her firewall state of Texas- mainstream media shouldnâ€™t be playing along; they should be reporting the facts even if interest wanes. They should start telling the truth about Texas: Barack Obama won the state; not Hillary Clinton.
Look, Obama has already doubled her up in victories, and by the time we all get to Phoenix (as the song says) and then Denver for the convention: the spread will be wider. Maybe then she will be a believer and stop this delusionary behavior.
Stay tuned-in folks; as someone said when the big bad bear bit off a large part of the dogâ€™s tail: â€œit wonâ€™t be long nowâ€.