by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
Last night, Associated Press – on a day when nobody voted – surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.
This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization – incredibly – conceals. The decisive edifice of superdelegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislikes. But for a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it’s only fitting that their nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward and undemocratic sputter.
That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance – rallying behind a Wall-Street-funded, status-quo-perpetuating, multi-millionaire militarist – is grim in the extreme. The Democratic Party got exactly the ending it deserved.
– Glenn Greenwald, writing at The Intercept
Last night, the American public witnessed the most egregious example of mainstream media malpractice of my lifetime. By declaring Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee based on the pledges of superdelegates who have not voted, and will not vote until the convention on July 25th, the Associated Press performed a huge disservice to American democracy on the eve of a major primary day, in which voters from the most populous state in the union (amongst others) head to the polls. If you are a U.S. citizen and you aren’t outraged by this, there’s something seriously wrong with you.
In this post, I have three objectives. First, I will set the stage by explaining how incredibly sleazy the move by the AP was. Second, I will outline the preposterous and unjustifiable nature of having superdelegates in the first place. Third, I will attempt to convince all true Bernie Sanders supporters to commit themselves to never supporting Hillary Clinton. Let’s get started.
1. Journalistic Malpractice
Let’s start with the Associated Press, which I have lost every single ounce of respect for. The “news” organization is now the most discredited entity in journalism as an result of what it did. Some are excusing its betrayal of the public as merely “trying to get a scoop” and call the race over before the other networks on Tuesday night. Personally, I think that’s only a small factor in what happened.
I’ve noticed for months now, that the AP from the very beginning was including super delegates in a way that was intentionally misleading. For example, this is how the graphics to their “delegate tracker” appear:
Notice that the big, bold numbers to the left representing the total, includes superdelegates who have not yet voted. There can be absolutely no doubt that the AP is being intentionally misleading by doing this, and is committing journalistic malpractice. How can I be so sure? Let’s take a look at this video clip from CNN aired earlier this year.
As you saw, Luis Miranda, the Communications Director at the Democratic National Committee, specifically told Jake Tapper that it is wrong to include superdelegates in the tally total for the Democratic primary. There can be no other interpretation. He said:
“Any night that you have a primary or caucus, and the media lumps the superdelegates in—that they basically polled by calling them up and saying who are you supporting—they don’t vote until the convention. And so, they shouldn’t be included in any count.”
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