Saturday, April 19, 2008

ARE POLITICAL JOURNALISTS REALLY THIS STUPID?

One of the hot columns of the last few weeks was one from Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen in Politico.com, entitled "Hillary Has No Chance".

What's interesting is, that today in Politico, Vandehei does something of a mea culpa, virtually admitting that he had been poisoned with the Obama Kool Aid in an article defending ABC's debate of Wedesday night ( far and away the best of all the debates and one which Obama finally didnt get a pass).

But what we'eve seen ever since the beginning are a collection of journalists who seem to be unable to reason, gather factual information and come to a logical conclusion.

Is it stupidity or just the total destruction of journalistic integrity and principle that ignored the fact that Obama, in every speech, talks about how "voices must be heard" and then himself has been strangely silent over seating the delegates in Florida and Michigan representing 3 million voices because those voices say they want Clinton and not him? Yes it is certainly to Clinton's benefit and not to Obama's to have those delegations seated since she won by landslide margins in both states. But if you claim that you are running on principles, principles that "reject the politics of the past", that you are a new kind of politician, and then you throw those principles under a bus when it becomes politically inconvenient, it calls into question your character, your honesty, and just how truthful you really are about everything. Usually. But not for the likes of Keith Olbermann, Jonathan Alter and what tries to pass for "journalism" at Huffington Post. What really seemed to matter to the press were things like Clinton's misstatement about her Bosnia trip, a misstatement that she wrote about accurately in her 2004 book.

The press seems to want to ignore the fact that Obama's actions prove that "voices must be heard" is more of a slogan than a principle and an empty one at that. Or are they really too stupid to see through it? And let's not forget how little the press made out of the fact that Obama tried what amounted to a political mugging in Florida and Michigan floating the idea that he and Clinton should split the delegates 50-50. Can you imagine the rightous indignation of the press if Clinton tried to steal delegates from Obama? The press ignored what that had to say about Obama's character which showed that he was quite willing to steal delegates he didnt deserve and didnt earn, and just as importantly, perverted the wishes of the people of Florida and Michigan who clearly dont want him to have those votes. Yet this is the campaign that accuses Clinton of doing anything to win which journalists gleefully print and then write stories about Clinton's untrustworthiness.

So at what point do we have a class of journalists who, like Pravda in the old Soviet Union, simply lie and distort to promote the party line? And what party is it that they think they are promoting when 50% of the Democratic party oppose Obama?

We have also seen the kind of journalistic stupidity that you would think wouldnt even make it past an editor consistantly from Jonathan Alter in Newsweek who called for Clinton to quit before she won Texas and Ohio, and then after her wins wrote a column about math in which he proved it was a subject he didnt now much about. Those "math" stories have surfaced before. Which shows that the current crop of journalists cant even count much less make an intelligent assessment of what is in front of them since all the math is now trending in Clinton's favor.

We had more had more journalistic and editorial imbecility in a story in the New York Times by Katherine Q, Seeley in which she seems to think Florida and Michigan arent supposed to count when counting electoral votes either. In doing a story where Bayh of Indiana suggested that super delegates will also take into account the electoral votes of primary states won, Seely wrote that Clinton was leading in electoral votes, 219 to 202 "not counting Florida and Michgian".(With both states Clinton's electoral vote lead is 263-202). While many people fall asleep counting sheep one envisions Seeley trying to fall asleep not counting Florida and Michgian.

But certainly the dumbest column was from Jim Vandehei, the now self confessed Kool Aid drinker whose column "Hillary Cant Win" ( before the Ohio and Texas primary) seemed to intentionally, or possibly stupidly, ignore every metric available showing exactly the opposite: that the facts show that Clinton is far and away the stronger candidate, is far and away the one more likely to beat McCain in a general election. Every metric shows she is indisputably stronger against McCain in the states the Democrats have to win in Novemeber. Vandehei based all his erroneous assumptions both on the affects of the Kool Aid and his certainty ( or was it hope?) that Florida and Michigan would never being seated, something that we now know is Dean has guranteed is going to take place.

But in reporting on the race, journalists like Vandehei have decided that Florida and Michigan have just ceased to exist, that airlines have cancelled their flights to both states and that they are no longer on the map . For the rest of us on the planet earth, both states exist, both states voted,both primaries were held fair and square ( yes Michigan's too if you bother to actually look at what happened there and then do something most journalists cant seem to do -- think.) and in the process Clinton netted approximately 70 delegates ( the figure may be higher but not lower). As of right now counting Florida and Michigan, Obama's delegate lead is 61. His popular vote lead is 0.06%.

In spite of journalists who cant count, by the end of the Pennsylvania primary, it is a certainty Clinton will have the popular vote lead. Obama's delegate lead could be cut in half, down to 31, with a big win. And as we all know, if the Democrats had a winner take all primary which is the only sane way to do it since it mimics the general election, Clinton right now would have a 300 delegate lead. These are the realities that have brought people like Jonathan Alter, Vandehei and others calling for Clinton to drop out, either showing that they are truly too stupid for their jobs or are the most dishonest collection of journalists in American history,using every dishonest method they can to try and promote their own agenda, an activity guaranteed to shred their credibility in further than it has been.

To give these journalists a dose of unwanted common sense, after what happend in 2000 the Democrats are not going to send out a candidate who is there only because votes werent counted in Florida. And super delegates can count even if journalists cant. If Clinton ends the primary season with the popular vote lead and delegate lead counting Florida and Michigan, there is not a superdelagate with 2c for a brain who is not going to give their vote to Clinton in spite of all the expected whining from the press and especially Obama.

With a win in PA a virtual certainty and Clinton leading in the polls in 6 of the 8 remaining primaries the probabilities are that counting Florida and Michigan, Clinton, not Obama will end the primary season with both the popular vote and delegate lead. The will of the people argument will be 100% on her side. And as Michael Barone pointed out in US News and World Report, just about every other metric used to gauge the strength of a candidate not just favors Clinton, but favors Clinton in landslide numbers which include electoral votes of states won, ( Clinton 263, Obama 202) population of states won ( Clinton 163,000,000, Obama 101,000,000) and that in actual primaries not caucuses, Clinton also destroys Obama. Yet to read the press converage you would think that Clinton is just hanging around. The fact is, if one goes by the metrics Obama is the one with no chance.

And Barone's peice shows that not all journalists are stupid. Only most of them.

1 comment:

Hillary08 said...

For those of you who support this blatant bias, just you wait when July comes and they turn on Obama in support of McCain as per the direction of the company big heads. Then I will laugh as they paint Obama out to be the elitist, militant, inexperienced idiot while pictures of Ayers, Rezko and Wright flash 24/7. Then don't you dare scream out. As Martin Niemoller said, modified,

"First they came for Kerry, I did not care for Kerry so I did not speak out.

Then they came for Hillary, I did not support her, so I did not speak out.

Then they came for my Obama - and there was no one left or willing to speak out after what I had let them do to the others."

There was no one left.