Saturday, January 19, 2008

First Post in 2008

Hello again and welcome to a new year. I know I have been a little lax in the whole posting side of this blog thing. Which, I guess is the only side of the whole blogging thing. And while there are some interesting things out there that I would like to post about (including a response or 2 to some of Syd's most recent thoughts), something has come up which I feel demands attention.

I am going to start with a disclaimer before I launch into this. I have a standing bet with a friend about who will win each of the major party definitions. In the race relevant to the discussion (diatribe) I am about to launch, I win a meal if Obama wins the primary.

As some people might know, today as the Nevada Caucuses. It seems Iowa isn't the only state using this strange system. This really isn't that crucial of a state in the grand scheme of things. A candidate (democrat) needs 2,025 delegates to win the nomination. Nevada (not counting any applicable super delegates) was worth 25. So, in terms of actually moving closer to the nomination Nevada is not that important. However, it is the first state with a significant minority voting bloc. Additionally in a primary, perhaps more then any other form of combat or competition momentum is king. Headlines and news get votes.

Now, with all that said, the results of the Nevada Caucus are as follows:

Clinton: 12 Delegates, 51% of the actual vote.
Obama: 13 Delegates, 45% of the actual vote.
Edwards: 0 Delegates, 4% of the actual vote.

Based on those results who do you call the winner? I don't feel the need to get into a debate about the substance of any given candidate, but to me this is more a matter of honest reporting.

Is the person that got more votes? Or the person that actually won more delegates?

Now, I was as upset as anybody that Gore won the popular vote but lost the actual election. That said, if you are the NY Times, the LA Times or the Washington Post, what headline would be an actual HONEST report of the news?

Clinton scores election win. (LA Times, subhead to McCain's win...)
McCain Clinton capture tough wins.
Clinton, Romeny win Nevada.

It would seem 3 of the largest newspapers have chosen to go with the popular vote, despite its clear irrelevance. This is the same as writing "Gore wins!!" the day after the 2000 election was decided (I know there was a lot of confusion with the 2000 election, but I think you get my point. I could try to think of some other more amusing comparisons, but I don't have the energy tonight). Given the importance of headlines, of momentum and of looking like the inevitable winner how do you think this will effect the upcoming primaries in other states? The answer seems clear to me.

I am not sure I am ready to accuse all three papers (or most other news media) of having an agenda. I will say I find it unfortunate that they have all chosen to run the story this way.

Feel free to post your own thoughts below.