CNN’s Election Day Campaign against Sanders

By | 5/17/2016 Leave a Comment
CNN bias against Sanders campaign?

If that headline sounds a little gratuitous, consider the one that CNN’s website started out with on a day that two Democratic primary races are in play:

“Changing superdelegate rules would still leave Sanders behind”

In a lengthy and detailed story, the news network’s website went to great lengths in trying to explain every way in which Senator Bernie Sanders would be unable to secure the Democratic nomination no matter how the superdelegate equation was configured.  

While conceding that on pledged delegates alone it was still possible but improbable that Sanders could win more pledged delegates than Clinton, it made it quite clear that he would need a “blowout of epic proportions” in order to achieve that.

But when it comes to superdelegates, Sanders loses every time, according to CNN’s analysis. Award all superdelegates to the winner of their state = Sanders loses. Award superdelegates proportionally based on state results = Sanders loses. Get rid of superdelegates altogether = Sanders loses.

Interestingly, what they fail to mention is that as things stand, neither Clinton nor Sanders will reach the required 2383 pledged delegates needed to secure the nomination before the convention. And while the public are continuing to have their say in the nomination process, superdelegates can’t actually vote until the convention.

In CNN’s “analysis” is there mention of the fact that many superdelegates could, at the convention, decide to switch their voting intentions from Clinton to Sanders? Of course not, because that doesn’t fit their narrative. 

What on earth could convince these superdelegates to change their minds, they might ask. Perhaps the fact that Sanders consistently polls stronger than Clinton in match-ups with Donald Trump, thus giving them better odds at retaining the White House in November.

One could also argue that if Clinton has more pledged delegates than Sanders at the end of the voting, then surely the superdelegates should give the nomination to her; it would be undemocratic not to. But the very concept of superdelegates is undemocratic in itself, designed as it is to “correct” the will of the people should they pick someone that doesn’t have the establishment’s stamp of approval. If the system itself is inherently undemocratic to begin with, it really shouldn’t matter who ends up on the losing side of it. 

And then later in the day the Cable News Network offered up this online banner headline:

“Sanders supporters gone wild - After chaotic Nevada convention, Dems worry about schism”

This, of course, is referring to the unrest at Sunday’s Nevada State Democratic Convention where Sanders supporters voiced their anger and frustration at a process they felt shut out of. 

The story talks of shouting, cursing and the throwing of chairs, the word “chaos” is used repeatedly throughout, and Senator Barbara Boxer (a Clinton supporter) was apparently left speechless by the horror of what she witnessed. 

Meanwhile, on its cable station, video of the aforementioned unrest has been looped endlessly but proves little more than indeed people were upset and at one point a single chair was lifted into the air - before being brought safely back down again by what appeared to be a security guard of some type.

But these events happened on Sunday. They were widely reported on at the time and had already become a secondary story by the time Monday rolled around. Why, then, did CNN suddenly decide to make it a breaking news sensation a full two days after the fact?

The upshot:

Of course, a cynic (like me) might point to the fact that CNN is owned by Time Warner, which has donated more than $400,000 to Clinton’s campaigns. But whichever way you look at it, promoting two headline stories that reflect negatively on the Sanders campaign on the very day that voting is taking place is willfully courting accusations of bias. 

Perhaps the real answer is that CNN have simply tired of the Democratic primary and are itching to give their full attention to a Clinton/Trump slugfest, since that’s likely to produce better clickbait/ratings results. 

In fact, I’d bet my bottom dollar on it. 

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