Thursday, May 22, 2008

Media Covering Democratic Contest Correctly

Conservatives and Republicans frequently complain about the way the mainstream media covers politics, and those among them preferring Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary have joined her Democratic supporters in criticizing the way that those news organizations have covered the primary. They have argued that the media has favored Barack Obama by downplaying Clinton victories over the last couple of months while continually questioning when she will leave the race.

While the critics are correct that the media has covered the race in this way, it is understandable that they have done so.

The race for the Democratic nomination was for all practical purposes over in February, when Sen. Obama followed an impressive performance on Super Tuesday with a string of nine consecutive victories. Looking at how the primaries were lining up, as well as a series of desperate tactics by Sen. Clinton, I called the race for Sen. Obama at that time, and my brief explanation for doing so has held up over time.

Since February, anyone who understood the math and the Democratic rules could see that it was essentially impossible for Sen. Clinton to win. She could prolong the event and in the process dampen enthusiasm for Sen. Obama, but barring some out of the blue disqualifying failure by Sen. Obama, it was impossible for her to win. Subsequent events have proven this to be the case, and Sen. Clinton continues on with her campaign to tarnish Sen. Obama for no discernible purpose.

Has the media coverage discriminated? Yes, but in this instance justifiably so. Anyone who has seen a chicken have its head cut off knows that activity does not prove life. The Clinton campaign remains active, but it has long been dead.

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