Here is what really happened in Puerto Rico during Sunday's Democratic primary voting.
Hillary Clinton walloped Barack Obama by nearly 69 percent to just over 31 percent. She took the overwhelming bulk of the delegates and received nearly 150,000 more popular votes than he did.
She effectively blocked Obama in his quest to garner sufficient pledged delegates to guarantee his nomination as the Democrats' presidential candidate before the national convention in August. The Democrats only have two primaries left, both this week, one in Montana which has 16 delegates and one in South Dakota which has 15.
Barack Obama needs 46 or 47 pledged delegates to lock up the nomination, depending on which misrepresenting news organization you want to believe. If you can count, and if you can add, you will see that if you add 15 and 16 it totals 31, which means there is no way short of rewriting the laws of physics and mathematics that Barack Obama can lock in the nomination prior to the convention.
Yes, I am well aware that the Democrats have "Super Delegates" who are added to the total, but they aren't locked in until they actually vote on the convention floor, so that doesn't count regardless of what they say at the moment, until they actually vote, or Hillary Clinton drops out of the race leaving only Barack Obama.
Here is what the media reported.
Barack Obama edged closer to winning the nomination. Hillary got the bulk of the vote, the delegates and the bounce on Sunday, but it doesn't matter. Barack Obama is favored in the last two primaries. Hillary should quit. Hillary must quit. Hillary is going to quit!
Hillary damn well better quit or Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are going to be really, really upset with her! Strongly worded letter to follow!
I have long been accustomed to what is referred to as the Mainstream Media either ignoring or lying about events in this country and abroad. I have been places and seen things with my own eyes and then seen the reporting on them, and it often is so bad it makes you want to rethink the First Amendment.
I gravitated to Fox News long ago, back in 2000 in fact when I was living in Florida and living through the aftermath of the presidential vote circus up close and personal. The obvious agendas and misreporting were so bad that I found, with some notable exceptions, that the only place I could even approximate objective reporting was on Fox.
Remember what I just said about Florida. I was there. I saw it first hand. I'm not going into all that in this column, but if you really want to know about Theresa Lepore, butterfly ballots, disenfranchised voters, the unreported recount by the mainstream media, and the true role of then Florida Secretary of State Catherine Harris, drop me an email and I'll send back some on-the-scene reports that may shake your beliefs.
But Florida is eight years behind us and much has changed. Lately I have had to rethink my support for Fox. For starters, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox and much much more, has endorsed Barack Obama, which itself is either shocking or a devious ploy. It appears now that the reporting on Fox is supposed to follow the opinion of the leader.
I was attending my daughter's piano recital Sunday afternoon when the polls closed in Puerto Rico, so the numbers were in by the time I returned to my office and tuned in for the results. It was obvious Hillary had really put a smackdown on Barack, and if you read my earlier columns on the final primaries you will see that he needed a tremendous showing there to overcome her.
He didn't get it, but you wouldn't have known that from watching Fox, at least until Geraldo Rivera came on in the evening, reporting directly from Puerto Rico.
What I was hearing was that even though Hillary got a huge chunk of the popular vote, nearly the same margin she won two weeks earlier when Kentucky and Oregon held their primaries, this time, it wasn't enough. The turnout wasn't as much as someone supposedly said it should be so therefore, regardless of how big her victory, and how many people sided with her, someone, somewhere said it wasn't that big of a deal, thus it could not possibly be that big of a deal.
I have news for you. It was a big deal. If Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were playing chess, she just put him in check, and she can keep him there all summer long if she wishes. He can't possibly get enough pledged delegates now to automatically win the nomination!
Even as I am typing this, Fox's America's Newsroom segment is saying that after tomorrow's voting it will all be over for Hillary, and playing The Doors' "The End" in the background. I would remind the producers at Fox that The Doors wrote music to smoke dope by, not to listen to while making informed judgments.
Maybe that explains what is going on at Fox.
The crawl at the bottom of my TV screen says, and I quote, that Hillary won "a lopsided though largely symbolic victory."
How do you suppose the residents of Puerto Rico feel about being called "symbols."
OK try this for for symbolism. Barack Obama staring at the chessboard, his King surrounded by knights and bishops and even a few pawns, with the Queen safely surrounded by more of her fighters, and a long, long game ahead of him in which he hopes to eliminate the threats one by one while his opponent does nothing to counter him. Heck of a symbol isn't it?
After the voting in Montana and South Dakota, even if he gets every single vote and she gets none, he can't win the automatic nomination. So depending on what Hillary Clinton decides to do, Barack Obama will be trying to figure how he his going to convince the super delegates to stay or side with him until August.
This as his star is falling in his party and across America, his poll numbers are sinking and there is a growing realization among voters in the general population that this not the guy we want for president.
Fox claims that Hillary Clingon has only three options on the table: either endorse Obama this week; suspend her campaign; or take it to the convention.
Why not just take Hillary at her word, that she is not quitting or endorsing Obama? She says she is going to spend three months working on the super delegates to change their minds to get enough on her side to win in Denver. What are we missing?
How about she hits the ground running Wednesday morning chasing down super delegates showing them her popular vote numbers, her standing in swing states, and the polls that show Obama is on the downside of a meteoric career?
I've said it here before and I'll remind you again, I am a Republican, neither of the Democrats is my candidate, and I don't have a dog in this fight. But I expect fairness and thoroughness from the media, and if Fox or any other news outlet can take such a biased position on this race, they can do it later to my guy.
I want honesty, thoroughness and balance in my political news reporting. I already know I can't get it from the Mainstream Media, either print or electronic. It is becoming all too apparent that I can't get it from Fox either, Brit Hume and Molly Henneberg excepted.
A reader noted after my last column that the observations I made here should be common in the media but aren't. Plenty of other bloggers are noting the same thing, on all sides of the political arena. Are we becoming the last bastion of truth?
I didn't make up the rules of Democratic primaries, nor of mathematics. But I can read and understand them both, and any competent reporter, editor or producer should too.
I also still believe in the separation between the news side and the editorial sides of the media business. That goes for advertising too.
What am I to deduce from what I have seen of the reporting on the primaries? From here it looks as though there is a definite need for remedial training on Fair and Balanced.
I suggest we start with a dictionary that defines each term as simply as possible.
Monday, June 02, 2008