In a country where half of eligible voters already don't vote, the AP and NBC did quite a service to democracy Monday eve in declaring Hillary Clinton to be the nominee of the Democratic Party.
With the clear message to citizens in six states—including the most populous in the union—being "don't bother," the only concrete effect this can have is to further depress the vote all the way around. Such is the civic commitment the mainstream media demonstrates.
And what about the strange double standard at work here? During ALL elections, the networks have access to exit polls that allow them to see sometimes just a couple hours after the polls open when this or that candidate has it 100% locked up. They wait, however, until the moment after the polls close to "project" or declare the winner.
In the case of the Democratic nomination, yes, it is clear Clinton has a lock. But, sorry, the "polls" have not closed and they will not until the convention six weeks from now. Only then will the official vote take place.
No, this is not a conspiracy against Sanders. Clinton did not want that announcement made either until probably Tuesday night after California and five other states voted.
This is, instead, an act of supreme if rather obsolete and pointless arrogance of the AP, NBC and the rest of the lemmings who followed their lead within an hour or two. Anybody with an IQ above 50 could understand the mathematics of this race and we really do not need the AP to tell us their conclusion, somehow making it "official." Who the hell appointed them?
More importantly, it offers us a clear insight into the shallowness of the MSM's political coverage. It's a cliche, but it's also a fact that they are only interested in and only capable of reporting the horse race. Think about it. Every MSM organization has a fully staffed "election decision" desk that pores over returns and polls so they can be the first to project or declare a winner.
To what end? Didn't these dinosaurs get the memo that in the era of the web, being "first" means nothing? Does it really make any difference in our lives and in our democracy to find out who won Virginia or for that matter who won the presidency 10 minutes, one hour or one day later -- when the votes are actually tallied. Or as they are being tallied and being released by county or state officials?
How about closing down these anachronisms and replacing them with "analysis desks?" LOL.
One silver lining for me personally. Almost 50 years after the fact this election cycle has reminded me why I became a journalist. In the heat of the Vietnam War and the turmoil of the 60's I LOATHED "The Media." Becoming a journalist, for me, was a political act aimed at combating the piss-poor biased jingoistic superficial reporting that dominated the media. The more things change.... you know the rest.