A fetor of anti-Bernie Sanders media bias surrounds this headline of yesterday’s Guam and Washington caucus results:
(Laughing) The creator of that headline isn’t counting on you to give any thought to it.
But I suppose that’s a reason for why my blog exists …
Let’s start with Sanders’ 72.7%–27.1% victory over his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in Washington — a significant, winning margin worthy of a headline mention, but absent from Yahoo and the Associated Press’ headline reporting.
However, we saw a very different headline back in February when Clinton won the South Carolina primary by a similar margin over Sanders:
Clinton won 73.5 percent of the vote in the state, compared to Sanders’ 26 percent.
Posting a headline “Sanders nets 31 delegates in Washington, but loses in Guam” is semantically similar to saying:
“SANDERS WON SOMETHING BUT LOST SOMETHING ELSE OF EQUAL OR GREATER SIGNIFICANCE”
At minimum, the headline — although accurate — uses the Guam loss to mitigate Sanders’ Washington victory without noting the significance of Sanders’ win.
104 delegates were at stake in Washington, and Sanders won 74 of them. Clinton won 24.
About half as many delegates in South Carolina were available, and Clinton won 39 of them. Sanders won 14.
Yet there’s an explicit mention of Clinton’s “big win” in South Carolina while Sanders’ Washington win is relatively marginalized.
Let’s look at the other part of that headline. With 60 percent of the Guam vote going to Hillary yesterday, guess how many delegates she won?
Four. Bernie won the remaining three.
How agonizing would it have been to write the headline copy “Sanders wins big in Washington; Clinton wins Guam”?
I think you can figure out that answer …
song currently stuck in my head: “when i meet them” – seals & crofts