According to reports, the declaration was based on the AP’s survey of “superdelegates”. These superdelegates comprised of more than 700 Democratic Party ‘insiders’, including corporate donors and other officials. The Associated Press claim that these superdelegates told AP reporters in private, they had intended to vote for Clinton, thus bringing her over the victory threshold. AP is not divulging the identity of the superdelegates who had informed reporters of their intention to vote for Clinton.
The news that Clinton had “clinched” the win, surpassing the 2,383 delegate milestone required to secure a winner, which is just over half of the total delegates available, spread like wildfire amongst the major news outlets.
Though for some, the timing of the news smelt a rat, with many alternative news outlets determined to expose the truth. One such news platform was Paste Magazine, which told the story of AP reporter Stephen Ohlemacher, calling up some “party bigwigs” and was informed of their commitment to support Clinton (1). According to Paste, Ohlemacher “padded his numbers and essentially manufactured a Monday night win hours ahead of his competitors.”
The Controversy Begins
The news that Clinton had amassed a sufficient number of voters to become the Democratic nominee on a day that nobody voted, led to controversy. A wave of disapproval circulated the non-mainstream news platforms.
For example, Paste referred to the AP announcing Clinton as winner prematurely as an “Embarrassment to journalism and US politics.”
Even if that exact outcome was bound to happen down the line, the inescapable truth is that Ohlemacher created this victory from a few phone calls and as a citizen, that should make you want to scream,” writes Paste (2).
Liberty Blitz Krieg was quick to share its discontent about the Clinton’s victory announcement made by AP. The news site referred to AP’s tactics as “journalistic malpractice, with Michael Krieger the author of the report stating he has lost “every single ounce of respect” for the Associated Press.
Not everyone was as quick to dismiss the AP’s announcement as an outrage, and ‘Camp Clinton’ seemed adequately shrewd not to make too much of the superdelegate support announcement. Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, acknowledged the AP declaration as an “important milestone”. However, Mook also indicated that Clinton would not declare victory until the Tuesday night.
Talking to the New York Times, Mook said Clinton would on Tuesday night, “Clinch not only a win in the popular vote, but also the majority of pledged delegates.”
Whatever your view is over the AP superdelegate announcement, it can be argued that the story does put a question mark over the principles of journalism.
The Day Nobody Voted
On July 7, 2016 Stephen Ohlemacher proudly tweeted his achievements in a tweet that read:
Dear superdels, I promise to stop calling you 6x a day AP count: Clinton has delegates to win Democratic nomination.”
In response to the tweet, Paste Magazine condemned Ohlemacher for his “harassing” the “party moguls long enough to report a forgone conclusion 24 hours before everyone else.”
Writing in The Intercept (3), Glenn Greenwald, former Guardian journalist and Edward Snowden’s co-conspirator in the NSA revelations, speaks of how the nomination has been consecrated by the media (4):
This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organisation, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organisation – incredibly conceals,” writes Greenwald.
What are your thoughts on the Associated Press declaring Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee’s victor, on a day when nobody voted? We’d love to hear our readers’ thoughts on this controversial story.