Imitation news watch: We think the AP was silly this week!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2016

Absolutely zero news value:
We're going to disagree with Kevin Drum. We're even going to disagree with Gene Lyons on this point.

We think the AP was silly this week. We refer to its fevered election eve report, in which it announced that Candidate Clinton had gone over the top in the delegate count.

What an utterly pointless "news report!" Everyone had known for weeks that the primaries of June 7 were going to put Candidate Clinton way, way over the top, if you were willing to include the so-called super-delegates.

In the face of that certain knowledge, what did the AP decide to do? In this morning's New York Times, Michael Grynbaum offers a sad explanation:
GRYNBAUM (6/8/16): Officials at The A.P. offered a simpler explanation: There was news, and they reported it.

“We’re not calculating about when something happens,” Kathleen Carroll, The A.P.’s executive editor, said. “News is news. You put it out when you have it.”

The A.P. employs a crew of reporters to track delegates, distributing its tally to dozens of news organizations. On Monday, its chief delegate reporter, Stephen Ohlemacher, said that after days of nonstop calls to superdelegates, he had received enough commitments to support Mrs. Clinton for her to clinch the nomination.
To us, that report seems quite revealing.

Everyone knew that Tuesday's results would put Clinton way over the top. So what did the AP do?

Of course! They wasted several days having reporters make "nonstop calls to superdelegates."

Given what everyone already knew, there was absolutely zero point to this utterly silly behavior. Why didn't they have their reporters pursue something useful instead?

This is the ultimate horserace story. It involves the ultimate waste of journalists' time, chasing down an election result which everyone knew was coming.

What happened because the AP decided to waste its time this way? In theory, the world was deprived of the knowledge its reporters might otherwise have created. Much worse, and needless to say, Sanders supporters were given yet another way to think the election was rigged.

Drum and Lyons have both said that the AP should have reported the news when they got it. In theory, that's true, of course—though it's also true that news orgs exercise judgment all the time about the release of reports. (Generally speaking, polling stops right before an election to avoid giving the impression that news and polling orgs are trying to influence outcomes.)

In this case, the so-called "news" the AP released wasn't really news at all. The news they released had zero news value! More and more, this is precisely the way our silly, faux "news business" works.

30 comments:

  1. "What an utterly pointless "news report!" Everyone had known for weeks that the primaries of June 7 were going to put Candidate Clinton way, way over the top, if you were willing to include the so-called super-delegates."

    "...In the face of that certain knowledge..."

    "Everyone knew that Tuesday's results would put Clinton way over the top."

    "Given what everyone already knew..."

    'What happened because the AP decided to waste its time this way?....needless to say, Sanders supporters were given yet another way to think the election was rigged."

    I guess those Sanders supporters are not part of the "everyone" who "already knew."

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    Replies
    1. It's great to know your guess. Terrific to hear from ya!

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    2. Everyone knew you would respond this way.

      Delete
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      Delete
  2. I disagree. AP did a story. So what?

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  3. "More and more, this is precisely the way our silly, faux "news business" works." B.S.

    Now that every outlet has printed/aired stories even mildly unsupportive of HRC, it's decorus to refer to all cable/TV/print news media as "faux news."

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  4. AP should not have done this story--for the same reason that news outlets do not use exit polls to call races before the polls close.
    AP, if they were going to do this story, should have published the names of the superdelegates who put Clinton over the top. That is, if they really think, "news is news". AP can't have it both ways.
    Bob Gardner
    Randolph, MA

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  5. Good column here at Daily Howler. One additional point: Even if AP wasted its time doing this "story" the news outlets didn't need to play it up as they did. I'll bet it was the excess of coverage of the coronation that most galled the Sanders supporters, not simply that AP reported the matter. Clearly, the news outlets were looking for a reason to end the Sanders campaign by their extravagant coverage, not simply to report news.

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  6. "The news they released had zero news value!"

    There are ways to measure news value known only to true journalism experts like Harvard Philosophy majors from mid Twentieth Century (whose natural gifts are augmented by liberal arts matriculation).

    Assessing today's news for examples of what we have not learned since the War on Gore has news value. It is measured according to rough rules of extended forefingers. For example, Bernie supporters don't know they are only half as sanctimonious as those who cheered "Super" Bill Bradley on. Just more youngerish.

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    Replies
    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerJune 8, 2016 at 5:01 PM

      When AP projects in October that HRC will win the presidency, you will accept that as "news" as well. Myself, I prefer to wait for the voting to occur first.

      Delete
    2. Dave, when you write a comment as a response to someone which indicates you understand the substance of what you respond to, I will think you have more than zero intelligence.

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    3. "When AP projects in October that HRC will win the presidency, Dave the Guitar Player will be chiding yet another commenter for not respecting the wisdom of Bob as Bob flails away at nits. Dave the Guitar Player will also be waiting for the voting to occur first."

      FTFY

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    4. anon 10:25, at the risk of being chastised for (heaven forbid!) defending TDH's 'wisdom', TDH's point is not a 'nit.' News coverage is 98% horserace, gaffes, noting how what one of the pols has said has offended someone, etc., and hardly anything about what difference it would make if one or the other of them wins. (Also digging up what one of them said in high school). It's like they're covering a high school election for class president. Enormous discussion will take place about who will win in November, when it is one thing that we will definitely find out the answer to once the election takes place. Is it your position that criticizing the way the media covers the election is invalid?

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    5. "Is it your position that criticizing the way the media covers the election is invalid?"

      No, to your strawman question.

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    6. But, Yes, if it is Somerby.

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  7. I am glad Bob agrees with Rachel Maddow on this issue.

    She also criticized her own employer, NBC, for doing the same thing. I am sure Bob noticed that.

    I know it must have been a lot for him to stomach, agreeing with her twice in the same week. His silence is understandable given his vow to treat her with contempt for her mortal transgression back in 2008.

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    Replies
    1. What did Maddow say specifically? O'Donnell did seem a little perturbed.

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    2. @ 7:56 - the internet is your friend. Look it up.

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    ReplyDelete
  9. No one enjoys a bellyachin' gripe unless it's one generally not mentioned elsewhere as yet: here's mine and please DO enjoy it..Chris Matthews, self designated rep of post FDR thought has suggested today that Bernie's hanging on was a matter of vanity, that it's "hard to give up all that adulation." Invisible to most people are millions of straws breaking everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why would one enjoy a bellyachin' gripe not previously mentioned, battery-person?

      Delete
  10. My name is Jessica Luis am from USA, After 1/5 year relationship with my boyfriend, he changed suddenly and stopped contacting me regularly, he would come up with excuses of not seeing me all the time. He stopped answering my calls and my sms and he stopped seeing me regularly. I then started catching him with different girls several times but every time he would say that he love me and that he needed some time to think about our relationship.But cannot stop thinking about him so i decided to go online and i saw so many good talk about this spell caster and i contact him and explain my problems to him.He cast a love spell for me which i use and after 2 day, my boyfriend came back to me and started contacting me regularly and we moved in together after a few months and he was more open to me than before and he started spending more time with me than his friends. We eventually got married and we now have been married happily for 1 years with. Ever since Dr.ocusodo helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before.You can also contact this spell caster and get your relationship and any kind of problem okay hes email< drocusodospellcaster@gmail.com or drocusodospellcaster@yahoo.com, you can also contact his number +2348105578036

    ReplyDelete
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