The Post Is At It Again

It doesn’t matter ultimately, and they’re entitled to whatever opinion they want, but it’s clear this morning that the Post isn’t satisfied to simply have an opinion – they want readers, particularly casual ones, to believe that everyone else shares their view. Which leads them to some pretty heavy duty cherry picking and deception.

Our favorite hack Chris Cillizza says Sanders won.

More than anything he said, though, it was the passion and disruption that Sanders oozed from every pore over the two hours that should push Democrats on the fence about the race into his camp. Sanders effectively positioned himself as the anti-status-quo candidate, a very good position to have in this electoral environment.

That paragraph makes no sense. Sanders has been oozing “passion and disruption” for eight months now, and yet Cillizza has judged Clinton the winner of every prior debate. Suddenly, he feels differently, and in conclusory fashion. What’s changed? My feeling: now that the consensus has shifted and Sanders is viewed as “having a shot,” Cillizza feels more comfortable judging Clinton more harshly on the debates, as he does in other areas.

And Clinton is the loser per Cillizza.

So, why is she in the loser column? Because she did nothing in the debate to slow the momentum that Sanders is building in Iowa and New Hampshire. Aside from guns, where Clinton scored a clean win against Sanders, she was unable to effectively cast him as a pie-in-the-sky idealist and herself as the only person who could truly fight  — and win on — for Democratic priorities.

What debate was Cillizza watching? On health care, on Sanders’ criticisms of President Obama and on his threats to run against Obama in 2012, Clinton scored direct hits on Sanders. Yes, he had some good moments, and I wouldn’t care if Cillizza believed Sanders won, but this idea that a debate is the place to “slow . . momentum” is just stupid.

Not, however, as stupid and quite frankly mendacious as the Post’s morning summary of opinions on the debate. The headline is “Bernie Sanders won the Democratic debate, say pundits and social media.” Well, I watched about a dozen talking heads on CNN – MSNBC was rerunning the debate, a stupid decision that left them out of the conversation – all say that Clinton won, and comfortably so. How did the Post deal with this? Ignore the talking heads and select a group of mostly people you’ve never heard of, plus a few Republicans, to create a false consensus. How bad was it? Instead of even a single one of the CNN talkers, the Post cites a tweet from a CNN producer: 

You think if Teddy Davis said Hiklsry Clinton won the debate that he’d have been quoted in the Washington Post this morning? Hahaha, sure. Right.

And since they couldn’t quote him saying Sanders won – because he didn’t say it – they quote the one thing former Obama svengali David Axelrod said all night that was critical of Clinton, ignoring his several tweets about other issues and the fact that he opined last night that Clinton won the debate.
Not five minutes earlier, Axelrod tweeted this, which the Post didn’t see fit to mention.


And again, David Axelrod believes Hillary Clinton won the debate. This kind of cherry picking to create a false impression of consensus is embarrassing for a high school journalist. For the Post to do it smacks of ulterior motives.

I’m not criticizing the Post for having a different opinion than mine. I’m criticizing them for reporting that there was a consensus of opinion on Chris Cillizza’s side of the issue when there wasn’t. The Post is entitled to its opinion, as I am to mine. What they’re not entitled to is to claim a false consensus to validate their opinion. Their reporting this morning of only pro-Sanders opinions is inaccurate to the point of mendaciousness. Here’s David Axelrod with a final – and accurate – assessment this morning.