AFTER THE ASSOCIATED PRESS reported that Hillary Clinton had sewn up the Democratic nomination for the American presidency, the story has faithfully been repeated by the remainder of the mainstream media, including the New Zealand media.
On Tuesday TVNZ said that Clinton "captured commitments from the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee."
TVNZ declared that "Clinton reached the 2383 delegates needed to become the presumptive nominee with a decisive victory in Puerto Rico and a burst of last-minute support from party insiders known as superdelegates."
TVNZ's source? The Associated Press.
Similarly the NZ Herald reported on Tuesday that 'Clinton has the delegates to win Democratic nomination". The Herald's source? The Associated Press.
The real story is that Clinton has not won the Democratic nomination. The Associated Press simply did a survey of superdelegates, whose identities have been withheld by the AP. The anonymous superdelagates simply indicated that they intended to vote for Clinton at the Democratic Convention, which is still over a month away.
As I write this the polls are closing in the six states that are voting today. Hillary Clinton actually has 1,812 pledged delegates that were earned from the actual voters in actual primaries and caucuses. She needs 571 delegates to cross the threshold of 2,383 to secure the nomination. With 694 at stake on Tuesday, she would have to win 82% of the vote to actually secure the nomination.
A spokesman for the Sanders campaign has said that the move to declare a Clinton the presumptive nominee as a "rush to judgement".
"It counts superdelegates that the Democratic National Committee itself says should not be counted because they haven't voted and won't vote until the summer.".
Perhaps Glen Greenwald summed it up best on The Intercept:
"This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization — incredibly — conceals. The decisive edifice of superdelegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislikes. But for a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it’s only fitting that its nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward, and undemocratic sputter."