The mainstream media’s reporting on the results of the Virgin Islands caucus in the GOP race for the presidential nomination is being described as “deceptive and abusive” after Texas Rep. Ron Paul won the popular vote and the reporting focused on the fact that Mitt Romney, under the district’s rules, took more delegates.
“Up until now, the media has hardly taken notice of the delegate counts as compared to its coverage of who wins each caucus’ presidential preference contest, and as a universally applied and accepted convention, when a major news source reports ‘(Candidate) wins (state or territory),’ they have always meant the candidate won the presidential preference poll at that state’s nominating contest, not the most delegates,” said W.E. Messamore in an analysis at the Independent Voter Network.
The rules of the caucus allow participants to vote for a candidate – a count that was won by Paul. Then there’s another vote for individual delegates, who are bound to a candidate, and it was there that Mitt Romney collected more support.
The headlines included “Romney Wins Virgin Islands GOP Caucus” by AP and similar statements from USA Today, NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, CBS and others.
“Because of this, the AP’s Virgin Islands headline seems awfully deceptive and abusive of its audience’s trust,” said the IVN commentary. “Everyone expects and understands headlines like this to mean what they have always meant this entire primary season; otherwise the media is not comparing ‘like’ with ‘like.’ Instead it’s cherry-picking results to suit an agenda.”
Doug Wead, a New York Times bestselling author, a former adviser to two American presidents and a special assistant in the George H.W. Bush White House, noted to WND that Ron Paul won 29 percent of the popular vote, Mitt Romney 26 percent, Rick Santorum 6 percent and Newt Gingrich 5 percent.
Saturday news stories had erroneously declared Romney the winner, he noted.
“In a moment reminiscent of the Iowa Caucus, where a Romney supporting GOP chairman had refused to release data showing former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, not Romney, as the winner, the Virgin Island GOP chairman, Herb Schoenbohm, publicly announced to reporters that Romney had won the Virgin Island caucuses,” Wead said.
“Schoenbohm told reporters that Romney could count on seven delegates from the islands and had picked up three more in voting in St. Thomas and St. Croix. Ron Paul got one delegate. Most news agencies duly reported the Schoenbohm announcement, learning on Sunday that Ron Paul had actually won the popular vote,” he noted.
Added the IVN commentary, “At this point … it’s no big leap to interpret the mainstream media’s deceptive reporting as a deliberate and concerted effort to marginalize an increasingly popular political figure who misses no opportunity to slaughter the sacred cows of traditional party dogmas and conventional media narratives.”
The State Column noted that residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands can vote in primaries but not in general elections and suggested that the results should have been reported as “the first time thus far in a primary race … Mr. Paul had defeated Mr. Romney in terms of the popular vote.”
A blog at the Houston Chronicle cited Paul campaign worker Jack Hunter’s explanation to the “mainstream media” that 29 percent is higher than 26 percent.
“Hunter’s video is to point out that in every other contest, most media outlets have reported winners in terms of the popular vote. The U.S. Virgin Islands is the first place where delegates were used to determine who won,” the commentary said.
At the New American, Alex Newman wrote, “The media has largely refused to report Paul’s significant victories in terms of delegate counts, even with good news for the campaign continuing to pour in. And in a wildly misleading article that differs significantly in how it was framed from past reports, the Associated Press reported that Romney won the Virgin Islands. Nowhere did the deceptive report mention that Paul actually got the most votes.”
The reporting aside, Wead noted the confirmation of a Paul victory in the Virgin Islands should be terrific news to his supporters.
“The Ron Paul win of the Virgin Islands Republican Caucus should come as a relief for the thousands of Ron Paul supporters, calling themselves ‘Ronulans,’ who vowed to move to the first state or territory that their candidate wins,” he said. “Some were fully prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice and move to North Dakota, where cars must be plugged into an electric socket at night, not to recharge but just to be able to start the next morning.
“The Ronulans can now fulfill their vows and move to St. Johns, St. Thomas or St. Croix and enjoy sandy beaches, the smell of suntan lotion with coconut oil and feel the warm breezes while reading about the latest quantitative easing in their Wall Street Journals,” he said.