Horse race-obsessed political journalists who can’t be bothered doing their job

I’ve now read three articles—in the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, and the Wall Street Journal—on Rick Santorum’s victories last night in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado. After touting the epochal significance of Santorum’s defeating the frontrunner Romney in three states on the same day, each of the articles informs us that no delegates to the GOP convention were selected in any of these three contests—Hmm, what’s that again? Furthermore, none of the articles bothers to tell us how this can be. For example, the WSJ says: “Minnesota and Colorado held nonbinding caucuses. The Missouri primary had no delegates at stake.” Excuse me, but the purpose of caucuses and primaries is to elect delegates. How can there be a primary election in which no delegates are elected? The WSJ doesn’t bother telling us. Instead, all its focus is on the dramatic significance of the votes.

Similarly, the popular Toby Harnden, formerly the Telegraph’s U.S. correspondent and now doing the same job at the Daily Mail, after breathing heavily for numerous paragraphs about Santorum’s great triumph, informs us:

The results of the contests, however, are only symbolic because no delegates were at stake.

This statement, crying out for explanation, receives no explanation from Harnden.

However, in a subsequent story on the same webpage, he does tell us this:

There were no actual delegates at stake tonight (though the delegates chosen in Minnesota and Colorado will closely reflect tonight’s results).

But that’s it. The actual selection of delegates is too abstruse and boring a matter for Harnden, or anyone else ostensibly covering U.S. presidential politics, to bother explaining.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 08, 2012 09:39 AM | Send

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