Journo Picks Up Clinton's Spin

AP scribe renames 'superdelegates' and becomes 'messenger' for campaign: pundit
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 16, 2008 6:05 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., laughs as she speaks to reporters about the Super Bowl aboard her campaign plane in Minneapolis, Minn. Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008.    (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – The AP described superdelegates as "automatic delegates" in a story last night, just as the Clinton camp asked—and turned the news service into a spin "messenger," Josh Marshall writes on the Talking Points Memo blog. The campaign wants superdelegates to sound less privileged in case they nominate Clinton this summer. But a good reporter should cut through such word-wrangling, Marshall writes. Apparently unfamiliar with adages regarding pots and kettles, however, he singles out the AP's Mike Glover without giving him a chance to respond.

"I think it's a good journalistic principle not to switch terminology in the midst of an election campaign," notes Marshall. "And doing it at the behest of one party to the dispute is almost always bad practice." At least Clinton's camp isn't spinning a term as silly as past attempts—"death tax" and "personal accounts" come to mind—but the camp still failed to make "an extremely good case that the existing word choices are patently misleading."