'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Not so much fake news as rubbish wish-fulfilment-reporting

Call me a silly old traditional liberal but I tend to believe much of the reporting I read.

So when I heard that many Republican members of the US Electoral College were thinking of switching sides I thought "this sounds promising". 

I read with interest pieces like this one, asking  

"What does it take to be a rebel, when your instinct is to follow the herd? That's the question that comes to mind when you consider the Hamilton Electors, the growing movement of Republican electors who are choosing not to vote for Donald Trump next Monday".

Or this piece, who's headline stated "This Harvard professor believes 20 Electoral College voters will switch sides"

And just in case you think I ONLY read Fast Company there's.... this one, or this one , or this one

And so the day dawned. and folk gathered on the steps of State Capitals and protested.

And indeed some members of the electoral college did indeed defy the electorate and refused to vote for the chosen candidate.

Not quite the 37 needed. Nor indeed the 20 who had 'indicated' they might switch. In all 9 defied convention (or tried to and were replaced).

But here's the rub.

Just 3 of those who refused to vote for the nominated candidate refused to vote Trump.

Twice as many (6) refused to support ...Clinton. Including 4 in Washington Sate who claimed they were refusing to back her to encourage other Republicans to do the same. Which twisted logic might work if they weren't amongst the last part of the colleges to vote. 

Now I'm not suggesting there's any amount of outright fibbing been going on here. But it does strike me that the reporting does appear to have been an exercise in 'wishful thinking'. After all no one's been reporting an anti Clinton backlash going into the college. But it looks more like that than an anti Trump vote.

The media needs to do much much better.

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