Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Associated Press’s Lerer In the Bag for Perez

UPDATE: POLITICO has also published an independent survey of voting DNC members which finds that Keith Ellison leads. This further suggests that Lisa Lerer's 'anonymous source' is a Tom Perez operative and that Lisa Lerer and the AP are knowingly facilitating aspirational, interventionist Tom Perez Propaganda.


Two contradictory sets of numbers were reported on the behind the scenes standings of the race for DNC chair today. One was a survey published by The Hill which has Keith Ellison in the lead, the other, from the Associated Press’s Lisa Lerer, was based on one anonymous source, which has Tom Perez in the lead. Neither is definitive, of course, but there is every reason to scrutinize the latter particularly, as Lisa Lerer has repeatedly published material favorable to Perez under the guise of ‘journalism,’ and the AP has recklessly allowed her a platform to propagandize presumably the very same unverified ‘anonymous source.’

Keith Ellison has surged in endorsements in recent days, with backing from Mayor Bill De Blasio, Rep. John Lewis, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, The College Democrats of America, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Chairman Ray Buckley. Perez, by contrast, has only a smattering of vestigial neoliberal support, with Vice President Biden being the biggest name, and Eric Holder being the second biggest. There may, in fact, be significant behind the scenes support for Perez, as Lerer alleges. However, the Associated Press allowing Lerer to repeatedly publish advertorials for Perez’s candidacy using unsourced, unverified figures, is journalistically irresponsible in the extreme. The presentation of her articles as ‘news’ is a perfect example of why contemporary faith in the press is being undermined, as her work fails to rise to the standard of journalism. It is propaganda.

I support Rep. Keith Ellison for DNC chair, along with his many other supporters, but I am open and transparent about my support for Ellison. I believe that the future of the Democratic Party is with grassroots, progressive organizers like Keith, and not with TPP whips and neoliberal backroom dealers like Tom Perez. Lisa Lerer, however, presents herself – and the AP allows her to present herself – as a neutral arbiter, when she is in fact no such thing. Her work displays both a persistent bias in favor of corporate Democrats, Tom Perez specifically, and a failure to properly source or provide evidence for her assertions.

It is important to compare the analysis of the behind the scenes of the DNC race that one sees in The Hill’s reporting to that of Lerer and the AP, and assess their veracity critically. Not only is the ‘reporting’ that Lerer has done on this race shoddy, but it is moreover aspirational and interventionist. Her intent is to misrepresent the facts and thus aid the election of Tom Perez. This is ethically reprehensible, and it is ethically reprehensible for the Associated Press to uncritically facilitate her doing so.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad someone had the sense to tag this article in a Twitter news posting by Sahil Kapur. Emotions about this race are too high for people to be mislead.