sunny.png
Friday September 18th, 2020 1:47PM

For media, Iowa is a confusing carnival of democracy

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — As MSNBC's Katy Tur wandered through a gym in Des Moines during her network's coverage of the Iowa caucuses Monday, she found a voter wearing a Bernie Sanders button sitting with supporters of Amy Klobuchar.

“I'm a little split,” the woman conceded.

Call her the poster girl for media coverage of Iowa, a carnival of democracy that was fun and bewildering to watch. As the night went on, it became less and less clear what it would all mean to that matter at hand: picking a Democratic candidate to challenge President Donald Trump in November.

Reporters swarmed to sites where voters, for the first time in the 2020 campaign cycle, were making their voices heard. Yet their findings were only anecdotal, given delays by Iowa Democrats in reporting statewide results.

“This is like the nerdiest reality television show ever,” said CNN's Van Jones.

Unlike in past election cycles, Iowa seemed to sneak up on television viewers, despite nearly a year's worth of debates and campaigning. Trump's impeachment trial, where closing arguments were televised earlier Monday, robbed much of the public attention.

ABC, CBS and NBC evening newcasts devoted a total of 10 minutes to the Iowa campaign last week, compared with 86 minutes the week ahead of the 2016 caucuses and 66 minutes in 2012, according to news consultant Andrew Tyndall.

For Monday's vote, cable news networks assigned their number crunchers — Steve Kornacke on MSNBC, John King on CNN and Bill Hemmer on Fox News Channel — in front of data screens in studios.

The real action was happening on a granular level, with reporters in rec halls and auditoriums interviewing citizens as they bunched together with like-minded Democrats supporting the candidates of their choice.

In Sioux City, a CNN camera followed the decidedly low-tech system of a precinct commander counting the raised hands of supporters for each candidate, hoping he wasn't missing or double-counting anyone.

Tur darted between sections of gymnasium stands, pointing to groups of supporters for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Joseph Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Wang.

“I feel like I'm directing a wave or a cheering crowd,” she said.

CNN and MSNBC sent reporters to different caucus sites across the state, while Fox News seemed caught between two impulses. An election panel featuring Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, Karl Rove and Chris Stirewalt was on hand for news and analysis, working in between the commentary of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

Carlson at one point complained about “the illiterates posing as political analysts on your TV,” presumably on rival networks. Hannity talked about the “radical, extreme, socialist Democrats” and the screen behind him labeled the campaign a “Democratic dumpster fire.”

An unexpectedly raw exchange on MSNBC illustrated the tensions within the Democratic Party.

When Sanders surrogate Nina Turner, in an interview with Chris Matthews, referred to billionaire Michael Bloomberg as an “oligarch,” the word choice angered network analyst Jason Johnson. He said it's fine to debate Bloomberg on his ideas, but wrong to slur him because he has money. The two went at it, talking over one another.

The fight annoyed host Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican who makes no secret of her distaste for Trump.

“I am nauseous when I see Democrats fight amongst themselves,” she said.

Meanwhile, The New York Times website announced the return of “The Needle.” The clocklike graphic measures, in real time, the chances of different candidates winning in a particular caucus or primary.

That evoked some post-traumatic distress for Democrats, who recall how similar tools on election night 2016 began with Hillary Clinton a seemingly sure winner and slowly swung over into Trump territory.

“Hello darkness my old friend,” was one comment on Twitter.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Entertainment, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
For media, Iowa is a confusing carnival of democracy
For Americans following along on cable TV, Monday's Iowa caucuses were a bewildering carnival of democracy
11:57PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Tatum leads Celtics past Hawks 123-115 for 4th straight win
Jayson Tatum scored 28 points and Grant Williams drove for a key basket in the final minute, leading the Boston Celtics to a 123-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks
11:49PM ( 24 minutes ago )
1 dead, 5 wounded in shooting on Greyhound bus in California
The California Highway Patrol says a gunman opened fire aboard a packed Greyhound bus, killing one passenger and wounding five others before the driver pulled over onto the shoulder
11:49PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
AP VoteCast: Iowa Dems split on best challenger for Trump
Iowa Democrats are fiercely united by the goal of unseating President Donald Trump, but they were sharply divided at the state's caucuses Monday over which candidate was best equipped to do so
11:35PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Dems off to poor start: Leadoff Iowa caucus results delayed
The Iowa Democratic Party says results from the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus have been delayed due to “quality checks” and new reporting rules
11:33PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Poor start: Leadoff Iowa Democratic caucus results delayed
IThe Iowa Democratic Party says results from the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus have been delayed due to “quality checks” and new reporting rules
11:19PM ( 55 minutes ago )
AP Elections
Online misinformation fuels doubt as 2020 vote kicks off
Voices on the right and left are offering up unsubstantiated claims about voting fraud and rigged elections as Iowans cast the first votes of the 2020 presidential campaign
7:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP VoteCast: Health care, climate are top issues in Iowa
Iowa Democrats came to the state’s caucuses Monday with key issues dominating their thoughts: health care, climate change and a fierce motivation to unseat President Donald Trump
7:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Bloomberg has no regrets on skipping Iowa caucus
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says he has no regrets on skipping the Iowa caucuses
7:15PM ( 4 hours ago )
General Election News
The Latest: Trump wins 2020 Iowa Republican caucuses
President Donald Trump is the winner of the 2020 Iowa Republican caucuses, a largely symbolic vote as he was facing no significant opposition
8:27PM ( 3 hours ago )
YouTube: No 'deepfakes' or 'birther' videos in 2020 election
YouTube is making clear there will be no “birtherism” on its platform during this year's U.S. presidential election
2:59PM ( 9 hours ago )
2020 candidates rev up Iowa foot soldiers ahead of caucuses
More than two years have passed since the first presidential announcement, nearly $1 billion has been spent and numerous candidates have already come and gone
2:21PM ( 9 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
Shows canceled as virus outbreak spooks Asian entertainers
Concerts and shows are being canceled, not just in China but across much of Asia, as a virus outbreak that has killed more than 300 people and reached more then 20 countries spooks the entertainment industry
11:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
Rush Limbaugh says he's been diagnosed with lung cancer
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh says he’s been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer
10:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Super Bowl halftime show draws praise, tears from US Latinos
Latinos across the U.S. took to social media to praise and dissect the Super Bowl halftime performance by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez — two of the world's most popular Latina artists
7:57PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
YouTube: No "birther" conspiracy videos for 2020 election
YouTube is making clear there will be no “birtherism” on its platform during this year's U.S. presidential election
6:21AM ( 17 hours ago )
Democratic race opens in Iowa amid worry over beating Trump
More than two years have passed since the first presidential announcement, nearly $1 billion has been spent and numerous candidates have already come and gone
5:27AM ( 18 hours ago )
Trump bashes Democratic rivals during pre-Super Bowl show
President Donald Trump used a Super Bowl pregame interview to rail against Democrats, accusing them of hatred and offering schoolyard insults about his potential 2020 rivals
1:00AM ( 23 hours ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Tatum leads Celtics past Hawks 123-115 for 4th straight win
Jayson Tatum scored 28 points and Grant Williams drove for a key basket in the final minute, leading the Boston Celtics to a 123-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks
11:49PM ( 24 minutes ago )
1 dead, 5 wounded in shooting on Greyhound bus in California
The California Highway Patrol says a gunman opened fire aboard a packed Greyhound bus, killing one passenger and wounding five others before the driver pulled over onto the shoulder
11:49PM ( 25 minutes ago )
The Latest: Warren says Iowa caucus is 'too close to call'
Elizabeth Warren says the Iowa caucus is “too close to call” and instead used much of a speech at her caucus party to criticize President Donald Trump
11:48PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Democratic caucus results delayed by mobile app issues
Problems with a mobile app appear to have forced a delay in reporting the results of the Iowa caucuses, as the campaigns, voters and the media are pressing party officials for an explanation — and getting few answers
11:48PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Hospitals cut services as worried Hong Kong has 1st death
Hong Kong hospitals are cutting services as medical workers strike for a second day to demand the borders with mainland China be shut completely to ward off a virus
11:43PM ( 31 minutes ago )