MSNBC.com Distorts: ‘"American Idol" Wins Congressional Race’

A Tuesday, May 13 headline written by writers Clare Kim and Rachel Kleinman on the homepage of MSNBC.com misleadingly declared “'American Idol' Wins Congressional Race” despite the fact that he merely won the primary to face incumbent Congressman Renee Ellmers (R-NC). 

Aiken won the Democratic primary in the heavily Republican district by a mere 390 votes. The primary wasn’t called until his primary opponent, Democrat Keith Crisco died suddenly at his home on Monday. [Note: MSNBC has since changed headline to read " 'American Idol' Wins Primary Fight."] 

It's not until readers click on the image on the homepage that they know what actually happened in last week's election: 

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken has won the Democratic nomination for Congress in North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. 

Kim and Kleinman eventually informed their readers that “The winner of the primary will go up against Rep. Renee Ellmers, the Republican incumbent, this November.” The Washington Post predicts that Congresswoman Ellmers has a 99.70% chance of winning reelection this November.  

One wonders if in 2012 following Mitt Romney’s nomination for president if MSNBC.com would have declared “Mitt Romney Wins Presidential Race.” Odds are the folks at MSNBC wouldn’t have been so loose with their choice of words if the candidate were a Republican. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.