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On Nov. 14, 2014, days after four incumbent Democratic senators lost their seats to Republican challengers, former MSNBC host Toure Neblett opined that gerrymandering had unfairly tipped the scales in the GOP’s favor.

“We see red state Democrats who are dealing with the challenge of living and governing in a gerrymandered world where sometimes they have to deal with what the folks on the right — very low support from the Republican side for this — what the folks on the right want,” he said.

Former Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Udall of Colorado, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana lost their statewide re-election bids to Republicans. Contrary to Toure’s suggestion, gerrymandering, the practice by which states are divided into House Congressional districts, had nothing to do with it.

Nevertheless, the former MSNBC host is not the only one in the media to suggest House redistricting affects statewide elections.

Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher did the same thing in March 2013 when he complained about the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass a weapons ban.

“The [National Rifle Association] has this bumper sticker, ‘I’m From the NRA And I Vote.’ And you know what? They do,” Maher said. “That’s why [Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.] pulled this bill is because he had about nine Senators in red states he was worried about and if he put this vote up, they’d lose.”

He pondered, “Isn’t it also because we are such a gerrymandered country?”

Following Democratic losses in the 2014 midterms, others in media joined in, some not as incorrectly, but all suggesting the same thing: That gerrymandering is a very serious issue and that it is in need of addressing immediately.

The merits of these arguments aside, these responses to political defeat mirror the media’s larger tendency to blame electoral losses on supposedly unfair rules and tricky politicking.

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“It’s not our ideas that lost,” they say. “If it weren’t for this one rule, or if it weren’t for this obscure election law, we surely would have won,” they argue.

And there is a lot of this attitude today following Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat at the hands of billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

“[T]imes have changed, and we need to rethink the notion of the ‘United States of America,” author Lawrence Samuel suggested this week in a Washington Post op-ed titled “States are a relic of the past. It’s time to get rid of them.”

He continued:

Our states are no longer culturally diverse regions with their own respective identities; rather, they are artificially constructed geographic entities that certainly would not be formed today.
A federation of states was a wonderful idea in the late 18th century, but represents an unnecessary and costly burden in the early 21st. Two layers of government — federal and local — offers a cleaner, more sensible and much more affordable system than our current one, a notion not unlike cutting out the middle layer of an overly bureaucratic, inefficient company.

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Though Clinton lost the Electoral College to Trump, she won the popular vote, naturally leading to calls in the media for the abolition of the former.

The online news site Bustle encouraged its readers to speak out, publishing an article titled, “6 Petitions To Change The Electoral College That You Can Sign Right Now.”

“Yes, We Could Effectively Abolish the Electoral College Soon. But We Probably Won’t,” read one Slate headline.

Time Magazine published an op-ed titled, “These 3 Common Arguments For Preserving the Electoral College Are Wrong.”

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell cheered Sen. Barbara Boxer’s, D-Calif., bill to abolish the Electoral College, telling his viewers that it “always has to be remembered in every discussion of this election.”

“Hillary Clinton got more votes. … the world looks at us and cannot fathom, what is this Electoral College and how does the person who came in second win the presidency?” he asked.

Bill Maher (again!) also has a lot to say about the popular vote in the 2016 election.

“Hillary won,” the HBO host said this weekend. “She won popular vote, probably by a million and a half. It’s just that there were more Trump voters in the places that it counted, like Moscow.”

“We’ve always had our disagreements here but now half the country wants absolutely nothing to do with the other half. Our motto is no longer ‘E Pluribus Unum’; it’s ‘Go f—k yourself.’ And that is not a sustainable way to live.”

There is more.

Daily Kos published a post titled “The surprisingly realistic path to eliminating the Electoral College by 2020.” The Nation published a call to action titled “The Electoral College Has To Go. Sign Our Petition.” And so on.

Though there are differences in how some in the media have approached the Electoral College vote, the underlying messages appear to be the same: Clinton and her supporters didn’t lose on Nov. 8. They were robbed; the system is rigged.

It’s not that 62 percent of likely voters say she’s untrustworthy and dishonest. It’s not that she has a 55.4 percent unfavorable rating. It’s not that Clinton lagged 10 points behind Trump with voters who said they were “very enthusiastic” about their candidate.

The real and urgent lesson of 2016, according to some in the media, is that the Electoral College is old and outdated and it must be abolished immediately.

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