Newspaper endorsements don’t really help politicians or sway elections. Even endorsements from other politicians don’t persuade voters. What they do is give reason to vote, or not to vote, for a particular candidate and shows the direction the person, newspaper, union, organization, etc., wants the country to move toward. A lot of times it’s not as much about the candidate but the positions. At times it’s not as much about the candidate as it is the opponent.
Which leads us to Donald Trump.
During every election cycle newspapers endorse candidates. The endorsements go for Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc. Some readers get upset while others applaud. Most readers shrug their shoulders if they even notice. Endorsements are usually voted on by an editorial board which usually consists of the publisher, editor, editorial page editor and various other editors. Basically the most important people running the newspaper are on the board. I have been on the staff of four newspapers during my career and none of those newspapers had a staff where every editor had the same political philosophy. There is not a political agenda mandated by the newspaper. I’ve seen owners of newspapers sit back and watch an endorsement get published they voted against.
The most bizarre thing about Donald Trump is that no real newspaper has endorsed him. Yet, he’s the nominee for the Republican party. That just doesn’t happen. Yes, he collected a few endorsements during the primaries but newspapers usually pick one candidate from each party to endorse during the primaries and then pick against one of them during the general election. Who endorsed Trump during the primaries? The Santa Barbara News-Press, The New York Post (he is a New Yorker and he was running against Cruz who dissed the entire city), The New York Observer (which his son in law owns and disclaimer: is a client of mine), and the National Enquirer which is not a real newspaper. There are more than four newspaper in the United States.
During the general election so far Trump has only been endorsed by the Santa Barbara News-Press (I gotta do some research and find out what’s going on there) and the National Enquirer. That’s it. I’m sure the New York Observer will endorse eventually though one staffer has written a column (which they published) taking the editor to task for supporting Trump.
Usually Democrats pick up more endorsements from daily newspapers than Republicans, but it’s not a huge margin. Republicans have played it to their advantage in arguing that it proves the left-wing media (as if there was such a thing) is against them. Trump and his surrogates of monkeys are making the same argument, but those monkeys don’t fly.
The Dallas Morning News (Disclaimer: Another client) endorsed Hillary Clinton. It’s the first time they have endorsed a Democrat since 1944. They endorsed a Republican against Roosevelt near the end of World War II. How bad do those editors view Trump? They endorsed a guy over the guy who was taking out Hitler. And that’s in Texas. I’m sure other notable Texas newspapers wouldn’t do the same…oh wait. The Houston Chronicle, which is usually reliable for a good-ole fashioned Republican endorement has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
You can argue those are exceptions but wait! The Cincinnati Enquirer hasn’t endorsed a Democrat since 1916. Not since adults were riding ridiculous, giant big-wheeled tricycles and wearing stove-top hats, and wondering if airplanes would ever fly (and if they did, what sort of meals would they serve?) has The Enquirer endorsed a Democrat. They just did. Why? Because Trump isn’t qualified to be president.
Surely it ends there, right? No. The Arizona Republic which came into existence in the late 1880s has never…NEVER….endorsed a Democrat. Never. They just endorsed the Democrat and wrote that Clinton is the only choice to move forward. NEVER! They don’t endorse Democrats.
The Detroit News is another that never endorses Democrats. Never in its 143-year history has it NOT endorsed a Republican. They just endorsed Gary Johnson. Yes, the News would rather support a pot-smoking, tongue-wagging candidate who can’t find Aleppo on a map or name a single foreign leader, as their choice for president.
That brings us to USA Today (Disclaimer: They also run my work). The paper came into existence under Gannett and they own newspapers across the nation. USA Today has always played it safe and they have never endorsed a presidential candidate. They play the middle ground. I always joke with cartoonists that they never run controversial, dangerous, or even opinionated editorial cartoons. Every time they run one of my mine I’m kinda surprised. Lately they’ve really stepped up with their hard-hitting investigative reporting. But they don’t endorse. They just endorsed. Not Hillary but they wrote that Trump is not qualifed to be president. The editorial board couldn’t come to a consensus to endorse Clinton but they all agreed on Never Trump.
If Trump wants to know why this is happening he should ask his running mate, who also didn’t endorse him. Mike Pence endorsed Ted Cruz. He is the running mate for a man who he publicly said is not his first choice. Now that’s an endorsement. I hope when the election is over that Mike finds his money on the dresser.
These editorial boards are not in love with Hillary Clinton. They’re not part of the left-wing media agenda to elect a Democrat and throw the country into a socialist state where everyone gets an abortion and Obama phone with their free school lunch. They just know that you need to go with the most qualified candidate. I share the same viewpoint. I’m more Never Trump than I am pro Hillary. Hillary Clinton has issues and brings problems to the table but she is qualified for the job. Donald Trump is a disaster.Donald Trump is a nightmare we have yet to have. He is the pee in your Cheerios, the Yoko to your Beatles, and the Jar-Jar to your Star Wars. Why endorse a candidate who comes unhinged at 3:00 AM and attacks a former Miss Universe on Twitter and tells us all to check out her sex tape? Why?
Newspapers are managed by people who went to school. They went to college. They have disagrees. They’re not the elite but they’re educated. You know, the sort who don’t vote for Trump.
Stupid people vote for Trump.
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