Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Worth The Paper It’s Printed In

Josh Marshall reports an interesting historical fact:

For the first time since 1940, the Tulsa World declines to endorse the Republican nominee for President: “From Day One, the Trump campaign has brought out the worst of America, not the greatness that he promises.”

It will be interesting to see where this trend goes: how many papers will endorse Donald Trump?  How many papers with notably conservative editorial boards will decline to endorse him, switch to Hillary Clinton, or go the noble/chicken route and refuse to endorse either?  (For the record, the World went that route, refusing to consider Hillary Clinton by repeating the right-wing lies and bullshit about her that you’d find on Fox News or Glen Beck.  Not a surprise.  I’ve read the World when I’ve been in Kansas for the Inge Festival and its editorials make the Wall Street Journal sound like the Daily Worker.)

It used to be that newspaper endorsements meant something.  Not in the sense that they could sway voters — I can’t imagine someone sitting at the breakfast table reading the Daily Bilge’s ringing endorsement of some candidate and saying, “That’s it, Martha; I’m voting for this guy!” — but they do give you an idea of the mood of the people who are paid to observe and report on the local attitudes.  The World’s pox-on-both-your-houses stand may be the prevailing view among the right-wing papers that have what they perceive as some shred of dignity by being oh-so above it all.

What will be an interesting gauge in this election will be the papers with an editorial board that actually judges the candidates on their merits and has a history of endorsing one or the other regardless of party affiliation and see how many of them will actually endorse Donald Trump.

I can only think of one paper that might possibly endorse him, but they’ve been out of print since V-E Day.