Newspaper Endorsements

Here’s a thread to focus on and keep track of which papers are endorsing which candidate.

A few for Kerry:
NY Times
Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Daily News
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Detroit Free Press
Daily Star (Tuscon)
Portland Press Herald
Seattle Times
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A few for Bush:
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Columbian (Vancouver, WA)
Pueblo Chieftan (CO)
Courier (OH)

So far, according to the Washington Post, Kerry is up 11 papers to 8, including more major papers and more from swing states.

Bush also has been endorsed by the Dallas Morning News, the Rocky Mountain News, the Chicago Tribune and the Omaha World Herald.

Kerry has also been endorsed by the Boston Globe and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Are any of the endorsements especially interesting in their content?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Are any of the endorsements especially interesting in their content? [/quote]

NYT sums up my own feelings quite well:

John Kerry for President

enator John Kerry goes toward the election with a base that is built more on opposition to George W. Bush than loyalty to his own candidacy. But over the last year we have come to know Mr. Kerry as more than just an alternative to the status quo. We like what we’ve seen. He has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive, not just a modest improvement on the incumbent.

We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry’s wide knowledge and clear thinking - something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. And while Mr. Kerry’s service in Vietnam was first over-promoted and then over-pilloried, his entire life has been devoted to public service, from the war to a series of elected offices. He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core.

There is no denying that this race is mainly about Mr. Bush’s disastrous tenure. Nearly four years ago, after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency, Mr. Bush came into office amid popular expectation that he would acknowledge his lack of a mandate by sticking close to the center. Instead, he turned the government over to the radical right.

Mr. Bush installed John Ashcroft, a favorite of the far right with a history of insensitivity to civil liberties, as attorney general. He sent the Senate one ideological, activist judicial nominee after another. He moved quickly to implement a far-reaching anti-choice agenda including censorship of government Web sites and a clampdown on embryonic stem cell research. He threw the government’s weight against efforts by the University of Michigan to give minority students an edge in admission, as it did for students from rural areas or the offspring of alumni.

When the nation fell into recession, the president remained fixated not on generating jobs but rather on fighting the right wing’s war against taxing the wealthy. As a result, money that could have been used to strengthen Social Security evaporated, as did the chance to provide adequate funding for programs the president himself had backed. No Child Left Behind, his signature domestic program, imposed higher standards on local school systems without providing enough money to meet them.

If Mr. Bush had wanted to make a mark on an issue on which Republicans and Democrats have long made common cause, he could have picked the environment. Christie Whitman, the former New Jersey governor chosen to run the Environmental Protection Agency, came from that bipartisan tradition. Yet she left after three years of futile struggle against the ideologues and industry lobbyists Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had installed in every other important environmental post. The result has been a systematic weakening of regulatory safeguards across the entire spectrum of environmental issues, from clean air to wilderness protection.

The president who lost the popular vote got a real mandate on Sept. 11, 2001. With the grieving country united behind him, Mr. Bush had an unparalleled opportunity to ask for almost any shared sacrifice. The only limit was his imagination.

He asked for another tax cut and the war against Iraq.

The president’s refusal to drop his tax-cutting agenda when the nation was gearing up for war is perhaps the most shocking example of his inability to change his priorities in the face of drastically altered circumstances. Mr. Bush did not just starve the government of the money it needed for his own education initiative or the Medicare drug bill. He also made tax cuts a higher priority than doing what was needed for America’s security; 90 percent of the cargo unloaded every day in the nation’s ports still goes uninspected.

Along with the invasion of Afghanistan, which had near unanimous international and domestic support, Mr. Bush and his attorney general put in place a strategy for a domestic antiterror war that had all the hallmarks of the administration’s normal method of doing business: a Nixonian obsession with secrecy, disrespect for civil liberties and inept management.

American citizens were detained for long periods without access to lawyers or family members. Immigrants were rounded up and forced to languish in what the Justice Department’s own inspector general found were often “unduly harsh” conditions. Men captured in the Afghan war were held incommunicado with no right to challenge their confinement. The Justice Department became a cheerleader for skirting decades-old international laws and treaties forbidding the brutal treatment of prisoners taken during wartime.

Mr. Ashcroft appeared on TV time and again to announce sensational arrests of people who turned out to be either innocent, harmless braggarts or extremely low-level sympathizers of Osama bin Laden who, while perhaps wishing to do something terrible, lacked the means. The Justice Department cannot claim one major successful terrorism prosecution, and has squandered much of the trust and patience the American people freely gave in 2001. Other nations, perceiving that the vast bulk of the prisoners held for so long at Guant?namo Bay came from the same line of ineffectual incompetents or unlucky innocents, and seeing the awful photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, were shocked that the nation that was supposed to be setting the world standard for human rights could behave that way.

Like the tax cuts, Mr. Bush’s obsession with Saddam Hussein seemed closer to zealotry than mere policy. He sold the war to the American people, and to Congress, as an antiterrorist campaign even though Iraq had no known working relationship with Al Qaeda. His most frightening allegation was that Saddam Hussein was close to getting nuclear weapons. It was based on two pieces of evidence. One was a story about attempts to purchase critical materials from Niger, and it was the product of rumor and forgery. The other evidence, the purchase of aluminum tubes that the administration said were meant for a nuclear centrifuge, was concocted by one low-level analyst and had been thoroughly debunked by administration investigators and international vetting. Top members of the administration knew this, but the selling went on anyway. None of the president’s chief advisers have ever been held accountable for their misrepresentations to the American people or for their mismanagement of the war that followed.

The international outrage over the American invasion is now joined by a sense of disdain for the incompetence of the effort. Moderate Arab leaders who have attempted to introduce a modicum of democracy are tainted by their connection to an administration that is now radioactive in the Muslim world. Heads of rogue states, including Iran and North Korea, have been taught decisively that the best protection against a pre-emptive American strike is to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.

We have specific fears about what would happen in a second Bush term, particularly regarding the Supreme Court. The record so far gives us plenty of cause for worry. Thanks to Mr. Bush, Jay Bybee, the author of an infamous Justice Department memo justifying the use of torture as an interrogation technique, is now a federal appeals court judge. Another Bush selection, J. Leon Holmes, a federal judge in Arkansas, has written that wives must be subordinate to their husbands and compared abortion rights activists to Nazis.

Mr. Bush remains enamored of tax cuts but he has never stopped Republican lawmakers from passing massive spending, even for projects he dislikes, like increased farm aid.

If he wins re-election, domestic and foreign financial markets will know the fiscal recklessness will continue. Along with record trade imbalances, that increases the chances of a financial crisis, like an uncontrolled decline of the dollar, and higher long-term interest rates.

The Bush White House has always given us the worst aspects of the American right without any of the advantages. We get the radical goals but not the efficient management. The Department of Education’s handling of the No Child Left Behind Act has been heavily politicized and inept. The Department of Homeland Security is famous for its useless alerts and its inability to distribute antiterrorism aid according to actual threats. Without providing enough troops to properly secure Iraq, the administration has managed to so strain the resources of our armed forces that the nation is unprepared to respond to a crisis anywhere else in the world.

Mr. Kerry has the capacity to do far, far better. He has a willingness - sorely missing in Washington these days - to reach across the aisle. We are relieved that he is a strong defender of civil rights, that he would remove unnecessary restrictions on stem cell research and that he understands the concept of separation of church and state. We appreciate his sensible plan to provide health coverage for most of the people who currently do without.

Mr. Kerry has an aggressive and in some cases innovative package of ideas about energy, aimed at addressing global warming and oil dependency. He is a longtime advocate of deficit reduction. In the Senate, he worked with John McCain in restoring relations between the United States and Vietnam, and led investigations of the way the international financial system has been gamed to permit the laundering of drug and terror money. He has always understood that America’s appropriate role in world affairs is as leader of a willing community of nations, not in my-way-or-the-highway domination.

We look back on the past four years with hearts nearly breaking, both for the lives unnecessarily lost and for the opportunities so casually wasted. Time and again, history invited George W. Bush to play a heroic role, and time and again he chose the wrong course. We believe that with John Kerry as president, the nation will do better.

Voting for president is a leap of faith. A candidate can explain his positions in minute detail and wind up governing with a hostile Congress that refuses to let him deliver. A disaster can upend the best-laid plans. All citizens can do is mix guesswork and hope, examining what the candidates have done in the past, their apparent priorities and their general character. It’s on those three grounds that we enthusiastically endorse John Kerry for president.

I’m sure everyone was shocked and amazed to learn the NYT editorial board was going to endorse Kerry… =-)

I think you’d have a hard time, BB, trying to convince educated people that the NY Times is a biased source.

They have their perspective, sure, but it is shaped by the actions of those they judge – not in some other, perverse order.

I think the endorsements for Kerry are more about liberal bias then journalistic integrity.

I don’t think the Inquirer or the Times have endorsed a conservative candidate since Eisenhower.

Unless they have an agenda it seems highly unlikely some conservative hasn’t made their grade in all that time.

[quote]Right Side Up wrote:
I think you’d have a hard time, BB, trying to convince educated people that the NY Times is a biased source.

They have their perspective, sure, but it is shaped by the actions of those they judge – not in some other, perverse order.[/quote]

RSU – I’ve gone on ad infinitum in other threads on why I think the Times has a liberal bias – however, this criticism doesn’t extend to the editorial page, which is supposed to have a bias.

I was merely saying that I am shocked and amazed that a liberal editorial board would endorse the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts.

[quote]Right Side Up wrote:
I think you’d have a hard time, BB, trying to convince educated people that the NY Times is a biased source. [/quote]

Thank you Mr. Rather, you may sit down now.

BTW, for what it’s worth, Kerry has captured another endorsement that I’m sure will translate into dozens more votes on college campuses everywhere – to the extent readers who would base their decision on the endorsement can motivate themselves out of their rooms:


If W. manages to get more than 15% of the total newspaper endorsements, he will have achieved something.

Remember 80-85% of the media agree with your theories.


Big surprise…

Team Bush declares war on the New York Times

[i]The Bush White House’s attacks on one of America’s grandest newspapers mark a clear break with Republican tradition, writes Eric Boehlert

Tuesday October 19, 2004[/i]

During the closing weeks of the 2000 presidential campaign, at a campaign rally, George Bush spotted a veteran political reporter and turned to Dick Cheney, standing next to him on the platform, to remark: “There’s Adam Clymer, major league asshole from the New York Times.” “Oh yeah, big time,” replied Cheney. Unbeknownst to them, their locker room exchange was caught by an open microphone. Four years later, nobody connected with the Bush-Cheney campaign appears even slightly concerned about being caught denigrating the Times; they are more than happy to do it on the record, as the White House has all but declared open warfare on the nation’s leading newspaper.

The latest volley came over the weekend when Republican campaign officials accused the Times’s Sunday magazine of fabricating a provocative quote from Bush in which he bragged - behind closed doors and speaking to wealthy supporters - that he would announce plans for “privatising of social security” early next year, after his re-election. When Democrats jumped on the remark, dubbing it the “January surprise”, the Republican National Committee chairman, Ed Gillespie, dismissed the Times’s work as “Kitty Kelley journalism”, insisting Bush had never uttered the phrase attributed to him. But the Times stands by the 8,300-word story by Ron Suskind, author of The Price of Loyalty: George W Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O’Neill, a revealing account of the former secretary of the treasury published earlier this year.

That confrontation, and the Bush campaign’s harsh accusation that respected journalist Suskind and the editors of the Times are liars, come on the heels of a series of denigrations by the White House: the Times reporter was recently banned from Cheney’s campaign plane; and in his acceptance speech before the Republican Convention Bush mocked the paper by distorting, out of context, one of its columnist’s writings of almost 60 years ago. Early in his administration, Bush set the contentious tone when he broke with tradition by refusing to sit for an interview with the Times. He finally granted the paper a sit-down, just 30 minutes long, in August.

“Presidents like spin and secrets; journalists don’t, so this is a relationship fraught with potential discomfort,” says Times executive editor Bill Keller. He observes that the paper has dealt with difficult episodes with various White Houses in the past, but adds. "I admit we’re puzzled over what seems to be a more intense antipathy at this White House, especially since the campaign heated up.

“I can only speculate, but some of it may be that they think whacking a big newspaper with ‘New York’ in its name plays well with the [conservative] base. Perhaps they think if they beat up on us, we’ll go soft on them. Or maybe they have decided to blame the newsroom for our opinion pages, though they certainly know that the editorial writers and columnists operate completely independent of reporters and editors.” (On Sunday, the Times published an endorsement of Senator John Kerry, in which it commented: “The Bush White House has always given us the worst aspects of the American right without any of the advantages. We get the radical goals but not the efficient management.”)

The controversial quote from Suskind’s story came near the end of a lengthy feature article, Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W Bush, which examines the extraordinary degree to which Bush and his senior aides rely on their “faith” and their “gut” to make key policy decisions, and how those who raise questions based on facts or “reality” are cut out of the inner circle. According to Suskind, Bush recently told a closed meeting of major contributors: “I’m going to come out strong after my swearing in with fundamental tax reform, tort reform, privatising of social security.” Suskind reported that the statements were relayed to him by sources present at the event.

On Sunday the RNC sent out emails - one complete with Suskind’s photo and voter registration information - that attacked him professionally and said the passages in question were “third-hand, made-up quotes” designed to “scare seniors.” But the editor of the Times magazine, Gerald Marzorati, told Salon in an email: “Ron Suskind’s reporting was carefully reported and vigorously fact-checked.”

If Times readers did not already know the paper’s relationship with the White House was in serious disrepair, they found out on September 18. That day, Times reporter Rick Lyman wrote a front-page piece about how, despite having been assigned by the country’s most influential newspaper to cover Cheney’s re-election campaign, he was not welcome on Air Force Two, where 10 seats were reserved for the travelling press corps. None was available for him, or for the previous Times reporter assigned to the Cheney beat. Lyman’s article, headlined Chasing Dick Cheney, was written with a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone (as much irony as the still-staid Times allows) but could not mask the strain between the paper and the White House, the kind of rift usually kept from public view as administration and news officials exchange behind-the-scene phone calls to try to patch things up.

Cheney had already made clear this summer that he had no intentions of maintaining cordial relations with the Times when he blasted its coverage of the 9/11 commission as “outrageous” and “malicious.”

And in August, during his convention acceptance speech just 10 blocks from the Times newsroom, Bush derided the paper, suggesting it was a fount of wrongheaded pessimism. “In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times: ‘Germany is … a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. [European] capitals are frightened. In every [military] headquarters one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed.’ End quote. Maybe that same person is still around, writing editorials.”

Bush was referring to Anne O’Hare McCormick, the pioneering, Pulitzer prize-winning Times journalist. And he twisted her dispatch about Germany: in fact she was criticising the “moral crisis” in the British and French sectors while reporting that Americans were doing a better job of reconstruction. She also urged the US to commit more troops to the occupation. Times columnist Maureen Dowd, discussing the speech, wrote: “Bush swift-boated her.”

“It takes a certain amount of gall to criticise the New York Times in the middle of Madison Square Garden, on the paper’s home turf,” says Susan Tifft, co-author with Alex Jones of The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times."

On one level the Times seems an odd choice for the White House’s wrath: during the 2000 campaign, despite Bush’s “asshole” remark, the paper’s coverage of the candidate was considered to be among the most generous of any of the major dailies’, particularly the work of Frank Bruni, the beat reporter who travelled extensively with the Bush campaign. In his book about that time, Ambling Into History, published in 2002, Bruni wrote that while watching the first debate from the audience, he thought Bush had done so poorly that he was sure he had lost the election. Yet Bruni never mentioned his sinking feeling to readers during his generally upbeat coverage of the Bush campaign. The Times was also very reserved in its coverage of the exposure during the final weekend of the campaign of Bush’s old drink-driving arrest.

During the period leading up to the Iraq war, the Times was instrumental in the administration’s political choreography of its case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, in particular that he was producing nuclear weapons. But this year, the newspaper felt compelled to essentially apologise for what amounted to its participation in an elaborate disinformation campaign. “The Times didn’t cover itself in glory during that period,” says Michael Massing, author of Now They Tell Us: The American Press and Iraq. “The paper”, he says, “was far too credulous towards the administration during the run-up to the war. The irony is the Times helped the administration’s case before the war.”

The Bush White House’s open feud with the Times represents a clear break with the tradition of most Republican presidents - including the current president’s father - tolerating the major mainstream press outlets despite misgivings or unhappiness with their coverage. The days when the Times publisher Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger Sr travelled to the White House during the height of the Reagan administration for a cordial lunch with the president, his vice-president, George Bush Sr, and the secretary of state, George Shultz, are long gone. While President Nixon “had no love for the New York Times … even he felt he had to deal with them. Bush officials do not feel like they have to deal with the gatekeepers,” says Tifft. “They have taken advantage of cable channels and talk radio and websites that are sympathetic toward them. What they have basically done by words and deeds is to say to the New York Times: ‘We don’t need you. We can get our message out without you.’”

Bush and his campaign apparently see little political downside to a public fight with the allegedly liberal press. That very point was made in Suskind’s Times magazine article, which quoted Bush political consultant Mark McKinnon as saying: “All of you … up and down the west coast, the east coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street, let me clue you in: we don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered two to one by folks in the big, wide middle of America - busy, working people who don’t read the New York Times or Washington Post or The LA Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!”

Personally, I have a problem with newpapers endorsing any candidates. Period. To be objective I feel like they should never put their names behind any candidate. I like the reporting of the NYT, and they’re even backing the candidate that I plan to vote for, but I don’t think it is right when they (or ANY source of news) pick a side.

[quote]Roy Batty wrote:
Personally, I have a problem with newpapers endorsing any candidates. Period. To be objective I feel like they should never put their names behind any candidate. I like the reporting of the NYT, and they’re even backing the candidate that I plan to vote for, but I don’t think it is right when they (or ANY source of news) pick a side.[/quote]

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.

This has got to be the “no shit” statement of this thread that makes everyone slap themselves on the head. I have to agree with Roy here folks. It is just not right.

Thank you, Roy, for pointing this out to the crew.

Oh, and NYT sucks the brown-eye.

JusttheFacts –

That whole line of attack by the Kerry campaign and the NYT is retarded. The president has talked about his plan for social security reform since 2000, and it involves PARTIAL privatization of accounts – allowing younger workers to invest part of their payroll taxes into stocks and/or bonds in exchange for accepting smaller defined-benefits payments later.

In fact, Kerry referenced the projected $2 trillion “cost” of the plan (I put that in quotes because it isn’t really a cost – it’s just an accounting procedure involving reducing future costs while increasing current costs) – which, BTW, was the “cost” of keeping current benefits up while decreasing current revenues to the SS account.

So, Bush has been talking about private accounts for SS accounts since 2000, and Kerry talked about the projected “cost” of the plan in a debate in front of millions of people. Some “January surprise.”

BTW, while your story says the NYT is standing by its “piece”, I wonder, do they stand by the implication that your story and the Kerry campaign are using? For an answer to that, see the “Kerry Demagogues, NYT Factchecks” thread I started.

[quote]Roy Batty wrote:
Personally, I have a problem with newpapers endorsing any candidates. Period. To be objective I feel like they should never put their names behind any candidate. I like the reporting of the NYT, and they’re even backing the candidate that I plan to vote for, but I don’t think it is right when they (or ANY source of news) pick a side.[/quote]

Being objective and having an opinion are not mutually exclusive.


That piece cited in your post appeared in this past Sunday’s NYT Magazine. It’s remarkable and a necessary read for everyone…

It’s called Without A Doubt and it deals with the President’s certainty – often in the face of reason and in the name of faith – that has become what many Republicans think is his greatest strength and many Dems think is his greatest weakness.

It goes into great detail on how the administration has cultivated this atmosphere of no questions asked, no hesitation, deliberation, or discourse allowed.

The article gives a glimpse of GWB’s life before God – one with a rocky marriage, no career, and a generally, so it seems, shitty attitude and shitty potential. Billy Graham injected a little of that good ol’ reliable faith into him and he was ready to be president!

It’s quite sad and, I think, quite evident to any casual observer. The article doesn’t persuade (cause it’s already common knowledge) but it does articulate the argument well and provide unique support.

I agree with RSU –

I have no problem with newspaper editorial boards endorsing candidates.

My problem is when a news source claims to be objective but is obviously biased one way or the other. I don’t mind overtly partisan sources, and I don’t mind the “Fox approach” of showing both sides – I just get irked when a source claims to be unbiased, is obviously biased, and thinks I’m stupid enough not to notice.

RSU- a little fun with the NYT endorsement.

“wide knowledge and clear thinking”- like Tora Bora fables, according to Franks, the guy running the operation, and fantasies about French help?

Strong moral core- left wing code word for Blame America First.

Supremes awarded… typical LWBS to state as fact unproven, and in this case, BS assertion. What recount gave Gore the election? Too bad if the Dems are too stupid to vote and count votes correctly.

Radical Right? I’m sure the John Birchers are surprised to hear that.

Read Reason Magazine, Oct. 2004 on John Kerry and civle rights.

They guys try to sound like Keynesians and yet don’t know their Keynes. You cut taxes and run deficits in a recession.

Flat wrong on No Child Left Behind, but nice try.

Enviroment- well when you have hypocrities like Robert “No renewable wind power ruining my oceanview I like to fly in fuel guzzling jets and have extra vacation homes” Kennedy Jr. lying about you, you must have done something right.

Starve the govt- that’s why it’s growing so fast.

Domestic war on Terror- well, the DHS WAS a Democrat idea. Of course its expensive, intrusive and ineffective.

Abu Ghraib- old news. Those timesmen wish it would still be under previous management anyway- back when they were much more humane.

Moderate Arab leaders- aside from a loner or two, who are they trying to kid?

Terror links- to the guy that tossed the old guy in a wheelchair overboard and payments to Palistinian bombers. There’s other evidence, if not conclusive.

On Saddam’s nuclear program- keep up with the times, boys. Read the Duefler report, or better yest, that new book by the head of Sadddam’s nuclear program.

“International outrage”- Pissed off Frogs, Krauts, Ivans, and Chicoms in a tizzy becasue Dubbya held up their gravy train headed in from Bagdad.

Iran and North Korea- yeah, like they just started. The North Koreans would never have signed on with Half Bright if they hadn’t first figured out a way around it first.

Supreme Court- afraid they might actually read and abide by the Constitution and not make it up as they go along or steal it from abroad?

Financial markets- they survived that greatest of all Ex-presidents.

Reach across the aisle- What crap- Kerry plays nicey with the Gipper’s memory. Back in the day, though, he fought Reagan’s efforts to halt the Cubanification of Central America.

“Strong defender of civil rights”- again, read the Reason article.

“Sensible plan to provide health coverage”- read another step on the path to the wonders of single payer nirvana- one big wait in line for mediocrity, if you live that long.

Energy policy- see Synfuels Corp, or ethanol subsidies, tasty bi-partisan pork. I’v got an energy policy for Kerry- sell off some of the Meal Ticket’s vacation homes- then you won’t waste non-renewable resources galavanting off to them.

Now it’s your turn.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
I don’t mind the “Fox approach” of showing both sides – I just get irked when a source claims to be unbiased, is obviously biased, and thinks I’m stupid enough not to notice.[/quote]

Hang on there handy man! You don’t mind the FOX approach of showing both sides? BB, what’s happening to you my friend? Their Fair and Balanced slogan qualifies for what you claim to be “irked” by in the latter portion of this statement!

I’m not sure what its my turn to do…no offense, and perhaps its my fault, but I find your post difficult to make sense of.