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36 Papers Abandon Bush for Kerry

Old 10-27-04, 04:44 PM
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36 Papers Abandon Bush for Kerry

The Orlando Sentinel has backed every Republican seeking the White House since Richard M. Nixon in 1968. Not this time.

"This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations," the Florida paper said in supporting John F. Kerry, prompting some angry calls and a few dozen cancellations.

"A lot of people thought they could trust that the Sentinel would always go Republican, and when that didn't happen, they felt betrayed," said Jane Healy, the paper's editorial page editor.

The Sentinel is among 36 newspapers that endorsed President Bush four years ago and have flip-flopped, to coin a phrase, into Kerry's corner. These include the Chicago Sun-Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Memphis Commercial Appeal, according to industry magazine Editor & Publisher. Bush has won over only six papers that backed Al Gore, including the Denver Post, which received 700 letters -- all of them protesting the move.

Nine more papers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer yesterday, abandoned Bush after four years but did not support the Massachusetts senator. Instead, these papers -- the Detroit News, the Tampa Tribune and the New Orleans Times-Picayune among them -- threw up their collective hands and made no endorsement.

"We have decided not to add one more potentially polarizing voice to a poisoned debate," the Plain Dealer editorial said. Amid reports that Publisher Alex Machaskee, who chairs the editorial board, wanted to back Bush, the Ohio paper acknowledged that a majority of the board favored Kerry.

Even many editorial page editors say they do not believe their endorsements move many voters in an age of round-the-clock opinion-slinging on television and online. But the Bush defections may reflect a degree of disillusionment with the president, at least among opinion leaders, principally on Iraq but on domestic issues, as well.

"I've always argued that presidential endorsements, which may mean a lot to political activists and groupies, are the least important endorsements big-city newspapers make," said Brent Larkin, the Plain Dealer's editorial page editor, whose paper has backed a candidate in every election since at least World War II. "People make up their own minds and do not need our nickel's worth."

Nolan Finley, who runs the Detroit News editorial page, disagrees: "I've heard people speculate they don't mean as much anymore, but I think they're influential still, particularly in close races. Voters are looking for answers in an election like this one." The decision not to endorse was "an agonizing process," he said, noting that the News has backed every Republican seeking the White House since Ulysses S. Grant.

All told, Kerry leads Bush 142 to 123 in endorsements, and when measured by circulation, 17.5 million to 11.5 million, Editor & Publisher says. The Massachusetts senator has won the backing of the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Detroit Free Press, the Miami Herald, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Des Moines Register and both Seattle newspapers. The president has the support of the Chicago Tribune, the New York Post, the Arizona Republic, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Columbus Dispatch, the Dallas Morning News, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Washington Times and both Cincinnati newspapers.

Others that switched from Bush in 2000 to Kerry in 2004 include the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa.; the Idaho Statesman in Boise; and the Bangor Daily News in Maine.

Kerry won over some editorial boards through personal campaigning. Earlier in the year, said the Sentinel's Healy, she believed that "Kerry was too liberal for us as a senator from Massachusetts." But through an hour-long interview with the board and the presidential debates, "we became convinced he would be moderate as president, and more moderate than President Bush in terms of fiscal responsibility and the war, in terms of bringing in international cooperation."

Kerry also spoke by phone with the Plain Dealer's Larkin and Machaskee.

In its no-one-to-endorse editorial, the Tampa Tribune put it this way: "We cannot support Bush because of his mishandling of the war in Iraq, record deficits pending, assault on open government and failed promise to be a 'uniter not a divider,' but what Kerry stands for is unclear."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?nav=hcmodule
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Old 10-27-04, 04:45 PM
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but do swing voters read the newspaper- I dont think so.
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Old 10-27-04, 04:50 PM
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I don't think "expected" endorsements carry much weight. Everybody knew the Detroit Free Press would endorse Kerry; they never saw a Democrat they didn't like. I think the unexpected endorsements (or lack of) may have more impact. The Detroit News going "none of the above" instead of endorsing Bush caused a bit of a shock around here.
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Old 10-27-04, 04:53 PM
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And the L.A. Times endorsed Gray Davis here in California during the recall election. Lot of good that did. It might swing a few.. overall I think the impact will be minor.
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Old 10-27-04, 04:55 PM
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I think it has less to do with the amount of swing it has and more to do with what the overall message says.
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Old 10-27-04, 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by bfrank
but do swing voters read the newspaper- I dont think so.

Read them? Probably so.

Take the newspaper's word on who they should vote for? Probably not.
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Old 10-27-04, 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by dick_grayson
I think it has less to do with the amount of swing it has and more to do with what the overall message says.
That the media prefers liberals? We got that message already
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Old 10-27-04, 04:57 PM
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Originally posted by General Zod
That the media prefers liberals? We got that message already
but they endorsed him four years ago----that's the message (I realize you were making a joke, btw)
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Old 10-27-04, 05:00 PM
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Yes, but the endorsements 4 years ago were before he stole (stole! STOLE STOLE STOLE) the election!
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Old 10-27-04, 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by bfrank
but do swing voters read the newspaper- I dont think so.
Heh, more like: does anybody read the newspaper anymore?
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Old 10-27-04, 05:09 PM
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Newspaper endorsements have about as much weight as Gore's endorsement of Howard Dean.
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Old 10-27-04, 05:18 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
Newspaper endorsements have about as much weight as Gore's endorsement of Howard Dean.
That bad, huh?
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Old 10-27-04, 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by nevermind
That bad, huh?
Yup...sort of like his endorsement that Morris was a stud
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Old 10-27-04, 06:55 PM
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How many Kerry supporters actually bother reading the paper?

besides the rabid folks here at DVD Talk
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Old 10-27-04, 07:49 PM
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All told, Kerry leads Bush 142 to 123 in endorsements


Why in the world would a serious story not tell us how that compares to 2000? Why in the world would they tell us how many Bush lost and not mention if he gained any, or how many? Why would a story like this at least not tell us what the "NET" loss or gain is?

How is that even excusable for a story like this?

Personally, I was amazed that Kerry only had 19 more newspapers than Bush. I would have expected that number to be greater.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
All told, Kerry leads Bush 142 to 123 in endorsements


Why in the world would a serious story not tell us how that compares to 2000? Why in the world would they tell us how many Bush lost and not mention if he gained any, or how many? Why would a story like this at least not tell us what the "NET" loss or gain is?
Because modern reportage sucks. Now if you'll please step this way, party operatives in Spin Alley are waiting to explain why this story demonstrates that their candidate is better than the other guy.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by JasonF
Because modern reportage sucks. Now if you'll please step this way, party operatives in Spin Alley are waiting to explain why this story demonstrates that their candidate is better than the other guy.
No shit. How hard is it to include obvious material. Absolutely stupid. It's like having a weather man tell you that today was "hot" and not give you any frame of reference. He might be comparing it to Kelvin for all I know. Pisses me off.
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Old 10-27-04, 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
Why in the world would they tell us how many Bush lost and not mention if he gained any, or how many? Why would a story like this at least not tell us what the "NET" loss or gain is?
Uh...they did. It was even bolded by bfrank. He gained 6 endorsements from papers that supported Gore in 2000.

How is not reading the bolded parts of an article before commenting even excusable on a message board like this?
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Old 10-27-04, 08:26 PM
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This is why I am still shocked about the Austin American Statesman going with Bush.
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Old 10-27-04, 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by BigDaddy
This is why I am still shocked about the Austin American Statesman going with Bush.
Some folks believe The Austin American Statesman is more than a Democratic newspaper - more than a liberal newspaper - some believe the paper has socialist tendencies.

I was shocked to see the paper's endorsement of Bush.

They have to believe John Kerry is a total incompetent.
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Old 10-27-04, 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by kvrdave
No shit. How hard is it to include obvious material. Absolutely stupid. It's like having a weather man tell you that today was "hot" and not give you any frame of reference. He might be comparing it to Kelvin for all I know. Pisses me off.
Let's see ...

274 total papers (142 (Dem) + 123 (Rep) + 9 (None)).
Dems gained 36 but lost 6, a change of +30, so last time they had 112.
Reps gained 6 but lost 36+9, a change of -39, so last time they had 162.
274 total papers (162 + 112).

Assuming my math isn't wrong (I did do this quickly, so who knows?)

Because modern reportage sucks
I think modern reportage thinks repeating material already readily available in an article is a waste of valuable space.

As others have said, the endorsements don't hold much sway, and editors know this, as shown by the article. I think their endorsements probabaly do have some sway in local elections though.

Even many editorial page editors say they do not believe their endorsements move many voters in an age of round-the-clock opinion-slinging on television and online. But the Bush defections may reflect a degree of disillusionment with the president, at least among opinion leaders, principally on Iraq but on domestic issues, as well.

"I've always argued that presidential endorsements, which may mean a lot to political activists and groupies, are the least important endorsements big-city newspapers make," said Brent Larkin, the Plain Dealer's editorial page editor, whose paper has backed a candidate in every election since at least World War II. "People make up their own minds and do not need our nickel's worth."

Last edited by outer-edge; 10-27-04 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 10-28-04, 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Duran
Uh...they did. It was even bolded by bfrank. He gained 6 endorsements from papers that supported Gore in 2000.

How is not reading the bolded parts of an article before commenting even excusable on a message board like this?
What a moran I am. I actually read that 4 times to make sure I hadn't missed it before I posted so that I would not look like a moran, and I still look like a moran.

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