(Fred Weinberg, Penny Press) What qualification does a newspaper (really, these days, its staff) have to tell you who to vote for?
I recently saw Major Garrett—the official anti-Trump correspondent of CBS News—almost simpering on the air, gleefully reporting that no newspapers have endorsed Donald Trump.
My second professional job (high school) was as a part time sports writer on a major metropolitan daily newspaper. Back in the late 60s we still set type in lead and computers in a newsroom were nonexistent. Stories were written on typewriters. (For you kids under 50, typewriters were what we used in the dark ages before word processing software.) Then, they were retyped on a Linotype lead typesetting machine by union guys.
I saw my first serious pornography, stored in the desk drawer of a high ranking editor.
Drinking was considered a sport (although not on the sports pages).
The people who populated the place, from the publisher on down, were mostly nice but certainly no smarter than the readers. In fact, a solid case could be made that many of them were worthy candidates of a 12-step program. Not the kind of role models you would willingly send your kids to work under—except many of them were considered pillars of the community. It was an imperfect measure.
Before the elections, an “editorial board” meeting was called, the alcoholics and the porn collectors got together and endorsed a candidate.
That’s pretty much the way it still works today.
What? You think that just because someone works at the New York Times (or some lesser major metro daily) they don’t drink or watch porn? If they work at the New York Times, they can afford the best.
New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post…I doubt much has changed except that they probably don’t hire high school aged sports writers anymore for the same reason that they don’t hire much of a newsroom anymore—they’re broke. Also, it might get them indicted for child abuse by today’s political standards.
At least the Washington Post once broke the Watergate story.
Here’s the point:
Most people who run newspapers are people that in real life know very little and aren’t very smart. They simply are not qualified to tell people how they should vote. They, for the most part, have never actually been involved in politics and their opinions are almost worthless.
Back in the day, publishers made those recommendations and got away with it because at least they ran a business. And were mostly very wealthy.
Today, having run that business right into the ground, they are no longer the crème de la crème of society and have even fewer qualifications to make such endorsements.
Also, today, you’re usually reading the results of an “editorial board” which is composed of people who are inherently liberal because they got where they are by graduating from a “respected” journalism school, in many cases having never met a person having a political position opposite theirs.
But the public must sense this because for many years now, the voting public has largely ignored what their newspaper has told them.
But that doesn’t stop clowns like Major Garrett and his CBS pals from assigning undue importance to the newspapers when he agrees with them.
Maybe, if it would stick to just reporting the facts, the public would have more respect for the media in general.