Tuesday, October 21, 2008

News-Sentinel Trying To Weasel Its Way Out of a Public Presidential Endorsement

There seems to be no small debate brewing at the Knoxville News-Sentinel about whether the paper should endorse a candidate for President, as has been the custom in years' past. The KNS is taking a poll to ask readers whether it should make an endorsement. After all, says the reasoning, no one really cares about newspaper endorsements any longer, right?

It is true that newspaper endorsements do not carry the weight that they once did, but who a paper endorses for various political offices-but especially for President-gives the reader a clear picture of where the paper's editorial bias happens to fall. Every newspaper has such biases, but many want to conceal that reality so that they can slant the news to their liking without readers remembering their editorial line. The News-Sentinel has long shown itself to be a paper that is far more liberal in its outlook than the community that it purports to cover.

As much as I don't like that reality, the News-Sentinel has the right to take whatever editorial line it might choose to take. One has to wonder if the present reluctance of the KNS Editorial Board to endorse a candidate is really tied to the fact that many on the staff may support Barack Obama, and perhaps the editorial board does as well. Most East Tennesseans will be voting for John McCain, and that's just reality. Perhaps the News-Sentinel is less concerned about not endorsing candidates because the practice is outdated, and more concerned that if they endorse who they would really like to, the paper would lose a ton of subscribers.

The reason the News-Sentinel is trying to poll its way out of an endorsement is because they know the backlash that would come if they make their endorsement public. The News Sentinel should not use an internet poll as a means to play the coward and tell the people where the newspaper stands.

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4 Comments:

At Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
Have you gone back to bong hits before you write?
The KNS has always endorsed the GOP candidate, they did it in 2000, and they did it again in 2004.
The only difference this time is the GOP candidate is John McCain, and no matter what the voters of East Tennessee do, McCain is a loser. Who wants to endorse a loser?
Again - ADMIT NOTHING; Obama leads in the polls and has a better, more coherent, concise plan than MCanin does.
DENY EVERYTHING; McCain is a loser, reduced to smears, fear and playing pinata politics (attack blindly hoping to hit something that sticks).
BLAME SOMETHING or SOMEONE ELSE; Liberal media bias, KNS being cowardly.
Oh, please ...
Face it, it's just goiong the way you want it to.
Put the bong away before reality hits you thumps you on the head on Nov 5th.

SteveMule

 
At Wednesday, October 22, 2008 3:16:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Steve;
Do you have anything more substantive to write than hateful-sounding personal hits on me? Have you followed McElroy's ridiculous antics and his blog?

When did you move back to Knoxville to comment on the way the KNS is handling this? Do you realize how many of their people have blogs now, so the bias is out in the open for the world to see?

 
At Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,
I'm kidding about the "bong" so relax. Anyone that doesn't think or know I was kidding you should ignore.
Second, it's true! McCain is a loser. All this stuff about "media bias" is just a good way to construct excues, uh, "reasons" for McCain's losing.
You've done everything but give the McCain a clear, level-headed, professional evaluation. I know his your guy and everything but really, come'on now, one day the foundations of economy are good, then he wants to fire the head of the SEC, the next day he wants to form a commission, the day after that ... finally he "suspends" his campaign ... then ... everyday it's something new.
Media bias? I don't think so. Books are going to be written about the McCain campaign and it's going to come down to bad management, bad decisioins, and bad policies.
Oh, and by the way, the KNS is online www.knoxnews.com/ you can live anywhere and read it, and know what's going on there.

SteveMule

 
At Friday, October 24, 2008 11:27:00 AM, Anonymous Dan Cleary said...

First of all -- SteveMule, I agree with you in the sense that should McCain lose, he needs to take responsibility for the loss. But you can't deny that the MSM is openly rooting for Obama, and that will be part of the reason McCain loses (if he loses). McCain, to his credit, probably won't ever say that, and he shouldn't. (Though he has directly a few choice words towards the NYT, understandably so given their hit pieces on McCain, Palin, and Cindy McCain). But it is entirely appropriate for his supporters to include media bias among the reasons he might lose.

Obama may have a more concise, more coherent plan than McCain. But better? Sounds like you are one taking bong hits, my friend! :-) Socialized medicine, spreading the weaalth around, and meeting without preconditions with Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong Il? That's better than what McCain is offering?

But my main point is to Dave, regarding newspaper endorsements. Here in Nashville, the Tennessean is trying to have it both ways on the endorsement issue. Editor Mark Silverman argued in his weekly column that endorsements do have a place in newspapers (link below). But Mr. Silverman sang a different tune during the primaries, when he wrote a column explaining why the Tennessean was NOT endorsing any candidates (something about how they didn't have special access to Obama or McCain, so how could they possibly make an informed decision).

I think newspapers should make endorsements - not because we need them to, but as you say, so that their bias is clearly laid out on the table for readers.

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081012/COLUMNIST0113/810120381

 

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