Thursday, October 30, 2008

Endorse and Die

My paper, The Ocean City Sentinel, endorsed Barack Obama for president.
As a result, a few people cancelled their subscriptions, citing the editorial "offended" them and that newspapers shouldn't endorse candidates. One letter writer said Obama's liberal positions would clash with conservative Ocean City and that newspapers should report the news objectively and that there were plenty of other sources she could go to and didn't need a subscription to our paper any longer.
Never mind the fact that the week before, we endorsed the Republican candidate for county sheriff. We didn't get letters from Republicans praising us for that endorsement.
Most of the people upset when newspapers endorse political candidates don't agree with the endorsed candidate. That's patently transparent.
Partisans love giving it to the "liberal" media for endorsing Democrats, but where are these media critics when newspapers endorse Republicans?
As to whether newspapers should endorse candidates, I think that's up to the individual newspapers when they set their editorial policies. According to the First Amendment, the press is free, and this right shouldn't be abridged or deleted in any way. If individuals don't agree, they should have their say, but ultimately the decision on endorsing candidates belongs to the newspapers.
And as for Obama...yeah, I think the guy will change things for the better. After eight years of fumbling around in the dark, it's time someone turned on the lights.

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