Salty endorsements

By | October 21, 2012

UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, so contrary to what I wrote below, it probably is sort of a big deal that they endorsed Obama in 2012. I think what I said about the other newspapers listed below still stands, though I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

I want Obama to be reelected as much as anyone, but I’d really rather he win it fair and square, with full — and I mean FULL — transparency and honesty in pro-Obama stuff being posted online.

Much ado has been made in the last couple of days about the following newspapers endorsing Obama: Durango Herald (Colorado), Akron Beacon Journal, Asheville Citizen-Times (North Carolina), Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), and Salt Lake Tribune.

The Facebook postings and articles about these endorsements have made out like they’re a big deal because they’re all in important swing states where Republicans have traditionally done very well. The implication, which isn’t always stated explicitly but is clearly meant to be understood, is that it’s surprising that these newspapers have endorsed Obama. This implication is particularly strong in the case of the Salt Lake Tribune. After all, Romney is a Morman, Utah is the home state of the Mormons, so newspapers in Utah obviously should be endorsing Romney, right?

The truth is that these endorsements are not news, because every one of these newspapers also endorsed Obama in 2008 (funny how no one is mentioning this, eh?). Maybe that’s because their clear-thinking, visionary editorial boards recognized the potential danger in a McCain / Palin win, or recognized Obama’s greatness and a great moment in history, but frankly, I’m guessing it’s more likely it’s because they’re liberal newspapers.

It’s echo-chamber self-congratulatory chest-thumping to pretend that these are noteworthy endorsements. If you want Obama to win and you have time on your hands for gloating over these endorsements, it would probably be better spent canvassing or making phone calls for the campaign. Or just send them a check to help them run ads to combat the smear campaign by Romney and his SuperPACs in battleground states.

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