There was a time that newspapers were purposefully partisan. People chose their newspaper based on their political leanings, like one might chosoe Fox News or MSNBC for their T.V. news today. I can only assume that newspaper endorsements that occur today are left over from that bygone era. These days it seems like bad form to claim to be objective and then endorse any politician. I guess I’m not alone in that opinion. Yesterday, MLive endorsed our controversial Attorney General Bill Schuette. That was enough to send their readers into a conniption fit. Here are a few of my favorite comments against MLive’s endorsement.
Tyler wrote “Media shouldn’t be endorsing anyone. Any respectable mass media outlet is supposed to be politically impartial.”
Dan wrote “Mlive’s credibility is in question with this revelation.”
Meeko wrote “Yet again what a shame. Mlive . . . should stick to bringing us the news. Just pathetic.”
Donna wrote “‘Over the next four years, we hope to see Schuette’s priorities more in line with those of Michigan’s general population. We would advise him to follow his own words and receive instead of broadcast.’ The editorial board can write that claptrap and still endorse Schuette?”
Matt wrote “Why doesn’t MLive just come out as being partisan? Most people know this is the case.”
Jake says “This is why I only read the comments (not your articles) for entertainment.”
Matt says “Dear MLive: The moment you post YOUR editorial board’s endorsements as an article, it becomes YOUR endorsement, regardless of how you try to spin it. Also, just because something is long-standing or traditional doesn’t make it right. Every time you post an editorial board endorsement, you get major backlash from almost every commenter. Perhaps you should take a moment and actually listen and pay attention to your readers–they don’t want you publishing the editorial boards endorsements, so perhaps it’s time to stop this practice.”
MLive responded to several of these complaints stating “Editorial board opinion pieces and endorsements are a long-standing component of journalism.” There are a lot of longstanding traditions that should be killed off. Newspaper endorsements should be at the top of the list.
Note: Several other papers across the state released their endorsements and they were met with similar ire from their readers. Kudos to smaller papers like the Traverse City Record Eagle who did not endorse either candidate, and the Cadillac News who does not endorse any candidates.