Monday, June 6, 2016

EXTRA: Clinton over Sanders, or so says Tribune’s sister newspaper

I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the editorial endorsement offered up by the Los Angeles Times – a.k.a., the sister newspaper to the Chicago Tribune that often thinks it gets snubbed by its corporate relative.

For the Times, in anticipation of Tuesday’s primary in California, told voters to pick Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. They say she is just so far better qualified – a former secretary of state, compared to a fringe senator who has never been a real part of the Democratic party.

IT REMINDS ME of the endorsements that the Chicago Tribune made in the days leading up to the Illinois primary back in March. Remember?

The Tribune gave its pick to Marco Rubio, claiming that Donald Trump was just so unfit for the presidency. While it said that none of the Democrats were worthy of consideration – as though a ballot cast in that primary would be a waste of time.

We all remember how the voters here reacted.

Trump solidly took the Illinois Republican primary, while Clinton edged out a victory over Sanders on the Democratic side. And more Illinois voters picked a Democratic ballot rather than a Republican one.

So much for the one-time World’s Greatest Newspaper asserting influence over local readers!

WILL THE LOS Angeles Times’ viewpoint have just as little influence over its readers as the Tribune did over our local ones?

Personally, I think the editorial stances taken by newspapers are more useful for helping readers judge any potential leanings or biases that could wind up being reflected in news coverage – rather than in terms of guiding people when they set foot in polling places.

Newspapers may dream of people taking their pages into the voting booth to guide them in voting for all those lower offices – particularly for judges. But that’s not likely.

If anything, I wonder if it is more likely that the Times’ endorsement is Tribune Publishing’s attempt (I refuse to use the tronc, Inc., label) to try to look a little less weak and ineffectual amongst its Democratic Party readers because of a lack of a stance here in Chicago. Even though I’m sure editorial board members at the Trib Tower will deny it to their death.


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