"Gotta make it a horse race until the bitter end..." has to be the rallying cry of the corporate media. But the lengths that they'll go to keep that horserace going is so dishonest and so damaging to democracy that I fear we'll forever be teetering on the precipice of losing that democracy.
Yesterday morning, while perusing my news feeds for potential posts, I saw this headline on YahooNews: Endorsements Flood In: Obama gets Powell nod; McCain gets plenty too, which links to this article, unattributed to a specific reporter.
In it, they acknowledge that Obama has received endorsements from prominent Republicans like Colin Powell, Christopher Buckley and Michael Smerconish, but temper it with McCain endorsements from President Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the NRA, as if anyone expected them to endorse anyone other than the GOP candidate.
Then they go to the inane Hollywood endorsements, being sure to mention the Baldwin brothers--describing Democrat Alec as "loud" and Republican Stephen as "outspoken". Given that I fervently hope that no one is swayed one way or the other by an actor's political affiliation, my suspicion is that the inclusion is more to trivialize the notion of endorsements overall, especially considering the power of the Powell defection to Obama's campaign.
But more egregiously, citing the Editor & Publisher article that reports that Obama has received 115 newspaper endorsements to McCain's 38, YahooNews ignores the overwhelming support for Obama and instead lists what they term "key" endorsements--3 for McCain, 2 for Obama. Those key newspapers for McCain? The rabidly partisan Washington Examiner, New York Post and Boston Herald, two of which are part of Murdoch's NewsCorp. Obama's key endorsements are from those silly little papers nobody reads, the LA Times and Washington Post.
Since I can't know if they'll update or change the article, here it is in full below the fold:
The vice presidential candidates are picked. The conventions are done. So are the debates. What's a political watcher to do with the 15 days left before the election?
You can always try to decipher the polls or wait for the October Surprise (if it hasn't already happened yet). Or, you can do what we did this weekend: meander through the avalanche of endorsements that have been handed down from newspapers and other notables during the campaign season.
There have been a few newsworthy endorsements recently as some high-profile Republicans have publicly moved to Democratic territory. Christopher Buckley, William F. Buckley's son, endorsed Obama (and subsequently lost his column at the National Review over it). Colin Powell did the same this weekend. Republican talk show host Michael Smerconish announced he'd be voting for a Democrat for the first time in 28 years. (We should note that even though he's a fixture on the McCain campaign now, Sen. Joe Lieberman jumping parties to endorse McCain was also news at the time.)
But those are just a few voices that received attention for making unexpected choices. There are a lot of other endorsements out there, so here's a round-up of some nods.
Obvious political endorsements can be boring, so thank Hollywood for giving us Heidi Montag, Matt Damon and the Baldwin brothers. Montag of "The Hills" fame endorsed McCain and then he endorsed her right back. Matt Damon said Obama is his guy and (more famously) noted that Sarah Palin's candidacy sounded like a "bad Disney movie."
Then, there's the dueling political posturing of a couple of the brothers Baldwin. While neither may have explicitly endorsed a candidate, you could probably tell by watching "Saturday Night Live" this weekend that Alec is a loud Democrat and little bro Stephen is an outspoken Republican. (Stephen even went so far as to challenge Obama to a boxing duel for charity.)
Baldwins aside, what you might find more useful is knowing who newspapers endorse. The Chicago Tribune, for example, is backing Barack Obama. It's the first time in the paper's history that they are endorsing a Democrat for the presidency of the United States. A few days after the Trib endorsement, McCain picked up his own big-deal endorsement from a paper in the swing state of Ohio, the Columbus Dispatch.
There's a comprehensive list of newspaper endorsements over at Editor & Publisher, but we've pulled a few of the other key ones below:
Boston Herald – McCain
Los Angeles Times – Obama
New York Post - McCain
Washington DC Examiner – McCain
Washington Post – Obama