Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Newspaper Endorsements: Not Worth the Ink

The following is a reprint of an article which I've published in one form or another every election cycle since 2001. This is as important for our present as it is for our future. Please consider sharing with your family, friends, and contacts.

There was a time when newspapers were the ever vigilant "crusaders" of public interest, albeit self-appointed and as often as not, the creators of their own hype (see "Yellow Journalism"), however, society grew up.
Today, we have instant access to information the world over, and with it, the ability to do own investigation of candidates and the issues which are important to us.

For years, I campaigned for release of unedited transcripts of candidate interviews and full disclosure of the interviewer's names and political affiliations. The public has a right to know exactly what the candidate said, what their positions are, as well as the slant the article, or so-called "endorsement", was written from. I've been involved in politics for over 35 years. To many times over those years I've come across candidates who were misquoted, misattributed, or the "correct" answer inserted while the gaffs were carefully removed. Today, we have a partial solution with a few of the interviews being taped and made public unedited, but not full disclosure from those doing the interviews or making the endorsements. That remains hidden. You, the voter, have a right to know.

As I have done for years, I urge readers to take a few minutes to do their own research and make their own decision about who to vote for. The Voter Guide is one such resource for you to consider. If you find that you happen to agree with a particular candidate's positions mentioned , fine. Then support that individual as a volunteer, with a financial contribution or with your vote. But do so as an informed voter. Don't let anyone think for you. Ever. The role of the media is to present the facts in a impartial, balanced and fair manner, not to attempt to manipulate or sway public opinion to suit its own political agenda, even if they think it's "for your own good". Only you can decide what's in your own best interests. Can you imagine Fox, CNN, ESPN, CBS, ABC, or even Public TV making a political endorsements? Neither can I. Forget about your newspaper's endorsements. Remember that endorsements are merely personal opinions, and not always the most informed ones at that. Think for yourself. Do your own research. And then vote. America is counting on you.

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