Saturday, November 03, 2018
The Folly of Newspaper and Other Endorsements
For years, I've campaigned for the release of unedited transcripts of candidate interviews and full disclosure of the interviewer's names and their political affiliations. I believe that the public has a right to know exactly what a candidate has said about a particular issue, what their positions are on other issues, as well as the ideological slant the article or the so-called "endorsement", was written from. In short, I believe in full disclosure especially when it comes from the media.
I've been involved in politics for close to 40 years now. I have two Master's degrees with a MA thesis in Campaign Management. I've graduated from two leading candidate campaign schools, as well as several nationally prominent community and grassroots organizing programs plus several professional certificates in business management. I've run for office (winning some and losing some). I've managed or advised over 100 political campaigns, and successfully trained newcomers to politics. I've even served as a Congressional Aide and served as state chairman of union and on several national union committees. I've also been a part of candidate review committees which interviews each candidate and makes recommendations for endorsements. I know from whence I speak (or write in this case).
Today, in some locations, we have a partial solution with candidate interviews being taped or transcribed and made public and unedited. We need this in order to make an honest and unfiltered appraisal of their positions without an intermediary deciding for us what they said or meant. However, we are still not seeing full disclosure from media. We rarely see the names of those conducting the interviews or making the endorsements, and never are we given their political affiliations. That remains hidden. I believe that you, the voter, have a right to know exactly what questions were asked, how they were answered, and the political slant or bias of those asking the questions and making the endorsements. Anything less is a farce and attempt to manipulate the public.
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, which is available in many newspapers is one such resource for you to consider. Other resources include visiting the candidate's web-page or contact the candidate yourself with your own questions. If you find that you happen to agree with a particular candidate's positions, 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.
Yellow Journalism: The Fake News of the 19th Century
PBS: Yellow Journalism