Newspaper endorsements: Dead? / Did president sink? / This just in

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Three things about politics:

NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS: DEAD? The Lakeland, Fla., Ledger is the latest to abandon the practice.
-- Newspaper endorsements are by their nature recommendations from smart, informed people. So, as a voter, I miss them.
-- On the other hand, in my 13 years at Tribune Co., as much as non-members of the editorial board would protest, editorials were perceived as innate bias for the whole organization. So skipping endorsements makes things easier for front-line reporters and the sales force.
-- On the other other hand, some newspaper endorsements have been driven by owners' business interests instead of by a compulsion to Do The Right Thing. So ending endorsements could dispel those doubts.
-- On the other other other hand, if reporters step up their game and provide fearless truth-telling during regular news coverage -- abandoning the "he-said-he-said" approach that has become a crutch in recent years -- maybe endorsements become unnecessary, because choices become more obvious.
(Thanks to Thom Clark for inspiration.)

'THE PRESIDENT HAS TO SINK TO THIS?' Richard Roeper questions the wisdom of the president's video with "Harold & Kumar" -- as straight man "for the most famous reefer duo since Cheech & Chong."
-- President's acceptance speech venue moved indoors
-- Mark Brown: Better now than four years ago in almost every way ... except financially
-- Where's Al Gore?

THIS JUST IN. Lead headline in today's Chicago Tribune: "First lady: Obama's heart unchanged." If his heart HAD changed, we'd have had a great story, wouldn't we?
-- Better: "Michelle Obama flattens an unnamed opponent (named Mitt)"
-- Mrs. Obama's speech drove almost twice as many Tweets per minute as Romney's
-- The Onion: "Good Evening, It's An Honor To Be Used As A Political Prop By My Husband's Campaign"

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