The New York Times Triggers Widespread Ridicule Over Endorsing Both Warren and Klobuchar

It might be easier for the New York Times to simply say who it is not endorsing. I have long been a critic of media endorsements which I view as self-obsessed as well as inimical to journalistic values of neutrality. For decades I have argued that media should end endorsements of political candidates. The Times however seems to be literally doubling down with its much ridiculed endorsement of both Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. I can certainly understand endorsing either candidate given their achievements and leadership but endorsing both is rather bizarre since they present sharply different policies and approaches. While the editorial board wrote that in choosing these two candidates was “radical” but “realist,” many of us view it as just ridiculous.

Various people on both sides of the political aisle mocked the Times and commentators like Dan Rather suggested that the Times pick both the Chiefs and the 49ers to win the Super Bowl.

As a critic of endorsements, I may be the only person delighted by the news. This may finally rekindle the debate over the necessity and propriety of political endorsements. The media serves an essential function in our society, particularly renowned institutions like the “Old Grey Lady.” At a time when media appears to be openly abandoning principles of balance, such endorsements only fuel the distrust of readers in the coverage of the campaign. The influence of the media should not be used to get voters to support a candidate but to get them to consider the unvarnished facts underlying the election.

For those who are lampooning the Times, I would ask why it is any less concerning when a paper picks one candidate while maintaining that they are neutral presenters of the news. We have struggled to move our media away from the yellow journalism and corporate advocacy seen in the last century. Political endorsements are the last lingering part of that troubled legacy.

What do you think?

55 thoughts on “The New York Times Triggers Widespread Ridicule Over Endorsing Both Warren and Klobuchar”

  1. Had to pass this on, from the pseudonymous ‘eugyppius’:

    According to my informal typology you have basically three types of Women in Charge.

    1) The battleaxes: The very rare sort of high-T woman who has now and then achieved prominence in western institutions. Ironically they are exceedingly hard to find these days. Institutions are too effete for their tastes and their blunt uncompromising style is out of step with the diversity inclusion equity hugbox.

    2) The tokens: Women whose promotion was somebody else’s means of meeting a quota. These are mainly mousy sorts who take the first exit back to doing whatever it was they were doing before, after giving everyone what they want as much as possible and feeling bad the whole time.

    3) The hall monitors: The garden variety enforcers of morality, civility and niceness whose instincts are best calibrated for managing children. This is the natural expression of female authority.

    Modern institutions are dominated by the hall monitors, and Elizabeth Warren shows every sign of being one of them: She got her start in academia, where the hall monitors have been in charge for about 30 years now; she seems to spend a lot of energy being Very Concerned;

  2. Maybe the New York Times is scared. They’re afraid to be as wrong as they were about Hilllary winning, which was supposed to be a news story. That hurt their credibility and ate into subscriptions, but now they’re going with Klobacher, although they don’t want to offend Warren supporter.
    Long ago, they stopped even reporting on content or platform, preferring to concentrate on electability, or to “beat Trump”.
    I don’t even think they pay attention to news analysis, such as economics, international relations, the military,
    or domestic tranquility.
    Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, wrote in her book the New York Times was biased against Trump, as if this was news to anyone, but it did come from a credible source.
    Reading the New York Times has developed into reading the racing form they fillled out about potential winners.
    Klobacher and Warren endorsements is a way to cover all the bases.
    Warren comes across as abrasive, coarse grit sandpaper.
    Klobacher comes across as oil on the water to calm the waves, diametrically opposite in their presentations.
    Warren has things to say, but in an offensive manner.
    Klobacher comes across as a mediator, but different than Trump’s Art of the Deal.
    Probably the problem with these extremely long canmpaigns, which the politicians have brought onto themselves, is that there’s a risk that the more the voters get to know you, the less they like you. That may be Warren’s issue with polls not going her way. It is interesting that the Times didn’t go with Joe Biden. It may be he’s being seen as having limitations, perhaps failing with his problems with miss statements, or maybe like Hillary, getting too much baggage, and voters getting nervous.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Prof. Turley. I have been a paid subscriber for a couple of decades, but I Am intending to cancel it. The only things that have kept me this long are the Sunday magazine and occasional crossword puzzles.

    1. I’ve always wondered why we need special First Amendment privileges for the ‘free press’ if the media was simply using it for purposes of driving a political agenda!

  4. The NYT is the only paper I pay to subscribe to. I hate what it has become. They are very partisan. I still get some good reading there, and there are some writers I really enjoy, but I don’t like having to read carefully incase they are putting a thumb on the scales. I don’t pay to read something I agree with, I want journalism. The Times represents the part of my party I like the least.

  5. This was rather hilarious in the Times half-endorsement for Klobucher:

    “In 13 years as a senator, she has sponsored and voted on dozens of national defense measures, including military action in Libya and Syria.”

    Setting aside that votes for these additional misadventures is hardly a reason to vote for someone, the Senate never voted on either one of them.

  6. Can I just say that if you buy one, you’re not really getting the other for free. You’re really just buying two for a 50 % discount.

    -Words of Wisdom from Wally World 33. 🌍

    1. This is a side-note:

      But Super-Bowl looks like SuperB-Owl to me…anyone else?

      The Superb Owl reigning over the Gladiator event. Lulz.

  7. After seeing President Trump’s lawyers tell blatant lies in the Senate today, it’s weird that Turley is upset (as in the piece about Lawrence O’Donnell to which he links here) that a journalist would dare to say that Trump’s supporters are liars.

    1. JT is too busy with important things like Lawrence O’Donnel to spend time on trivial things like an impeachment.

  8. What’s confusing to me is that even the editorial board seems not to know why they exist. At the beginning of the Weekly episode that describes the endorsement process, one of the editorial board members states that their job is discuss how the country should be (as opposed to stating how it is, which is the job of the news room). But then how can you basically chicken out of making a call on what they themselves describe as “three sharply divergent visions of the future?” It’s almost as if they really would rather have just endorsed Klobuchar but reluctantly included Warren as well in a nod to the actual reality of American politics – voters are clearly looking for something different than the status quo. In a sense, I read it as the editorial board essentially acknowledging their own irrelevance.

    1. Tabby, do you ever read papers known to the general public? Or are you one of those who only trusts obscure papers?

      1. Sure he has. Likely around the time he was promoted to high school and exercised his ability for critical-thinking. Something by the way that will forever elude you.

  9. If idiots vote, idiots get elected.

    The American Founders gave Americans the one and only thing they could: Freedom.

    Infinite State Bias, Favor, Benefits and Entitlements require enslavement and dictatorship, just ask Karl Marx.

    People must adapt to the outcomes of freedom. Freedom does not adapt to people…dictatorship does, like a giant Anaconda.

    The American Founders generally required voters to be: Male, European, 21 with 50 lbs. Sterling/50 acres. The Greeks created democracy with a restricted vote, The Romans perpetuated restricted-vote democracy. The American Founders established a restricted-vote republic – “a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote,” per Merriam Webster.

    One man, one vote democracy is self-destructive and ideological suicide.

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”

    – Alexander Fraser Tytler

  10. Endorsements Serve A Purpose

    Here in L.A. we have off-year elections that are dominated by local races like Judges and School Board Members. Even news junkies like ‘me’ are hard-pressed to know anything about the candidates; most are names we have never seen before. Therefore endorsements by The L.A. Times can be very helpful.

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