Columns, Opinion

BERMAN: Dear Wall Street Journal, endorse Hillary Clinton

There is no doubt that Donald Trump was able to win the Republican presidential nomination, at least because of continuous, obsessive media coverage. It would be fair to dub Trump “The King of Media Coverage.” Therefore, it is quite ironic that the king is losing out to Clinton on newspaper endorsements.

Not only has Clinton received an endorsement from The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, but many conservative newspapers — The Dallas Morning News, New Hampshire Union Leader, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Arizona Republic and The San Diego Union-Tribune  have also jumped on her bandwagon.

The Arizona Republic said in its editorial, “Hillary Clinton is the first Democratic presidential candidate The Republic editorial board has backed in its 126-year history. She has the temperament, experience and judgement to lead.”

“We’re feeling the weight of our history,” Phil Boas, the editorial page editor of The Republic, said in a telephone interview with the Times. Boas pointed out that the subscription cancellations “were coming every 10 minutes. Angry readers have been calling in droves. One caller issued a death threat.”

As pointed out by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, there has not been any daily newspaper that has endorsed Trump for president. This is yet another unprecedented fact in modern elections.

But is there any evidence that newspaper endorsements matter? In the National Bureau of Economic Research, Brian Knight and Chun-Fang Chiang published a paper, which discovered that newspaper endorsements might make a difference if the newspaper endorses a nominee from a party it usually doesn’t support.

This bodes as good news to Clinton supporters since three of the conservative newspaper endorsements come from swing states: New Hampshire, Ohio and Arizona.

So why are Clinton and Trump now in a statistical tie in so many polls? I think it has to do with the rejection of the elite. A large part of the electorate hates the gridlock in Washington as much as it hates elitist bureaucrats and intellectuals.

Bill Maher pointed this problem out in a blog post:

“Who wants to hear Hillary Clinton’s stupid, nuanced plans to address illegal immigration, stem crime, confront terror and stimulate employment – all of which will cost money – when Donald Trump is just going to fix all that? That he can tell you.

‘How?’ That’s a liberal-media ‘gotcha’ question. It figures they’d ask it.  ‘How’ is for inside-the-beltway, status-quo thinkers who are more likely than not beholden to special interests.”

I understand that people hate the status quo, mudslinging gridlock we have today, but we should be hungry for intellectualism, not starve ourselves of it. Republicans seem to exhibit the worst divide between the voters and the politicians. This is evidenced by the countless A- and B-List Republicans who have either said #NeverTrump (while under their breath mutter Clinton) or grudgingly declare their support for, as Trump has called her, “the devil.”

Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, has come out in favor of Clinton.

“Her election alone is what stands between the American nation and the reign of the most unstable, proudly uninformed, psychologically unfit president ever to enter the White House,” Rabinowitz said.

The Wall Street Journal has not endorsed a presidential nominee since it endorsed Herbert Hoover (which led to its no endorsement policy). Therefore, as a right-leaning and highly circulated newspaper, it has the power to sway thousands upon thousands of upper middle class Republicans into voting for Clinton.

The Republican nominee stands for harsh immigration laws and is against free trade deals; both policies are longstanding opposite positions of the Wall Street Journal.

USA TODAY, in its 34-year history has never taken sides in the presidential race; however, this year it broke from tradition to urge its readers not to vote for Trump.

“This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.”

An endorsement by The Wall Street Journal would be unprecedented, unpredictable and receive wide media attention, just like everything else in this election.

One Comment

  1. I agree that newspaper endorsements probably don’t influence votes, but may, when the paper endorses a party they do not traditionally support.