Thursday, September 30, 2004

DDN's Jeff Bruce Starts the Excuses

Check out Dayton Daily News editor Jeff Bruce distancing himself and the paper from their endorsements:
Election editorials are commonly called "endorsements," although I dislike that term as it implies a closer relationship to candidates and causes than is intended. A more accurate word is "recommendation." In that sense, a recommendation for a candidate is really no different than the opinions expressed on this page on a host of other issues ranging from war to water rates.

Except that unlike a lot of what goes on in public life that seems beyond the direct influence of ordinary people, come Election Day every vote counts.

The best way to choose isn't by casting ballots based on a candidate's political party, but on his or her qualifications.

Readers of this page know that the newspaper over the course of many elections has recommended Republicans and Democrats alike. We've twice recommended the candidacy of GOP Gov. Bob Taft over his Democratic opponents; in the last presidential election the nod went to Al Gore over George Bush. In fact, despite the general impression that this is a "liberal" newspaper, in recent years we've recommended more Republicans than Democrats.
Jeff, the "fact" that the DDN has "endorsed" or "recommended" more Republicans than Democrats doesn't absolve you or the paper from charges of bias.

How many conservatives are ON the editorial board of the Dayton Daily News? Where does the local conservative voice get heard?
Some critics of the newspaper say that's because we place too high a value on experience and incumbency in a state that, of late, has been dominated by Republicans. In fact, we do believe experience counts.

We also realize that the higher the race on the ballot, the less influence our recommendations are likely to have. I would be surprised if our eventual editorial on the presidential race will change many voters' minds. On the other hand, most people won't have paid much attention to a wide range of lower-profile races, such as the Ohio Supreme Court contest we editorialize on today.
Well, Jeff, if you are endorsing...I'm sorry...recommending John Kerry, you would be correct.

Here is something that we do agree on, Jeff:
Even if you don't agree with our conclusions, our editorials might stimulate you to engage in the election debate. And that's a good thing. We want these pages to be a forum not only for our views, but others, too.
Discussion is important. I encourage everybody to check out every candidate as much as possible.


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