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NY Times does not endorse single Republican for first time ever


Sisyphus
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Have they finally turned outright partisan? Or do you buy the justification here:

 

On Tuesday' date=' when this page runs the list of people it has endorsed for election, we will include no Republican Congressional candidates for the first time in our memory. Although Times editorials tend to agree with Democrats on national policy, we have proudly and consistently endorsed a long line of moderate Republicans, particularly for the House. Our only political loyalty is to making the two-party system as vital and responsible as possible.

 

That is why things are different this year.

 

To begin with, the Republican majority that has run the House — and for the most part, the Senate — during President Bush’s tenure has done a terrible job on the basics. Its tax-cutting-above-all-else has wrecked the budget, hobbled the middle class and endangered the long-term economy. It has refused to face up to global warming and done pathetically little about the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

 

Republican leaders, particularly in the House, have developed toxic symptoms of an overconfident majority that has been too long in power. They methodically shut the opposition — and even the more moderate members of their own party — out of any role in the legislative process. Their only mission seems to be self-perpetuation.

 

The current Republican majority managed to achieve that burned-out, brain-dead status in record time, and with a shocking disregard for the most minimal ethical standards. It was bad enough that a party that used to believe in fiscal austerity blew billions on pork-barrel projects. It is worse that many of the most expensive boondoggles were not even directed at their constituents, but at lobbyists who financed their campaigns and high-end lifestyles.

 

That was already the situation in 2004, and even then this page endorsed Republicans who had shown a high commitment to ethics reform and a willingness to buck their party on important issues like the environment, civil liberties and women’s rights.

 

For us, the breaking point came over the Republicans’ attempt to undermine the fundamental checks and balances that have safeguarded American democracy since its inception. The fact that the White House, House and Senate are all controlled by one party is not a threat to the balance of powers, as long as everyone understands the roles assigned to each by the Constitution. But over the past two years, the White House has made it clear that it claims sweeping powers that go well beyond any acceptable limits. Rather than doing their duty to curb these excesses, the Congressional Republicans have dedicated themselves to removing restraints on the president’s ability to do whatever he wants. To paraphrase Tom DeLay, the Republicans feel you don’t need to have oversight hearings if your party is in control of everything.

 

An administration convinced of its own perpetual rightness and a partisan Congress determined to deflect all criticism of the chief executive has been the recipe for what we live with today.

 

Congress, in particular the House, has failed to ask probing questions about the war in Iraq or hold the president accountable for his catastrophic bungling of the occupation. It also has allowed Mr. Bush to avoid answering any questions about whether his administration cooked the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. Then, it quietly agreed to close down the one agency that has been riding herd on crooked and inept American contractors who have botched everything from construction work to the security of weapons.

 

After the revelations about the abuse, torture and illegal detentions in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Congress shielded the Pentagon from any responsibility for the atrocities its policies allowed to happen. On the eve of the election, and without even a pretense at debate in the House, Congress granted the White House permission to hold hundreds of noncitizens in jail forever, without due process, even though many of them were clearly sent there in error.

 

In the Senate, the path for this bill was cleared by a handful of Republicans who used their personal prestige and reputation for moderation to paper over the fact that the bill violates the Constitution in fundamental ways. Having acquiesced in the president’s campaign to dilute their own authority, lawmakers used this bill to further Mr. Bush’s goal of stripping the powers of the only remaining independent branch, the judiciary.

 

This election is indeed about George W. Bush — and the Congressional majority’s insistence on protecting him from the consequences of his mistakes and misdeeds. Mr. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and proceeded to govern as if he had an enormous mandate. After he actually beat his opponent in 2004, he announced he now had real political capital and intended to spend it. We have seen the results. It is frightening to contemplate the new excesses he could concoct if he woke up next Wednesday and found that his party had maintained its hold on the House and Senate. [/quote']

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Well, they've always been outright partisan. The second sentence in that editorial and many years of observation validate that conclusion.

 

Most of the criticism aimed at republicans in that editorial are exactly what the democrats were guilty of just before the republican revolution. They were in power for some 40 odd years if I remember correctly. The times never ran a story on it, and used that as an excuse not to endorse any democratic candidates.

 

When your team is winning, then the two party system is working great. When they're losing, suddenly we need to be concerned about a "vital and responsible" two party system.

 

So yeah, it's true, those in power for too long take that power for granted. The Republicans have ditched half of their supposed ideology under the guise that the terror war has "changed everything". Small government was cool and worth fighting for when Clinton was getting BJ's in the oval office, but now that we've got a good ole boy in office, suddenly the size of government needs to be increased.

 

A balanced budget was a fiscally responsible concept worth shutting the government down for. Now, a balanced budget is not even in the sights, let alone demanded by a single conservative - that I know of anyway.

 

Terror this and terror that, Iraq here and there and Al Queda everywhere seems to be the answer to every query into what in the hell happened to the supposed republican values we've been sold for so many years now.

 

Well I never bought them.

 

I say kick the republicans out of the house and senate, and give the media the seats. I'd like to dispell the myth of media infallability. Then when we all see how hypocritical and imperfect we all are, then we can get a real government going.

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a newspaper has no business taking sides or endorsing any candidate. I don't read newspapers to hear some guy's opinion that I really don't care about. I read the paper to read hard news so I can draw my own opinions. I read blogs or discussion forums for opinion pieces.

 

In fact, I think that editorials are very dangerous, because oftentimes there are misleading facts presented as truth, and when people read them, they think they're getting hard news, but they're not. Newspapers just become another political advertising campaign, which is wrong, IMO.

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Well, they've always been outright partisan. The second sentence in that editorial and many years of observation validate that conclusion.

 

I don't think so. If you're endorsing mostly Democrats because you agree with their positions, that's not partisan. When you endorse them because they're Democrats, it is.

 

Further, if you didn't see the excesses of the Democrat-controlled Congress as a problem (or you see the problem but consider the liberal legislation to be worth it), but you do for the Republican-controlled Congress, that's not necessarily partisan either, as long as you're focusing on results. If you're claiming it's the power itself which is the problem, then that makes you a partisan hypocrite. Obviously the Times holds liberal opinions. But I'm not sure they're necessarily partisan. (I'm not sure they aren't, either. Hence the question.)

 

ecoli, I think people know the difference between a news article and an editorial. The tradition is hundreds of years old, and serves the useful function of being upfront about potential bias in the news sections, which (supposedly) try to be as objective as possible. I would much rather have editorials than editorialized "news" that pretends to objectivity.

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a newspaper has no business taking sides or endorsing any candidate. I don't read newspapers to hear some guy's opinion that I really don't care about. I read the paper to read hard news so I can draw my own opinions. I read blogs or discussion forums for opinion pieces.

An editorial is a vastly more trustworthy opinion piece than a blog post.

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In fact, I think that editorials are very dangerous, because oftentimes there are misleading facts presented as truth, and when people read them, they think they're getting hard news, but they're not.

 

They do? What part of "editorial" is hard to understand?

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An editorial is a vastly more trustworthy opinion piece than a blog post.

 

Really? Could you explain?

 

 

They do? What part of "editorial" is hard to understand?

 

I wonder if he might be referring to internet based news editorials. They aren't as clearly marked when they are blended in with all of the other junk they try to cram onto the screen.

 

I notice a lot of links to articles on here take you to a page with a column in the center and advertising littered on each side - add a menu bar frame (that every site thinks you need to have) and add more advertising on top and bottom and you've got a hard to read editorial.

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Really? Could you explain?

Yes, of course.

 

I take the view that the editor of a newspaper which may have a readership numbering in the millions will not necessarily massage his viewpoints to please that readership, but he does have to be absolutely sure about his facts and his convictions before he commits his editorial to print.

 

Otherwise readership may suffer, which has financial implications and may cost him his job, and the newspaper will be inundated with letters to the editor, which they are traditionally obliged to print and which may embarrass the institute.

 

A blog author such as myself, on the other hand, can and will splatter any old nonsense onto the page, without the above constraints.

 

Of course I am not saying that there are no trustworthy opinion-based blogs, just that you need to be very careful selecting them, and in general you have a better chance of finding a well considered opinion in an editorial than on someone's personal diary.

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Yes, of course.

 

I take the view that the editor of a newspaper which may have a readership numbering in the millions will not necessarily massage his viewpoints to please that readership, but he does have to be absolutely sure about his facts and his convictions before he commits his editorial to print.

 

Otherwise readership may suffer, which has financial implications and may cost him his job, and the newspaper will be inundated with letters to the editor, which they are traditionally obliged to print and which may embarrass the institute.

 

A blog author such as myself, on the other hand, can and will splatter any old nonsense onto the page, without the above constraints.

 

Of course I am not saying that there are no trustworthy opinion-based blogs, just that you need to be very careful selecting them, and in general you have a better chance of finding a well considered opinion in an editorial than on someone's personal diary.

 

Yes, but on the other hand, I can search for different blogs and read different opinions as I want, I never just read one blog at a time. In a newspaper, only the opinions that the newspaper wants published are in there. And if people are only using one source to get there news, those are the only opinions they read, and a more likely to adopt those opinions without considering other ones.

 

I know I'm making some assumptions here, but they don't seem unlikely to me.

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Yes, but on the other hand, I can search for different blogs and read different opinions as I want, I never just read one blog at a time. In a newspaper, only the opinions that the newspaper wants published are in there.

You are just as capable of reading different newspapers, and many of the people who habitually read the editorial pages do just that.

 

The advantage that newspapers have here is that the views in the editorial will actually be the editor's considered opinions, rather than the co-dependent cribbing that so often goes on in the blogosphere.

 

And if people are only using one source to get there news, those are the only opinions they read, and a more likely to adopt those opinions without considering other ones.

That's a mechanism triggered by the reader, not by the source.

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You are just as capable of reading different newspapers, and many of the people who habitually read the editorial pages do just that.

 

The advantage that newspapers have here is that the views in the editorial will actually be the editor's considered opinions, rather than the co-dependent cribbing that so often goes on in the blogosphere.

 

Be that as it may, I still don't believe newspapers should be publishing anything other than hard news. Just my opinion, sorry if you don't agree.

 

There's to much bias in the front page as it is, without adding the editorials.

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Be that as it may, I still don't believe newspapers should be publishing anything other than hard news. Just my opinion, sorry if you don't agree.

 

The editorial page often features columinsts of different stripes, as well "letters to the editor" which are usually chosen to represent both sides of an issue. Before the internet, this was one of the few channels open to people to voice their opinion.

 

And I like the comics, too.

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Yes, but on the other hand, I can search for different blogs and read different opinions as I want, I never just read one blog at a time. In a newspaper, only the opinions that the newspaper wants published are in there. And if people are only using one source to get there news, those are the only opinions they read, and a more likely to adopt those opinions without considering other ones.

 

I know I'm making some assumptions here, but they don't seem unlikely to me.

 

You're making excellent assumptions. The media deserves a huge helping of doubt for the reasons you just pointed out and a short list of others.

 

I agree with Sayonara's take on accuracy pertaining to editorials, but even that can be skewed and misrepresented and ultimately the blogs turn out to be much better. It is true, people can type crap. But people want other people to believe their crap. You can't get them to believe your crap by typing crap. Make sense?

 

So, just keep a short cut to wikipedia and check their facts.

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The editorial page often features columinsts of different stripes, as well "letters to the editor" which are usually chosen to represent both sides of an issue. Before the internet, this was one of the few channels open to people to voice their opinion.

 

And I like the comics, too.

 

Yes, I remember those days quite well. And I'm glad to forget them. I never knew the libertarian perspective, or the green party, or much of any of these other points of view until the internet came along. The editorial was either a democrat-leaning or a republican-leaning equivocal centrist opinion on everything. I hated that.

 

Now the letters to the editor you mention were pretty good. My uncle frequently got his letters published and I had a couple little ones printed during my early conservative years. In fact, my uncle still writes them, his most recent throwing a fit about human encroachment on animal habitat - we are members of the earth, not the owners.

 

Anyway, the internet has definitely allowed the diversity of thought to be heard.

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There's to much bias in the front page as it is, without adding the editorials.

 

You say that as if it (bias) is additive. It isn't. One of the primary functions of the editorials is to LESSEN the impact of bias in the news stories. The news stories aim for objectivity (or, at least they do in reputable papers, such as the Times), but some bias is inevitable. The editorial pages, by letting us now upfront and unambiguously what their opinions are, allows us to see what that unquenchable bias is.

 

Getting the news is like seeing events through a glass window. If the journalist/windowmaker has a secret agenda, he will intentionally try to tint the window to make the events appear a certain way. That can't really be dealt with, and it's not what we're talking about. The other option is that the journalist is ethical, and therefore tries to make the window as clear and free from imperfections as possible. Doing a perfect job of this is impossible, since he must necessarily impart some of himself into the making of that window, which will impart to it some particular properties, like constant of refraction. Only by giving us a clear picture of the journalist himself (through editorials) can we compensate for what he adds of himself to the story. [/convoluted analogy]

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You say that as if it (bias) is additive. It isn't.

 

I know the bias is inherent and impossible to get rid of. If you thought that I didn't know this, I apologize for being misleading.

 

One of the primary functions of the editorials is to LESSEN the impact of bias in the news stories. The news stories aim for objectivity (or, at least they do in reputable papers, such as the Times), but some bias is inevitable. The editorial pages, by letting us now upfront and unambiguously what their opinions are, allows us to see what that unquenchable bias is.

Getting the news is like seeing events through a glass window. If the journalist/windowmaker has a secret agenda, he will intentionally try to tint the window to make the events appear a certain way. That can't really be dealt with, and it's not what we're talking about. The other option is that the journalist is ethical, and therefore tries to make the window as clear and free from imperfections as possible. Doing a perfect job of this is impossible, since he must necessarily impart some of himself into the making of that window, which will impart to it some particular properties, like constant of refraction. Only by giving us a clear picture of the journalist himself (through editorials) can we compensate for what he adds of himself to the story. [/convoluted analogy]

I respect your opinion on the matter but I don't agree with it. I see editorials more of a funnel for ideas rather then a clear window. But that's just me.

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I really don't see what's wrong with the Times' lack of endorsing a single Republican.

 

Nothing, inherently. There shouldn't be quotas or "token Republicans" or anything. But here they've made individual candidates a secondary priority to just voting out the entire party, when surely there are at least some Democrats who are worse than their Republican opponents.

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Nothing, inherently. There shouldn't be quotas or "token Republicans" or anything. But here they've made individual candidates a secondary priority to just voting out the entire party, when surely there are at least some Democrats who are worse than their Republican opponents.

 

well, it's not like they can endorse candidates for every single office in the country. Doubtless, they'd find some republican they like in some state or another.

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There's nothing wrong with them endorsing whomever they feel like endorsing. What would be wrong would be giving them credit for objectivity in news reporting.

 

I give them credit for being open about their bias. I give them scorn for pretending that it's something that it is not. I agree that they didn't decide not to endorse any Republicans because they don't like Republicans -- that would be too easy. They didn't endorse any Republicans because they couldn't find any Republicans that follow their ideology.

 

It's not a case of partisan bigotry. It's a case of insular stupidity.

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There's nothing wrong with them endorsing whomever they feel like endorsing. What would be wrong would be giving them credit for objectivity in news reporting.

 

[...]

 

It's not a case of partisan bigotry. It's a case of insular stupidity.

 

Can you judge them in relation to a paper with similar circulation which lacks "insular stupidity" and has "objectivity in news reporting"?

 

While the New York Post certainly has nowhere near their circulation, it certainly trumps them on "insular stupidity" and a lack of "objectivity in news reporting", but then again like Fox News it serves as a mouthpiece for Rupert Murdoch.

 

Regardless, you certainly have disdain for the Gray Lady, Pangloss. What would you suggest as an alternative? (Disclaimer: I hate all newspapers. The Internet is the future. Newsprint is dead to me)

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What a funny thread. I don't know of a single news source that isn't biased one way or another, like Sisyphus said.

 

Traditionally they have been liberal - went unchecked for decades really, except for talk radio which has been regulated "underground" since the advent of TV. Now we have Fox news, and apparently the New York Post is a conservative leaning paper?

 

This is why I'd rather just listen to blatant biased reporting - like Rush, MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, and etc. There is no "objectivity" to be looking for. You already accept there isn't objectivity. Listen to both sides and viola! - you've got something that resembles the truth.

 

As opposed to listening to supposed "objective reporting", which leads you to believe you already have something that resembles the truth, while being slowly brainwashed by Ted Turner.

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I don't think it's a matter of which opponent is best; rather I think it's based on party. Call the Times partisan if you want, but I'd call them sane as well and justly partisan in this case.

 

True, in a lame duck presidency such as this one the GOP is not as strongly pressured to block vote but we have yet to see Congressional Repiblicans break away from party lines. As a result we've seen a ton of injustices occur with the approval of Congress and in addition we have yet to see any significant investigation of a number of issues. Suspension of Habeas Corpus? Not a Democratic thing, and not likely to change until we have a Democratic Congress. Torture? Not a good thing to me, but a good thing for others. Regardless, we keep hearing lies: "the US doesn't torture," then seeing new legislation allowing us to ignore the Geneva Conventions and torture to the point of severe physical and mental damage. Pressure on Bush to actually get a plan on Iraq? Not going to happen, and actually the Dems will be quick to call for immediate withdrawal. Personally I think that (cutting our losses) is better than doing things as we are doing now. Ideally there would be a better way but I have no intention to wait for any brilliant ideas to come from the GOP. The Republicans in Congress are now in a 1984 situation: they wish to continue their dominance for hte sake of their dominance. They have had power and have enjoyed their stay while we have done nothing to stop them. Now they are shamelessly trying to save their skins, using Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri as their spokesmen, reaching audiences the terrorists only wished they could reach with ads like this:

http://www.gop.com/Multimedia/MediaPlayer.aspx?ID=1136&TypeID=2

 

As if they have any credentials in the "war on terror." A week ago 9/11 came back to the families of 80 dead found underground at the former World Trade Center. The GOP thinks it and only it can lead the US to victory over terror? Terror is what they use to get elected! We think that Bush is going to win the war on terror? He can't even recover our dead from the battlefield!

 

The bottom line: being a "nonpartisan" and "moderate" is not to be confused as always being "rational," "fair," "intellectual," or "reasonable."

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I can't wait until the democrats get in power. I'm going to enjoy tearing them apart day after day as all of their rhetoric turns into egg on their face. Plan for Iraq? Give me a break. You want a pull out date. That's the worst, overrated bull I've heard on the whole war.

 

Most of what people criticize the administration for is stuff they didn't bring upon themselves, rather stuff thrust upon them. Afghanistan, Iraq, the war on terror - all happened because of 9/11. If 9/11 didn't happen, the war wouldn't have happened. Iraq, arguably may have happened, but much differently - probably better.

 

You can disagree with how they've handled the whole terrorism thing, but again, that's not domestic legislation trying to tweak the country's politics - that's horrible crap going down on their watch.

 

The democrats will botch it all up in different ways. They'll get armor out in the fields in Iraq - but then run out of ammo or fuel or something else stupid.

 

It's fun being the problem pointer outer - it's easy to do and people are easily swayed by it and think you're really smart. It will be a nice ride.

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