Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Cleveland Plain Dealer: no endorsement

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is another publication that could not come to an editorial consensus on endorsing a presidential candidate. In its editorial of Oct. 26, it states:

The decision not to endorse in this race was not easily taken. A majority of the editorial board favored Kerry, but after long and difficult deliberations, it was decided that the better path would be to sit this one out.

The editorial itself is far more critical of Bush than Kerry. In fact, according to, the editorial board was overruled by its publisher, Alex Machaskee:

Last week, the daily's editorial board overwhelmingly voted to endorse John Kerry. But Machaskee overruled them, ordering lackeys to prop up George W. Bush instead.
This isn't the first time Machaskee has pulled a power play; he also forced the editorial board to endorse Governor Bob Taft. That turned out well.
Machaskee's Bush decree apparently set off a minor mutiny in the newsroom, where ink-stained wretches scrambled to rat out their boss to other media.
In the face of the controversy, the paper postponed its Bush kiss-up, which was supposed to run last Sunday. Meanwhile, the editorial board -- normally a staunch advocate for transparency -- struggled to keep the paper's inner workings decidedly opaque. Neither Machaskee nor editorial page editor Brent Larkin returned Punch's calls. Editor Doug Clifton offered only a terse e-mail: "I have nothing to say that would be illuminating."

The paper endorsed George Bush in 2000.


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