Saturday, November 01, 2008

Northern New York newspapers run McCain endorsement by parent firm in West Virginia

Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio reports that the Adirondack Daily Enterprise of Saranac Lake, N.Y., "faces a controversy" over the endorsement of John McCain that appeared on its editorial page yesterday.

The endorsement bore the byline of Ogden Newspapers Inc. of Wheeling, W.Va., which owns the paper. Despite that, Mann notes, the editorial urges "residents of our area" to vote for McCain, and a "nearly identical" editorial ran in The Leader-Herald of Gloversville, one of three other dailies Ogden owns in and around Adirondack Park. The Observer of Dunkirk ran an editorial supporting McCain's tax policies and questioning Obama's. Ogden also has three weeklies in the region, which had no endorsement editorials, at least online.

The two endorsements "triggered angry reactions from some local readers," Mann reports. One Enterprise reader wrote, "For the love of GOD! The Enterprise is endorsing McCain! WTF is going on? Have you people actually lost ALL sense of sanity and reason?" The next commenter wrote, "It's not the Enterprise, it's the parent co. - and I can almost guarantee that the knucklehead who wrote this illustrative piece is making more than 250K." Obama says that is the income level at which Americans would pay more income taxes under his plan.

Mann questions whether local readers will understand that the endorsement was not from the local editorial board. The board said the day before that it was not endorsing candidates in Tuesday's election because it could not reach unanimous agreement: "Our election endorsements, when we make them, are based on consensus; we only take stances all our editorial board members agree on. That process improves our reasoning and makes us more careful about giving advice than we might be otherwise, which helps the credibility of the opinions we do express. We couldn't reach consensus on endorsing a candidate in any of the races this election cycle." (Read more)

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