A comment on a recent media criticism post asked about this coming endorsement. It got us thinking about the Dispatch and endorsements.
We don’t have any inside information about the Romney endorsement. It’s just that some things — like the Big Ten underachieving in the Rose Bowl, the swallows returning to Springfield, or an M. Night Shyamalan movie having a “twist” – happen with such regularity that you begin to rely on them.
Any day now, the Columbus Dispatch will polish up its veneer of objectivity, clear its throat, and announce that the paper has, after deep thought, contemplation, and perhaps fasting, endorsed the Republican running for President.
Just like it has done every four years since 1920.
That’s right. The paper that claims to be Ohio’s “greatest” newspaper has not found a reason to endorse a Democrat for president for twenty-three straight elections. The last Democrat endorsed by the Dispatch was Woodrow Wilson for re-election in 1916.
Should you trust that judgment?
In 1928 and again in 1932, the Dispatch endorsed Herbert Hoover. Hoover led us into the Great Depression by signing a disastrous tariff act, and then resisted relief for the unemployed living in shanty towns known as Hoovervilles.
In 1960, 1968, and 1972 the Dispatch endorsed Richard Nixon. We all know how THAT ended. Probably the only thing that kept Nixon out of jail was was a pardon from the 1976 recipient of the Dispatch endorsement, Gerald Ford.
In 2000 and again in 2004, the Dispatch endorsed George W. Bush. Bush proceeded to lead the country into a disastrous war in Iraq. Bush also turned a budget surplus into a record budget deficit and left office with the country in the middle of a worst economic crisis since Hoover was President.
Of course, it’s not just the men who received endorsements. The Dispatch never endorsed FDR, despite having four chances to do so. All FDR did was win a world war and get us through the Great Depression. The Dispatch also never endorsed Harry Truman or Lyndon Johnson, two presidents committed to the expansion of civil rights.
And don’t forget when the Dispatch cites the deficits under Obama in its endorsement of Romney that the paper never endorsed Bill Clinton. All Clinton did was balance the budget.
Keep this in mind as the paper struggles to keep editorial choices from affecting the news coverage.
[Correction: The orignal version of this post erroneously included Barry Goldwater along with Harry Truman as two Presidents committed to the expansion of civil rights. It should have read Lyndon Johnson. We made the correction and regret the error.]