Monday, March 31, 2008


Look everyone! Make-believe objectivity!

Before you get too excited, remember that the paper already endorsed McCain in the general. It gave McCain the nod three days after Mitt Romney quit the race. I guess three days is plenty of time to assess the qualifications of all of the candidates and isn’t a sign the paper was going to endorse a Republican — any Republican — and was waiting for a frontrunner to emerge. You know, like this guy did. And we all know about his credibility.

So the Trib is planning to endorse one Democratic candidate over the other. I’m not sure that the Trib has many “Democrat readers,” or that anyone cares which Democratic candidate a Republican mouthpiece paper endorses. I suspect one or more of the following: This is an attempt either to strengthen Clinton’s campaign heading into Denver to create “chaos” for the Democrats, Dick thinks Clinton is the more vulnerable candidate against McCain, or Dick is just nostalgic for the good ol’ days of constant Clinton bashing and wants to keep Clinton around to get his paper back to doing what it does best.

But Clinton’s visit bolsters the Trib, which doesn’t compete well with the other paper in town, the Post Gazette, because the Trib’s well-known and obvious conservative bias is just too much for the paper to maintain any kind of credibility. The paper endorsed Jim Clymer for senate in ’04 because it didn’t consider Arlen Specter conservative enough, and didn’t endorse anyone when incumbent Gov. Ed Rendell ran for re-election against former football player and wholly unqualified candidate Lynn Swann. I guess the edit board just couldn’t decide which candidate would be best for Pennsylvania.

The idea of the Trib “reassessing” Clinton is ludicrous. The entire conservative worldview requires a WWE mindset: Good guys are always good, and bad guys are always bad (at least until they take a folding chair to their tag team partners and form an uneasy alliance with the good guy with an apprehensive handshake in the middle of the ring). In a mind where the only colors are black and white, there’s little room, or interest, in nuance or reassessing beliefs. To reassess anything, let alone Public Enemy #2, would require way too much attention, self-analysis and critical thinking.

By the way, is it just me, or is the media’s (and the other candidates’) referring to Clinton by her first name kind of disrespectful? It’s the kind of treatment newspapers usually reserve for feel-good features or for children. But I guess in this case the headline is an echo of this one from last month.

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