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Question of the day

Friday, Oct 7, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Crain’s

According to a high-ranking Tribune executive, the newspaper will eliminate its endorsements for president, governor and Senate seats.

This comes after the Chicago Sun-Times recently got out of the endorsement game, as it transitioned to nonprofit status.

The Tribune is one of three newspapers owned by Alden that will continue endorsements this season as they’re far along in the process, according to The New York Times. The other two are The Baltimore Sun and The Denver Post. […]

A copy of the planned editorial reads, “Unfortunately, as the public discourse has become increasingly acrimonious, common ground has become a no man’s land between the clashing forces of the culture wars.”

The paper will continue making endorsements in non-gubernatorial statewide races as well as legislative and local races. The Tribune’s endorsements in legislative races during the spring primary were often ill-informed. Anyway…

* The Question: Do you think: 1) The Tribune should continue making endorsements in all races; or 2) This is the right call by Alden; or 3) The Tribune should stop all endorsements all the way down the ticket? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

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  1. - Amalia - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:22 pm:

    oh my, they are afraid they have to endorse a Democrat for governor. It is helpful to have folks in positions at a place that fact checks doing checks on those running for office. it is a thankless….and super intensive…job for the person running that for a paper, but it’s all needed.

  2. - One hand //ing - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:25 pm:

    I voted that the should stop all endorsements. The Tribune’s state level endorsements have a tenuous connection to reality to begin with. Stopping top of the ticket national endorsements is simply a way to continue to shill for their preferred political party locally while pretending that party’s totally unpalatable national candidates don’t exist.

  3. - Homebody - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    I said the right call, but only in the sense that the Trib editorial board skews significantly right compared to the average Illinois voter, and especially the average Chicago-area voter. They are probably better served by not repeatedly reminding people of that, particularly as the GOP at both the state and national levels goes farther off the rails.

    This actually goes to my larger theory about what will “fix” American politics. The rich corporate types need to realize that constantly propping up right wing crazies just to get lower taxes is going to kill the golden goose that is America. Consumerism and consumption based economy REQUIRES a healthy, functional civil order. Paying slightly more taxes and having slightly higher minimum wages when Dems are in charge is significantly less damaging to the bottom line than supporting a party that houses people who want to tear down democracy and start race wars.

  4. - Bolingbrook party of 7 - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:32 pm:

    Helps readers see/reconfirm the Tribune’s political slant.

  5. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    Either do all or none. None of this ridiculous parsing of the various races and meaningless excuses. If you are not going to take a stand on the most important races to your readers, then why should they care what you think about the rest? Want to diminish your paper’s importance further? This is a good way to do it.

  6. - NIU Grad - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:39 pm:

    After seeing the declining quality of their local endorsements lately, I would say to just get out of it. They’re not really bringing an expertise to the table anymore.

  7. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:41 pm:

    I voted for no endorsements, because I’ve never had any respect for the Tribune editorial board’s work product. It’s amusing to see them decry “culture wars” as though they don’t have a roster of alumni columnists who made a living off stoking them. Am I supposed to forget about all of them now that they moved to Florida and Indiana, or went into PR?
    What was Trib’s golden boy Kass doing for the last 20 years of his career? It certainly wasn’t any actual reporting or substantive political analysis.

  8. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:43 pm:

    Stop all endorsements. They go back to a time and place when most of the populace was served by at least 2 newspapers.

  9. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:43 pm:

    Obviously they don’t want to deal with the fact that people will be grumpy with then endorsing fascist bigots that believe in profits over people and that corporations have more rights than women, people of color, and LGBTQ folks, or just people in general since that list includes most of us.

    They want to sell their papers. They want to support their business friendly fascists, but they don’t want to have to go that far on the record.

    They’re cowards who are too afraid of letting people know where exactly their editorial board stands on Christian Nationalism and Right Wing Insurrectionalists.

  10. - Keyrock - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:43 pm:

    It’s a good business decision. Fewer subscribers may cancel because of the Tribune’s endorsements if there aren’t any for the biggest races.

    But substantial entertainment value will be lost.

  11. - George Ryan Reynolds - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    It’s well past time to stop the endorsements. The Tribune editorial board, never as important as it thought it was, rendered itself totally irrelevant by endorsing Gary Johnson for president in 2016.

    I’m sure the Tribune’s reporters would be happy if they stopped endorsements. It’s difficult to make many readers understand the difference between news and opinion and how there’s supposed to be a firewall between the news and opinion sides.

    One public service they could continue is to publish the judicial recommendations from the bar groups. Very hard for the average voter making a good-faith effort to independently gather information on all the judicial candidates.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:56 pm:

    I voted “stop all”


    The ruinous way newspapers find themselves being driven by ideology and money, in these times, it was first yellow journalism not pink slime… why even pretend abd waste so much time?

    “Stop all”

  13. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 2:58 pm:

    No endorsements up or down. Instead strengthen fact checking and holding candidates to account regardless of party affiliation.

  14. - Lester B - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 3:08 pm:

    They will keep f-ing up whatever endorsements they make - and many other things - for as long as The Theatre Critic runs that page.

  15. - MisterJayEm - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 3:27 pm:

    Has “the public discourse has become increasingly acrimonious” only in races for president, governor and Senate?

    Has common ground “become a no man’s land between the clashing forces of the culture wars” only in top of the ballot races?

    More half-clever incoherence from the Tribune’s editorial board.

    Endorse or don’t.

    – MrJM

  16. - Nuke The Whales - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 3:44 pm:

    I am no longer convinced that newspapers generally, let alone the hedge fund assets like the Tribune, have the time and effort to make thoughtful, well-vetted endorsements that are, at best, worth a nice quote on a mailer.

  17. - snowman61 - Friday, Oct 7, 22 @ 3:47 pm:

    Stop all. I would rather see stories about each race and what the candidates stand for to help educate the readers. Also, ensure you report and investigate and not just print an issued press release by the candidate.

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