The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Donald Trump for re-election, its first endorsement of a Republican candidate in nearly 50 years. It made headlines and garnered praise from the right, but some question if newspaper endorsements still matter?
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran its endorsement of President Trump on Sunday, urging readers to “separate the man from the record.”
- The paper touted new trade deals, a pre-covid economic boom, and Trump’s record on energy, which it calls one of Pittsburgh’s “most important concerns.”
- The Toledo (Ohio) Blade is owned by the same company as the Post-Gazette and ran the same endorsement Sunday.
- TheHill.com reported the Post-Gazette’s endorsement was equally as critical of Trump as it was in its praise.
- Most major newspapers nationwide have endorsed Joe Biden, while Business Insider reported only five major papers (before the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) endorsed Trump.
- The Spokesman-Review endorsed President Trump in a similar manner the Post-Gazette endorsed. Its editor later wroteabout the waning influence of newspapers and whether endorsements were still necessary.
- Some outlets have actually broken tradition by offering their endorsement.
- More and more newspapers have declined to endorse candidates at all.
- Some are calling for an end to the practice entirely.
- Voices on the left have been largely quiet about the Pittsburgh outlet’s endorsement.
- Newsweek emphasized the Post-Gazette’s characterization of Biden as “old” and “fragile.”
- In early October, an editor for the Los Angeles Times noted how so many readers have reveled in using the Times’ endorsements to determine who not to support.
- In its coverage of the endorsement, the Free Beacon omitted the Post-Gazette’s sharp criticism of President Trump’s temperament.
- The Federalist was one of few outlets to cover the Post-Gazette’s assessment of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, saying the paper acknowledged his response has “not been perfect,” but “no one masters a pandemic.”
- Conservative site Breitbart connected the Post-Gazette endorsement to Biden’s “last-minute” swing through western Pennsylvania.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020