The Detroit News has endorsed a non-Republican candidate for president for the first time in its 143-year history. The conservative newspaper, generally representing Republican perspectives, also did not endorse the Democratic Party’s nominee Hillary Clinton either. The Detroit News, owned by Digital First Media Newspaper, the second-largest newspaper company in the United States by circulation, endorsed the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
The move was so significant that it was even reported on by Detroit’s other major newspaper, the liberal-leaning Detroit Free Press.
“For the first time in the newspaper’s 143-year history, its editorial board endorsed a presidential candidate who wasn’t a Republican. But instead of endorsing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, like many other newspapers in a similar conundrum, the News chose third-party candidate Gary Johnson, on the Libertarian ticket.”
The announcement came Thursday in an editorial piece written by the Detroit News’ editorial board.
“Today this newspaper does something it has never done in its 143-year history: endorse someone other than the Republican candidate in a presidential contest.
“Since its founding in 1873, The Detroit News has backed a Republican every time it has made a presidential endorsement (three times we have sat on the sidelines — twice during the Franklin Roosevelt elections and in the 2004 Bush/Kerry contest).
“We abandon that long and estimable tradition this year for one reason: Donald J. Trump.”
— Ingrid Jacques (@Ingrid_Jacques) September 29, 2016
The Detroit News called Donald Trump “unprincipled, unstable and quite possibly dangerous,” but the outlet refused to endorse Hillary Clinton, because the opinions of the editors on the Detroit News are in opposition with the former secretary of state nearly across the board. The editorial board also brought up concerns about Clinton’s character.
“Her career-long struggles with honesty and ethics and calculating, self-serving approach to politics trouble us deeply.”
The editorial board says that it recognizes that the Libertarian Party’s nominee is “the longest of long shots” but calls their endorsement “an endorsement of conscience, reflecting our confidence that Johnson would be a competent and capable president and an honorable one.”
3rd Party candidate has never won? Hmm…Abraham Lincoln? pic.twitter.com/ScLZs3WZzD
— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) September 26, 2016
The Detroit News says that Johnson is fit for the presidency. While other media was reporting on Gary Johnson’s lack of ability to come up with a world leader that he looks up to, the Detroit News points out that as the Republican governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson cut taxes and balanced the state’s budget.
It’s been almost 24 hours…and I still can’t come up with a foreign leader I look up to.
— Gov. Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) September 29, 2016
The editorial board says that William Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts who is Johnson’s choice for vice president, also has a record of fiscal discipline. They called the two “honest, principled politicians who would put the interests of the nation first.”
“With a few significant exceptions, the Libertarian candidate shares our views on the important issues.”
The editorial board says that they share Johnson’s belief that a person should have the maximum freedom to make personal decisions with as little meddling from the government as possible. They also like his stance on the TPP.
“Ultimately (the TPP) is going to result in more and higher paying jobs for the United States,” Johnson told the Detroit News‘ editorial board. “China is not a part of this, and that is an advantage to the U.S.”
They say that they agree with Johnson’s stance to provide undocumented immigrants a path towards legal status after a background check.
The Detroit News’ endorsement was swiftly followed by another conservative paper’s endorsement of Gary Johnson on Friday. Chicago Tribune also issued an endorsement for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. The Chicago Tribune, owned by Tribune Media, also called Trump unfit for the oval office.
— Tribune Edit Board (@Trib_ed_board) September 30, 2016
“We reject the cliche that a citizen who chooses a principled third-party candidate is squandering his or her vote.
“This is the moment to look at the candidates on this year’s ballot. This is the moment to see this election as not so much about them as about the American people and where their country is heading. And this is the moment to rebuke the Republican and Democratic parties.”
Interestingly the Detroit News may just be moving closer to its own truth. In 1958, the Detroit News described itself as fiscally conservative but liberal on issues of personal liberties, which is, of course, the ideals held by the Libertarian Party. Digital First Media workers took on Digital First Media’s parent company, hedge fund Alden Global Capital in 2009, but the workers campaign to demand investor transparency was announced this past summer, according to a press release by the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America on behalf of Digital First Media workers.
“Alden Global Capital is known as a vulture fund, and is secretive even by hedge fund standards, with money stashed in notorious tax havens around the world. Its actions are not only hurting newspaper employees but are limiting coverage of community issues and harming long-established editorial voices. Alden’s founder, Randall Smith, is a major donor to right-wing candidates and to the Republican Party.
“Hundreds of prominent journalists, newspaper workers, and advocates for quality journalism are petitioning Alden, demanding full transparency about the hedge fund’s investments and investors, as well as its political donations.”
The media workers campaigned using the hashtag #NewsMatters and said that journalism has a responsibility to democracy.
[Featured Image by David Mark/Pixabay]