Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.
February 4, 2008 4:58 PM
Posted by Ryan Blethen
David Carr of the New York Times has a column looking at what happened between Sen. Hillary Clinton and the New York Post.
The Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. There was a strong suspicion that the Post would endorse the hometown senator, and the candidate that Murdoch had at one time raised money for.
The surprise should be mild. Bawdy tabloids like the Post can be less than predictable, as Carr points out.
Tabloids thrive on heat. They love a running story, but they also get bored easily. (Although not everyone in the newsroom does. The political editor of the paper, Gregg Birnbaum, has a Web site called JustHillary that is constantly updated with fresh pictures and links to articles.) Col Allan, the editor of The Post, is someone who lives and dies by understanding the moment. And it is his opinion, and that of Mr. Murdoch, that this moment does not belong to the Clintons.
I still believe Obama is the best candidate when it comes to media reform, regardless of which candidate the Post and Murdoch endorse. He understands issues such as net neutrality and media consolidation. He is the only candidate left that has talked about the media throughout the campaign. Not in the way Clinton blames the media, but in way that acknowledges reform is needed to keep the press, and democracy healthy.
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