SocraticGadfly: Shock me: The Snooze endorses #GregAbbott

October 19, 2014

Shock me: The Snooze endorses #GregAbbott

I remember a full decade ago, when Keven (sic) Ann Willey was named editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News.

The Belo empire's Neanderthals promised it meant a new day was coming on the editorial pages.

Well, wrong. (Well, maybe 1/4 right; they may be at early Cro-Magnon there now.) 

Realistically, nothing's changing there until a strategically placed neutron bomb takes out a majority of the op-ed staff there. Yada, yada, yada from multiple past and present Snooze op-ed writers who claim, "No, really, we are kind of sort of liberal now."

No, you're not.

Your endorsement of Greg Abbott (when even the Houston Chronicle endorsed Wendy Davis) is proof positive of that.

As I said on Twitter, this is arguably, and maybe unarguably, the most illogical endorsement-related editorial I've seen from the Snooze since Willey got there. And, it's also arguably one of the most illogical editorials of any sort from Belodom in the last decade. 

First, this howler:
Abbott tips the balance as the candidate most capable of sustaining the state’s economic success and holding in check growing extremism in the state GOP.

Erm, Davis is a Democrat. She'd be able to hold that extremism in check even more, or so it would seem to anybody without partisan eyeballs. You see, Snooze staff, there's this thing called a "veto."

Look it up sometime.

Logic 101, point 1. Snooze, still zero.

Second, to claim Abbott's not part of that extremism is laughable. Now, he's not an ultra-extremist (as the GOP forces us to invent new labels), unlike Ted Cruz, Dan Patrick, and others. But he IS an extremist. And has been.

Empiricism 101, point 1. Snooze, still zero.

Back to logic. The Snooze says Abbott would be the "anti-gridlock" candidate:
Texas cannot afford to provoke the kind of partisan stalemate her victory would probably bring, much like the gridlock that has paralyzed Washington.
Well, by that "logic," everybody in Texas should just keep voting the GOP party line, every election from here on out.

That's so stupid it's a double-pointer.

Logic 101 3, Snooze still zero.

It's also going to cost you an empiricism point.

As friend Perry, in the post previous to from where I got this, notes:
Yes, Davis did vote in GOP primaries once upon a time, is partnered in a law practice with a former Rick Perry staffer, has supported legislation for helping frackers with their water problems, did run and win a couple of times in a conservative-leaning Fort Worth Senate district. (It includes Burleson, for Jeebus' sake.)
Add to that my calling her out last December for pandering rightward, and the idea that she would produce gridlock? No, those GOP extremists would, but not her. This is also a double-pointer.

Empiricism 101 3, Snooze still zero.

What's really at stake?

Money, IMO.

Perry, in his his post that had the Snooze endorsement link, says:
Wendy Davis lost the Dallas News endorsement but earned the Houston Chronicle's.  These simply don't mean as much as they used to, but let's be quick to point out that we still need newspapers badly in this underinformed and misled media environment.  Oh, and you can't paper-train a puppy with a blog.
Well, with an editorial like this, the MSM isn't exactly doing any informing, itself.

But, back to the money.

Columbia Journalism Review had a piece earlier this week on how more and more newspapers are backing away from endorsement editorials.

Beyond their ineffectiveness, which other journalism trade mags have discussed for a decade or so, I suggest following the money.

Part of my comment there.
What this really is?

As both circ and ads continue to decline, newspapers are afraid of losing leaders.

At least they could be more honest about that.
Readers mean money, as papers lean more and more on circulation and less on advertising. And, as Jim Schuetze at the Dallas Observer will tell us, remnants of the old Dallas citizens' councils still exist.

Kuffner has some broadly similar thoughts, starting with the theorizing that the Snooze's editorial board realized it had already endorsed enough, if not too many, Democrats in statewide races.

He's pungent beyond his normal fair degree of mild-manneredness:
Intellectually, it’s on par with endorsing Ted Cruz in 2012 on the hope that he might forsake everything he said on the campaign trail and turn into Kay Bailey Hutchison 2.0 once sworn in. They know it’s a pile of crap, everyone reading it knows it’s a pile of crap, and yet there they go printing it anyway. How proud they must be of that endorsement.

Let's call this one more point for empiricism.

So, empiricism 4, Snooze 0. Logic 3, Snooze 0.

The Snooze loses by a touchdown.

I was ready to give them one-quarter credit for not being so reactionary as to endorse Dan Patrick for Lite Guv. But, per Kuff, I retract even that.

It is a pile of crap. And, that pile of crap isn't going to change.

Because, beyond that pile of crap is Belo bullshit. And, until the company folds up its tents by getting out of the business and selling its final newspaper, it ain't gonna change.

I know it's not gonna change because, pre-2010, I had occasional email exchanges with more than one Snooze op-ed columnist claiming either that they were personally liberal, or that the paper's op-ed stance on house editorials was becoming more liberal, or both.

Again, there's a phrase for that: Belo bullshit.
What this really is?
As both circ and ads continue to decline, newspapers are afraid of losing readers.
At the least, they could be more honest about that.
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