The United States of America is deemed a benchmark of democracy. One of the pillars of democracy is free and independent press. And an objective one. Without objective press, the freedom of speech is replaced by propaganda, exactly the same as that one in Russia or other “autocracies”. Can we speak about democracy in the US if two major titles openly support one of the presidential candidates? Is it still democracy, if the press have already chosen who should be the commander-in-chief instead of leaving this decision to the voters?
The curtain was lifted on 24th September, when the New York Times’ editorial board endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president1)Hillary Clinton for President, Source: NYT 2016-09-24.
“Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience and courage,” they explained. “In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year.“
But is it still a normal democracy?
The New York Times has been endorsing Democrats for president every election since 1956, when it preferred Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower2)New York Times Endorsements Through the Ages, Source: NYT 2016-09-24.
A few days later, the next top US title – USA Today – called on not to vote for Donald Trump3)USA TODAY’s Editorial Board: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’, Source: USA Today 2016-09-30. This is the first time in the newspaper’s history that its editorial board has taken sides.
“In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now,“ they say.
Is it because one of the two candidates does not come from the establishment?
“This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.”
Do these top American press titles not accept the democratic choice of Republican Party members and voters? Will the US government condemn the lack of democracy and the danger of independent press in its own country?
References [ + ]