by Kevin Allman
In the interest of creating a one-stop link shop for those who say the media are "in the tank" in the presidential race, we offer the following story from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (of which Gambit is a member):
An informal email survey and website scan of AAN's 123 American papers finds that 57 have made presidential endorsements this year, and all of them are endorsing Barack Obama.
It's quite a difference from eight years ago, when a similar survey found alties' endorsements split evenly between Democratic candidate Al Gore and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. Nader, who is running for the third straight election this year as an independent, garnered no endorsements from AAN members. Nor did this year's Green nominees, Cynthia McKinney.
Although many AAN members continue to maintain that it is not their place to make endorsements at all, and still more only endorse on local races, many papers jumped in and endorsed for president for the first time ever (or in some time) this year.
Chicago alt-weekly Newcity was one of those papers. "In our two-plus decades of publishing, we have never endorsed any candidate for any office. We do not have expectations we'll do so again," its endorsement reads. "But never before have we encountered a candidate so compelling on so many levels, or a time for change so imperative."
Other papers, like New Orleans' Gambit Weekly, are sticking to their guns and not endorsing. "Gambit does not endorse -- and has never endorsed -- in national races, which includes presidential contests," editor Kevin Allman writes, "for the simple reason that we're a locally-focused publication."
You can read the roster here.
At college papers, it's almost the same story, according to Editor and Publisher:
The Obama campaign leads by better than 23-1 in newspaper endorsements from dailies and weeklies, based on our tally so far. But the Democratic ticket has an even more impressive lead when it comes to college newspapers 63 to 1, according to UWIREs Presidential Endorsement Scorecard (we have been providing a partial tabulation).
The one McCain endorser? The University of Mississippi's Daily Mississippian.
We've done the work for you. Now have at it, cable-news talking-head screamfest friends. Parse away, talk-radio pocket pundits. Dissect. Argue. Just link back here when you do.