Almost laughable

In perhaps the yawner story of the year, the AJC has released its endorsements of some races for the upcoming election. That’s not what is most laughable (though to some it probably is – actually the paper comes out and admits its “progressive political philosophy,” mentions its ‘manifesto’ and then self-basks in how “lofty” it is).

What is laughable is that in its endorsement announcement, the AJC included a statement of “Why We Endorse.” The statement itself seems almost pining for the days when newspapers were all-powerful as if Ms. Tucker is providing us with the essential history of all newspaper endorsements, but the line that really caught my eye was the following (emphasis mine):

my colleagues and I believe that endorsements of political candidates are as necessary as ever — of the surfeit of news media and the resulting information overload. With so many competing sources of information, including political ads and Web sites produced by the candidates, voters may give up trying to decipher the candidates’ stands on complex issues. Politicians rarely render complicated judgments in 30-second ads. Nor are they likely to be candid about their more controversial stances.

Highly-researched and well-written editorial endorsements can give voters that information. At this newspaper, editorial writers spend time researching candidates’ resumes and ferreting out their views. We interview most candidates in person; sometimes, when that’s not possible, we interview them over the telephone.

This from the newspaper that gave us a Voter’s Guide in which the most hard-hitting question was which TV character the candidates identified with the most. “Highly-researched?” Maybe the editorials (and most the time I question that), but wouldn’t a voter’s guide that actually had some information on all the candidates (not just the ones the AJC endorses) be far more useful to voters? Probably.

[Update] On that note, I was interested to find in one of the AJC’s endorsements a little attack on the candidate for including information on their website that was irrelevant to the job they were seeking. “[The candidate] might as well have listed her Oscar picks for all the relevance they have to the actual job she’s asking voters to award her in November.” Again, this from the newspaper that found it relevant to discuss TV characters and what “gadget” they bought recently that they couldn’t live without? Perhaps they would like to explain the relevance to those questions.

We here at the Atlanta Metroblog do not collectively endorse candidates (though no author is restricted from posting about her/his preferences in races). However, I’m sure that I can speak for all the authors when I do make one voting suggestion to the Atlanta (and Georgia) community: Before you vote next Tuesday (or earlier, if you are voting that way), examine the candidates on all sides of the aisle and make a smart, well-researched choice for the candidate that you think is best for you, your district, the courts, or for Georgia.

5 Comments so far

  1. abby (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

    Good post, Dan — I agree with your sentiments regarding the AJC’s hard-hitting journalism and fully support your quest to inform voters.

    The League of Women Voters guide you linked to earlier (

    is a pretty good start. Also, this year’s ballot will have three constitutional amendments and six referendum questions. Here’s a link to a summary. (

  2. George Burdell (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

    Yes, it was a good post. However, I feel that I can post something equally as accurate in much less space – “Almost Laughable: The AJC”. End of post.

  3. L. Grizzard (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

    Well what do you expect, it only costs 50 cents.

  4. Annie (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

    There is a reason that most intelligent people read the AJC only for entertainment value.

    Great post, and a great reminder to look at both sides of the aisle. I’d like to add that it might not hurt to look at third party options, also.

  5. Maigh (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

    Great linkage Abby – thanks.

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