Culture

USA Today Sets A Different Tone By Breaking Tradition To Call Trump ‘Unfit’ To Be President

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Many like to point out the biases within the media around the nation, calling out the trustworthiness of the “liberal media.” It’s been prevalent throughout Election 2016, with both candidates showing an aversion to the press and Donald Trump regularly banning some outlets from even speaking to his campaign. But what happens when the most neutral media entity in the country breaks from its 35-year stance and decides to lend an opinion to current election?

That’s the situation we are currently seeing thanks to USA Today’s unprecedented decision to call Donald Trump unfit to be president. The editorial board for the paper wrote a scathing “disendorsement” of the candidate, the first presidential candidate in their history and the second overall — the paper “disendorsed” David Duke and his run for Louisiana governor in 1991. The decision is truly one that sets this election apart from any other we’ve seen, with the editorial board putting aside the paper’s daily mission to take a stand:

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.

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.

There is a reason USA Today is sometimes referred to as “McPaper.” It’s typically the harmless, basic news that you can find at every McDonald’s or hotel you come across while on vacation. It’s a paper for everyday people that typically doesn’t dive into the opinions and cross battle lines we see within other media outlets in print and on television. That’s what sets this decision apart. This isn’t bias at play, it’s the common paper creating a position for the common people to analyze.

USA Today cites numerous reasons why Trump should not be president, including being “erratic,” speaking recklessly, being a serial liar, trafficking in prejudice, and coarsening the national dialogue to new levels. And while they have “disendorsed” Trump with their scathing opinion, the paper is not automatically tossing its support behind Hillary Clinton:

Nor does this editorial represent unqualified support for Hillary Clinton, who has her own flaws (though hers are far less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis). The Editorial Board does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement.

Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president.

Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.

Drawing from this, the editorial does its best to stay away from telling people who to vote for. They tell voters to stay true to “their convictions” while offering one concrete word of advice to everybody who picks up their paper: “By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.”

(Via USA Today)

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