Saturday, September 27, 2008

Examiner endorsement triggers firestorm

It shouldn't come as a surprise that billionaire Phil Anschutz's three Examiner newspapers (San Francisco, Washington and Baltimore) would support the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin. But Thursday's front-page endorsement enraged readers in far-left San Francisco.

The SF Weekly reported:
    "... [T]here were nearly 900 comments most from locals who expressed confusion and a feeling they had been betrayed.

    "Examiner's managers put a gag order on reporters and editors. A brusk managing editor, Deirdre Hussey, would only say 'I'm not going on record with you. You have to contact the publisher, John Wilcox.' Hussey, however, did not offer to provide Wilcox's contact information.

    "One switchboard operator says the calls were coming in fast and furious on Thursday when the endorsement was posted online. 'We got a lot of calls and people were coming to the door,' she says. 'There was a great deal of displeasure and people wanted to know if we were crazy. But one good thing, nobody swore at me.'”, a tech industry gossip site, also took note of the unusual front-page endorsement, calling it "clumsy and pointless."

Under the heading "Great moments in journalism," Valleyway opined:
    "Anschutz is a billionaire Republican and a devout Christian, but up until now he's proven more interested in making money in a post-Craigslist local ad market than in trying to save San Francisco from pot-smoking gay abortionists. That's why today's cover, which endorses the GOP's John McCain and Sarah Palin ticket the day after McCain's "huh-what?" suspension of his campaign, seems to be a classic case of election emotions spun out of control ... Is anyone going to change their vote because of the paper?"