The Dallas Morning News is paying a steep price for endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in the form of canceled subscriptions and loud protests.
The endorsement broke a 75-year streak in the paper’s history of endorsing Republicans, and generated a lot of reader pushback in the form of angry comments and vows to unsubscribe from the paper. Although Dallas is relatively liberal, the state hasn’t gone Democrat in a presidential election in 40 years.
“Certainly we’ve paid a price for our presidential recommendation,” Dallas Morning News editor Mike Wilson said in an email to Poynter. Wilson acknowledged some of that price came in dropped subscriptions, although he declined to reveal to Poynter exactly how many.
“But then, we write our editorials based on principle, and sometimes principle comes at a cost,” Wilson continued in the email. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with readers lately, and I respect their views and their right to disagree with us. The most important thing to us is that they vote, even if it’s not for our favorite candidate, because democracy doesn’t work if people don’t vote.”
The editorial acknowledges what the paper calls Clinton’s “warts,” but said her Republican opponent Donald Trump is an unacceptable choice for president.
“Trump’s values are hostile to conservatism,” the editorial board wrote. “He plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best.”
Thousands of readers are commenting on the endorsement online, many of whom are promising to unsubscribe and sounding dumbfounded. “What is wrong with your editorial Board,” one commenter wrote. “To endorse a proven Liar, a person who schemes and manipulates the truth, a person who broke the law and violated national security, and a person who flaunts doing the wrong thing and then blaming others. You have no credibility.”
Wilson engaged with protesters who took the time to march in front of the Dallas Morning News building. Although they were hostile at first, Wilson said in a series of tweets they were more engaging when he reiterated his view that it’s important for everyone to vote and he respects their point of view.
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