This week, The Torch decided to make the decision to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States. While it is fine that most of the staff probably supports that decision, I feel it is wrong for the Torch to make such a move. Why?
For starters, no paper should endorse any political candidate. If you strive objectivity, why would you ever admit to bias thinking? For example, the New York Times (notorious for being liberal in the first place) strives in their ethics code for their employees not to do show support for causes. That would include putting a candidate bumper sticker on your car, or allowing your spouse to do so (Source: a professor’s word–yes I know, but go with it to some extent, ok?). However, the Times turns right around and endorses Obama along with numerous other outlets.
Does that sound right? Should a publication striving for objectivity be endorsing anybody? Obviously if you support the candidate they have chosen and loaded yourself up on excitement, you will see no problem with it. But if you can put any personal feelings aside, it’s clear it is a direct violation of their own mission.
I must argue, though, that it may be acceptable for an intentionally bias publication to come out with an endorsement. It would be somewhat odd if they didn’t. But I also have to say that may be the only authorization for endorsement.
Secondly, why does the Torch need to endorse anybody in the first place? Sure, it’s won awards for this and that, but at the end of the day it is a college publication with no true place in anybody’s hearts. Besides, from their coverage they’ve shown they’re already liberal. When Sen. John McCain accounced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, all we saw from the Torch was criticism of McCain’s choice. Where was the opposing view?
The endorsement is also useless in other ways. St. John’s is already a blatantly liberal school in a very liberal city. It may not stand up to NYU or Columbia, but those non-apathetics voicing their opinions around campus tend to be liberals. Which, don’t get me wrong, is respectful if they are willing to listen to anybody else’s side.
The endorsement also stands useless because the Torch doesn’t tend to be respected enough around campus for it to mean anything. Chances are if you talk to a random student, they may not give you the best opinion of the Torch. (On the other side of things, I’m not trying to say this is the world’s most highly regarded blog)
“That’s all I got to say about that.”
That actually isn’t all I have to say about that. The closing of my article obviously came across too harsh and left it more open to being taken as me bashing The Torch. I just want to clarify that I am NOT saying the Torch’s opinion is worthless (that would be counteractive to stating my own opinion and make my own useless). Of course the Torch is obligated to have its opinion in the editorial section, as that’s the point. The way I put this is just a bit too harsh. And, being a Torch writer for the past few years, I wish The Torch was more respected by the student population. There is a chance this may alienate some people, but then again it could gain more people’s respect.
NOW, “that’s all I got to say about that.”