There's yet another kabuki-theater discussion about yet another dumb newspaper editorial endorsement going on over at Brad Warthen's blog, one that's generating enough heat and smoke to attract the attention of Romanesko.
But let's move past all that and call a thing what it is: A sham. Warthen's summary of the two-hour editorial board meeting that led up the endorsement is a rationalization for what remains a closed process. Transparency in government? Hell, newspapers give themselves awards for championing the cause. But transparency on the editorial board? Heaven forbid! They start taking vapors the moment you suggest such heresy.
Did the fact that The State is in business in a state (South Carolina) that's likely to go Republican have anything to do with the decision? All those unhappy readers? Cancellations? Boycotts? Angry letters? Bueller? Bueller?
Not according to Warthen. "Trust us," the editorial board members say, at newspaper after newspaper. Well folks, here's the unvarnished truth: We don't. We don't trust your sorry asses as far as we could throw them, and for good goddamn reason.
Enough. I've been saying this for two years, and it's more true now than it was then: Stop publishing unsigned editorial endorsements. Just stop it. In today's media ecosystem, opaque editorial boards are not just some relic of a not-so-glorious past, they're nigh on evil.
So, seriously: Y'all stop it. Get with the now. Thank you. (And yes, for the record, this is equally true of newspaper endorsements for Obama)