Racists, Corruption, And Tabloids: The Story Of Donald Trump's Newspaper Endorsements

Racists, Corruption, And Tabloids: The Story Of Donald Trump's Newspaper Endorsements

››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has received endorsements from four national newspapers -- all of which either have familial or financial connections to his campaign, have repeated falsehoods and conspiracy theories to advocate for conservative causes, or have espoused outright racist views. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s newspaper endorsements include a number of Republican-leaning publications that find Trump too “dangerous” to support.

The Crusader

The Crusader: Trump Will Bring America Back To “What Made America Great In The First Place … A White Christian Republic.” According to The Washington Post, The Crusader praised Trump in a November 1 endorsement, with Pastor Thomas Robb writing, "While Trump wants to make America great again, we have to ask ourselves, 'What made America great in the first place?’ The short answer to that is simple. America was great not because of what our forefathers did — but because of who our forefathers were.” The paper added, "America was founded as a White Christian Republic. And as a White Christian Republic it became great.” [The Washington Post, 11/2/16]

The Crusader Is “One Of The Most Prominent Newspapers Of The Ku Klux Klan.” The Washington Post noted that The Crusader is “one of the most prominent newspapers of the Ku Klux Klan.” The Post reported that the paper’s “‘number one goal’ is to ‘stop white genocide.’” [The Washington Post, 11/2/16]

The Author Of The Crusader’s Endorsement Is The Head Of The Knights Of The Ku Klux Klan. Pastor Thomas Robb, the author of the Crusader’s endorsement of Trump, is the “head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Robb has a history of making racist comments, including claiming in a 1990 piece in The Torch, “When the Negro was under the natural discipline of white authority, white people were safe from the abuse and violence of the Negro, but the Negro was also safe from himself." Robb also said President Obama’s 2008 election was part of a “race war … between our people, who I see as the rightful owners and leaders of this great country, and their people, the blacks.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 11/2/16]

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Review-Journal Editorial Board: Trump “Brings A Corporate Sensibility And A Steadfast Determination” To Washington. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s editorial board endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, asserting that he “brings a corporate sensibility and a steadfast determination to an ossified Beltway culture.” The editorial board also lauded Trump for his “promises to be a source of disruption and discomfort to the privileged, back-scratching political elites for whom the nation’s strength and solvency have become subservient to power’s pursuit and preservation.” From the October 22 editorial:

As Donald Trump confounded the pundit class in ignoring convention and protocol on his way to securing the Republican presidential nomination, a long-time socialist generated throngs of enthusiastic supporters on the left and almost derailed the Democratic coronation of Hillary Clinton.

[...]

The past eight years have pushed us $20 trillion into debt, obligations that will burden our children and grandchildren. The nation’s economy sputters under the growing weight of federal edicts and regulations that smother growth and innovation. Obamacare threatens to crash and burn. The middle class struggles. An administration promising hope and unity instead brought division.

Yet Hillary Clinton promises to lead us down the same path. She’ll cuddle up to the ways and perks of Washington like she would to a cozy old blanket.

Mr. Trump instead brings a corporate sensibility and a steadfast determination to an ossified Beltway culture. He advocates for lower taxes and a simplified tax code, in contrast to his opponent’s plan to extract another $1 trillion from the private economy in order to enlarge the bureaucracy. Mr. Trump understands and appreciates the conditions that lead to prosperity and job creation and would be a friend to small business and entrepreneurship. Mrs. Clinton has spent most of her adult life on the public payroll.

[...]

Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave. But he promises to be a source of disruption and discomfort to the privileged, back-scratching political elites for whom the nation’s strength and solvency have become subservient to power’s pursuit and preservation.

Donald Trump for president. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/22/16]

The Review-Journal Is Owned By GOP Megadonor And Trump Supporter Sheldon Adelson. Billionaire and Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson purchased the Review-Journal in December 2015. Adelson, who has a net worth estimated at $24.5 billion, reportedly spent $100 million to defeat President Obama in 2012 and has committed roughly $45 million to Trump’s campaign and other down-ballot Republican races. [Media Matters, 12/16/15; CNN, 9/19/16]

The Review-Journal Advocated For A Change To Food Stamp Policy That Would Hurt The Most Needy. The Review-Journal editorial board urged Nevada and other states to adopt Maine’s 2015 policy of requiring that food stamp recipients fulfill certain defined work requirements, claiming in a February 18 editorial that “such programs could help all states by curbing food stamp abuse nationwide.” The board ignored evidence that the policy has hurt low-income individuals and strained food banks. [Media Matters, 2/18/16]

The Review-Journal Claimed The Gender Pay Gap Is An “Injustice That Doesn’t Actually Exist.” The Review-Journal editorial board dismissed the existence of the gender pay gap, calling it an “injustice that doesn’t actually exist” in a January 29 editorial and asserting that pay inequality exists because women “are more willing than men to sacrifice salary for a better quality of life.” The editorial ignores research finding that gender pay disparity occurs “at all education levels, after work experience is taken into account,” that it “gets worse as women’s careers progress,” and that it cannot be explained away by “the occupational choices that women make.” [Media Matters, 2/1/16]

The Review-Journal Asserted That Gun Safety Advocates “Manipulate” Data To “Push Their Agenda.” The Review-Journal editorial board attempted to downplay gun violence by claiming that gun safety advocates “manipulate” data by including gun suicides in the total number of gun deaths. The editorial board claimed in an October 31, 2015, editorial that gun safety advocates use this strategy to “push their agenda” and cite the number “as a reason for stricter gun controls.” Yet experts in public health and gun violence widely include gun suicides when counting “gun deaths.” [Media Matters, 11/2/15]

The Review-Journal Falsely Claimed Planned Parenthood “Presents The Biggest Obstacle” To The “Availability Of And Access To Birth Control.” The Review-Journal editorial board lauded Trump’s call for over-the-counter birth control and claimed that Planned Parenthood “presents the biggest obstacle” to the “availability and access to birth control.” The September 22 editorial dismissed Planned Parenthood’s argument that it does support nonprescription birth control access -- but only if it’s still covered by insurance, because otherwise the cost would be“prohibitive.” [Media Matters, 9/23/16]

The Review-Journal Mirrored False Claims Of Climate Science Deniers To Bash FEMA. The Review-Journal editorial board endorsed a letter from a group of senators, led by climate science denier Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), to blast the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for requiring states to address climate change in their disaster mitigation projects. The board, in a May 11, 2015, editorial, asserted that “climate change is not settled science,” adding that FEMA has no right to weigh in on an issue as “dogmatic and hyperpolitical” as global warming. [Media Matters, 5/11/15]

New York Observer

New York Observer: Trump Has Be Able To “Shine Fresh Perspective On Issues That Badly Need Attention.” The New York Observer editorial board endorsed Trump in the Republican primary* in April, praising him for having “demonstrated that he alone among the Republican field can attract new voters to the tent and shine fresh perspective on issues that badly need attention, such as America’s commitment to NATO and trade deals that have sailed through Congress without much debate about their effects on American workers.” The board lauded Trump for having “demonstrated real leadership … in the private sector where people’s livelihoods depended on his vision.” From the April 12 Republican primary endorsement:

The media tried very hard to construct excuses and rationales for his success. Mr. Trump was a celebrity, an entertainer; he knew how to play the media and gain its attention; his policies grabbed headlines but lacked the specificity of his rivals—which gave him an unfair advantage. But what every pundit’s platitudes missed was simple: they failed to recognize that Mr. Trump’s success is the result of one thing—optimism. Mr. Trump was tapping into the pent-up desire of millions of voters to make America great again.

[...]

Throughout his career, Donald Trump has demonstrated real leadership. And he has done so in the private sector where people’s livelihoods depended on his vision, his decisions and his ability to get others to embrace that vision and act in concert. The legacy of those 30 years of leadership is everywhere to be seen. Not only in the tall buildings that bear his name, but in the kitchens of the thousands of families supported by the jobs he created though these projects.

[...]

We have a suggestion for a Republican establishment dismayed by this unlikely candidate’s unlikely success: instead of monomaniacally focusing on tearing him down, those who care about the future of the party should reach out to Mr. Trump and help him grow as a candidate and a leader. He has demonstrated that he alone among the Republican field can attract new voters to the tent and shine fresh perspective on issues that badly need attention, such as America’s commitment to NATO and trade deals that have sailed through Congress without much debate about their effects on American workers.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan said, “The time is now for strong leadership,” and by 1984 was able to declare, “It is morning again in America.” Today, Donald Trump says it is time to make America great again. We agree. [New York Observer, 4/12/16]

*UPDATE: The New York Observer told The Huffington Post that it "is not going to make an endorsement in the general."

The Observer Is Owned By Trump’s Son-In-Law, Who Is “One Of Trump’s Most Trusted Advisers.” The Observer is owned by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Vanity Fair called Kushner, who is married to Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, “one of Trump’s most trusted advisers.” [Media Matters, 4/13/16; Vanity Fair, 10/27/16]

Observer Editor-In-Chief Helped Kushner Write Trump’s Speech To AIPAC. Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson also has close ties to Trump, as he helped Kushner write the Republican nominee’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in March. [Politico, 4/13/16]

The National Enquirer

The National Enquirer: “Trump Must Be President.” The National Enquirer endorsed Trump in March, writing that he “must be president.” Among the list of reasons for the endorsement, the Enquirer noted that Trump “will chase down illegal immigrants and toss out the criminals who came streaming through our open borders.” [MSNBC, 3/10/16]

The Enquirer Is A “Supermarket Tabloid.” As Bloomberg noted, the Enquirer is a “supermarket tabloid that pioneered the paying of sources and subjects for salacious scoops.” The paper has made outrageous claims, including saying in October 2015 that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would be “dead in six months” and arguing in October 2016 piece that Clinton’s “fixer” helped set up “illicit sex romps with both men AND women.” [Bloomberg, 9/29/16; National Enquirer, 10/7/15, 10/18/16]

Trump Hyped A Conspiracy Theory From The Enquirer That His Opponent’s Father Was Linked To President Kennedy’s Assassin. Trump hyped a conspiracy theory from the Enquirer that the father of his former opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was linked to Lee Harvey Oswald three months before Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Trump repeatedly touted the conspiracy theory as “a major story in a major publication,” and falsely claimed that the Cruz campaign “didn’t deny” the allegations. [Media Matters, 5/4/16]

Trump Is “Reportedly Palsy” With The Enquirer’s Chief Executive. The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers noted that “Trump and Enquirer chief executive David Pecker are reportedly palsy.” Borchers noted that Trump backer and radio host Michael Savage claimed that “Pecker flies to Florida from New York on Trump’s private jet” and that “Trump even suggested Pecker ought to take over Time magazine” in 2013. [The Washington Post, 3/28/16]

Trump Has Written For The Enquirer Multiple Times. Trump has written essays for the Enquirer multiple times, including in August 2015, after he had launched his presidential campaign. In his essays, Trump discussed how he liked to “stir things up and test people” and declared that he is “the only one who can make America great again!” [The National Enquirer, 4/15/11, 8/19/15]

Hillary Clinton Has Received Unprecedented Support From Right-Leaning Newspaper Editorial Boards

Many Republican-Leading Newspaper Editorial Boards Broke Tradition To Endorse Clinton. A string of newspaper editorial boards, including The Arizona Republic, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The San Diego Union-Times, and The Dallas Morning News, made historic endorsements of Clinton. For some papers, the endorsement marks the first time the paper ever backed a Democrat. In interviews with Media Matters, editors said they opted to endorse Clinton because Trump is “unfit,” “reckless,” “dangerous,” “racist,” and “misogynistic.” [Media Matters, 9/30/16, 8/12/16]

Graphic by Sarah Wasko

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.