By Arthur Alpert
As I write Thursday, May 6, Albuquerque Journal editors ask a good question at the top of the front page, “Is the GOP ready to follow Trump?
I have a better question –is the Albuquerque Journal ready to follow Trump?
The Journal has spent the entire primary season, after all, clobbering Mr. Trump in its “news columns” and a torrent of opinion pieces.
That’s why I expressed pity for the Journal’s political commissars in my last post. By dumping on Trump, now 99 percent certain to be the Republican standard-bearer, they’ve painted themselves into a corner. How to escape?
To fully grasp their predicament, we should review the newspaper’s so-called news coverage throughout the primary season. First, though, you need to understand why it’s much easier for management to warp national “news” than local.
Where local news is concerned, the commissars must deal with professional rank-and-file staff reporters likely to resent unsubtle interference.
Also, while there’s no longer an Albuquerque Tribune to keep the Journal honest, New Mexicans do have access to local news coverage in newspapers the Journal doesn’t own, on radio and TV stations and a growing number of news-oriented websites.
Conversely, the Journal gets almost all its national news (Michael Coleman’s Washington dispatches excepted) from wire services and 100 percent of international news from syndicated services.
So the editors have a free hand in skewing national and global news and views.
Which free hand they used early on (as we segue into our review) to insult Jeb Bush in two or three news stories. No surprise there; this is not your grandfather’s Pete Domenici-conservative Journal. Today’s Journal gets its inspiration from the Kochs, the Tea Party and (as always) the National Review.
No wonder the Journal promoted Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin at first. Walker, remember, was the Kochs’ first choice.
After he flamed out, the editors moved to Ted Cruz. I remember a story saying Cruz will announce his candidacy “tomorrow” followed the next day (March 23, 2015) by a story saying that he announced his candidacy.
I found the Journal’s apparent affection for a Far Right evangelical notable but dismissed the subject until the newspaper initiated its current political campaign to limit abortion rights -– in the news columns, of course. My mistake, dismissing it.