To the anonymous caller who invoked the name of Don Bolles -- he's the Republic reporter who was assassinated by a car bomb 40 years ago -- and threatened that more of our reporters would be blown up because of the endorsement, I give you Kimberly. She is the young woman who answered the phone when you called. She sat in my office and calmly told three Phoenix police detectives what you had said. She told them that later, she walked to church and prayed for you. Prayed for patience, for forgiveness. Kimberly knows free speech requires compassion.To those who said we should be shut down, burned down, who said they hoped we would cease to exist under a new presidential administration, I give you Nicole. She is our editor who directs the news staff, independent of our endorsements. After your threats, Nicole put on her press badge and walked with her reporters and photographers into the latest Donald Trump rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz. She stood as Trump encouraged his followers to heckle and boo and bully journalists. Then she came back to the newsroom to ensure our coverage was fair. Nicole knows free speech requires an open debate.To those of you who have said that someone who disagrees with you deserves to be punished, I give you Phil. Our editorial page editor is a lifelong Republican, a conservative and a patriot. He was an early voice of reason, arguing calmly that Donald Trump didn't represent the values of the party he loves. Phil understands that free speech sometimes requires bravery.
Presidential endorsements from newspaper editorial boards aren't generally a national political story, but as is true in so many ways, this isn't a normal year.There are, to be sure, notable endorsements based on the strengths of their arguments. The Washington Post's case in support of Hillary Clinton -- who has "the potential to be an excellent president," the editors wrote -- is compelling and persuasive.But some endorsements raise eyebrows because they're so unexpected. The editorial board of Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska, for example, hasn't backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1932, but it's nevertheless recommending Clinton this year.As we discussed a few weeks ago, this is part of a trend: the Dallas Morning News endorsed the Democratic candidate for the first time since before World War II; the Cincinnati Enquirer backed Clinton despite nearly a century of uninterrupted Republican endorsements; the same is true of the Columbus Dispatch; the Arizona Republic, for the first time since launching in 1890, announced its support for a Democrat over a GOP nominee; and the San Diego Union Tribune endorsed a Dem for the first time in 148 years.As it turns out, some Trump fans aren't pleased with newspaper editorial boards that dare to defy the Republican candidate. Some Arizona Republic readers, for example, contacted the paper with threats to burn down the building and kill its editors. Mi-Ai Parrish wrote a terrific piece responding to those who made the threats.
Oct. 15, 201601:59