Trib goes for Obama

In a not entirely unexpected move (Chicago Reader media critic Mike Miner suggested the possibility last month) the Chicago Tribune has endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Of course it is his hometown paper. But its still a big deal (or about as big of a deal as any newspaper endorsement can really be) for a paper that hasn’t endorsed any candidate other than the Republican since Teddy Roosevelt ran as a progressive in 1912. As the paper notes, “This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune.”

The Tribune in its earliest days took up the abolition of slavery and linked itself to a powerful force for that cause—the Republican Party. The Tribune’s first great leader, Joseph Medill, was a founder of the GOP. The editorial page has been a proponent of conservative principles. It believes that government has to serve people honestly and efficiently.

With that in mind, in 1872 we endorsed Horace Greeley, who ran as an independent against the corrupt administration of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. (Greeley was later endorsed by the Democrats.) In 1912 we endorsed Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Progressive Party candidate against Republican President William Howard Taft…

We are proud to add Barack Obama’s name to Lincoln’s in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.

The rest.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.