US newspapers overwhelmingly favor Clinton, none back Trump

Supporters of the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump take it as a given that the media are backing his opponent Hillary Clinton. They may have a point too, as most major US newspapers have either denounced Trump or openly endorsed the Democrat.

At one point during Sunday evening’s second presidential debate, Trump commented on the moderators – ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper – seemingly teaming up with Clinton and against him.

“Nice, one on three,” he said.

The Associated Press also raised some eyebrows, tweeting a “fact check” of Trump’s statement that the Syrian government was fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) as “not true”. The agency backtracked on Monday morning, calling Trump’s statement “partially true.” It also tweeted a promotion for its book about Hillary Clinton, published in February.

As proof of media bias, Trump’s supporters have pointed out the similarity of mainstream headlines to Clinton’s talking points.

Clinton does in fact enjoy unprecedented levels of support from newspapers across the US, from the New York Times to several traditionally Republican outlets who broke with tradition to support a Democrat, such as The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Dallas Morning News and The Arizona Republic. Clinton was also endorsed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat since its founding in 1868.

The New York Times came out for Clinton at the end of September, calling her “a determined leader intent on creating opportunity for struggling Americans at a time of economic upheaval and on ensuring that the United States remains a force for good in an often brutal world.”

Clinton’s most recent endorsement came from The Atlantic – only the third such endorsement in the magazine’s history, after Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 – with the editors arguing that “she understands the role of the United States in the world” and would “apply herself assiduously to the problems confronting this country.”

While not endorsing Clinton per se, USA Today also chose to pick sides for the first time since its founding in 1982, in a September 30 editorial denouncing Trump’s platform as “the siren song of a dangerous demagogue.”

“Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts,” the editorial said.

The Detroit News and the Richmond Times-Dispatch – which both endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 – chose to back Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson this time around. So did the Chicago Tribune, which in 2012 endorsed Barack Obama.

Non-traditional media have also been openly critical of Trump as well. The Huffington Post has famously included a disclaimer in every story mentioning Trump, telling their readers he is a “serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims  – 1.6 billion members of an entire religion  –  from entering the US.”