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View Diary: 9/11: The Media Still Does Not Get It (193 comments)

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  •  Re: A word about the Orlando "Slantinel" (none)
    This is probably a topic worthy of a separate diary - perhaps tomorrow:

    The Orlando Sentinel was, arguably, a huge factor in the election of GW Bush, both in 2000 & 2004. And I don't think we have paid enough attention to it - and papers like it - in national elections.

    Yes, I know, they endorsed Kerry in 2004.

    But the endorsement was tepid; their criticism of Republican policies was always directed at Congress, never at Bush; they have been in Jeb's corner since his first day in Tallahassee; they are the home paper for the Noonan-esque Kathleen Parker; they publish the far right Peter Brown weekly (he also, I believe, serves as their op-ed editor); the closest they have to a "liberal" is Miriam Marquez, who is not even moderately left of center; they favor syndicated columnists like Jonah Goldberg and Bill Safire (when he was still bloviating regularly); and their news pages regularly cast both Bushes in the best possible light.

    We heard so much about the I-4 corridor before the 2004 election: how important it was, how it would determine the fate of Florida, and, consequently, the election.

    Well, there is a great paper in St. Pete (and, granted, a not so good one in Tampa) - that's at the west end of I-4. There's a very good paper in Daytona on the east end.

    But in between, it's the Sentinel, and only the Sentinel - nothing challenges it, and it is THE primary news source for a wide swath of folks from Lakeland up through Deltona.

    I contend that a paper in this position has an undue effect on national elections. As such, it needs to be monitored much more closely than its mere circulation would merit.

    I know we are always criticizing and analyzing the Times, the Post, USA Today, the Journal, etc. And we should. But there are a few papers in the country that are placed in key swing areas in key swing states that exert enormous influence. Perhaps there are papers in a similar position of influence in Ohio. In Central FL, it's the Sentinel.

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