Philadelphia Inquirer Jumps on the Booker Bandwagon

Yesterday, I wrote about the New York Times’ endorsement of Cory Booker in the upcoming Democratic Senate Primary. The other major Jersey-centric out-of-state newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, also endorsed Booker today.

While the Times endorsement mistakenly implies that Booker will be able to leverage his celebrity status to get things done in Washington, the Inquirer article is a bit more reasoned, but their editors’ premises are also dubious.

The Inky’s editors summarize many of Booker’s accomplishments, and on those, the Newark mayor deserves the accolades they gave him. But then, the article continues, “Booker is a moderate who supports school vouchers as well as same-sex marriage.” Yet, the paper (partially owned by education profiteer George Norcross III, a fact that should have been disclosed in the editorial) fails to mention any reason why school vouchers are supposed to be a good thing. And as far as marriage equality is concerned, every Democrat on the ticket supports it, and of the candidates running for the Senate spot, none has done more for marriage equality than the presumptive last-place finisher Sheila Oliver.

The paper gives its requisite compliments to the other three candidates. In describing Rush Holt, they call him “a thoughtful champion of public schools.” Succumbing to the language of the Right, they also describe Holt as a champion of “entitlement programs,” rather than more accurately touting his concern for the poor and middle class.

Like the Times, the corporate ownership of the Inquirer seems to have infiltrated the heretofore independent editorial boards. In both cases, the editors were too timid to go out on a limb and endorse one of the underdogs to whom they gave faint praise. And while Booker would be a good U.S. Senator for New Jersey, Rush Holt and Frank Pallone are more experienced, better qualified and ready to fill Frank Lautenberg’s shoes.

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