By Drew Farmer –
The Arizona Republic has received an extreme backlash from readers after endorsing a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in the newspaper’s 125-year history.
The newspaper received a multitude of threats after breaking from its tradition of supporting a Republican candidate and backing Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton.
The Arizona Republic editorial board had written numerous articles against Republican candidate Donald Trump and his policies over the last year. The editorial board viewed Trump’s ideas as bad for the Republican Party, the state of Arizona and the United States as a whole. Many newspapers and experts on politics have also asserted that Trump is far from a Republican in his political views.
Mi-Ai Parrish, president of the Arizona Republic, recently wrote her own op-ed article outlining the newspaper’s decision. That piece also caused the paper to come under fire from its traditional readership. Some of these readers have even suggested the newspaper’s journalists may die like Don Bolles in a car bombing. Bolles, a writer for the Republic, was killed in a car bomb attack in 1976 while investigating the possibility of Arizona politicians and the Mafia working together.
Along with the threats, young people selling subscriptions to the newspaper were spit on and bullied as they went door-to-door. The typical slur of “un-American” was also thrown at the Arizona Republic for not endorsing Trump.
In the op-ed article, Parrish wrote:
“We chose patriotism over party. We endorsed the Democrat. And then the reaction started pouring in. Threats against our business. Threats against our people. … What is the correct response to any of the vile threats against me? What is the correct response to the more disturbing actions and words directed against so many others?”
While the Arizona Republic has gone with Clinton, Trump has moved quickly to praise the newspaper’s readers who have canceled their subscriptions. He did the same after the Dallas Morning News stated he is “no Republican.”
Trump has not received one general election endorsement from a major U.S. newspaper. In fact, many right-leaning newspapers have sided with Clinton ahead of the election. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has received more endorsements than Trump from newspapers nationwide. However, Clinton and Trump are still fighting it out for president.
With Trump chastising newspapers and journalists for siding with the opposition, it now looks like journalism itself may be under attack from the GOP candidate.