Media Criticism

Why Aren't Other Journalism Outlets Disclosing Their Presidential Votes?

You know that 15 out of 26 Reason staffers and contributors are voting for Gary Johnson, but 99% of other journalists are keeping their political preferences secret


Warts and all, people, warts and all. ||| Reason

On Sunday, like we do every four years, Reason published a list of who staffers, contributors, and people in the broader libertarian universe intend to vote for president next month. Critics, completists, and rubberneckers alike can compare it with our previous efforts from 2012, 2008, and 2004.

As I also do every four years, I am editing down the list here to "Reason staffers, contributing editors, regular contributors, and they'll-always-be-one-of-us emeriti," so that we have some decent data-sets to bookmark for the inevitable flame wars in the comments. In 2012, for example, among 25 thus-culled Reason-people, 15 were for Gary Johnson, two more were leaning that way, and eight were either not voting or presently unconvinced. I presented the breakdowns from 2004/2008/2012 in this post.

So what does the Reason-centric tally look like this year? Obviously, libertarians like to make their special-flower answers overly complicated to tally up, but my rough sorting of 26 Reasonoids goes like this:

Gary Johnson: 15

Not voting: 3 (Katherine Mangu-Ward's cynical influence appears to be waning!)

Donald Trump: 1 (Jeff A. Taylor!)

Hillary Clinton: 1 (Steve Chapman!)

Hanan al-Ferjani, Salma Mohammed Abu Hasina al-Ja'arud, Fatima Aquil Salah al-Ja'arud, and a 9-month-old girl named Salma, who were all killed during the bombing of Libya: (Thaddeus Russell, obviously)

Lean Johnson: 3

Lean Clinton: 1

Lean not-voting: 1

So, we're not quite as monochromatic as last election, but still heavily Johnsonized. More importantly, we are—once again!—virtually all alone out here in the supposedly pro-transparency world of journalism in letting our readers know where we personally stand. Slate does it every four years, The American Conservative did last time around (both have yet to weigh in this time), and, well, that's just about it. What an embarrassment to the profession.

At least 103 daily newspapers have issued an official endorsement (or non-endorsement) of a presidential candidate, yet exactly zero to my knowledge have disclosed even who the Editorial Board staffers, let alone the supposedly impartial newsroom grunts, are going to check the box for. (The dead-tree endorsement count, by the way, now stands at 91 to 6, Clinton over Johnson, with a further 6 urging voters to not vote for Donald Trump.) U.S. News & World Report will publish bizarro invented conversations designed to mock the Detroit News for endorsing Gary Johnson, but won't tell us who the commissioning editor backs. Trump tried to pre-slime debate moderator Lester Holt as a Democrat, but then it turned out that the NBC anchor is a longtime Republican, and in either case, wouldn't it be interesting to know who (if anyone) he plans to vote for?

So show us your vote, ya cowards! And until you do, let's dial down your transparency sermons a notch or four.