People are furious with Pittsburgh’s ‘liberal’ newspaper after it endorsed the Trump-backed Republican in the nation’s biggest election

  • The largest newspaper in the Pittsburgh region endorsed Republican Rick Saccone over Democrat Conor Lamb in the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.
  • The newspaper features the region’s traditionally liberal-leaning editorial board.
  • Trump promoted the paper’s endorsement.
  • Liberals online were furious.

Many Democrats and liberals were outraged after Pittsburgh’s traditionally liberal-leaning newspaper editorial board endorsed Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone, the Republican candidate backed by President Donald Trump in the special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

“This Saccone endorsement concludes my support of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,” tweeted Damon Bethea of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, adding the hashtag #PGIsCanceled.

The editorial board of the Post-Gazette, the largest newspaper in the western half of the state, wrote that Saccone was the better choice than Democrat Conor Lamb not only because Saccone has more legislative experience, but because a victory for Lamb could lead to Trump’s impeachment.

“If Mr. Lamb, 33, wins, it could well be the start of a Democratic wave,” the Post-Gazette’s editorial board wrote. “The prospect of a Democratic House may please partisans, but it might be bad for the country. The Democrats in the House have only one agenda item at the moment, and it isn’t health care or jobs. It is impeachment.

“Regardless of whether one likes this president or his policies, one must ask what the consequence for the country will be if we dive into so great a distraction,” it continued.

As The Washington Post noted, neither candidate in the race has discussed the prospect of Trump’s impeachment.

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, who would become the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee if Democrats were to regain control of the House, told The Post earlier this year that impeachment would be pursued only if both Democrats and Republicans were on board.

Many were furious with the endorsement, with some threatening to cancel their subscriptions:

It is the paper’s first political endorsement since the editorial pages of the Block family’s newspapers, the Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade, were put under control of one editor.

The publications were among the only major newspapers that did not endorse the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, though the Post-Gazette has long been known as the city’s liberal-leaning publication compared with the more conservative-leaning Tribune-Review.

In 2016, both the Blade and the Post-Gazette ran an editorial aimed at helping voters choose between Clinton and Trump without endorsing either, though there were rumours that the Post-Gazette was considering selecting Trump.

Earlier this year, both publications ran an editorial defending the president from criticism over his statement about nations he was quoted as describing as “shithole countries,” again sparking backlash.

“There are nations that are hellholes in this world,” the editorial read. “And there are failed states. It is not racist to say that this country cannot take only the worst people from the worst places and that we want some of the best people from the best places, many of which are inhabited by people of colour. That’s not racism, it is reason.”

The papers’ publisher, John Robinson Block, met and was photographed with Trump in 2016 aboard Trump’s private plane after a campaign rally in Toledo.

“In 39 years of full time journalism I’ve met many interesting people,” Block, who had also been photographed with Clinton,wrote on Facebook. “This one was more than memorable.”

On Monday, Trump promoted the Post-Gazette’s endorsement of Saccone, whom he campaigned for in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

“The Pittsburgh Post Gazette just endorsed Rick Saccone for Congress,” Trump tweeted. “He will be much better for steel and business. Very strong on experience and what our Country needs. Lamb will always vote for Pelosi and Dems….Will raise taxes, weak on Crime and Border.”