Opinion Outpost: Oct. 27


The Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation. 


To enter journalism these days you have to be a true believer. If you can find an entry-level job — and newspaper staffs declined by 10 percent last year — you will more than likely take a vow of poverty worthy of a monk. Even in television, a news reporter can make as little as $18,000 a year.

In our polarized society, public trust of the media is at an all-time low, according to a recent Gallup poll. Across the political spectrum, some accuse us of spreading insidious liberal ideas, while others call us lackeys of a corporate, right-wing conspiracy. Worse yet, people think of us as heartless jerks who’d make a little boy cry or kick an immigrant in pursuit of a story.

The truth is that the best journalists connect with readers, viewers and listeners by being open-minded and compassionate. That’s one reason so many people remain in the profession, despite the poor pay and long hours.

— Héctor Tobar

The New York Times

… For a newspaper to regain its business standing, it has to regain its community. Smarter and deeper journalism combined with community involvement will lead to new revenue streams.

That is the future of local journalism — high-quality journalism that engages the community, reaches interested readers everywhere, and generates the revenue to support the enterprise.

— Austin Beutner


Joe Biden

Anyone who loves or merely likes Vice President Biden should be relieved by his decision not to run for president. He is likely to exit public life on a high note as a result, and that would not have been the case if he had jumped into a Democratic nomination race against Hillary Clinton this late.

Some Democrats have been understandably skittish about their flawed front-runner (guilty, your honor) and Sen. Bernie Sanders, her strong yet probably unelectable socialist challenger from Vermont. Even so, those who saw Biden as their salvation were not seeing him or Clinton clearly. Oh sure, Republicans would have had fun with a Clinton-Biden tussle on top of the existing Clinton-Sanders tussle. But the fact is that Clinton is formidable as a national candidate, and Biden never has been.

—Jill Lawrence

USA Today

Joe Biden may be a well liked man by many in Washington were he has lived and served his home state of Delaware for many years, but he was not going to be president or the nominee of the Democrat Party.

As he rambled on in his farewell speech, I was reminded of why he made the right decision.

He is no Obama. He does not have the rhetorical skills needed today to win.

His campaign and speaking style reminded me of a bygone era when another Vice President, Hubert Humphrey was an unsuccessful campaigner. They called Humphrey the “happy warrior!” Humphrey and Biden believed in never saying in a sentence what you can say in a paragraph.

— Edward Rollins

Fox News

It’s hard not to like Joe Biden. I’ve seen him speak in person several times, and his love for people and politics is downright infectious. I’m sad he announced Wednesday he is not running for president, because he’s fun and he would have lit up the campaign.

But I think he made the right decision.

The path to winning the Democratic nomination certainly wasn’t clear, let alone easy, and it’s better for Biden to end his career at the high point of the vice presidency rather than try for the presidency once again and fail. And while Biden seems genuinely to relish campaigning, campaigns are getting less and less fun by the day. The truth is that a Biden candidacy would have been enjoyable for voters (and the media). But it probably wouldn’t have been very enjoyable for Biden.

… “I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America,” Biden once told a reporter. “But it doesn’t mean I won’t run.”

Now, apparently he won’t run. And while we should be grateful for his public service up until now, his decision is also a public service — because the Democratic primary will run better without him.

—Sally Kohn


It’s possible to understand Biden’s reasoning and still bemoan what his decision means for his party and the nation, beginning with the fact that he would have brought an irrepressible enthusiasm to what has been a fairly joyless campaign. Atmospherics aside, a competitive race for the nomination is good for democracy. In April, before the Biden boomlet began, this page lamented that the Democratic field had exactly one candidate with a truly national profile: Clinton. Not much has changed in the ensuing months. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has established a loyal following, but he lacks the stature that Biden, a sitting vice president and longtime power in the Senate, would have brought to the race.

A Biden candidacy could have forced Clinton to take clearer positions and address questions about her judgment that have been easy for her to dismiss when they’ve come from the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”Besides, it’s good for voters to have a more vigorous competition of ideas and more choices in an election, particularly one with such high stakes.

—Editorial Board

The Los Angeles Times

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