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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The once-liberal Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has endorsed the conservative candidate the 18th District Congressional race, surprising many and angering some.
Rick Saccone was over the moon about the Post-Gazette’s surprise endorsement.
“Wasn’t that fabulous? The Post-Gazette can be objective, too,” he said.
But to others, it was just another betrayal of the paper’s liberal legacy.
“The paper I once knew is gone, and it’s a shame,” former Post-Gazette reporter Bill Moushey said.
Under publisher John Robinson Block, the paper’s editorial stance has shifted to the right.
The paper has endorsed Pat Toomey for Senate, defended President Trump’s remarks on Haiti and Nigeria, and now picked Saccone over moderate Democrat Conor Lamb, warning that Lamb’s election would spark a so-called “blue wave” of Democratic wins and calls for Trump’s impeachment.
“The Democrats in the House have only one agenda item at the moment, and it isn’t healthcare 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,” the editorial board wrote Sunday.
Hundreds on the paper’s website commented negatively, many saying they were canceling their subscription. Moushey, now a Point Park journalism professor, blamed that on publisher Block.
“All the things they’ve done over the last couple of months, he’s asking people to cancel their subscription,” Moushey said. “I’m asking him to sell the paper.”
It’s a welcome shift to others, including President Trump himself. He tweeted his praise of the endorsement Monday.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette just endorsed Rick Saccone for Congress. 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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2018
Saccone also lauded the Post-Gazette for its fairness while echoing the president’s own distrust of other media outlets.
“We need an honest media as a check on government. I’ve always been for that,” Saccone said, “but we need a fair media and unfortunately, the media has taken a turn for the worst in many ways.”
Not long ago, the Post-Gazette moved into a new building on the North Shore, a sign perhaps that it’s not the liberal paper of old but one that is decidedly on the right.