This election season saw the media gang up on Donald Trump in a failed attempt to defeat his candidacy.
But it wasn’t just the liberal media. Even conservative leaning newspapers joined the media crusade against Trump.
And one paper found out the hard way that siding against their readers was bad for business.
The Enid News and Eagle serves the community of Enid, Oklahoma.
With its subscriber count of 10,000, the News and Eagle is one of the many local papers which make up the backbone of American journalism.
During the Republican primary, the paper endorsed Marco Rubio, even though Senator Ted Cruz carried the state on Super Tuesday.
However, once Donald Trump clinched the nomination, the paper switched allegiance to Hillary Clinton.
The News and Eagle endorsed her candidacy in a 730-word editorial printed on October 9th.
It was a move that quickly hurt the paper’s bottom line.
The New York Times reports:
“The News & Eagle, with a circulation of 10,000, lost 162 subscribers who canceled the paper. Eleven advertisers pulled their ads, including a funeral home that had a sizable account. Someone stuck a “Crooked Hillary” bumper sticker on the glass doors of the paper’s downtown office. A man left a late-night message on the publisher’s voice mail, expressing his hope that readers would deliver, to put it delicately, a burning sack of steaming excrement to the paper…
…A former mayor, Doug Frantz, 72, withdrew his participation in this year’s Pillar of the Plains events, which are sponsored by the paper and honor community leaders and volunteers. Emails, letters, phone calls and comments denouncing the endorsement have poured into the paper’s website and Facebook page, and online, the editorial logged more than 20,000 page views the week it was published, making it one of the most viewed articles to ever run on Enidnews.com.
Days after the editorial, Paul Allen, 81, one of Enid’s most prominent residents — he financed construction of the ballpark downtown — stepped into the paper’s offices on Broadway. He walked past the statue of an eagle in the lobby and canceled his 43-year-old subscription at the front desk. He might have done it sooner, but hesitated because he knows the publisher, Jeff L. Funk, whom he sees at weekly Rotary Club meetings.”
The paper endorsed Hillary Clinton on orders received from its corporate owner, Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc.
The Times also reports:
“The editorial took shape from notes that Mr. Funk, the publisher, supplied to Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins refined the notes and was the primary author of the endorsement, which was debated and approved by the paper’s seven-member editorial board. The paper’s corporate parent, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., which is based in Alabama and owns newspapers and websites in 23 states, also played a role.
“It was our decision at the corporate level, which of course was made known to all of our papers, that Donald Trump did not meet our company and journalism values, particularly as they related to the First Amendment,” said Bill Ketter, the senior vice president for news.
Asked if the Enid editorial board had the freedom to endorse Mr. Trump, he replied: “Let me put it this way. We would have been disappointed. Did we demand that they do something? No, we didn’t do that. We set out our principles and our standards.”
The life blood of a local paper is the trust it builds with its community by representing their values.
Donald trump easily carried Enid, Oklahoma in November.
In fact, no Democrat has won a county in Oklahoma since Al Gore in 2000.
By endorsing Hillary Clinton, the Eagle News shattered their bond with a large portion of their readers.