The publisher and president of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader became one of few prominent African Americans to publicly support Mitt Romney for president Sunday when the paper’s editorial board disclosed that Rufus M. Friday disagreed with its endorsement of President Obama.
“. . . He chose not to use his power as publisher to overrule the majority,” the Herald-Leader’s endorsement editorial said of Friday. “His primary reasons for supporting Romney are laid out here:
“President Barack Obama simply has not made good on his biggest promise: to change the culture in Washington. During his presidency, the Capitol remained mired in partisan squabbles while a host of challenges have not been adequately addressed. . . .”
Jim Romenesko wrote Wednesday on his media blog, “Editorial page editor Vanessa Gallman tells Romenesko readers that there are five people on the McClatchy paper’s editorial board and that Friday ‘was the only supporter of Romney and did try to sway others.’
“She writes in an email:
” ‘He did not threaten to veto the edit and did not demand rewrites.
” ‘The publisher, who came up through circulation, was not comfortable writing a dissenting column (which the last publisher once did on a local-government matter) yet he wanted his view reflected inside the endorsement. That seemed much too disconcerting for readers, so we agreed on the separate statement.
” ‘This has generated a lot less community reaction than I expected. A few readers have criticized the publisher for what they see as hubris, a few were thankful to know he is conservative, a few said the rest of the edit board should have followed his lead.’ “