Monday, April 20, 2009 | Whenever someone calls the Union-Tribune conservative, it usually evokes belly laughs. Just because the paper endorsed Republican candidates for President (at Herb Klein’s insistence) does not make the paper conservative.

The paper’s policy has been to endorse the non-presidential candidates most ahead in the polls, Republican or Democrat. Only when there was a tie in the polls could an endorsement make a difference and due to more than any philosophy, the U-T craved being on the winning side.

It is doubtful that the Union-Tribune over the past 40 years (more accurately together with the Union or the Tribune) ever had more than two or three “conservative” editorial writers and reporters on staff at the same time.

Times changed dramatically particularly after the era of Fred Kinne and Ralph Bennett, Kinne a conservative and Bennett a responsible liberal, and most especially after conservative Ed Fike retired in 1990 and the more recent departure of Bob Caldwell.

The Union-Tribune is a ship without a rudder that insists on maintaining the same business plan and editorial policies regardless of readership trends.

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