Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Bias Of The Globe-Democrat

I'm sure I've mentioned that the Globe-Democrat was a pro-Reds paper. The paper began as The Globe in 1852 and became the Globe-Democrat after an 1875 merger with the Missouri Democrat.

In the late 1860's, William Macdonald Spink moved to St. Louis, went to work for the Missouri Democrat and became the telegraph editor at the Globe-Democrat after the merger. According to The National Game, "One day he asked the editor of his paper leave to insert baseball and other sporting items in the Globe-Democrat. Mr. Spink offered to do this work as a labor of love, and his offer was accepted." Spink, as the sports editor of the Globe, became a champion of baseball in St. Louis and a supporter of efforts to place a team in the NA.

As to any biases that Spink may have brought to his baseball coverage, his brother, Al Spink, wrote that "In the early days 'Billy' Spink championed the Empires and the St. Louis Reds. He was their friend even after the professional teams had come in."

There is no doubt that Spink gave more favorable coverage in 1875 to the Reds at the expense of the Brown Stockings. The Reds were "our boys" while the Brown Stockings were the "St. Louis-Easton-Atlantic professionals" and his post-season coverage of the Reds is more apologetics than journalism.

All journalists have their biases and all newspapers have an editorial slant. I'm not knocking Spink for his pro-Reds stance (which I happen to share). I just think it's important to note it.

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