Somewhere in the back of my mind, I've probably wondered this, too. But the tradition is so ingrained (I actually wait to read these endorsements), the thought in the back of my mind never fully marched forward into a question.
But now the editor of Time Magazine raises the question. And it's a good one.
"How can a newspaper be objective on the front page when it endorses a candidate on the editorial page? They're dubious about whether the reporter who covers Hillary Clinton can be objective if his newspaper has endorsed Barack Obama — and vice versa. And they're right. At a time when newspapers are trying to ensure their survival by attracting younger readers, the idea of endorsements is both counterproductive and an anachronism. It's certainly the prerogative of newspapers and their owners to endorse candidates, but in doing so they are undermining the very basis for their business, which is impartiality. It's a recipe for having less influence, not more."
Read it here.