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11 Least Influential Countdown: No. 11 The AJC

Welcome to CL's annual catalog of impotence: the 11 Least Influential. You'll meet folks who tried to achieve an ambitious goal, but fell short; people who've devoted themselves to a personal mission in near-total obscurity; and ordinary Joes who can't get anyone to pay attention to them. Every day until the full issue hits the streets on Nov. 11, we'll bring you a new story of failure — some noble and heroic, others abject and pathetic.

We begin with one of the latter. Enjoy.

Subject: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution__
Failing: Can't nut up enough to endorse candidates

One of the perks of being the sole daily newspaper for a major metropolitan city is that you can tell folks what to do. Where to eat. What movies to see. What books to read. And who to vote for. That goes double for a paper with a storied history of taking strong editorial stands on the issues of the day, such as Ralph McGill's impassioned columns blasting segregation.

But what if, in giving an opinion — even a modulated, rational, well-argued one — you happen to say something some people don't wish to hear. Horrors! We can't have that. What if readers stopped subscribing to the paper? Oh, yeah, they're already doing that… Perhaps it's best to remove any opinion, insight, conclusions or point of view from the paper altogether.__



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