So the WSJ editorial page was/is/always will be conservative. They embraced neoconservativism. They loved them some wars. They embraced ‘trickle down’ and ‘supply side’ economics, and they embraced some of the wackiest Republican office seekers in a century.
But they were still part of a great paper, full of real journalists who have to read this today.
News and Its Critics
A tabloid’s excesses don’t tarnish thousands of other journalists.
When News Corp. and CEO Rupert Murdoch secured enough shares to buy Dow Jones & Co. four years ago, these columns welcomed our new owner and promised to stand by the same standards and principles we always had. That promise is worth repeating now that politicians and our competitors are using the phone-hacking years ago at a British corner of News Corp. to assail the Journal, and perhaps injure press freedom in general.
That is a deeply political statement. This is pretty good too:
The British politicians now bemoaning media influence over politics are also the same statesmen who have long coveted media support. The idea that the BBC and the Guardian newspaper aren’t attempting to influence public affairs, and don’t skew their coverage to do so, can’t stand a day’s scrutiny.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see more resignations from the news side soon, something that in any case has been happening for three and a half years. Back in April, when Reuters announced some new top editorial appointments, many of them were former WSJ reporters. At the time, Media Matters wrote:
It’s the latest chapter in the steady loss of talent from Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal since Rupert Murdoch took over. And many of the departed personnel are helping to boost the efforts of Dow Jones’ biggest rivals — Reuters, Bloomberg, and The New York Times.
Even before Murdoch’s News Corp. finalized the purchase of Dow Jones in late 2007, concerns arose in and out of the news operation . . . strategy could slant coverage or, at least, hurt quality.
In interviews with Media Matters, many of the dozens to flee the Journal and Dow Jones in the past three and half years say the push for shorter stories, less investigative work, and — at times — a subtle nudge for more business-friendly stories has made it a worse place to work and resulted in a diminished editorial product.
That’s destruction, turning a national treasure into just another ‘product’. But it’s what Daddy wanted.