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  • A Parenthetical Point About The Wall Street Journal

    Posted by Jonathan on September 16th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Shannon cites a Wall Street Journal article in one his recent posts.

    I’m not sure if everyone is aware of this but the WSJ functions as two separate newspapers, an editorial page and everything else. The editorial page has its own staff, publishes libertarian/conservative opinion pieces of generally high quality, and stands out amid the leftist mediocrity of so many American editorial pages. The news pages are written by people who are not much different from New York Times reporters. So it’s not surprising, and not significant, that a hit piece about Palin would appear in the Journal’s news section. That’s just how the Journal operates. (I’ve always been curious about the social dynamics between the editorial and news staffs, but that’s another issue.)

     

    10 Responses to “A Parenthetical Point About The Wall Street Journal”

    1. Helen Says:

      That’s true about the Wall Street Journal Europe as well. A curious beast – sort of Pushmpullyou.

    2. Jay Manifold Says:

      Also, the radio Wall St Journal Report is frequently alarmist and interventionist.

    3. Bradley Says:

      So, does anything media outlet that does not agree your worldview is biased.

      I watch Tucker Calson on TPM.com, when he lamented that the left and the right can’t agree on facts. If the WSJ is biased in thier reported, whom should we believe?

    4. Bradley Says:

      OK, so I can’t type. Let me clarify.

      So, does anyth media outlet that does not agree your worldview is biased?

      I watched Tucker Calson being interviewed by TPM.com on the morning of the first day of the Republican National Convention, when he lamented that the left and the right can’t agree on facts. If the WSJ is biased in thier reported, whom should we believe?

    5. Jonathan Says:

      The WSJ news pages tend to show typical leftist media bias on political matters. The editorial page is pretty good.

      Everyone is biased. I have a choice between giving more weight to reports written by 1) biased people who won’t admit their bias and whose analyses are often wrong, or 2) biased people who admit their biases and have a better understanding of how the world works. This is not a difficult choice.

    6. veryretired Says:

      All too often, the arguments about the media revolve around claims of bias one way or the other. This never ending claim vs counter claim misses the point.

      The media, whether print or broadcast, has always been partisan, has always had a bias for some points of view over others, and has, in the past, been wildly supportive of its pet causes and viciously abusive towards its perceived enemies in ways only faintly echoed in today’s truly tamer atmosphere. Read some of the papers published during the 1800’s, especially before and during the Civil War, and the timidity of current publications becomes startingly apparent.

      No, bias is not the issue. Anyone who reads or watches modern media and can’t pick up the biases deserves the misinformation such stupidity brings.

      The problems with modern media are the ignorance, cowardice, superficiality, and political correctness with which they approach complex issues without any clue as to context, underlying causes, or the possibility that there might be alternative solutions not found in the most recent leftist academic’s article in the NYT Book Review.

      I’d be happy if all we had to deal with was bias. It’s ignorance and cowardice that’s truly killing the value of a worldwide media that should, and could, be informing the populations of the globe about real, serious problems and possible solutions, instead of which starlet is sleeping with which guitar player this week.

      Evereytime I read some condescending article about how ignorant the average citizen is, all I can wonder is—what does that say about the effectiveness of out multi-multi-billion dollar a year educational system, and our allegedly super high-tech media?

      That they are abysmal failures at the main purpose of their existence.

    7. Shannon Love Says:

      Veryretired,

      Read some of the papers published during the 1800’s, especially before and during the Civil War, and the timidity of current publications becomes startingly apparent.

      Prior to the 1920’s media meant newspapers and it was expected that each newspaper expressed a particular point of view. This is why you still see papers named the little-town Democrat/Republican.

      With the advent of broadcast journalism, however, the government began to pick and choose who could and could not broadcast news. Broadcasters agreed to be objective and neutral in return for free spectrum. The objective idea spread from broadcasters to other media and over the decades people began to expect that all media followed the same standard. Media began to advertise the standard.

      The real problem with media today is fraud. They claim to sell us objective information while they really try to propagandize us. No one would complain if the New York times was the New York Democrat or NBC,CBS,ABC were the Democrat Broadcasting Company etc.

      Media, due to its broadcast history, claims special privileges but it does not adhere to the responsibilities such privileges come with.

    8. Shannon Love Says:

      Bradely,

      So, does anyth media outlet that does not agree your worldview is biased?

      No, media outlets that agree with my world view can also be biased. Bias comes from the questions the journalist ask. To be able to claim to sell objective information, a news organization must ask questions that arise from a broad range of the political spectrum and they must have institutional mechanisms that ensure that those questions get asked and reported.

      The Wallstreet journal article is biased because it accidentally or intentionally conflates two separate matters: request for federal funds and a dishonest and secretive parliamentary procedure in the the US congress. By not making that difference clear, the article created the impression that Palin “requested” earmarks even though that is not in the power of a state governor to do.

    9. Jim Miller Says:

      During the Clinton administration, the two sides of the WSJ were especially conflicted. The editorial side actually hired at least one investigative reporter, and the news side often contained thinly disguised “editorials” supporting Clinton.

    10. Mrs. Davis Says:

      Gerald Seib is part of the news side’s editorial staff.