Ball Beat Urinal #wsj

I wrote about the Wall Street Journal already in an earlier post entitled Wall Street Infernal. I just have a bit more to add.

It’s about the concept of the “walls” between journalists and the editorial board at a newspaper.

It seems to me that this “wall” concept requires a fair bit of trust from us, the humble consumer. That’s because if we begin to suspect, even for a moment, that the bias spills over to the newsroom, then we no longer know if we’re getting news and facts or merely propaganda cleverly disguised as news.

As I read more “Obama is causing the end of the world” stuff in the opinion section of WSJ last week, I realized I don’t really trust WSJ any more. I know in the past their newsroom has been recognized for being unbiased. My gut just can’t tell if that’s still the case.

That “wall” thing just might fly, but then you have to factor in that the same guy who owns FOX News is in charge of the whole WSJ shootin’ match.

Are humans really capable of that level of compartmentalization? When you see such an organized and omnipresent onslaught of a campaign against a single person conducted in the opinion section of a newspaper, how can you really know that the rest of the publication remains unbiased? Don’t forget, they are really good at this stuff like this. It is what they do.

It’s called “page one spillover” and I don’t think WSJ can help itself. It’s like tying a t-bone steak around a dog’s neck and expecting him not to take a nibble. The temptation simply proves too irresistible.

NYT vs. WSJ: Liberal Bias Vs. Conservative Bias?
Is Bias Seeping Into the Post-Murdoch WSJ?

Sorry, WSJ. I’m no longer able to give you the benefit of the doubt.

For me, this is simply a case of Occam’s razor. The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. And what could possibly be simpler than expecting a Murdoch-owned publication to be biased? That’s not so hard to imagine, is it?

12 responses

  1. I used to love WSJ. To be honest, I haven’t read it daily since I worked next door to a library (they kindly allowed me to remove ANY journals cos I always returned them in good shape (and time). Back then, I read at least 4 newspapers a day. If one has the time, it’s good business to read many news sources.

    Of course Fox News asshole guy says I ought to learn more or something…however he put that. Nowadays, I get most of my news from the internet and I make an effort to pick from at least 8 sources. I don’t purport to be an expert on anything, so it’s only for my own benefit.

    There’s bias and there’s snowjobs. I find I can tolerate a little bias but when it’s a machine designed to knockdown one side totally and prop up another with as much force? I tune out unless I’m going there for amusement.


    1. Murdoch is not exactly synonymous with subtle.

      Thanks for sharing. That was very interesting! I think your eight-sources approach is laudable.


      1. It’s almost totally repeating each other but you get the odd quote different. I like to make sure if it’s a subject worthy of grasping, that I get it.

        To be honest, I typically don’t give a crap enough to look for “whatever is out there” and settle for blogs about a topic to spark my interest. THEN I go searching.


  2. I was thinking the exact same thing yesterday and discovered that nowhere in the WSJ do they talk about the debt ceiling…it’s like it doesn’t exist.

    Plus, they seem to blame everything on either Obama or Europe. Small minds are biased minds…they don’t have brain room to spare for balanced reporting. Their programming won’t allow it. Maybe employees need to take advantage of the “education” vouchers and expand their learning at a private institution like…Midvale School for the Gifted.


    1. Push factors. That sounds like a term that would apply. And I adore Gary Larson.

      When it comes to WSJ and Murdoch, we all know which is the scorpion and which is the frog.

      The Scorpion and the Frog

      It can’t be helped. It’s just the scorpion’s nature. And that’s one hella perfect analogy, too.

      The opinion pages most certainly blame everything on Obama. That’s just preachin’ to the choir. My deeper concern is the “page one spillover” which is more insidious and works on a sneaky deeper level.


      1. Page one spillover and headline editors. I have a problem with headline editors. They seldom seem to actually read the story…they just skim and pick out the “hook” phrase whether it’s out of context or not.

        They are toe jam on the feet of hack writers everywhere.


  3. Yeah… I can totally get where you’re coming from here.


    1. They’re entitled to their opinion on their opinion pages. As for the rest, you have to keep an open mind, question everything, and compare using multiple sources.

      There have been times I’ve googled a news story and just from the headlines you can see all the spin. It’s pretty amazing. If you limited yourself to one news source you might not even realize how you’re being led. That’s also known as propaganda.


  4. Re: Headline editors

    As a local freelance journalist, I learned that about my hometown newspaper. Some of their writers I got to know would frequently get a bad rap for the headlines that they decidedly did not write. Frequently the spin in the headline indicated that the headline writer didn’t really understand the thrust of the article. It caused frustration at times.


  5. Welcome to the club! I joined back in the Reagan days when nearly every news outlet was left wing biased. Just reading the paper or watching the news made you feel as though Reagan was on the brink of initiating nuclear war with the Soviets, creating death squads to eliminate elderly people in wheelchairs, and generally causing the complete social and economic downfall of the US of A. There was a VERY large disconnect between what the “news” outlets were insinuating and what was truly happening. Once I noticed that I then became heavily jaded.

    It has brought me some joy over the last 10 years or so to see the “left” complain so vehemently about bias in the news. Another 10 years of heavy right wing bias and it might get evened out.

    I’m glad Fox is around. And, I’m glad they are biased. Why not have different perspectives? So what if they act like an unbiased news source – don’t all the news outlets do that? Look up nearly every news anchor for NBC, ABC and CBS over the last 40 years and tell me how many were conservatives. The real reason Fox attracts the haters so strongly is because they seem to be winning the news battle.

    The internet has definitely changed things. Probably for the better. Left and right both have more difficulty spewing fabrications and/or getting away with hypocritical behavior. But, there is also a lot more non-factual information making its way around the net which tends to make it difficult for the truth seekers.


  6. Do I get a membership card?

    I appreciate what you are saying. I honestly don’t remember the Reagan years too much. I wasn’t into politics that much back then. Are you saying that the media was as harsh on Reagan as it is on Obama? Like the birther controversy? Or websites that measured the angle of his bow to foreign leaders, etc? Personally I feel the level of vitriol leveled against Obama is unprecedented and beyond the pale, even compared to what was done to Bush. If you say what Reagan was subjected to was equivalent or worse I’ll just have to take your word for it.

    FOX News claims to be “news.” It’s embedded in their name. But when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar they wink, play coy, then say, “Ah. We’re entertainment. That was opinion.” Drop the news subterfuge and be done with it. FOX may be winning the entertainment/opinion battle but they aren’t even present in the news battle. Apples and oranges.

    Every organization will have bias. Journalism, though, aims for truth and accuracy above that, though. They may not always get there because they’re populated with humans, but they at least pretend that is their objective. A mission statement that seeks a partisan win is incompatible with a news organization. In my opinion.


  7. […] the honorable likes of Rupert Murdoch and News Corp? Oh yeah. I know. I really enjoy their “We Hate Obama’s Fucking Guts” section, or what they coyly call the “opinion”‘ […]


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