WSJ Asshole Hotline
I love having a brain that is capable of critical thought. Every once in a while a little moment comes along where it kicks in and I’m actually proud of myself. Don’t worry, these moments pass quickly and are soon forgotten.
They say, “Don’t believe everything you read.” Or, “I know it’s true ’cause I saw it on TV.” We all like to act like those truisms don’t apply to us. Only those other lemming idiots. Never us. Yet we fall for it all day long. True moments of “question everything” are few and far between.
I was on my break. In front of me was the day’s Wall Street Journal. Naturally, since he’s a primetime asshole, it’s one of the boss’ favorite publications. You can tell by the level of crumplage and how the pages are strewn about which pages have been read and which ones haven’t. He typically digests the thing in several sittings.
There, on the front of a section he hadn’t gotten to yet I saw the headline, “How To Be A Better Boss in 2013.”
Uh oh. I better check this out, I thought. If it’s really bad I can throw it away and he’ll never know the difference. The last thing I need in my life is the fucking WSJ filling my boss’ already tainted mind with even more evil.
I picked it up and started to read.
“Holy mother of God.”
Politics in Tweets: Electorals go to College
I find that I’m unable to skip the politics today. I shall endeavor to be brief.
Obama was working out at the gym. Romney was giving the rowing machine a good go. He glanced over at Obama with his shirt off and said, “Dude. Nice electorals.”
That’s the cue. It’s time for another bit of inciteful political analysis from the Abyss.
The Electoral College as it stands right now, Wednesday morning, is Obama 303, Romney 206 with Florida (29) still up for grabs.
My prediction back on Sept. 9, 2012, was Obama 304 and Romney 234. If Florida breaks for Romney this may be one of the most accurate presidential prognostications of all time. And I did it two months out.
Let’s review how my prediction happened. First up a link to the proof to verify my claim.
#Awarkward front page caginess at #WSJ
There was something a skosh awkward with the print edition of the Wall Street Journal today (Friday, August 31st). And I’m speaking as a reader of news, not as a forward observer in the partisan wars.
You just know the WSJ wanted to be in on Romney’s big night. It was finally time for the big acceptance speech. No doubt the WSJ wanted it so bad they could taste it.
There was just one wee problem. The event would occur after their print deadline. I’ve seen newspapers in local markets push back deadlines for things like important sporting events in the evening and such. Editorial closes late, which pushed back pre-production, press deadlines and cascades all the way to distribution. The trucks run late. In my experience it takes an edict from the CEO to push back reliability benchmarks on home delivery. It’s a rather big deal.
Apparently the wait time was too long or WSJ doesn’t have such an option. Under the headline “Romney Vows to ‘Restore’ U.S.’ came news “coverage” (air quotes) consisting of several predictions. I guess we could call it a case of “pre-reporting” (air quotes) the news. In that vein the WSJ became the equivalent of a bulletin board system or newsletter.
The Wall Street Journal is beamingly proud to scream out the news: 86% of workers are obese or have other health issues. Yeah, baby! Eat that, workers!
It turns out the 99% has too much fat content.
Yeah, when you want to hear bitching and whining about that which grinds the wheels of capitalism to a halt, be sure to turn to the Wall Street Journal. (It helps to pretend that they aren’t owned by one of the biggest pieces of shit God ever pushed out of his ass.)
The WSJ laments that this army of “obese” workers could be costing the economy $153 billion a year in lost “productivity” from increased sick days. (They call this the low estimate and claim the actual amount could be closer to $1.1 trillion.)
They also lament that only 1 in 7 U.S. workers has “normal” weight and is also without a chronic health problem.
Can you see what they are doing here? It’s a bit subtle so I’ll give you a moment. Make the jump to see my interpretation.
Continue reading →
I’d buy that for a penny! #WSJ
For some time I’ve been meaning to do a post about the Wall Street Journal app on my iPod. I think it was back in July 2011 when I took the screenshot shown above (on the right).
Notice what is peculiar about it? Here’s a little hint:
Without further ado, here are some excerpts from my official review of the WSJ app for iOS devices.
It’s the best goddamn app for showing locked content (keys) that I’ve ever seen in my whole fucking life.
–Tom B. Taker
Seriously. If you love little key icons you’re going to love this app.
–Tom B. Taker
This app will make you lose your shit. If you can unlock anything in it, that is.
–Tom B. Taker
Finally! The Wall Street Journal has taken the time-honored model of frustrating customers and achieved sublime perfection.
–Tom B. Taker
So many keys – you’ll think you’re on a vacation in Florida! And that’s an economical vacation!
–Tom B. Taker
I’d post the review in full, but unfortunately that is restricted content. Lucky for you it’s only $9.99. Send me your credit card information and I’ll pass it along.
Now obviously I could pay money and remove those little locked icons. How much would you pay? Well, for that priviledge the WSJ wants $1.99 a week. (That’s about $103/year.) Or you could get the actual print version delivered to your door six days a week for $2.29 a week. (About $119/year.)
Yep. That’s right. Go online and save the trees, gas, and cost of paying a human being to schlep a physical object to you and you’ll save a whopping 13 percent. Erm, 13 percent? Say what?
Yes, here we have the WSJ model that web content should be almost the same price as traditional distribution.
Now how much would you pay?
Wait! Before you answer, check this out. What if you could only pay one penny? Then would you be interested?
In a story this morning The Guardian reports on a WSJ scam that cost an executive his job. (Is The Guardian one of the hundreds of media owned by Rupert Murdoch? I’m not sure. There are so many it’s hard to keep them straight. Luckily there’s an app for that! Good news – they’re not!)
In wake of the scandal, the European Publishing Chief for the WSJ resigned. The Guardian reports that under the scheme WSJ newspapers were sold for one cent each in a bid to increase circulation numbers.
By the way, in case anyone forgets, the WSJ is owned by News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch. (Why do I feel like I should be referring to him as He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named?) Shudder!
Anywho, under the scheme, companies who sponsored the WSJ paid a reduced “knock-down” rate of 5 cents or less per newspaper. In the case of a Dutch company known as Executive Learning Partnership (ELP), the rate was 1 cent per newspaper for 12,000 sponsored purchases per day.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) eventually determined that the scheme was responsible for 41% of the daily circulation the WSJ claimed in Europe, about 31,000 copies out of a total of 75,000.
Things fell apart when ELP complained they were not getting enough return on their investment. Gee, ya think? Perhaps it isn’t wise to invest in a newspaper that artificially inflates its circulation numbers, eh? To placate ELP, the WSJ executive created an addendum to their contract, and it is that addendum that The Guardian reports led to his resignation.
The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal’s true circulation.
The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities, a move which led some staff to accuse the paper’s management of violating journalistic ethics and jeopardising its treasured reputation for editorial quality.
Source: The Guardian
Ethics? Reputation? Editorial quality? Those are not words one normally associates with something owned by the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
The highly controversial activities were organised in London and focused on the Journal’s European edition, which circulates in the EU, Russia, and Africa. Senior executives in New York, including Murdoch’s right-hand man, Les Hinton, were alerted to the problems last year by an internal whistleblower and apparently chose to take no action. The whistleblower was then made redundant.
Don’t you hate it when you get made “redundant?” I know I do! (Or did I already say that?)
If Rupert Murdock is involved, why do I feel that even a mere penny is too much to pay?
How can a president create jobs?
Yep. Another post based on something I saw in the WSJ. (Wealth Stealing Jerks.) Why do I keep looking at that rag, now owned by 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”‘ pages.
Inside the paper the other day, it said something like, “Dear Mr. President: Private Ideas on How to Create Jobs.”
This is something I’ve been very curious about, so I decided to turn to that page and have the mysteries of life explained to me by the WSJ. I prepared myself to be amazed and astounded.
What did I find?
A picture of Bob Greifeld, the CEO of NASDAQ. And what was his advice to Obama? “U.S. companies need the ability to recruit the best workers. … We must increase the number of H-1B visas available and reform the employment-based green card process.”
Holy fucking shit! That’s pure genius!
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States:
Obama: My jobs plan is simple. What we need is more foreigners taking the few jobs that already exist in our country.
Can you imagine a president taking this advice? Then standing up and saying something along these lines? Talk about an express ticket to his own unemployment. You don’t just take a shit on the majority of the population and get happily re-elected.
I’m sure Mr. Greifeld has a point. He sees the recession and unemployment as a function of a lack of skilled workers. Workers that the United States is not producing in sufficient quantities. Perhaps we have a problem with our education system and the number of our young people that are able to access higher education?
I only have a United States education, but I fail to see how Mr. Greifeld’s response addresses the original question, namely: How to create jobs?
I did learn one thing from the WSJ. Obama would be unwise to rely on their advice.
So, what do you think are the things a president can actually do to create jobs? What can be done that is reasonably within the auspices of that office, and what could be effective? Is the solution really supposed to come from the president or should it originate somewhere else?
It seems to me that these are no small questions and how well they are answered will likely determine our leader for the next four years.
One last thing. I know the H-1B visa program is for “skilled” workers, but how have American companies treated other guest workers? Let’s find out.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-h8EBP0JSs]
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?