Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rupert Murdoch and the WSJ

It seems to be a done deal--Murdoch now controls the Wall Street Journal. It's a little like gay marriage--he didn't really need to do it, he already had it all, there was no social pressure, but he wanted acceptance. At least that's what I concluded after reading the funeral draped pages of today's edition. If Dennis K. Berman has a job in the new organization, I'd be surprised. You see, only the editorial pages are conservative and pro-business. The articles were every bit as liberal as the New York Times. Every evil in the world can be blamed on capitalism, did you know that? And recent evil is all Bush's fault. Journalism schools are turning out people, both for newspapers and journals, who see their role not to research, report, sift and sort, but to change their readers' beliefs and attitudes. To their own, of course. I see it in the medical journals, the library journals, teachers' journals and the architectural journals, too. According the Berman article (A1), Murdoch
    orchestrated a deal for the forces of capitalism

    plotted his moves

    found a willing dance partner in a CEO

    has perpetrated a "dark day in journalism"

    has showed a thick skin secure in his belief that his critics are antibuiness elitists (change that to "antimedia" and you'd describe most reporters)

    is interfering and politicizing journalism (but that's the journalists' role, not the owner)

    has views in accord with the editorial pages (oh my gosh!)

    will use his influence to advance his political interests (pot to kettle, etc.)

    is irresponsible.
Actually, I don't expect to see much change. Although I suspect some writers will leave anyway. They'll write books, or apply for work with liberal think tanks.

The workers respond: "As for the Journal news coverage, the critics insult the standards and culture of our reporters and editors. They aren't potted plants who will abandon the habits of a lifetime because someone else owns Dow Jones. Yes, we all must adapt to the new ways in which readers want to receive business and political news. But to claim that the Journal will cease being a credible source of such news is to malign the integrity of 700 career professionals."

Assurances from the publisher

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