Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good-Bye Wall Street Journal

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I'm done with the Wall Street Journal.

A few years ago I found that the Journal was a newspaper perfect for the needs of myself and my teaching.  The news was oriented towards a business class of people, with information that often went away from the political and more towards the economic.  The Op-Ed pieces were quite diverse, ranging from discussions about climate change and Darfur, to reasons that politicians make bad economic decisions.  The Personal Journal portion of the paper had interesting articles about personal finance and other economic articles that were great for my economics class as well. 

Skip to today, and the now Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal has become the San Francisco Chronicle of the conservative persuasion. 

When the Journal was bought by NewsCorp, I hardly paid attention because I figured that the reputation of the newspaper would carry enough weight to keep some integrity.  I started to get a little annoyed when the Scooter Libby situation was not only reported favorably by the WSJ, but Libby was basically defended to the death by nearly every columnist.  The news stories and Op-Ed's started sounding like a ringing endorsement for the extremist areas of the Grand Old Party.  Then came the change over in the editorial department.  I watched the diversity in opinion columns disappear and the likes of Karl Rove start to rear their heads on a consistent basis.  I remember looking at an Op-Ed page one evening and seeing Rove, Condoleezza Rice, and Dick Cheney all contributing their opinions on policy.  Equal time hardly existed, with the balance of power in the paper going strongly to the right.  And it wasn't even a fiscally conservative "right", it was the Rush Limbaugh, en vogue "right" that has a recent history of talking out of it's ass.  When I noticed that news articles were slamming Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for just about everything, I had finally had enough.  I'm not a propping up everything that the FED does as golden, but not everything the government does to the economy is a step towards communism.  Even Ben Stein, who should be the first person on the Wall Street Journal's list of Op-Ed hires, realizes that the economy is politicized by political ideology, and is worse for it.  And the Journal has fallen head first into the maw of the political beast that thinks it has a clue about what is economically viable for the nation.  It has jumped on the Bush Administration bandwagon that has squandered more political capital than any U.S. President in history.  How can a business related paper so blatantly support a leader that has made horrid economic decisions?  Bush had the world at his feet after 9/11, and he had the chance to become the president that began the move to next-gen energy.  Both moves would have brought him to the elite in presidential prestige.  Instead, he blew both out of the water, and the WSJ supports it.  Not sound economic reasoning.

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