How The Wall Street Journal Is Starting to Sound Like Fox News

How The Wall Street Journal Is Starting to Sound Like Fox NewsIf you have any doubt that The Wall Street Journal is fast becoming steeped in the corporate culture of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS), I invite you to read a couple of quotations from today's news.

Here's Robert Thomson (pictured), the hand-picked editor Murdoch installed to run the Journal, dismissing the idea that changes he's made to the paper, most recently a beefed-up weekend lifestyle section, are aimed at stealing market share from The New York Times. "Nationally, there's no contest now," he told the Associated Press. "We're more than twice as big as The New York Times. They're not a serious competitor."

Now here's Brian Lewis, chief spokesperson for Fox News, responding to a claim that his network unfairly lumps NBC News in with its openly partisan sister channel, MSNBC. "NBC, and especially MSNBC, is not even a blip on our radar screen," Lewis told The Washington Post. "We don't care what they do."

Positively Obsessed

It's a tactic straight out of Murdoch's Fleet Street handbook: Declare victory, however prematurely, and express nothing but contempt for the competition. Of course, it's utterly bogus. Bill O'Reilly may not savage Keith Olbermann and GE (GE) boss Jeffrey Immelt the way he used to, but behind the scenes, the Fox News PR machine remains on the lookout for any opportunity, however tiny, to stick it to NBC and MSNBC. (Don't forget that this rivalry has another front, with CNBC crushing fledgling Fox Business in the ratings as badly as Fox News crushes MSNBC.)

Likewise, Thomson and his boss are positively obsessed with putting the hurt on the Times, locally and nationally. But you needn't take my word for it. Just look at the speech Thomson gave when the Journal introduced its "Greater New York" section, which was almost entirely devoted to attacking the Gray Lady. Or recall that Thomson personally suggested using a photo of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to illustrate a story about men with feminine facial features.

I understand why Lewis engages in this kind of counterfactual posturing -- that's what he's paid to do. But Thomson is supposed to be a journalist, not a flack. Surely he could delegate the spinning to somebody else?


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33 Comments

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ha6ai

Uh, ... who's the "flack"? LOL!

October 20 2010 at 3:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
shmh1

And how all the others sound like CNN, ABC,CBS, NBC, MSNBC.....

September 29 2010 at 1:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jshortsleeves

Guess what - it isn't just the Wall Street Journal that is starting to sound like Fox News. It is millions of us who really think that the President is taking us down a dangerous path.

September 28 2010 at 4:24 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
MFDIGITAL1

AOL must stand for Americas Online Liberals

September 21 2010 at 11:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Mark

There is a difference between fox news and fox tv............and of course the wall street journal.......the best newspaper in america........

September 21 2010 at 2:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Mark's comment
kingnus

People still read the wall street journal?

September 21 2010 at 8:11 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
B. J. R. Collins

Yes people still read the Wall Street Journal - so much so that it is the #1 newspaper in the country.

September 30 2010 at 12:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sgentilejr

Fox Network__"The Home of the Simpson's" and "King of the Hill" ___you know how they are____the mentally handicapped crowd.

September 21 2010 at 2:23 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sgentilejr's comment
Mark

You mean the top rated news program in America?

September 21 2010 at 2:38 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
kingnus

Fox is top rated because they have the hottest ladies.

September 21 2010 at 8:12 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Floyd N. Maddox

God is going to send all you conservative, money hungry, prevented sickos to hell.

September 20 2010 at 11:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Floyd N. Maddox's comment
Mark

OMG..........a liberal who believes in God??? I am shocked............

September 21 2010 at 2:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
fhiggenbottom@msn.com

Thank you for that unbiased opinion Ahmadinejad!

September 28 2010 at 10:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Dawn

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. This article is the height of hypocrisy.

September 20 2010 at 11:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
polncorect

LOL Another cog in the Obamao propaganda machine.....

September 20 2010 at 10:04 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
rekhot

Is there anything press related that Murdoch doesn't own and manipulate. One of the last bastions of integrity and balance and truth has been corrupted. What a shame! That Murdoch, a foreigner can tell us to think and manipulate an entire nation. WE ARE LOSING OUR FREEDOMS TO GIVE THEM TO THIS MAN AND HIS EVIL EMPIRE. And the integrity of the press, which has been manipulative ever since the Eisenhower years, continues to sink to new lows. As an American, I am insulted to think that we allow his world dominance goals and allow ourselves to be manipulated by Murdoch!

September 20 2010 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rekhot's comment
B. J. R. Collins

"Evil requires the sanction of the victim." - Ayn Rand

September 30 2010 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply