The tension between Baker and the WSJ newsroom
David Leonhardt of The New York Times writes about the issues between Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker and his newsroom, which believes it’s been forced to tone down coverage of President Donald Trump.
Leonhardt writes, “Reporters and editors have become accustomed to the ‘shaving off the edges’ of Trump-related stories, one said, especially in headlines and initial paragraphs. The insubordination shows up in later paragraphs, where reporters include harder-hitting information.
“There is no shortage of troubling anecdotes: A revealing story about Trump’s white-supremacist support that never ran in print. A dearth of stories about climate change and frightened immigrants. An email from Baker encouraging the staff not to mention the Muslim makeup of the countries when describing Trump’s immigration ban (partly rescinded after BuzzFeed disclosed the email). Glowing stories about Trump — ‘astonishing,’ one longtime editor said — by a reporter who once tweeted a photo of herself smiling with Trump on his jet.
“More generally, staffers are worried about Trump-Journal chumminess. Ivanka Trump was until recently a trustee of the Murdoch estate. In The Journal’s Washington bureau, eyebrows rose when Baker’s assistant called to ask how to send Trump a memento: a printing-press plate from an edition reporting his ascendance. (A spokeswoman said no plate was sent.)
“The Journal’s opinion pages, of course, have long been conservative. And they have their own tensions: An editor critical of Trump was recently fired, The Atlantic reported. But The Journal’s news pages, like those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity.”
Read more here.