Media Moves

Donald Trump and the WSJ editorial page

July 22, 2016

Posted by Chris Roush

wall-street-journalDavid Warsh of Economic Principals writes about how the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page under Robert Bartley led to Donald Trump’s nomination and how it is currently evolving.

Warsh writes, “Is it fair to blame the chaos surrounding this year’s Republican nomination on Bob Bartley? Clearly I think so. No one in my lifetime systematically removed more of those guardrails, the norms governing good-faith political and economic discourse, than he. Trump is the downside of forty years of WSJ ed page comment too often just like his: outrageous, sulfurous, and, all too often, half-baked.  Bartley is dead; long live Bartley: in his absence, the page was completely unable to steer the nomination towards a more viable candidate this year. The best that can be said is that its editorialists helped keep it away from Sen. Ted Cruz.

Paul Gigot, who succeeded Bartley in 2001, has steered a steady course, admitting more diverse opinion to its op-ed pages, coping with increasing disunity among the -cons mainly by proliferating columnists. Lee Lescaze, whom the WSJ hired from The Washington Post in 1989 and who founded its Weekend section, laid the foundation for a humane and sophisticated new wing of the paper before he died, in 1996.

“Rupert Murdoch bought the paper from Dow Jones heirs in 2007. His sons, James and Lachlan, have their work cut out for them. Sometime in the next few years they must replace Gigot, 61, with an editor capable of restoring credible focus to a page that has become alternately ideological and diffuse. The decision of the New York Times in March to replace Andrew Rosenthal with James Bennet, hired back from The Atlantic, can only increase the pressure.”

Read more here.

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