How the WSJ opinion page has defended its owner
Max Abelson of Bloomberg News writes that there have been five opinion pieces published so far this week in The Wall Street Journal defending News Corp., its parent.
Abelson writes, “Byron Calame, who joined the Wall Street Journal in September 1965 and was deputy managing editor when he retired from the newspaper in 2004, said it ‘remains to be seen’ if the editorial’s voice resonates with the newspaper’s readers. While it was ‘well-crafted,’ he said, ‘the defensive tone alone was a disappointment.’
“As of 5 p.m. on July 18, the editorial was the second-most- read article on the Wall Street Journal’s website, behind a piece titled ‘Get Ready for a 70% Marginal Tax Rate.’ It was still No. 2 at 5 p.m. yesterday.
“News Corp. closed the News of the World tabloid this month after allegations that its journalists tapped the voicemails of murder victims and paid police officers for stories. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. units in providing financial news and information.
“The Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages were called ‘the primest real estate in all journalism’ in a column by editorial board member Robert Pollock. He wrote that Murdoch, the company’s 80-year-old chairman and chief executive officer, has imposed ‘no editorial direction.’
“Murdoch told the committee yesterday that while he checks in with editors of his papers on occasion, he doesn’t meddle.”
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