Jack Flack, writing on the Conde Nast Portfolio web site, wonders whether the front-page Wall Street Journal story about the Bear Stearns CEO is a sign of where the paper’s business journalism is headed under News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.
Flack wrote, “But after reading the 3,100-plus words that Kate Kelly sprayed from page one this morning on Bear Stearns boss James Cayne, Jack Flack swore he saw the ghost of Barney Kilgore rise up and head to the Bull and Bear to smack poor Cody with a shovel out of sheer spite.
“It’s not that Cayne doesn’t deserve a decent skinning, given the massive Bear losses and his odd, antiquated personal behavior. And no doubt about it, the story is a fun read, presenting a character with the personal graciousness of Mr. Potter, the work-ethic of Mr. Krebs, and the recreational habits of Mr. Spicoli.
“But it’s just unsettling to see the world’s preeminent business newspaper give such prominent and extensive focus to the weighty accusations that Cayne is obsessed with bridge, might enjoy occasional weed and chides youngsters for weak handshakes. Also, he doesn’t carry a cell phone, obey no-smoking ordinances or talk shop on the golf course. In other words, he acts like a 73-year-old rich guy who owns a big chunk of the joint he runs.”
Read more here.