OLD Media Moves

WSJ becomes the National Enquirer of business journalism

November 5, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Adam Hanft of The Huffington Post writes Monday that The Wall Street Journal‘s story last week about Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne shows that the paper will become more rumor-driven like other tabloids owned by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.

Adam HanftHanft wrote, “What’s telling is that all the positive quotes — and there are a bunch of them, to be fair — are disclosed. And all the negative ones are unattributed. When you can’t get one person to speak on the record about the bad stuff, any responsible journalist should reconsider the story.

“Consider these weasels and caveats sprinkled toxically through the piece:

• ‘Attendees say..’

• ‘…according to someone who was there…’

• ‘…associates say…’

• ‘Friends say…’

• ‘On July 12th, chatting with visitors over lunch…’

• ‘On another occasion, he told a visitor…’

• ‘…participants say.’

• ‘…according to people familiar with the calls…’

• ‘Mr. Cayne had left, say two people who were there with him…’

“Beyond these unsubstantiated allegations is the invidious comparison between Mr. Cayne’s purportedly disengaged management style, and that of other CEOs of sub-prime plagued companies.”

Read more here

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