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Wall Street Journal staffers asked the editorial board for more accuracy. The board bemoaned ‘cancel culture.’

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  1. dubteedub
    I am glad that the WSJ reporting staff are actively calling out the WSJ opinion/editorial section. The WSJ Ed/Op section took a mildly critical view towards Trump early on in his campaign in 2015...
    • Exemplary

    I am glad that the WSJ reporting staff are actively calling out the WSJ opinion/editorial section. The WSJ Ed/Op section took a mildly critical view towards Trump early on in his campaign in 2015 and 2016, but once he secured the nomination and (unfortunately) became President, the paper's editorial content just went all in on supporting Trump. That ideological bias caused a huge amount of turnover in staff over the last couple of years, making the problem even worse.

    On Monday 13 February, just over three weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief Gerry Baker held a town-hall style meeting in the paper’s midtown Manhattan newsroom amid mounting concern about the WSJ’s coverage of the new president, which many staffers felt was too soft and too quick to downplay controversies.

    “Instead of clearing the air about the legitimate concerns of editors and reporters about balanced coverage of Trump, Baker led off with a 20-minute scolding about how we were indeed covering Trump correctly, and anybody who disputed that was wrong and wrong-headed,” a recently departed Journal staffer told the Guardian. “That pretty much took the air out of the room. I and most of my colleagues were disgusted by his performance.”

    Wall Street Journal staff members circulated an anonymously written email on Thursday accusing “a senior editor” – which some later identified as editor-in-chief Gerry Baker -- of suppressing a story and accompanying graphic because they were too liberal.

    The email urged staffers to begin tweeting the graphics-heavy story at noon, which many did. The story and graphics detailed the country’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis but also included information on how economic inequality had increased.

    Holman Jenkins Jr., the longtime Wall Street Journal editorial writer and columnist, has crafted a comprehensive rationale for defending Trump that renders every case-by-case rationale superfluous. Jenkins argues that the only ethics in politics and governing is triumphing over your partisan enemies.

    Jenkins and his Journal editorial page colleagues have mounted a characteristically unyielding defense of Trump on the Russia scandal. The FBI is biased, Trump has done nothing wrong on Russia, and so on. But what makes Jenkins’s argument so extraordinary is that it does not rely on this, or any particular set of facts, being true.

    It was also revealed just last year that a friend of infamous white nationalist Richard Spencer and contributor to white supremacy site VDare had been publishing opinion columns on WSJ (among a few other right-leaning/conservative outlets).

    Marcus Epstein, who worked for former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo and founded a nativist political club with white nationalist Richard Spencer, has written more than a dozen opinion pieces for the Journal, the Hill, Forbes, US News and World Report, and the National Review over the past two years. His pieces, which mainly focus on the regulation of the technology industry, were published under the byline “Mark Epstein.”

    In six different pieces for the Journal, Epstein is identified as an “antitrust attorney and freelance writer” and addresses topics including the supposed threat to conservative speech posed by Google and Facebook, and the ways regulation and antitrust might be used to ensure “viewpoint neutrality” and consumer protection, respectively. They make no mention of his past, which includes contributions to the white nationalist site VDare and charges that he assaulted a black woman, after racially abusing her, in 2007. (In 2008 in District of Columbia Superior Court, Epstein entered an Alford plea — a plea in which the defendant accepts the consequences of a guilty verdict without admitting guilt — after which the charges were dropped.)

    8 votes