July 23, 2020

WSJ Journalists Want Opinion Section ‘Fact-Checked’

Some 280 employees complain they don’t like the opinions the Journal publishes.

In yet another classic example of blind journalistic bias, Wall Street Journal employees sent a letter to the paper’s new publisher, Almar Latour, “calling for a clearer differentiation between news and opinion content online.” The letter, signed by some “280 reporters, editors and other employees,” complained that the lack of “fact-checking and transparency” of the Journal’s opinion section “undermined our readers’ trust and our ability to gain credibility with sources.”

Rhetorical question: Where are all the letters from journalists demanding such stuff from the nation’s legions of leftist editorial pages and newsrooms?

Specifically, the signers point to the Journal’s recently published op-ed by Vice President Mike Pence, “There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave,’” as evidence to underscore their dubious claims that the paper’s opinion section is guilty of disregarding evidence.

This is, of course, eerily similar to what recently transpired over at The New York Times’s opinion section. Last month, the Times ousted its opinion editor after he dared to publish an op-ed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton. Times staff members blasted the Gray Lady for daring to print an opinion piece that didn’t comport with their leftist sensibilities.

A group of left-leaning folks at the Journal’s news division has decided to take a page out of that playbook. Its letter calls for “more prominently labeling editorials and opinion columns” with the line “The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion pages are independent of its newsroom.” If the complaint and requested action had ended there, then this really wouldn’t be much of a story. However, what comes next is where the disturbing connection between the Journal and Times comes into play. The signers suggest taking actions clearly aimed at distancing the opinion section from the news division, while at the same time allowing the news division to criticize and “fact-check” opinion pieces. In other words, to engage in opinion.

Displaying just how far down the “social justice” rabbit hole the Journal employees have fallen, the letter claims that a certain opinion piece that rejected the Left’s “charge of systemic police bias” caused “pain” to many of the Journal’s “employees of color,” which was learned “during company-held discussions surrounding diversity initiatives.” Hello, snowflakes.

How about pulling out a dictionary and learning the definition of such terms as “opinion,” “news,” and “interpretation”?

It appears that a number of “journalists” at the Journal have confused “news” with “narrative.” It also appears that these Journal employees assume the paper’s readers are intellectual imbeciles who can’t distinguish the difference between Opinion and News even though it is clearly delineated at the top of each section.

Finally, here’s an easy solution: If you don’t like what the opinion section publishes, don’t read it.

Update 7/24: The Journal’s opinion editors said basically the same thing in “A Note to Readers.” “In the spirit of collegiality, we won’t respond in kind to the letter signers,” wrote the editors. “Their anxieties aren’t our responsibility in any case.”

The brief editorial concluded:

It was probably inevitable that the wave of progressive cancel culture would arrive at the Journal, as it has at nearly every other cultural, business, academic and journalistic institution. But we are not the New York Times. Most Journal reporters attempt to cover the news fairly and down the middle, and our opinion pages offer an alternative to the uniform progressive views that dominate nearly all of today’s media.

As long as our proprietors allow us the privilege to do so, the opinion pages will continue to publish contributors who speak their minds within the tradition of vigorous, reasoned discourse. And these columns will continue to promote the principles of free people and free markets, which are more important than ever in what is a culture of growing progressive conformity and intolerance.

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