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Laurie David: The Wall Street Journal’s Global Warming Schizophrenia

I’m beginning to think that the reason that newspapers and magazines are falling apart is more to do with the way that the web exposes their lack of quality, rather than direct competition. Here’s a great example of what I mean:

What gives with the Wall Street Journal? It seems like it is suffering from a bad case of journalistic schizophrenia. The paper’s news section has recently featured several important and factually accurate articles about global warming and the spreading of false information by ExxonMobil.

But last week the paper ran a lead editorial so filled with lies, misstatements, and moldy, long-discredited theories it’s like the Journal was running a reprint from the early 80s. You could park an elephant in the credibility gap. It’s beyond embarrassing. It feels desperate — one last favor for their oil company advertisers. [via The Huffington Post | Full Blog Feed]

Now bloggers and online writers in general don’t exactly have a perfect record for accuracy. But the WSJ has fact-checkers and editors coming out of its wazoo, so you’d expect rather more from them than you would the average blogger. If you’re expecting to get paid like a professional, doing professional work is the least you can do.

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  • http://sterlingnorth.livejournal.com Sterling Ambivalence

    …but the thing is, this isn’t new at all. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has always operated in a different universe from the WSJ’s news department. (OK, the WSJ editoral board operates in a different universe from everybody else…the joke is you get two papers for the price of one.) The members of the editorial board are ideologues to the nth degree, all of whom (for example) would sooner wish to die of food poisoning than admit that maybe regulation has a place somewhere. Actually, I feel the WSJ is more of a special case in journalism.