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For the past year, we have reluctantly continued to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, even as we’ve watched its news section become increasingly progressive in its views. But we’ve always liked the Opinion page and appreciate the excellent journalism of Bill McGurn, Holman Jenkins, Dan Henninger, and especially Kimberley Strassel. I just learned, however, that 280 of the WSJ news staffers criticized the Opinion editors for not reflecting a “woke” mentality, and their letter was also “leaked.” The leaked letter is in the form of a tweet in this article, and difficult to read in this form, but you are welcome to try. Here is part of the editors’ response:
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. [italics mine]
I haven’t actually analyzed the news sections of the WSJ to determine if most of their journalists try to cover the news fairly, because the exceptions are so glaring. But I was especially impressed with other things the Opinion editors said:
In the spirit of collegiality, we won’t respond in kind to the letter signers. Their anxieties aren’t our responsibility in any case. The signers report to the News editors or other parts of the business, and the News and Opinion departments operate with separate staffs and editors. [italics mine]
This is a low-key yet powerful statement. The editors essentially say they’re not going to be as unprofessional as their colleagues were. And the statement that they’re not going to worry about the “anxieties” of the staffers reinforces the point that it’s not their job to do so. In other words, we are not going to cave in to your “feelings.”
I am very pleased to see the editors push back at the “recommendations” of the leaked letter, and hope that the WSJ Opinion page will continue to reflect conservative ideas.
They’re the only large newspaper with the integrity to do it.Published in