Sunday, March 18, 2012

Editorial Bias in the Wall Street Journal Creeps into its Book Review Section

Warning to the News Department – You Could Be Next

One of the many positive things about the reporting in the Wall Street Journal is that it is independent of the editorial staff and editorial opinion.  In fact, the actual reporting found in the paper is so often at odds with the pretend world of the editors that one wonders if the editorial staff even bothers to read the rest of the paper.  Probably not, they just don’t want those pesky facts and data getting in the way of a good false opinion piece.

But the Wall Street Journal is owned by the News Corp. which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch.  This is the Australian who believes that the purpose of a new organization is to influence public opinion to his own ultra Conservative philosophy, hence his ownership of Fox News.  He also believes that his papers in Britain are above the law, hence the arrest of many of his top executives there, including a protégé, Rebekah Brooks.

So it should come as no surprise that bias is creeping into the rest of the Wall Street Journal from its editorial positions.  Case in point is it review of a recent biography of the great historical, Barbara Tuchman.  There’s nothing like a good book review relating to history to try to re-write it.

Some brief background:  Ms. Tuchman is a member of that rare group of researchers, one who is able to write history as though it were a novel, and still have it contain rigorous research and documentation.  Her books should be, but probably are not, a must read for any person whose ambition is to be involved in public policy.

So to review the Tuchman biography the WSJ selected a gentleman named Bruce Cole, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.  The Hudson Institute is one of those think tanks that used to be a source of rigorous research, but now is just another hack conservative group spouting the hack conservative line.  So here is a portion of Mr. Cole’s review.

Sadly, the author seemed to have forgotten the lesson in objectivity by the time of her last book, an anti-Vietnam War screed called "The March of Folly" (1985).

First of all, Ms. Tuchman’s great book ‘The March of Folly’ is not a screed.  It is a fantastic book, documenting many of the really stupid things governments have done  throughout history.  Less than half of the book is devoted to Vietnam, as it focuses on the Protestant Reformation, the American Revolution and other events.  It is anti-Vietnam only in the sense of documenting U. S. policy there, which is adequately described by the title.

Mr. Cole is apparently part of that shrinking group that wants to re-write history and argue that the U. S. could have won the war in Vietnam if it had not been for the lack of resources devoted to the war.  This is patently false.  The U. S. could never have “won” Vietnam, it wasn’t ours to win.  But this fallacy remains a part of Conservative doctrine and lore, much like the other ideas Conservatives promote that are also based on false logic.

And what better place to further the Conservative myths of history than the Wall Street Journal.  So look out News department at the WSJ, a trainload of bias is headed your way.

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