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As I trekked to my gate at the Orange County Airport in California not long ago, I stopped briefly at a newsstand to pick-up a copy of the New York Times. I was accosted there by a well-heeled, white-haired busy-body who barked at me that I should also buy a Wall Street Journal. Why? Because, he barked again, the Wall Street paper would counter the lies of the Times.
Yeah… with its own whoppers.
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The Journal’s editorial page has always been a cheerleader for corporate power, but now that it’s in the grip of Rupert Murdoch, it’s become a pom-pom waving, journalistic strumpet for the Republican Party. Particularly glaring in recent months has been its propensity for publishing op-ed pieces that pound President Barack Obama on everything from his health care reform to foreign policy issues. That would be fine – except, the editors have chosen not to disclose to readers a rather important credential that each of the pounders share: They’re all top advisors to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
For example, the Journal published op-eds by Max Boot in February, April, June, and August – each of them ripping Obama for alleged failures in dealing with Afghanistan and China. Boot was identified simply as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. That established him as an expert – without mentioning his glaring partisan conflict-of-interest as Romney’s defense policy advisor. The watchdog group, Media Matters, reviewed all of the op-eds in Murdoch’s paper during this campaign season and found that 20 so-called “expert opinion pieces” had been written by nine Romney advisors, with not even a whisper to readers that the nine are directly tied to the Republican’s campaign.
Why be so shy about that tie, if not to deceive? To keep up with the deceivers, go to www.mediamatters.org.