Ignatius Press - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Ignatius Press

So now we know what caused the Wall Street Journal to decline to the point that it needed a Rupert Murdoch to bail it out. Take it from the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius, who was a top reporter at the Journal in its heyday, which peaked around 1985, he writes, the same year, as it happens, that Ignatius left the paper. But that’s not the (only) reason the paper began to decline. By the 1990s the real cause was apparent. The culprit was the Journal‘s “fiery” editorial page. The change came when, in the ’90s, the editorial page “increasingly did its own reporting, with equal portions of journalistic hustle and ideological spin, and it often overshadowed the news side. I suspect that helped undermine the franchise. Advertisers, in the end, perhaps weren’t enthralled with a newspaper distinguished by vitriolic right-wing attack editorials.”

Bob Bartley is long dead, but still the knives are out for him. An independent two-page section of a thick paper undercut the rest of it? Ignatius may lack journalistic hustle these days (“I suspect,” “perhaps”), which means he’s left with not much more than ideological spin to define him.

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