What is Going on at the Wall Street Journal?

I have spent the last 25 plus years reading the Wall Street Journal. Maybe it’s me, but something is changing. About a year after News Corporation purchased the WSJ, I ended my online subscription. However, I still pick up the the physical paper some days to check in on the business coverage. Last Thursday, was one of those days.

I was on the MetroLiner from CT to NYC. Next to me was my podcast partner Jeff. We were on our way into Manhattan for a meeting related to PoliTalk. I remember mentioning to him that one of the front page stories that referenced the new health care law called it “ObamaCare”. I thought this was very much biased. The very publication that for years referred to people by Mr., Mrs. or Ms. plus the person’s last name was now referring the newly passed health care law passed by Congress and the President as something that is a consistent talking point for Republican and Tea Party Candidates. That is, referring to the new health care law as ObamaCare.

I was hoping that this was an isolated case, so I took a quick look at other recent stories. Sadly, I did not have to look far. That same day another story appeared on the WSJ was “McDonald’s May Drop Health Plan“. That evening, both McDonalds and the Department of Health and Human Services responded. According to Reuters, “McDonald’s, U.S. say health insurance report false“. They state:

The Wall Street Journal, citing a company memo, reported that McDonald’s might cut the insurance unless U.S. regulators waived a requirement of new U.S. healthcare laws.

McDonald’s officials called the report “completely false.”

“This story is wrong,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said in a statement. “The new law provides significant flexibility to maintain coverage for workers.”

What happened to fact checking? Is this McDonalds backtracking on a potentially damaging story? Is this an example of promoting a political agenda? I don’t know. However, I don’t like the direction that these two data points are heading. Granted that these are only two data points. I will be saddened if this becomes the norm rather than the exception.

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