Category Archives: Wall Street Journal

There Are No Do-Overs In Big Buyouts

This shit pisses me off like you would not believe:

Bancroft Family Members Express Regrets at Selling Wall Street Journal to Murdoch

by Richard Tofel
ProPublica, July 13, 2011, 3:30 p.m.

This story was co-published with The Guardian.

A number of key members of the family which controlled The Wall Street Journal say they would not have agreed to sell the prestigious daily to Rupert Murdoch if they had been aware of News International’s conduct in the phone-hacking scandal at the time of the deal.

“If I had known what I know now, I would have pushed harder against” the Murdoch bid, said Christopher Bancroft, a member of the family which controlled Dow Jones & Company, publishers of The Wall Street Journal. Bancroft said the breadth of allegations now on the public record “would have been more problematic for me. I probably would have held out.” Bancroft had sole voting control of a trust that represented 13 percent of Dow Jones shares in 2007 and served on the Dow Jones Board.

Lisa Steele, another family member on the Board, said that “it would have been harder, if not impossible,” to have accepted Murdoch’s bid had the facts been known. “It’s complicated,” Steele said, and “there were so many factors” in weighing a sale. But she said “the ethics are clear to me — what’s been revealed, from what I’ve read in the Journal, is terrible; it may even be criminal.”

Elisabeth Goth, a Bancroft family member not on the Board who had long advocated change at Dow Jones, expressed similar sentiments. Asked if she would have favored a sale to Murdoch in 2007 knowing what she does today, she said, “my answer is no.”

Oh, whaah. If only we had known that Rupert Murdoch and NewsCorp were a bunch of slimeball crooks! Nobody could have anticipated! Yada yada.

Cut the crap. I’m sooooo sick of hearing this shit you have no idea. If only we’d known Saddam Hussein didn’t have weapons of mass distruction! If only we’d known that Big Shitpile was about to implode! If only we’d known that deep water oil wells weren’t safe! Let’s see: in five years we’ll be hearing from ExxonMobil executives, “if only we’d known that peak oil was here and global climate change was real!”

If only .. if only!

Give me a break. Murdoch’s takeover of Dow Jones was a hard-fought battle. And it didn’t happen so long ago that I don’t remember my in-box being flooded with petitions about it, either. I remember stories like this one, in which major Dow Jones stakeholders sounded the alarm bells:

The Audit: What’s the problem with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. acquiring Dow Jones?

Jim Ottaway: To me, the first biggest issue is more media concentration in the hands the people who use their media power for personal, political, and business interests, as Murdoch does so blatantly with the New York Post, FOX News network, Star TV in China, Phoenix TV in China. He has the largest total broadcast audience in China, where they’re getting no criticism because of his deal with the devil there. On Monday (June 25), the New York Times had a long piece on how Murdoch manipulates American politicians and FCC officials to get the TV regulatory approval to keep all his television stations and not have to sell them. Then on Tuesday, it had a really good investigative piece on how he does the same in China. And I must say that these two articles made my statement on May 6th seem polite. I was horrified about the stuff I didn’t know about. There’s no moral compass.

I mean for crying out loud, Murdoch had to promise to appoint a special independent editorial committee to protect the Wall Street Journal from Murdoch’s right-wing ideology, an agreement which was immediately ignored. Surprise, surprise.

So no, Bancroft family. Don’t tell us that you wouldn’t have sold Dow Jones had you known Murdoch & co. were creeps. No, you’re still assholes, and no amount of “hoocodanode” will salvage the family name (or re-write the history books).

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Filed under media, Rupert Murdoch, Wall Street Journal

Zombie Lies Won’t Die: Tax Hike Edition

You know how right wingers kept telling everyone that the Democrats raised everyone’s taxes when in fact the stimulus bill gave 95% of Americans a tax cut — and the lie stuck?

The tax hike thing is a favorite zombie lie which circulates through the right wing echo chamber before every election. The Dems’ inability to fight back against this bogus piece of conventional wisdom probably cost them the house in 2010.

Okay, get your shit together Dems, because the right wing is at it again. They’ve started spreading the tax lie again — I mean seriously, check your calendars, we’re heading into a presidential election, right? This shit happens like clockwork. And right on schedule we have the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal opinion page, never a bastion of truth and honesty, doing some pretty galling numbers-fudging so they can scream in a headline that Obama wants to raise the top tax rate to 62%. It’s preposterous, of course: our current top tax rate is 35%, and the idea that Democrats would double that is just a fear ploy. But it’s also extremely dishonest.

CJR crunches the numbers and determines Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal editorial board just made it up:

For Moore’s headline purposes he includes state taxes to get to 62 percent, but when he compare it to rates under Reagan, he doesn’t include state taxes.

The comparison is much more misleading than that, really. Moore is also including things like payroll taxes to come up with his fake 62 percent number, while not including them in that 28 percent Reagan figure. You can’t do that, boss.

Moreover, to come up with that doozy of a number, Moore is adding in not only state and payroll taxes, but just about every possible tax hike being bandied about by Democrats. But Moore knows full well that even if they wanted to, which they don’t, the Dems wouldn’t be able to enact every one of these. But he acts like they’re all coming.

There are lies, damn lies and then there’s the Wall Street Journal opinion page. Oh, my.

Of course, the point of all this is to spread fear that the gummint is coming for your wallets oh my GAWD. Better vote Republican in 2012! Expect to see this zombie lie about the Dem’s fictitious 62% top tax rate plan to be repeated all over the place. Indeed, it already has:

It’s hit the heartland in a post by Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Patrick McIlheran, who uncritically parrots the bogus 62 percent number and doesn’t understand the concept of marginal tax rates.

[…]

Human Events spreads it. WSJ sister network Fox News does too, turning Moore’s question into a declarative “Dems Want 62% Top Tax Rate,” as does Moneynews.com and dozens of lesser blogs. CNBC and Larry Kudlow lend a hand…

This is no accident. It’s all part of the right wing spin machine. Expect to see that 62% tax lie reverberate around the right wing echo chamber until some idiot at CNN or Moanin’ Joe or George Stuffinenvelopes picks it up. Just remember: it’s not true, it was dreamed up by the Wall Street Journal‘s Stephen Moore.

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Filed under Media, media manipulation, taxes, Wall Street Journal

>Have They Forgotten?

>This Wall Street Journal headline just stuns. There are no words:

‘At Least Bush Kept Us Safe’

Bush kept us safe? Really? Like on 9/11, when 3,000 people died?

Or on August 28, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit and over 1,300 people died?

Bush kept us safe?

The column, from Peggy Noonan, is subtitled “The Two Words Democrats Don’t Want Tacked On To That Sentence.” You know, “At least Bush kept us safe … Unlike Obama!

Here are some words I could tack on to that sentence:

“At least Bush Kept Us Safe” * † ** ††

* Except for 9/11 …
† And forgetting that whole anthrax thing, which everyone always forgets, even though a couple people died and stuff…
** And let’s say Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster and leave it at that, forgetting the botched government response …
†† And of course there’s that whole War in Iraq thing which totally didn’t need to happen, and which now Karl Rove is saying we wouldn’t have done if we’d known Saddam didn’t have WMD, which we all knew anyway, but who’s counting, really …

Right. Peggy Noonan, I want some of what you’re drinking. That Potomac Kool-Aid must extra strong these days.

(h/t, Attaturk.)

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Filed under 9/11, Wall Street Journal

>Hack-Tacular

>Apparently I was a little premature in declaring my Wanker of the Weekend this morning. That honor surely goes to Amy Chozick, the Wall Street Journal “reporter” who started the whole “is Barack Obama too skinny to be president” meme last week. How did she come up with this story? The old fashioned way: the easy way.

There was no pounding the pavement, hitting up sources, or assembling and verifying facts for Chozick. Instead, she hit a Yahoo! message board, posted a “hey does anyone else think Obama is too skinny?” query, and when someone posted a snarky, sarcastic response, she bit.

The folks at Sadly, No! have the details:

Amy Chozick starts a thread:

Is Obama too skinny to be president?
15-Jul-08 06:04 pm

Does anyone out there think Barack Obama is too thin to be president? Anyone having a hard time relating to him and his “no excess body fat”? Please let me know. Thanks!

A reply is posted:

Re: Is Obama too skinny to be president?
15-Jul-08 10:21 pm

Yes I think He is to skinny to be President.Hillary has a potbelly and chuckybutt I’d of Voted for Her.I won’t vote for any beanpole guy.

Amy responds:

Re: Is Obama too skinny to be president? 16-Jul-08 09:12 am

Love your response and your username (onlinebeerbellygirl). Would you mind shooting me an email so I can ask you a few more quesitons? My email is [redacted] Thanks so much!
-Amy

The entire rest of the brief thread consists of people saying that the question is stupid, and/or making fun of Chozick.

SN! links to the Google cache of the thread; you can read the whole sorry thing for yourself. I’m not sure that “onlinebeerbellygirl” ever responded to Amy, because the quote that ended up in her story was the”I won’t vote for any beanpole guy” bit.

This is what passes for journalism at the Wall Street Journal under Rupert Murdoch? Posting threads on message boards and then reporting the inane responses as if they are the actual, legitimate opinion of American voters? Cripes.

Hey, does anyone think Obama is a space alien? Amy Chozick of the Wall Street Journal wants to know.

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Filed under media, Wall Street Journal