The Prince of Papers, Now a Frog

As a college student ten years ago, I fell in love with the Wall Street Journal. A black-and-white broadsheet sans frivolity, it was the keeper of reporting and editorial standards that put all others to shame. Alas, times have changed.

On a flight out of New Mexico on Friday, I had a chance to read my colorful, downsized copy front to back—and learn afresh what degradation has befallen this paper.

In the lead article, we get the inside scoop on the fall of Don Imus. “The reaction moved at warp speed as the Internet circulated his racist words to millions of PC screens,” the authors tell us. And regarding the press conference featuring the Rutgers basketball players: “Without a hint of professional polish, their remarks came across as heartfelt.”

Racist? Heartfelt? Is the front page still for news, or did the trio of female reporters (dunder-headed ho’s, as Imus might put it) somehow hijack it for their editorial purposes? Tell you what: you folks stick to the facts, and let us decide what’s racist and what’s heartfelt.

Later in the article, we learn what “a American Express spokeswoman says.” Well what did the copy-editor say? Was it the same guy who edited the story on the departure of Monster’s CEO? (“Mr. Pastore’s couldn’t be reached for comment.”) Or the Naomi Schaefer Riley column on the Taste page? (“The problem is not their own dependency but their willingness to let other depend on them.”) And for good measure, on the banner atop the front page: “Record Home? A $125 Million Listing in L.A. W1.” The story is actually on W8.

I once adored you, you mangled beast.

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