Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Fair & Balanced ?
Perhaps the only conceivable thing worse than the Wall Street Journal is a Wall Street Journal owned by Fair & Balanced parent, Newscorp. Such would be case if today's reported marriage were to be consummated.
I have always been partial to the pink sheets of Pearson's Financial Times. I took the habit as a student in US, at the height of the Eurodollar market boom, and continued as a student in the UK, despite the fact that the pink pages were deeply unfashionable amongst the crowd with which I was running and the professors with whom I was studying, most of had a Guardian or Workers Daily under their arm. Nonetheless, despite the unfashionable-ness, I thought it firmly "centrist", and not nearly as obnoxious as The Economist, at the time.
The Financial Times did, and still does, deliver the dry facts. They have no need to pepper the news or op-ed with ideological diatribes, for their readers knew their class and by extension their classes interests. There were few fence sitters in their audience. I appreciated this, for I was keenly independent in thought and found the Wall Street Journal's slant rather vile and insidious. I understood shy they thought it necessary for in America, "class" was primarily economic, far more amorphous, the associated politics more resembled the shifting sands of the Sahara. This meant that there many fence sitters, working-class by birth, middle-class by education, and perhaps upper-middle by profession. They were inherently conflicted and presumably could be swayed by persuasive ideological argument, and/or cynically bent reporting, or deeply ideological op-ed rants.
Today, I still read the Financial Times. And for the most part, they remain "centrist" in the political-economy of their editorial stance (though they've sold out to "the Suits", of late, caving in to vulgarity and the crassest of consumption with their "How To Spend It" and "Property" inserts). But the thought of a Wall Street Journal owned by Murdoch & Co. is, I must reveal, a rather depressing one. As if CNBC's bubblevision weren't sufficiently theatrical with talking heads Kudlow, Cramer, Perky Bartiromo, and their two-minute interviews with the "movers, shakers, and "hot-hands", we know must countenance "Fair & Balanced" in Finance. No more recession. No more pessimism. Your either with us or against us. Bullishness or broker. Bears, skeptics, cyncics, pessimists and maybe even just those this a valid and correct (by contrary) point of view, kind of like France and Germany during the Iraq war will now be ridiculed in print, and in the op-ed. As a result, if consummated, we will have to assign "contrarianism", like Communism before it, to the dustbin of history....ne c'est pas?