And they said the Wall Street Journal doesn’t have a comics page


You know, there was a time when I thought that the Wall Street Journal was a dull and stuffy publication that chronicled the comings and goings in high finance. It was a staid, responsible periodical that could be counted on to accurately recount the previous day’s trading on the stock exchange, but offered little in the way of amusement.

Boy, was I missing out!

Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that the WSJ is home to what is one of the most intellectually dishonest op-ed pages in the newspaper business. I guess that stands to figure since the Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch and his companies are notorious for serving as bullhorns for his agenda.

Did you ever see the episode of “The Simpsons” where the Movementarian cult come to Springfield? Under the influence of the cult, the teachers tell the students that all good things come from “The Leader.” All facts are bent to support that conclusion. Even events that couldn’t possibly be attributed to The Leader are said to be His works.

That’s the WSJ, writing about The Market. Anything that supports The Market is good; anything that would seek to regulate The Market is bad. In this respect they’re most single minded and make less sense than Westboro Baptist. It’s a source of near-endless amusement to read them try to twist whatever event is at hand into a narrative that serves their needs. It’s like watching a mediocre but extremely persistent contortionist doing requests from the crowd.

Which brings me to the link that brought on the uncontrolled laughter at the top of this post. The WSJ usually employs columnists who have the patina of academic or intellectual standing. So, it’s unusual to see are writer like Suzanne Somers tapped to write for the Journal. That said, it’s a bad idea to judge the piece by the writer; better to read it and then determine its merits.

Did you read it? I’m sorry. It’s not very good, is it? She cites a couple of anecdotes that are scary, but they’re not convincing or necessarily representative. Plus, there’s ample reason to suspect that she hasn’t been wholly honest. Take a look at the retractions at the bottom. She misquotes a couple of world leaders in what I think is supposed to be an ad hominem attack, but misses the mark by a mile. She’s factually wrong about the costs. She warns us of the Canadian health care, which is both a) not what the ACA is, and b) by most qualitative measures, better than American health care and much cheaper. 

TL/DR: She gets her facts wrong and uses logical fallacies to attack the ACA.

The WSJ has been a turd for a long time, but this is a new low for them. When I read their op-ed page, I expect to read well-written rationalizations and not-quite-lies. This falls well short of both standards. Shame on the Wall Street Journal.

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