The WSJ wants to speak to me.

This morning I recieved an email from the Director of Public Relations at our college. Apparently, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal wants to interview some freshmen at my college.

Personally, I have always viewed the WSJ as the newspaper that comes straight from hell. I am most upset about their belief that corporate profit should take precedence to anything else. For example, their reaction to the spread of BSE in Europe. According to WSJ, nobody should worry much about BSE because it will probably kill fewer than a thousand people, and the panic surrounding it is causing lower sales of beef products which might hurt the American economy. Another example is their stance on trade issues with China. WSJ editorials on this subject only mentioned how giving MFN status to China would allow for economic expansion; they rarely even brought up the issue of human rights.

Another thing that I hate about the WSJ is their arrogance. During the dot-com boom, they bragged constantly about how olds rules governing the economy were gone and how stock prices were going to sore forever. In fact, they even claimed that their own newspaper was partially responsible for the boom. Needless to say, when the market went down the toilet, WSJ wasn’t responsible and didn’t feel any need to admit to or even comment on their past mistakes.

And don’t even get me started on their commercials.

Anyway, this reporter is apparently looking to interview students who chose smaller, lesser known colleges rather than Ivy League schools or big name universities such as Stanford. I was about to hit the ‘delete’ key when I realised that this was actually an opportunity to explain the real reason why I came to this small liberal arts college in California.

Many of my friends went to the Ivy League or other prestigious East-Coast schools, and very few of them enjoyed it much. A typical comment came from a guy who started at Columbia University, but then dropped out: “Everybody here seems to be more interested in getting an Ivy League diploma and a high-paying job than in doing something that they actually enjoy.” I came out here to California because I wanted to attend a college where I could have fun and be in a more diverse environment with people who had a greater variety of interests.

Anyway, my question is this. On the one hand, it seems wrong to grant an interview request to a news outlet that I find to be morally reprehensible. However, this would be a chance to make my personal statement to the community that reads the WSJ. Although I’m not naive enough to believe that my words would have much effect (and I don’t know if they’ll print my interview anyway), but at least it might make a few bankers and stock market analysts thing about something other than profit for a little while. So, what does everyone else here think?

It’s an economic paper, why would they report on something that doesn’t affect the economy? Why is it morally reprehensible to report on something from an economic standpoint?

What do you think the Wall Street journal is for? It’s an economic and investing paper, not the New York Post. Their job is to tell people how to make money; if their analysis is that BSE will not affect things very much economically, what is morally wrong with printing that?

It’s a paper.
The reporter wants quotes.
If your quotes makes the reporter’s story look good they will go in.
If they don’t…you know what’ll (not) happen.

I’m going to need some evidence before I believe that the WSJ was actually claiming that stock prices would never go back down. And perhaps something to show that alternate views weren’t being mentioned as well.

As for BSE, it is unlikely that it will kill all that many people. The consequences that preventing this are much more subtle. Being decent economists, the guys at the WSJ know that you need to evaluate the hidden costs of various proposals. Yeah, it’s kinda coldhearted to put the economy ahead of lives, but the economy benefits us all and its strength has a direct bearing on the lives and deaths of other people.

On the matter of China, I have to ask if the people of Cuba have ever thanked us for the embargo. Has it made their lives better? While free trade rewards the government of China, which is undesirable, the denial of free trade primarily hurts the people of China.

Apparently, the WSJ is not the paper for people who want simple solutions to complex problems.

Oh, and I love the phrase “adventures in capitalism”, FWIW.

Whoa there, chief.

First things first. Separate in your mind the editorial pages of the WSJ from the news pages, and the features section of the news pages from the “hard news” section.

The actual journalism that goes on in the Journal is some of the best in the country, and I’d have to say that no other paper does as good a job as they do in keeping up the wall between editorial and news. In fact, it’s sometimes comical – there will be some troglodyte on the editorial pages raging against some awful thing the government has done to some ‘poor, defenseless business’ while the news pages will lay out in excruciating detail the inhuman things the business has done to merit the government’s attention. That’s particularly true of China – the news pages are full of articles about China’s government being cruel, or capricious, or corrupt or whatever. Go figure.

Next. The Journal was not beating the internet drum. Sure, they featured enough stories about people who believed in the “new economy,” but they featured others too. In fact, I’d say that their recent history has been more of the “I don’t care whether the economy is new or not, you don’t pay 600 times revenues for a stock!” school than any kind of “Yeah, Henry Blodget’s right, and Amazon is worth more than G.E.” leaning.

Finally, please get it out of your mind that we market analysts spend all of our time thinking about profit. It’s simply not true, and your claim makes you look as simple-minded as your incorrect assertions about the Journal make you look stupid. Assuming (which I am) that you are neither simpleminded nor stupid, I think you may want to rethink your premises.

manhattan wrote:

Yeah! Some market analysts instead look at tea leaves and chicken entrails, and call it “technical analysis.”

<ducking and running>

Actually, I think the last chartist went broke and got fired at about 3:30 yesterday.

Bob Prechter is going to have to wait until their replacements are hired before he starts yammering about Eliot waves again.

Besides, I was referring to the fact that some of us think about golf.

ITR Champion, I am not quite as up on the WSJ reporting as Manhattan is, but the impression I have is similar to his. The Wall Street Journal has the editorial page from hell, but their reporting is, on the whole, pretty decent.

So, I would say, Go ahead and talk to the guy. Hell, make some crack about the WSJ editorial page and see what he says…He might even agree with you!

I personally prefer coffee grounds. After any meeting I can always get a good supply… A bit of stirring and I can devine the real intentions of my interlocutors.

I never intended a personal assault on anybody here. I didn’t want to attack all members of a certain profession as money-centered. I merely wanted to say that the WSJ pretty consistently supports corporate profit over any other consideration. In their official statement of their philosophy, they brag about the fact that they always support the buzzwords “free trade and sound money”. Although their editorial page at this moment is filled with typical brainless assaults against the Clintons, it usually contains nothing but diatribes agianst anybody who would dare suggest that a little humanity and decency might be a good thing.

True, the WSJ is an economic paper. However, they don’t have any problem with delving into ethics or morals, as long as the arguments always come out in favor of corporate greed. However, they are totally unwilling to allow anybody else see their side of the story. A recent article in the ‘How Others See U.S.’, for example, insisted that animal rights activists have no legitimacy because house cats also kill animals sometimes. Can you imagine a more ridiculous argument? But needless to say, no editorial in favor of animal rights has ever appeared in the Journal (at least not in the issues that I read.)

ah… the jouys of being a college student not encumbered by the harsh reality of trying to make a living in this big, bad world.

i wish i had the time or inclination to harp on the evils of the corporate (real) world while insulated in an academic utopia funded by mommy and daddy.

ok… that was a bit harsh… but still… :smiley:

Manhattan: come on man, I wanna hear it. You too depend on the coffee grounds method of analysis, dontcha?


Yes, easily. Coming from the PETA morons.