Why I Read the Wall Street Journal

Some Context

During the most recent presidential election cycle I found myself growing increasingly bothered by the way “news” was being packaged. Instead of giving pertinent facts in their context we were given a carefully procured set of facts packaged within ideological analysis. I was expecting the blatant slanting of stories to end with the election cycle but have been patently disappointed.

This disappointment set me on a search to find a news outlet that reports relevant facts without telling me how I’m supposed to interpret those facts. My search ended with The Wall Street Journal.

Disclosure: I now subscribe to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). I do not know anyone personally at the WSJ and have not been asked by or influenced by anyone associated with the WSJ to share my viewpoint. My viewpoint does not represent the WSJ or any other entity. It represents only my current opinion (which is apt to change).


Three Views–One Story

Consider this news story as told by three different news sources. I think you’ll get the gist of what I’m trying to say.

Disclosure: The “news story” below is not real … I made it up … all of it.

The Wall Street Journal Version

Small Colorado Town Concerned Over Break-ins

Today’s Date, Noname, CO

The small Colorado town of Noname is conveniently located near the trail heads of three popular hiking trails. Over the weekend five cars parked at one of the trail entrances had their windows smashed and valuables removed. The town’s mayor, Alice Doe, weighed in on the break-ins by saying “These are the first incidents of this kind in several years. Our city benefits from the tourists brought in by these trails so we will certainly be taking a closer look at the situation.”


The Version Given by Many Major Media Outlets

Anchor: Our lead story this morning is about break-ins that occurred in Noname, CO. Here is our field correspondent …

Field Correspondent: Yes. Five cars were broken into at the trail entrance of a popular trail near Noname, CO. I spoke with a hiker who said he didn’t hear any windows being smashed while out on the trail. I also spoke to a representative of LiberalOrganization who indicated that these sort of break-ins are typically done by poor people who are looking for food for their children … [cut to said representative]

Rep of LiberalOrganization: The “American People” are tired of being poor while the rich get richer. These kinds of break-ins show what a terrible state this country is in. And things are only getting worse with Trump in office. [cut back to anchor]

Anchor: We brought in our analyst to help us understand what is happening here. So, analyst, is what we just heard true … that the rich are getting richer?

Analyst: We just compiled numbers and yes it true as you can see from this graph. [Cut to display of unitless graph]

Anchor: You know, Rep of LiberalOrganization didn’t say anything about the environmental impact of camping.

Analyst: Yes, a lot of people probably view camping as being an environmentally friendly form of recreation. What people need to realize is that most, if not all, of these campers also have houses they live in when not camping and they drive SUVs long distances to transport their camping gear. The greenhouse emissions required to manufacture all of their redundant equipment is undoubtedly contributing to global warming. Scientists tell us that if sea levels rise just 1 foot, the damage will be measured in trillions of dollars. That may be the real story here.

Anchor: In other news, several actors have expressed their opinions on …


The Version Given by the Only Major Right-Leaning Media Outlet

Anchor: Our lead story this morning is about break-ins that occurred in Noname, CO. Here is our field correspondent …

Field Correspondent: Yes. Five cars were broken into at the trail entrance of a popular trail near Noname, CO. I asked several hikers how they felt knowing that criminals were lurking in the parking lots. Here are some of their responses …

Hiker #1: I’ve always felt safe when hiking before.

Hiker #2: It’s scary to think there might be criminals lurking in parking lots.

Anchor: Scary indeed. We’ve brought in our analyst to talk about the increase in crime during the Obama administration. Analyst, is the fear echoed by these hikers justified?

Analyst: Well, as you can see from this graph [cut to display of unitless graph] some types of crime have indeed increased during the time Obama was in office. This gives credence to the claims of Donald Trump that Obama was soft on crime.

Anchor: Thankfully Trump is making “the rule of law” a priority.

Analyst: Yes, but the real story here is the importance of our second amendment rights. Many would argue that you can’t trust the federal government to protect your property so arming yourself may be only way to curb these kinds of crimes moving forward.

Anchor: In other news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up …



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