The Wall Street Journal: Gospel for the Moneychangers
“While the form of treachery varies slightly from case to case, liberals always manage to take the position that most undermines American security”
-Ann Coulter (or maybe not)
In today’s environment of corporate friendly, corporate owned newsless newspapers there is one paper that stands out as the top voice for big business: The Wall Street Journal. The Journal is the preferred reading material for the idle rich, the corporate buccaneers, ruthless capitalist punks and their wealthy sugar daddies who are the modern day successors to the ‘Robber Barons’ in the new Gilded Age. The WSJ while publishing the same information on the latest Bush administration snooping program into the financial transactions of millions to ostensibly track the money that could be used to fund terrorist activities. As if terrorist networks don’t highly suspect that their money trail is already being followed? Give me a fucking break, we are talking about professional jihadists and not woebegone losers like the ‘Cornrow Qaeda’ and their silly, overhyped plot to take down the Sears Tower.
The Times story on the monitoring of international banking transactions handled by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) while initially not treated as much of a big deal was then seized upon by the Republican slime machine as yet another story in which to tear the country apart by affixing the ‘treason’ label to critics and dissenters, most specifically the New York Times. Just in time for the 4th of July, what better time for divisive “you are with us or you are with the terrorists” blasts of fiery rhetoric to allow the fascist GOP to wrap themselves in ‘Old Glory’ which in to crib a term from language (hey Coulter does it) of Senator Bill Frist and modify it slightly, “lost today” and loses every day that it is reduced to being used as a Republican turd wrapper. Speaking of A.C. here is a good piece on the anorexic, horse faced, plagiarizing skank courtesy of a story in the Buffalo Beast.
The echo chamber began to churn with the wonderful potential of taking down the NY Times as a red meat offering to the basest of all bases that are the GOP diehards and dead enders by sending out the pitchfork wielding knaves to launch a coordinated assault against ‘The Old Gray Lady’ for it’s alleged constant barrage of ‘liberal bias’ (Hitler once said something along the lines that the bigger the lie the more people that will believe it) even though the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal published similar stories….why is it that there is never as much outrage over the WSJ’s over the top ultra-conservative bias? Well the good little soldiers like the insidious Peter King of Long Island were all too willing to lead the attack by leveling charges of treason against the NYT, going so far as to even suggest an inquisition by the Republican congress and Bushist lackey Senator Pat Roberts whose nickname should be ‘Stonewall Roberts’ for his complicity in obstructing any serious attempts by his Senate intelligence committee to investigate the criminality of the ruling junta in it’s assault on “that goddamned piece of paper” the U.S. Constitution. The attack was quickly joined by pinheads like Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the electronic demagogues and the angry army of activists that are the right-wing slime throwers in the blogosphere.
Frank Rich of the accused traitor New York Times put it very well in his latest outstanding piece in yesterday’s Op Ed column entitled:
‘Can’t Win the War? Bomb the Press!’(you will have to get a subscription to Times Select or check out an actual copy of the Sunday Times to get the whole piece but here are a few choice paragraphs….unlike Coulter I always give credit to the original author)
OLD GLORY lost today,” Bill Frist declaimed last week when his second attempt to rewrite the Constitution in a single month went the way of his happy prognosis for Terri Schiavo. Of course it isn’t Old Glory that lost when the flag-burning amendment flamed out. The flag always survives the politicians who wrap themselves in it. What really provoked Mr. Frist’s crocodile tears was the foiling of yet another ruse to distract Americans from the wreckage in Iraq. He and his party, eager to change the subject in an election year, just can’t let go of their scapegoat strategy. It’s illegal Hispanic immigrants, gay couples seeking marital rights, cut-and-run Democrats and rampaging flag burners who have betrayed America’s values, not those who bungled a war.
No sooner were the flag burners hustled offstage than a new traitor was unveiled for the Fourth: the press. Public enemy No. 1 is The New York Times, which was accused of a “disgraceful” compromise of national security (by President Bush) and treason (by Representative Peter King of New York and the Coulter amen chorus). The Times’s offense was to publish a front-page article about a comprehensive American effort to track terrorists with the aid of a Belgian consortium, Swift, which serves as a clearinghouse for some 7,800 financial institutions in 200 countries.
It was a solid piece of journalism. But if you want to learn the truly dirty secrets of how our government prosecutes this war, the story of how it vilified The Times is more damning than anything in the article that caused the uproar.
Sorry, that’s all that you are going to get here…you will have to seek out the rest on your own. Suffice it to say that the wrath of the entire anti-American fascist Republican establishment was loosed in a coordinated assault on the Times. De-facto President Dick Cheney as always led the charge with so much venom and vitriol that I am surprised that he didn’t blow out an aorta:
“What I find most disturbing about these stories is the fact that some of the news media take it upon themselves to disclose vital national security programs, thereby making it more difficult for us to prevent future attacks against the American people,” Mr. Cheney said, in impromptu remarks at a fund-raising luncheon for a Republican Congressional candidate in Chicago. “That offends me.” (NYT 6/24/06)
Leave it to ‘Dirty Dick’ to throw down the fear card that he has done so effectively in order to further his nefarious agenda ever since the stench of burning flesh from the WTC attacks was still in the air and bodies were being pulled from the rubble. Cheney is a man on a mission with a maniacal drive to overturn the constitutional intent of the founders by reconfiguring the presidency into a position where the chief executive would be able to wield dictatorial powers more in line with a king than a president. This is a man with vendetta and a thirty-year hard on for retribution against the press and the congress ever since the pullout from Saigon and the ouster of Richard M. Nixon from the White House. This is addressed in another outstanding piece in last week’s edition of the New Yorker on David Addington (Scooter Libby’s replacement) by Jane Mayer. ‘The Hidden Power’ offers a glimpse behind the scenes into exactly what goes on behind the scenes in the House of Cheney and the hardball tactics of the dark master and his minions in getting payback for the rat-fucking of Nixon by carrying out a vendetta against the checks and balances of the system. This is a great article and I would strongly recommend checking it out, and while you’re at it you might as well read Seymour Hersh’s latest on the plans to attack Iran: :
The Hidden Power by Jane Mayer
Last Stand by Seymour M. Hersh
But I digress, this post is primarily about the Wall Street Journal and the unique dynamic of their hard news department versus the White House adjunct on their editorial page. The GOP jihad against the press this past week is great at illustrating just how different that the two sections are. The WSJ editorial page like the good little attack doggies that they are lashed out at the dastardly liberals at the New York Times with a huge, hectoring diatribe on Friday that referenced the works of an obscure legal scholar and then proceeded to launch a scathing and caustic attack on the credibility of the Times that included the following statements:
“We recount all this because more than a few commentators have tried to link the Journal and Times at the hip”
“We suspect that the Times has tried to use the Journal as its political hitshield precisely because it knows that our editors have more credibility on these matters”And then the coup de grace:
“The problem with the Times is that millions of Americans no longer believe that its editors would make those calculations in anything close to good faith. We sure don’t. On issue after issue, it has become clear that the Times believes the U.S. is not really at war, and in any case the Bush administration lacks the legitimacy to wage it”
Translation: HANG THE LIBERAL FUCKING TRAITORS!!!
Jesus, who in the fuck wrote that shit? Karl Rove? I absolutely love the comment where the WSJ editorialists seem to say that they are more reliable than the NYT and in a sense they are probably right, they have consistently been there to carry the water for the Republicans whenever controversy or the ugly spectre of truth reared its head. This vitriolic attack was so over the top that John Harwood a senior writer for the WSJ was forced to explain the “shocking” nature of the editorial on Meet The Press, here is the story on this from Editor & Publisher.
The WSJ is the ‘mighty wurlitzer’ of globalist corporate propaganda and is as indispensable to hard core neo-liberal free market fanatics as the availability of cheap overseas sweatshop labor is to their bottom lines. Crony Capitalists revel in the in depth coverage of corporate maneuvers and gossip of impending mergers and acquisitions that are predominant features of the Journal. The slavering devotion to promoting the ill advised policy of cutting taxes on the rich while increasing spending dramatically to ‘starve the beast’ is a dogma which the Journal promotes with missionary zeal while preaching to a choir of elitist, Chivas sipping, Lexus driving, Ayn Rand worshipping, gluttonous greed mongers. Gordon Gekko was a piker compared to the predators that have evolved since the golden era of Reagan deregulatory greed and rampant scandals on the street, they are far more sophisticated and the rise in technology has made the grand financial game both more intricate as well as easier to conceal. The truly great technical minds don’t work for international terrorist organizations or the law enforcement squads tasked with sniffing both they and corporate plunderers out, the true geniuses work on Wall Street where they manipulate the world markets like the true maestros that they are.
However, to broad brush the entire paper due to it’s target audience of the capitalist vultures who have no qualms over their profiting off of the screwing of the American working class, profiteering off of bloody foreign wars or booking gains made possible by the exploitation of sweatshop child labor toiling under barbaric conditions in third world shithole factories is not the point here. The Journal actually does have a fairly decent news operation that steers clear of the cheap and sleazy celebrity garbage that threatens to turn other papers into nothing more than toned down versions of the National Enquirer and other cheesy check stand tabloids.
To honestly look at the Journal it is necessary to look at each of its three major components independently rather than the paper as a whole.
The Good: The Journal’s actual news, although lacking in overall content is generally well written and researched and targeted at a far higher intellect than the incredibly bland and dumbed down McNews of the only national paper with a higher circulation: USA Today which is written to appeal to those with the cognitive level of sixth graders. The news section is generally filled with stories that involve corporations, regulatory information, serious domestic and international news that has the potential to affect investor decisions but that is to be expected by a paper that specializes in financial news and business information. It is definitely slanted towards those with a right wing bias but the actual journalistic qualities are of a high standard. The news department does a credible job on the stories that they do choose to cover at length but the majority of the paper to no surprise is dedicated to business news, pro corporate public relatons spin and of course the most in depth stock and financial section in print.
The Bad: A financial stats section that is a speculator’s dream and that wholly encourages the raging Laissez-Faire cancer that has eaten away the backbone of American prosperity. Former Fed Reserve Chairman and WSJ cult figure Alan Greenspan was treated with reverence and the current climate of market manipulation is praised to the extent of being something just below holiness. Despite the finest financial section in the land the Journal must bear some responsibility for pimping the neo liberal ‘free’ market worship that is laying waste to America in the name of unfettered global capitalism. The WSJ is to the speculators and high rollers what the racing form and tip sheet are to bookies and gambling addicts. The commonality is that both are degenerate gamblers in the same manner that a desperate crack addict offering cheap blow jobs for a daily fix and a ‘high class’ thousand dollar an hour prostitute are both whores.
While extolling the virtues of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand the WSJ fails to mention the obvious contradictions between the selective interpretation of the much ballyhooed ‘Wealth of Nations’ and the realities of modern day society. Smith would definitely not be a proponent of the unrestrained ‘free market’ of today and it’s grossly disproportionate favoritism of the wealthiest of the wealthy and unaccountable corporations and their wholly owned subsidiary on the Potomac. In fact Smith’s treatise, due to the period in which it was first published was completely unable to forsee the detrimental and corrupting effects on the free market by high tech, transnational corporations and the individuals who guide them with no regard whatsoever to the continuing stability and health of the local community which must should in theory be the benefactor of trade, provided that the ownership has a vested interest in such a community. The perverse concept of total laissez faire economics actually lessens the ability of the markets to be either free or fair and when coupled with an inherently corrupt political system in which the largest of corporations are able to throw money around by the bushel like a rancher feeding slop to pigs to eliminate regulatory oversight and stack the deck in their favor it is anything but a free market and the small business owners as well as the consumers are the ones who are getting the shaft. Most Americans don’t even get the benefit of a reach around by the ‘invisible hand’ while being buggered by the unfettered ‘free market’.
The reason that I have labeled this particular function of the WSJ as ‘the bad’ is that it perpetuates the very forces that are destroying the American dream as well as laying bare the extremely unpleasant fact that unregulated capitalism is a failed economic system destined to one day (the sooner the better) assume it’s rightful place in the family plot of doomed ideologies next to the grave of totalitarian communism.
The Ugly: The one part of the WSJ that is the grossest and sleaziest by far is the Editorial Page which is probably the most overtly biased in the land not owned by either Rupert Murdoch or Richard Mellon Sciafe and which serves as a direct mainline from the think tanks and GOP propaganda mills to the targeted segments of the public who treat the Journal as the gospel itself. The Op Ed section is chock full of slanted and just plain nasty viewpoints dripping with poison pen vitriol that is designed to prop up whatever extreme right wing figures or organizations happen to be under fire at any particular time and to ALWAYS, no matter what happens discredit the hated liberals and act as a defender for political and corporate malfeasance or the extreme right.
It is the on the Op Ed page where the Journal crawls into the gutters and slimes around with the slugs with what is without a doubt the meanest, most subjective and dishonest staff of propaganda producing hacks this side of FOX News. Whether they be loudly whining about the evil bogeyman of dreaded liberal media ‘bias’, bashing progressive social programs and sane foreign policy the house columnists are geared towards promoting the same policies of divisiveness that their beloved Republican party touts, for their system to function according to their desires it is of the utmost importance to create phantoms in order to keep the poor pitted one against another so as they never realize the gross inequalities of the system itself. The worst nightmare of the elitists is for people to start grasping the unpleasant realities and to begin to question and to organize for that will be the beginning of the end for their beloved neo-liberalism and crony capitalism. Nowhere was the propaganda of the WSJ Op Ed section more blatant and outright deceptive as in their labeling of the poor, who pay no taxes as ‘Luckie Duckies’, a two word think tank created marketing phrase that utilized the twisted, through the looking glass logic that the poorest of Americans who had insufficient income to be liable for any sort of taxes were somehow the most fortunate of all.
Overall, the Wall Street Journal runs slightly (but not much) to the left of Benito Mussolini, a man whose ‘corporatism’ was fawned over by Fortune Magazine which featured Il Duce on it’s cover in the 1930’s as an example of a pro business leader, of course this was before fascism became a dirty word and well before it became businiess as usual on Wall Street and in Washington.