Today the typically ludicrous Wall Street Journal editorial page stands up for its boss Rupert Murdoch, whose empire is sinking into an ever-expanding scandal morass. (Over the weekend, the Times summed it up best with the incredible headline: "Taint From Tabloids Rubs Off on a Cozy Scotland Yard"—"Taint" since discreetly changed to "Stain"). The Journal's editorials and op-eds are renowned for their cartoonish "THE BUMS LOST!" ranting, and today's entry is particularly roaring, as the paper frames the News Corp. scandal as an assault on "press freedom in general":
We also trust that readers can see through the commercial and ideological motives of our competitor-critics. The Schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. They want their readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp. journalists across the world
Even though Les Hinton, the Journal's publisher, was just fired by Murdoch, the Journal wants readers to know that they've got nothing to do with this mess. Trust them! And the "braying" liberal "mob" trying to rub tabloid taint on the prestigious Journal should tread very carefully, because "the last time the liberal press demanded a media prosecutor, it was to probe the late conservative columnist Robert Novak in pursuit of White House aide Scooter Libby. But the effort soon engulfed a reporter for the New York Times, which had led the posse to hang Novak and his sources. Do our media brethren really want to invite Congress and prosecutors to regulate how journalists gather the news?"
Good point, Wall Street Journal: This whole journalistic integrity thing is a real house of cards! If the lamestream media doesn't circle the wagons around News Corp, who knows what the guv'ment will start investigating next? First they came for the tabloids... and by the time they came for Mother Jones, only the blogs were left to "speak out" (i.e., copy and paste from Daily Kos open threads).