In last Thursday’s edition, a reader wrote a letter explaining why the Wall Street Journal is the most important newspaper in this country. I like it so much I pay to subscribe to both the online version and the “dead tree version,” as their columnist John Fund has described it. The weekly television program The Journal Editorial Report, formerly on PBS but now on Fox News, is good, too. The host is Paul Gigot, the Journal’s editorial page editor. Here’s the letter:
The WSJ’s Early Storm Warnings
The Journal’s editorial page has an incredibly accurate track record in predicting problems that would result from bad economic policy decisions over the last 10 years. I know, because I remember your warnings about loose monetary policy in the early 2000s, the pernicious effects of the growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and so on.
To my knowledge, only The Economist comes close to the Journal’s record in having the foresight to warn about the root causes of the global crisis we’re living through today. Yet strangely, in my opinion, you have done a very poor job of publicizing your track record and proving that the causes of today’s problems are actually understandable and were quite foreseeable. Some regular readers like me may remember your warnings over the years, yet I doubt the majority does.
More importantly, non-Journal readers are totally oblivious to your track record. The reason this is important is that a misunderstanding of the true causes of today’s crisis may lead to disastrous new policy errors — witness Barney Frank’s new proposal on guaranteeing municipal bond issues, which you recently warned about (“Barney Frank’s Double Indemnity,” Review & Outlook, April 17).
In order to set the record straight, here is a modest recommendation: Summarize in a full page all the editorials over the last 10 years that warned against policy errors which were not addressed and led to the problems we are having today. Publish it on the editorial page and take full-page ads in competing mass print and online media . You’ll be getting recognition for your track record, bolstering your influence going forward, and educating the public at large. A win-win for you and the country.
It truly is America’s newspaper. I’m a long time subscriber and have gotten a little miffed at their fall-in-line with the MSM approach to more articles as time goes by. If they would keep thinking for themselves they’d really outstrip the anemic competition. As it is now, I’m thinking about canceling my subscription. I can get the Administration’s point of view anywhere. I can’t, however, consistently get the opposition viewpoint presented. The WSJ is really the last paper standing and it needs to work a little harder.
The WSJ is an excellent newspaper. It is amazing how we purchased a one year subscription for $99.00 a year for 6 days a week and when I contacted the Wichita Eagle to ask for the same rate they told me NO, consequently, I did not renew my Wichita Eagle.