The Struggle Inside The Wall Street Journal

Feb 14, 2017 · 557 comments
Krakra (<br/>)
Mr. Leonhardt, could you please give examples of how "On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage." Without specific examples, how can that statement be responsible? Is it presenting more than one side of an issue that distorts coverage? or questioning of the status quo that makes it left-leaning? Bias is certainly difficult to eliminate, but I'll take intelligent exploration of a story any day over propaganda. That IS what we're talking about in the press these days.
Fred (Up North)
The was time after that Australian bought the WSJ when you could still count on great reporting from the reporters and ignore the inanities of the Editorial-types on the opinion pages..
Murdoch and his minions like Baker taint everything they touch. They are not conservative, they are destroyers.
Clayton (Los Angeles)
The Fox News motto, "Fair and Balanced", reminds me of the official name of North Korea: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Both boldly claiming to be the opposite of what they are.
Daedalus (Boston, Ma.)
The NYT should go after Journal staff and put together a very strong business section and let WSJ go down the drain.
J McGloin (Brooklyn)
Media does not lean left. Reporters may lean left, but they are at the bottom of the food chain. 75% of the shareholders are in the top 1%. They are the haves and have mores. They don't buy news organizations because news is profitable. They buy news organizations so they can control what gets discussed and how it gets discussed.
Supply side economics, including tax cuts for the rich, austerity for the rest, and deregulation has never worked, but global corporate mass media keeps pretending it's a viable theory, since 1980.
Terrorism kills almost no one compared to any other cause of death, but we are constantly bombarded with terror news, terror warnings and demands to go to war against terror. A liberal press would never take a war on a technique seriously. A war on terror doesn't really mean anything, except a never ending excuse to commit violence.
Publishers and producers know what their shareholders want and they decide what we see and what gets hidden, not reporters.
The media is biased toward the mega rich, just as government is.
S B (Ventura, Ca)
As disturbing a Billionaire buying up media outlets to control the message is, even more disturbing is the number of people who will actively seek out the slanted messages to confirm their bias.

This is not journalism, and leads us down a very dark path. When policy is constructed from false information, we all suffer. We deserve better !
Kevin Bitz (Reading, PA)
I only listen to the BBC..... 20 years from now nobody is going to remember who was Fox News or even Rupert... but they will remember Obama and that's what irks the GOP.
Ed Lazar (Gig Harbor, WA)
I am reminded of the cliche "People who live in glass houses shouldn't cast stones". While I might argue NYT is a bit more artful in their leanings, few would argue that NYT is unbiased and plays it straight down the middle. We need only look at how this newspaper covered Ms. Clinton's email, ahem, indiscretions. The fact of the matter is, despite my desire to treat NYT as the "paper of record", I need to get my news from a variety of sources these days, from WSJ to NYT, from HuffPost to Drudge, in order to figure out some semblance of the entire truth...
Isabella Saxon (San Francisco, CA)
I wouldn't cite the media attacking Clinton's emails as a high point for journalism. Quite the opposite. Just a word to the wise.
Bob K. (Monterey, CA)
You find the news stories of the WSJ becoming more politicized? Have you trained your eyes on the news stories of your employer? The front page of the NYT is looking more and more like something I would expect a community activist group to put out to charge up its troops. Reading it gives the impression that we're living in a pervasive, suffocating dystopia in which Donald Trump has seeped into every nook and cranny of our lives. And all of it to bad effect, of course.

You're right, having the WSJ fall into this mode would be a loss.
Its terrible how the NYT is covering the daily deluge of LIES - they should just let it go.
kathleen880 (Ohio)
Very well said, and entirely true.
Present (Texas)
I'm just waiting for the WSJ to operate as fair. To hack with balanced. Just arguably fair. Murdoch is a sad and twisted figure, who sought to turn public perception to his way via seriously distorted lenses. Just feed the public what will support your agenda, and let the prols fall where they may.
And their children. And refugees. And all manner of Others.
Gerry Professor (BC Canada)
I shall let others comment on the biases in the news, but as to "factually" reporting of numbers, studies, and polls, both the WSJ and NYT fail. The journalist lack any comprehension of what they are writing about, much less understanding the methodological and interpretive narrative.

Case in point a recent NYT on housing prices and land use regulations. The academic study and the journalist's narrative were truly laughable. Most journalists do not even recognize such statistical differences as average, median, typical, much less significance (practical vs. statistical)--and I will not even attempt here to relate all of the journalistic absurdities that reporters place into their articles on longitudinal studies of "income" distribution.
Glen Goldstein (Narrowsburg, NY)
In this era when too many Americans viscerally distrust the media, we need at least one conservative, right-wing news outlet to show strong ethics, if only so the most anti-mainstream consumers might say, "I don't trust the media, but I dunno... if the pro-business WSJ said it too, maybe it's the truth after all."

I can only hope that the WSJ will step up here to fill the void.
wfisher1 (Iowa)
I don't agree with the use of the "liberal bias" argument. Is it not possible reporters and the media tend to "lean" left because the arc of history is ever bending towards those principles expressed by liberal philosophy? Is that not why Republicans work so hard to keep our attention on red-meat issues?

Is it not possible that after being exposed to facts and details from their profession, media people tend to see the validity of liberal positions on the issues of the day?

I believe by using the term "liberal bias", the right wing puts liberals on the defensive. Is it necessary, for example, to defend why we think government should help those less fortunate? Or should they defend why the poor should be left to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps"? I'd say the latter.
Larry N (Los Altos CA USA)
I believe "liberalism" is like thermodynamic entropy, always increasing as the natural complexity of our social world increases, in new problems, new awareness and understanding, and new solutions that emerge over time. The increase can only be limited through conservative forces who deny these ever-increasing complexities, and try to maintain a false simplicity.
Miffed in Mass (South Hadley)
On a flight home from Florida this January I decided to pick up a copy of the WSJ instead of the NYT. I have a digital subscription to the Times and wanted to see what the Journal had to say about Trump and the world.

I used to get a paper copy of the Journal about five years ago and stopped just because, no real reason. I remember the editorial pages being somewhat right of center (maybe because I'm a progressive?) but I really enjoyed the world news. The detail was excellent and I felt that I was getting as unbiased a view of world events as was possible, since we all have a point of view.

I must say that I was shocked when I read the paper from cover to cover on the four hour flight. The difference was like night and day. The world events had a rightist slant to them, usually referring to something Obama did or didn't do to help or harm the situation, and the editorial pages were like reading an alt-right publication.

It was just before the inauguration, so some enthusiasm was understandable, but there wasn't even the slightest hint that Trump could possibly be bad for the country, or that he had temperament issue (kind words for a bully) in their writings.

Like I said, the difference was astounding. Prior to reading the paper I thought I would get another subscription. I decided against high-faluting alternative facts.
Stan D (Chicago)
The most tell-tale evidence of the Journal going soft on Trump was the almost total lack of investigative reporting during the election campaign on his business empire. That work was largely left to the Post and Times. One would have have expected more from America's financial and business newspaper. Appearances were not helped when last summer the Murdochs sat down with Trump for lunch at the Trump Scotland golf course. In terms of his cabinet nominations, largely from the worlds of finance and business, it has been more editorial endorsements than investigative reporting. Anthony Puzder, the labor pick, and a frequent op-ed writer in the Journal, is the beneficiary of a defensive editorial today. As a longtime reader of the Journal, a major disappointment is the opinion pages. The op-ed contributors come from the same stable of usual suspects, whose views are known by simply reading the byline. The cost-saving reduction of three sections to two has also resulted in less coverage of such useful topics as personal healthcare and technology. Resubscribing to the Journal now seems less compelling.
Chris Gray (Chicago)
I don't know that it would have prevented the outcome of the 2016 election, but the result would not have been as shocking if the NY Times and other corporate media outlets had not been so clearly engaged in the ideological journalism with which the author labels Murdoch's news products. I admit it's really become clear to me post-election that the Times was not only in the tank for Hillary, but that their whole worldview precluded seeing a reality in which good people in the Midwest might disagree with their misguided assumptions enough to elect Trump. If the Times or CNN or the major media networks stepped back from their corporatism and neoliberal ideology, they would see a world in which both parties are opposed to the interests of non-professional people, particularly in the manufacturing belt. The Times favors the Democrats, the Journal favors the Republicans, but they're all cut from the same cloth.
You're equating what amounts at most to tone-deafness with gross intention to mislead and dark ulterior motives.
Fintan (Orange County, CA)
Let's be clear: The Journal lost all sense of integrity the minute Murdoch bought it. Today's issues are more of the same, not something new.
Tim Torkildson (Provo, Utah)
An editor, name of G. Baker,
Wanted to be a muckraker.
But only if news
Conformed to his views
That Trump is a gallant peacemaker.
dorkus54 (Southwest US)
herein lies the problem: modern conservatism's "belief" system overrules evidence and scholarly discipline, according to them. terms like "liberal beliefs" dismisses the rational approach that most left-leaning people take towards politics and society in general. privileging the past at the expense of the future retards progress and seems to concentrate on amassing wealth. not evil in itself, but not really a noble pursuit compare to others...
Ralphie (CT)
dorkus -- if you think the left takes a rational approach to their belief system then you need to do some rethinking. The left embraces identity politics, science that suits their liberal views (i.e. climate change) and reject science that doesn't fit (anything that shows racial differences on any dimension that might have a heritable component). The left reacts emotionally. The left seeks to eliminate free speech for those they agree with. The leftist media (such as the Times) cheery picks facts, omits important context, and even resorts to fudging facts in order to suit their narrative.

Yes, I think you should do some rethinking.
Randy Tucker (Ventura California)
In the eyes of many, many WSJ readers, the damage has already been done. There is no going back. At least without a "draining of the swamp" at the editorial and managerial level. And nobody believes that really is going to happen. So, thousands and thousands of people such as myself will just stop following the WSJ nearly as closely.
Tomas DeCali (St. Helena, California)
Murdoch hails from a country that forbade immigration of people of color for much of his early life. He has simply brought his fundamentally racist ideology to the US and creates divisions among Americans. Talk about an immigrant who poses an existential threat to the American Way!
Sherry Jones (Arizona)
Fox News wasn't started because the media had a liberal bias, it was created because up until 1995 Democrats had a strong and lasting majority in the House of Representatives, and the Republican party knew it would have to change some minds (and gerrymander some legislative districts) if it were ever going to win a majority in Congress. Fox News was Roger Ailes's brainchild to brainwash the (white) working class into believing that Democrat values of workers' rights was tantamount to socialism, and Republican values of business rights was "freedom." The Wall Street Journal under Rupert Murdoch is now peddling the same nonsense disguised as "news."
PogoWasRight (florida)
OK! OK! But, you guys are overlooking the most obvious pre-Trump direction when questioning a suspect: did he SHOW YOU his Birth Certificate? I don't know why I have to do your work for you........
MAALAN (Oregon)
My biases: skeptical of 'reporting'; trained as a ‘change agent’; registered Independent, formerly Peace & Freedom; voted Green for President; and by turns consider myself radical (getting to the root); liberal (as in liberty); centrist (governments ought to represent the bulk of people); conservative (environmentally) and pragmatic.

I read widely. When any one of us travels I get multiple news feeds from those countries or regions: Britain, India, South Africa, Central American, China, Thailand, etc. I would urge all of us to do so. We live in a US-centric bubble and are largely focused on '1st world problems.' Ditto for a spectrum of US centered news.

I've been impressed with the relatively neutral news coverage in WSJ as opposed to the NYT. Both have good writing (as does the New Yorker, Harpers, and other NY media), but the only slant in WSJ reporting (versus editorial/opinion) is being business-centric on topics, not coverage. Haven't noticed an appreciable difference since Murdoch but I'm not putting much weight on any one outlet and might not notice unless dramatic.

In defense of the WSJ, I've been struck by the relentlessly negative spin on many media outlets re the new Administration. Not that the Administration is helping themselves much, but surely there is another perspective.

On the topic of '7 muslim countries' I agree with Baker. Those countries were identified in the Obama administration and it is misleading to omit that context.
Paul (Los Angeles)
"The most successful modern publisher of ideological journalism..." Have you looked at your newspaper? The WSJ has been just as aggressive on the Trump administration as any media outlet; it just tends to skip all the shrill chicken little stories that pass for journalism in the NYT.
Steve (Seattle, WA)
It used to be remarkable how often assertions made on the WSJ's editorial pages were refuted on its front page. Not so much anymore...
Potlemac (Stow MA)
The fact that we are even discussing the proper role of the media is an indication of the decline of our freedom. Where are the great journalistic thinkers of the past? Would they be tolerated in our commercial society? Instead of an nation of individuals, we have become a nation of merchants. In contemporary America (Trump World), the clothes do make the man or woman, and let's judge everything by it's cover. Fair and balanced? The joke is on us.
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood)
There is an important difference between news that has a liberal bias and "news" that is designed as right wing propaganda.
Ralphie (CT)
W.A. -- why don't you present an example of what you consider right wing propaganda printed in the WSJ vs something on the same topic that only shows "liberal bias" from the Times. Bet you can't. Know you won't. You know why? Because the Times is much more ideological than the WSJ by a long stretch.
Djanga (Dallas, Tx)
When Murdoch got hold of the WSJ, you knew it was doomed. It's a shame, isn't it?
Brian Alkire (Seattle)
To the WSJ Reporters who desire their self-respect. And to those who wish to not be on the wrong side of history because they know this going to get ugly. Real ugly. Please leave the WSJ immediately. En masse. Make the WSJ what it is already becoming, The National Enquirer in pinstripes. Its pages are already dotted with poisonous half truths. Don't stick around for when it starts spouting whole-cloth lies. Thanks.
diogenes (tennessee)
What you say and advocate is true for close to 90% of daily newspapers in the U.S. who are simply courtesans with computers and prostitutes with pens for the self anointed soicio-economic elite both here and abroad and their corporate interests. The big advertisers either own the papers outright or dictate their reporting and editorials.
Gary (New York)
And, just when I switched to the WSJ for hard news coverage because of disappointment over the quality of the New York Times. As a liberal and life long Democrat, I have read the NYT religiously since law school and as an undergrad had the privilege of meeting NYT titans such as John Oakes and RW Apple when they returned to share wisdom and anecdotes with college journalists who came after them. I wonder if the "Old Guard" from the Times would have misjudged the mood of the country so badly and been so wrong about the outcome of the election. Call it nostalgia, but I am more concerned over how the biases of the NYT seems to pervade its hard news coverage through the emphasis/sheer numbers of stories on certain "news" topics (often seemingly paired with a coincidentally available opinion pieces), questions asked (or not) by reporters, story placement, etc. Although I more times than not agree with NYT editorial positions, I am concerned about a too pervasive drum beat throughout its pages. Bottom line is holding the NYT to a higher standard--and being disappointed.
Sfojimbo (California)
Liberal Bias?

If that's allowed to infest our news we'll soon have round Earthers running rampant.
dan rather (boston)
basically this article shows how out of touch NYT columnists are. In their mind it is perfectly normal behavior to slam the GOP and fawn over Dems; and to do the converse is grounds for review. Has Leonhardt noticed the NYT news section has become a partisan joke? I still subscribe but I really have less and less confidence that the news is straight.
Stiv Goulden (Indianapolis)
Nice try dan. Converse sounds smart. But the converse of X can only be a thing if X is a conditional statement. So: If you use words incorrectly then you are a dope. Converse: If you are a dope then you use words incorrectly. See? In that case the Converse is mostly true!
Jay (Florida)
I subscribe the WSJ as I do the NYT. Sadly, both papers have a tendency to politicize issues through articles either through liberal or conservative bias. The Journal though has taken a more distorted point of view and has not made any effort regarding "fake news" and "alternative facts". The Journal has right leaning views "on abortion, education, parenting and religions and "it lets leaning beliefs too often distort coverage." I recently was asked to participate in survey of subscribers and I made my view clearly known.
The credibility of the WSJ is at great risk. If the Journal is unwilling or unable to report the news without the corrupting influence of strong left wing ideology and dogma then we shall witness the slow death of a venerable American news paper.
AMM (New York)
My husband has worked in the financial industry for 30 years. The WSJ, as well as the NYT, arrived at our doorstep daily for many, many years. We're both New Yorkers, those were our papers. And about 5 years ago we canceled the WSJ subscription because it became unreadable. If I want propaganda, I know where to go. I wanted news, financial news in particular. It's been long in coming, but the WSJ is not a paper I ever want to read again.
Mike C. (Walpole, MA)
Well, you come to the right place! The NY Times is chock full o' leftist propaganda. Still waiting to hear about any WSJ reporters disparaging the First Lady...seems par for the course here at the NY Times. But you'll never read about it here.
Philip Maher (New York)
I had the same experience but I canceled my subscription about a year after Murdoch took over, when it was obvious the WSJ's new editors were partisan. I recommend you try the Financial Times. It's expensive, and it's not perfect (nothing is), but the quality of journalism is excellent.
Aquavidis (San Diego)
Well written article that strikes at the core of what makes our democracy great - or what made it great. Journalists should seek to report the truth. How we politicize facts is far game. But the truth is not subject to opinion. The Wall Street Journal has been among the nation's journalistic jewels. To see it tarnished or to worry that it might veer towards supporting an alt-right world view is disheartening.
Jacqueline (Colorado)
Wait, the NYT aspires to objectivity? I mean, most of the articles for the last month have focused solely on the "resistance," like the people are the Jedi and Trump is Darth Vader. There are NO independent, objective places to get media anymore.

If there is one thing I learned from 2016, it is to not trust any media. All media is biased, there are no more Walter Cronkites, and one has to read multiple stories and first person interviews in order to get even the basic picture on an issue. The media has helped create division by giving up its role as arbiter of the truth. NYT today is just as liberal as Mother Jones. Meanwhile, sites like Breitbart get millions of readers because today people like to reaffirm what they think they know instead of change their opinions or recognizing facts.
sam finn (california)
Most of the media, including the NTY, have been leaning left long before Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes came along.
The leftward lean intruded not only on their editorial or opinion pages but on their selection of the "news".
Just because the news that is reported is not false does not mean that the news reporting is not biased.
Most of the media has often showed leftward bias not only in the selection of subjects for news stories but also within the news stories, in the selection of which facts to report.
Furthermore, a typical device bordering on fake news is to report opinion disguised as news by various techniques, such as "news" stories that report "concerns" that "some" (some people, or some selected supposed "expert") have about this or that. "Selection bias" also shows up here in selecting the supposed "experts" whose opinions are cited.
Another technique is to use "false bipartisanship" or "contrived bipartisanship" to make a news story look "balanced" by trying to make it look like it is presenting "both sides" merely by digging up one or two Republican politicians who say something that agrees with what most of the Democrats are saying.
As for the WSJ, it has always done a better job -- far from a perfect job, but at least a better job -- than the NYT about keeping opinion out of its news stories, including use of selection bias to do so.
Russell Manning (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
I am disappointed that Leonhardt didn't include the departure of two highly respected WSJ employees: One, Rebecca Blumenstein, a top editor there, jumped ship to join The New York Times as Deputy Editor, the second highest position; the other left to join Breitbart. May we infer that the climate had become intolerably too conservative for one and not fascist enough for the other. I recall my years of travel to the U.K. in the 70s, 80s, and my joy in reading the London Times. On one stay when I had taken a cottage along the Thames, I had the Times and The Guardian delivered to enjoy with my morning coffee as I caught glimpses outside my French windows of egrets wading near the shore and onto the lawn near me. Bliss! But my last visit which took place after Murdoch's takeover, revealed the disappearance of superb journalism and brilliant writing.
Mytwocents (New York)
I find The Wall Street Journal under Baker much, much better than the NYT under Dean Baquet. It is fair and balanced. I also enjoy the lack of sharp edges and tear jerking stories on immigrants, Muslims, and any other group on earth, save Americans or god forbid, white Americans. That any race in this country can openly lobby for itself and pursue its interest, but the moments whites do this are called white supremacists, is a disgrace.

Every critic Leonhardt made here of WSJ, can also be said about the NYT's coverage, just much, much stronger and with a liberal, anti Trump basis.
Impact matters (Boston)
This is veering very close to parody. The NYT is accusing the WSJ of bias in it's reporting? I guess it's news because the WSJ does have balance- which is perhaps at some risk - where the NYT doesn't even pretend to be objective.
Krish (SF Bay Area)
The problem is when a fine meal is tainted with a handful of turd, it makes it completely inedible.

You can't just eat your way around it -- even if you are willing to give it a go, without being able to know which is which and which cook crafted that piece.
J.S. (Houston)
I was (emphasis on was) a WSJ subscriber until last week. I cancelled after many years because the WSJ has lost focus on its core mission as a business newspaper and has severely shrunk the paper's contents. Ever since Trump's election, the paper has focused obsessively on Trump and has provided very little business news content. I don't need the WSJ for political coverage, as I can turn to the NYT for political news. Further, the WSJ used to consist of four sections: a front section on general and business news, a second section on business news, a third section on markets, and a fourth section on lifestyle news. In November, the WSJ compressed the paper into two sections, a front section (that seems to focus exclusively on Trump) and a second section on business news. The price remained the same for less news. That's why I cancelled. If the WSJ newsroom continues with its internicene strife, I wouldn't be surprised if the paper folds completely.
diogenes (tennessee)
Never happen. This is the main propaganda organ for the trans-national corporations and financial institutions in the U.S. It will be around (unfortunately for a long time.
Steven Roth (New York)
It's very unusual to see one respected newspaper attack another.

In truth the NYTimes has also become much more "politicized" over the last few years.

These two papers (and I read both every day) are much like MSNBC and Fox - which I used to watch every night - but got sick and tired of the Left and Right bias. Now I just watch CNN which at least tries to occupy the middle. There is no good middle choice when it comes to newspapers.

I suppose it all just reflects the increasing polarization taking place in this country.
Allen Hurlburt (Tulelake, CA)
Good commentary. I have seen that the WSJ has reported with a soft touch on everything Trump. During the campaign, the WSJ hammered Clinton as did other media on her emails, ect. Both actions swayed the election in Trumps favor. I do subscribe to the online Journal because I want a different view of the news. The NYTimes is a great news outlet, but they also are biased on the liberal side. I refuse to read or listen to Fox because of their pulp rag type of reporting. It is very difficult to get an informed viewpoint in this age of Trump. It takes work and a thick skin, especially reading Trumps tweets and looking for what is real and what is garbage.
WSF (Ann Arbor)
Let's face it, we are no better off in 2017 then the folks milling about in a crossroad tavern in 1750 listening to the stories from afar being told by the stagecoach driver about the news from his recent stops. Has the story been embellished to be almost a whopper? That is the question to be answered by discerning folks on the spot. Reality or fiction can be elusive. The dilemma continues.
TimothyCotter (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Meanwhile, the meat of the paper gets smaller, and there's less to read, with no longer form journalism (RM doesn't like). There is still the Mansion section on Fridays, which is essential journalism. And things have gotten so bad (or good) that Bret Stephens has become their principal exposer of Trump and friends' antics. Hopefully RM moves to the great bullpen in the sky and his boys see that still they have something to save.
Ron (New Haven)
Foreigners should not be allowed to own news outlets in the US. Period. Murdoch should go back to Australia where he came for and leave democracy to those who respect facts, data, and the constitution. It is unfortunate that so many white Americans look to Fox News for their information and do not seem o realize they a re being duped by a charlatan. Fox stations are blocked in my house and I encourage others to do the same.
Mike (Santa Clara, CA)
"Foreigners should not be allowed to own news outlets in the US. Period. "

Ron, that strikes me as being "Un-American." (just kidding)
Jeezlouise (Ethereal Plains)
Murdoch became an American citizen more than 15 years ago. Or is that still too "foreign" for you?
Mike James (Charlotte)
The sheer hypocrisy and lack of self awareness would be breathtaking were it not for its source.

No the WSJ is not Fox News, but the NYT sure matches Fox news in its overt partisanship.

Physician, heal thyself.
Philip Currier (Paris, France./ Beford, NH)
Excellent and important article and some very thoughtful responses. Anne- Marie Hilsop probably hit-the-nail-on-the-head. I am disappointed there were not more responses, though probably I shouldn't be surprised. But very nice job.. Keep it up.
Dan Denisoff (New York)
I can't stop laughing. A NY Times editorial on the politicization of the WSJ? Are you serious? The NY Times is one of the most biased and predictable news sources in America and unfortunately, sets the agenda for the rest of the mainstream media.

The Journal is by far the most objective and reliable media outlet in the country. And the Times? This op-ed another example of the decline of the Grey Lady.
LIChef (East Coast)
I started to see these problems at The Journal as soon as Obama took office. That's when my subscription ended.

We have to support the remaining legitimate media in this country and The Wall Street Journal is not among them. Kudos to the honest journalists there for standing up for their rights.
Awonder (New Jersey)
The WSJ does not print a story allegedly about Trump's white supremacist support, and prints few stories about climate change and frightened immigrants. OK, but the NY Times has the opposite bias: Most headlines and stories highlight negatives about the current administration. Have you nothing good to say about Trump's directions? Sometimes I laugh when I read both--and flip between CNN/MSNBC and Fox--to see how different the takes are on the same developments. The media has become more and more polarized, contributing to widespread anger and fear. The best a reader/viewer can do is read/watch both sides and evolve his/her own thoughts, more complex than any of the sources alone.
rngchem (Texas)
I read both the WSJ and the NYT. The NYT is clearly liberal bias, in fact hard left. But very creative and a pleasure to read. The WSJ I can't say leans hard right. It is like reading a paper created from the left side of the brain and another from the right. You don't get a good overall view without looking at both. However you do know the left side hates Trump, while the right is indifferent to any party. Both papers are good papers. The NYT has a lot of creativity and that's the only reason I come back. Because to me an indifferent it gets exhausting.
The Owl (New England)
Perhaps the creativity that you see in the NY Times has more to do with the fictions that they are trying to construct to support their ideological leanings.

Suggesting the the NY Times is not biased is farcical if not downright delusional.
ez123 (Texas)
Sounds like a case of projection by the NYT. You claim the desire for objectiveness, but you do not seek it in yourselves.
dfv (Memphis, Tenn)
We are truly postmodern. Nothing and everything is true. All is Twitter. Chaos as a governing style probably won't work well, but retiring to a bunker is too depressing. Can we consider Trump a farcical interlude and just wake up in 2020?
Ralphie (CT)
Rich Leonhardt -- any left bent Times "journalist" worrying about the WSJ being politically biased -- because they are owned by Rupert Murdoch. As if the fact that Carlos Slim owns the Times means nothing.

I tell you what. I read the Times for amusement and to see what the unhinged far left is up to. When I want the truth on a story, I read the WSJ.

Ain't no more complex than that.
Bill Smith (NYC)
The media is not liberally biased. Leonhardt contradicts himself in his own article. "Which is why the media reported so aggressively on Hillary Clinton’s emails, damaging her badly." Reported so aggressively on a non scandal. I have yet to see one article from the times NYT about how Trump and many on his team are using a private server for their email, which is actually happening right now.
Rodney (Florida)
To put the record straight, during the 1990's Murdoch's papers in the UK supported Blair's Labor government, and The Sun, especially, played an important part in getting Blair reelected.
vulcanalex (Tennessee)
If they don't like management they have a simple solution, quit and start an organization more to your liking. Most of the whining seems to be not having as biased reporting as the NYT.
JC (New York)
For the past 15 years. WSJ has been a regular daily read for me along with the NYT and WaPo. No longer. I used to read the WSJ for its great reporting and independent journalism even though I hated the opinion pages, but I've noticed that its incisive reporting has been watered down since Trump was elected. Last week, I cancelled my subscription to the WSJ. Very sad that this great institution has been turned into another Murdoch outpost for partisan reporting.
T Montoya (ABQ)
Let's not hold out hope that the sons are going to improve the situation. We spend decades talking about dictatorships and remark, "Let's just wait this out, the sons are much more moderate than the current leader."
I cancelled my WSJ subscription when Murdoch bought the paper. I loved the WSJ. I used to love reading both the WSJ and the NY Times every morning. Not only has the WSJ gotten worse but I fear it's impacted the quality of the NY Times.
mannypons (Wilkes-Barre)
I saw that coming when Murdoch bought the WSJ. I was a subscriber for almost 35 years when I dropped my subscription, I'm pleased I did it.
Imagemaker (Buffalo, NY)
Mr. Leonhardt would do well to point his finger at the NYT's own “shaving off the edges," especially when reporting and editorializing about the Palestinians.
BH (Houston)
What is "left-leaning" reporting about parenting? Please explain.
Samme Chittum (90065)
I saw first hand at the New York Post what happens to a newspaper's newsroom leadership and culture after Rupert Murdoch takes over. He brings in his people, who relentlessly push his right-wing agenda from the top down and also undermine adherence to traditional journalistic practices, such as not doctoring quotes, that even tabloids respect. Editors and reporters who don't play along will find their stories in jeopardy and also their careers. I hope the journalists at the WSJ put up a better fight. And that Murdoch's age will take it's toll sooner rather than later, and his sons will replace him.
Christy (Blaine, WA)
The Foxification of the WSJ was assured as soon as Murdoch bought the paper. As such, it has lost all credibility and has become just another mouthpiece for the "fake news" put out by Trump and his minions.
Robert L (Western NC)
Although it was not the main topic of this piece, I thank Mr. Leonhardt for exposing the objectives of Rupert Murdoch. I well remember back in the '80s when the Fox Network (before Fox News) had a "news" program titled "A Current Affair". Its approach to news presentation, in my view, was comparable to that of the "National Enquirer" and similar tabloids one chuckles at while standing in the grocery store checkout line.

Now we have a whole network of it, of course.
John G (Torrance, CA)
The Wall Street Journal transformed within months of Murdoch's takeover. Rather abruptly, it became a dumbed down version of it's former self and became a political mouthpiece of the right. Within a year, I dropped my subscription because of frustration with it's political perspective and loss of informational value.
allseriousnessaside (Washington, DC)
"But The Journal’s news pages, like those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity."

A great example of the pot is calling the kettle black.

As a Sanders supporter, whose campaign was kept a virtual secret by this newspaper and WaPo, to which I also subscribe, until it could no longer be ignored, and even then often treated unequally to Clinton's (see one P. Krugman's columns, e.g., and virtually any week's front-page count of positive HRC articles vs. anything, positive or negative, about Sanders), I find the claim of objectivity by this columnist shows a remarkable lack of self-awareness, as evidenced by a devastated newsroom after the election being told by an editor "we did everything we could" (to paraphrase) to many weeping reporters/HRC supporters.

The NYT is still the closest we have to a "paper of record," but, unfortunately, the record it offers is as biased and incomplete as the WSJ may be in its lean to the right.
kathleen880 (Ohio)
This is the irony of all ironies. The New York Times is one of the most biased newspapers I have ever read. You guys have never seen a liberal cause which you do not embrace. Even your headlines betray your prejudice.
I have been horribly surprised and truly dismayed at the continual leftist slant of your articles. Editorials, fine. But articles - nearly all of them?!
My take on the WSJ is that the staff fear that they are not being permitted to lean left - so they are complaining.
I still read the NYTimes, but I'm not sure how much longer I can stand it.
Abby (Tucson)
I'm not impressed with either of his sons having watched the onion peel at the Leveson Inquiry.

I saw a lot of lazy supervision at NewsCorp and BSkyB aimed at keeping a distance from their criminal enterprises. Like hiring a guy to steal tape from his former paper, pass it on to BBC for airing so James can walk up to a mike and say, "Really?!" But since no one listens to him, they had to put on the whole puppet play again to get Cable's bottom snapped for saying the Murdochs deserve war for their attempts to take over the British press.

Murdoch holds forty percent of it, and with the Russians, that's a majority. Now you know how Brexit made it.

The WSJ will wander in darkness for forty more years.
russ (St. Paul)
Murdoch, Ailes, O'Reilly, Trump: a batting order of snake oil salesmen. Actual journalist know that the Enlightenment happened and most of them think pretty well of it - pay attention to fact and logic and report what you find.
That's not the way the WSJ editorial page works. A billionaire protecting a tax break wants news saying the motive is small government. A vain, vengeful, conman realtor, waking up to find himself in the White House, doesn't want newspapers reminding the public of his dishonesty and incompetence.

The split between the news and the editorial sections of the WSJ has always been astonishingly great. That happens when the editorial section is run by flunkies taking orders.
sprag80 (Philadelphia, PA)
If one wants to really appreciate Trump cheerleading courtesy of the WSJ, listen to the "WSJ Opinion: Potomac Watch" Podcast. If our Nation's welfare was not hanging in the balance, it's almost comedic listening to Paul Gigot and Kim Strassel tie themselves into knots defending the Trump Administration's latest kerfuffle/atrocity.
hhhman (NJ)
Any day now I expect to see the WSJ published in a fold-over format. It has become a financial tabloid.
Charlie Schmidt (Portland ME)
I've actually been turning to the WSJ more often lately because I feel the NYT has become overly politicized. To me the greater problem is that the NYT's coverage is relentlessly driven by social grievances and identity politics: race, gender, LGTBQ, black lives matter, transgender issues that permeate everything in the newspaper from politics to movie reviews. At the same time, the WSJ's coverage is slanted towards a conservative bias that's particularly bothersome (to me anyway) with respect to climate change. We just have to read both papers and filter out the noise--identity politics from the NYT and anti-environmental climate change denialism from the WSJ--and ferret out the common ground in between.
IndyAnna (Carmel, iN)
I don't watch cable news of any kind or troll political websites I read the WSJ and the NYT to get both ends of the spectrum ( and great journalism in both cases) and decide for myself. I think the WSJ is still a great paper if you stop before the editorial page which is very conservative and often reflects the mean spirited rhetoric we have come to expect from the GOP. Of course, I am a liberal and I am sure my conservative friends stop reading the NYT before the opinion page, as well. I was disappointed when the WSJ was sold to Murdoch but I think the journalists have tried to be objective and their reporting is factual and sources are verified as opposed to FOX that makes things up and reports opinions as facts.
Ken Camarro (Fairfield, CT)
Rupert Murdoch is an immigrant to America and he treats our political system and the majority of Americans like dirt. He is a political sociopath.

It would be nice to see Donald Trump vette out folks like well-to-do Murdoch who come here to bend minds with false and misleading stories and angles.

He does it for the money. Will the Murdoch brothers steer a better course.

Murdoch like Sheldon Adelson are dottering in their mid 80s whose time has past. They own newspapers and think that these are their legitimate megaphones. They exploit human nature. Tyrants do this.
AC (Wichita KS)
I have noticed the rightward shift, but at least it is slow. I hope that those who follow Baker and Murdoch will be more in the mold of impartial journalists. Some WSJ columnists are mediocre - you can predict the content by the title. However, WSJ still has Bret Stephens whose scholarly writings are outstanding. In today's paper Judy Shelton argues for fixed exchange rates and cites the Bretton Woods agreements as a model of sound economics; this is interesting because the BW agreements, drafted in part by J. M. Keynes, are commonly thought of as examples of left wing liberalism.
MikeJ (NY, NY)
BTW-I canceled my subscription over a year ago having become fed up with their bias. Thanks to their incompetence, I have been receiving it free of charge ever since, although it usually ends up still wrapped in my garbage can.
Jack Nargundkar (Germantown, MD)
Except for a six-month period when I was a “starving student” back in 1991, I have been a continuous subscriber to The Wall Street Journal for almost 31 years. And, I have to agree with Mr. Leonhardt that I have watched “the news pages becoming more politicized” and the opinion pages become less and less objective over the past decade.

I had my doubts about how “fair and balanced” the Journal would remain after Murdoch purchased the paper back in 2007. In fact, when their weekly TV program “The Journal Editorial Report” moved from PBS to Fox News, I saw that as a blatant signal as to the direction in which the paper was headed.

It is troubling when Baker, the executive editor, starts dropping clichés like “fake news” because it brings with it a fear of the Journal’s descent into tabloid stature. Let’s hope I’m wrong because it would be hard to remain a loyal subscriber if that turned out to be true.
Tim (DC)
"I happen to agree that liberal bias can be a media problem. On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage. The Journal, and every newspaper, should indeed fight that problem."

Everything must be leveled with some form of a both sides narrative. It's killing our republic. Stop it.
JC (Atlanta)
Yeah, I stopped reading the WSJ when Murdoch took over. I predicted that it would turn into a right-wing rag and it has...
Tiger (Saturnalia)
I recommend Mr Leonhardt that he read the NY Times' own Public Editor regarding the Times' own bias during the election.

Bias is not just a conservative problem.
Bill (NJ)
Reading this article, I began to laugh. Not at the content, mind you, which may well be true. But the idea of NYT highlighting partisanship at the WSJ is truly comical. I have been reading the Times for over 25 years, and nonpartisan reporting has vanished. The Editorial pages are now indistinguishable from the rest of the paper. The NYT used to be yhe gold standard for new reporting, and I really miss it.
Vicki (Boca Raton, Fl)
I used to subscribe to the WSJ -- until Murdock bought it. I was often amazed at the disconnect between the well-researched and well written news in the main section of that paper and the editorial page. Often, it seemed as if the editorial writers (and many of the op-ed ones as well) had not even read what was in their own paper. Also, Leonhardt seems to forget that real facts have a liberal bias.
Betsy Herring (Edmond, OK)
Once the taint is there it is hard to remove in today's world that is turning upside down currently thanks to the neo-fascist Government in power. Anything Murdock generally has a right wind stench. He is like Dick Cheney corruptingall that come into contact and still the stinks remains. The Journal is doomed and should never have been sold to this pig man.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
Sure hope the Wall Street Journal veers towards the right-center, away from the noxious politicking of its owner, Rupert Murdoch (intentionally or not, allowing fake news to proliferate, and removing some independence from their journalists, a sad picture of an otherwise valuable 'paper'). If Fox Noise is any indication of meddling with the truth, and letting charlatans decide what the facts are, subjectively, we are doing serious harm to so many misinformed folks who only tune in, or read, alternate fact outlets. Do yourself a favor, and diversify your sources to reach the objective facts, fall where they may. Be skeptic, educate yourself, compare news; just because something happening locally or beyond our borders is not reported anymore, does not mean it is not going on anymore. Conversely, just because something is not being reported, doesn't mean it is nor real and of consequence to others. So, be active and search for what's going on, as nothing that occurs on Earth ought to be foreign to us. Otherwise, you may enslave yourself with the lies spilled by unscrupulous politicians intent in fooling you...and your pocket.
Tom Burnett (NYC NY)
Shame on you Mr. Leonhardt, Have you looked at the Times headlines and articles in the year. So biased in favor of Democrats and their polices. The editorials have been biased for years, but the reporters' work used to be fair and objective. Alas, no longer the case.

Richard Head (Mill Valley Ca)
I am no fan of the WSJ. However, my conservative friends are and use this as their reference to many positions. Therefore, i have tried to read the Journal especially the opinion page which seems to be the main source of their thinking,. Yes, most of their positions are opposite mine, but I am continually amazed at the lack of facts and information they have to back up their opinions. I write a blog on facts used to create policy and i have looked carefully into many editorial references and they are almost all based on false or imagined data. Many of the writers are from Conservative "think tanks' such as American heritage, Hoover and economics from Univ. of Chicago-all well known conservative paper mills. My conclusion is we have parallel worlds between conservatives and liberals and have our own set of "facts;' that we use to allow us our ideas. The WSJ is a propaganda machine for one side.
Bob Laughlin (Denver)
You are right, there has never been a time when journalism was so needed as now. Paraphrasing Jefferson, Democracy depends on an informed electorate and a vigorous free press. Right now we have neither.
For decades the stories on TV and the front page were about the fights and disagreements between democrats and republicans; ignored was the news that republicans were spouting nonsense while democrats were trying to govern.
Deficits shrink while employment grows and McConnell is allowed to get away with spouting the opposite with no follow up questions.
Journalists really need to remember that in a fascist state they are usually out of work and in prison.
Helene (Tokyo)
I used to appreciate the crispness of the WSJ's writing style. Their news wasn't really different from other main newspapers. However, after Murdoch bought the paper the content took a severe political stance. News about President Obama or Democrats in general tended to be increasingly hostile or subjective. It became frustrating to read. The comments were also revealing: commenters, many extremely politicized, attacked Obama or Democrats on perceived or negative generalities and in highly simplistic language rather than comment on specific points mentioned or provide informed arguments on a relevant topic.

The writing quality also declined, with misspellings and even incorrect grammar making it to print. Mistakes weren't just technical, for example just before the iPhone's 2008 release in Japan, the WSJ's analysis got it totally wrong, predicting that since Japan had a highly saturated market, the phone would never succeed. Within two months however, it became and remains Japan's most successful mobile phone.

With the Trump presidency, the WSJ seems to have toned down somewhat, maybe realizing the current ethical or procedural issues can't be politicized over. Commenters offer critical standpoints instead of just blindly supporting the new administration. I've returned to reading the WSJ online rather than ignoring it for months at a time. However, when it comes to completeness of information, I can't say the WSJ is my first choice.
Paul McBride (Ellensburg WA)
Yes, the WSJ clearly lacks the objective viewpoint of the NYT, whose op-ed writers routinely use Hitler and Nazi comparisons in discussing Trump, and who just today highlighted The Trump administration's failure to replace Obama-care, overhaul the tax code, or implement an infrastructure repair program, even though Trump has been in office for nearly a month!
dsapp (Kentucky)
The New York Times and Washington Post are both overtly liberal in their coverage. Perhaps the Journal will provide a balance.
Snobote (Portland)
The biggest problem with WSJ is its transformation from a very-Wall Street/Business-orientated newspaper with kooky editorial viewpoints and excellent editing to a fashion/lifestyle/opinion orientated daily journal with a light dose of Wall Street/Business reportage, and so so editing.
Leonard Miller (NY)
Technology is the root cause. It has enabled the proliferation of low cost "news" providers.
The competition for news-consumer attention in this environment has made the news a low margin business. The only way to survive in this environment is to (a) cut corners in the news-rooms and provide more entertainment and (b) brand your news business with a tendentious tilt because it is well known that people seek news sources that confirm their own biases.

Does this mean that in this environment, we are forced to choose just among tilted news brands? Hopefully, not necessarily. There is an great potential market out there for a brand whose product differentiation is providing objectivity, accuracy and completeness.
Envisioned is a new online, subscription-based news provider whose distinguishing characteristic is sober objectivity. It would eschew editorializing and telling its readers how to think. To avoid fake news and to broaden its completeness, it would feature crowd-sourcing of input on news reports in a Wikipedia-type fashion.

This business opportunity would require a fresh start. Existing news providers such as the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, etc. are too far gone to migrate to a brand respected and sought for its objectivity. Getting established would require a mighty effort but such a news outlet would provide a national service by countering our polarization fostered by our ever increasing tendentious news media. Bill Gates, where are you?
amp (NC)
For years Rupert Murdoch has been the nefarious man behind the breakdown in civility of political discourse. He has damaged our political system far more than Putin ever could or will. Deport him, send him back to Australia where I believe he came from. Oh no he became an American 'citizen' so he could control, buy more media.
Stiv Goulden (Indianapolis)
"Left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage." How interesting. In the description "left-leaning", do you mean considering science, well-chosen facts, well-supported theories and then rejecting magic, rite, tradition and yes, political correctness? Then I would hope all reporters are left-leaning. You have to choose your facts but you have to make good choices.
Ian Maitland (Wayzata)
"I happen to believe that liberal media bias is a problem." Well, like charity, sophisticated and fearless journalism begin at home. I read both the WSJ and the Times, and I have absolutely no doubt that the Times' "reporting" is more biased than the WSJ's. Is there any beat at the Times where reporters are not required to frame their stories in terms of racial and gender "diversity" and accompanying finger-pointing and scolding? The Times even openly solicits stories that fit its agenda. That comes perilously close to making news, not reporting it.
jorge (San Diego)
I would hope that readers can at least recognize biased tabloid "news" like Fox News and the Huffington Post-- they don't even pretend to be objective, mostly in their glaring omissions of news stories that by their very veracity give evidence that "their side" might be wrong.
Even in the comments here, accusing both the NY Times and WSJ of being overly biased, i.e., "it doesn't express my ideology," are absurd. Do people not understand the difference between news stories and editorials? Do they not understand that news is intended to inform us, rather than just placate our entrenched opinions?
Maui Maggie (<br/>)
Heaven forbid that you post an online comment conflicting with the views of the far right. The response is immediate, vitriolic and ad hominem - even on such arcane topics as monetary theory.
I switched to the FT a long time ago and don't regret it.
Mark Brakke (Minnesota)
I give up on the WSJ back in the Vietnam war era when it was obvious the editorial perspective was driven by political ideology and not a pursuit of reality.
Time seems to be bringing even worse.
R (Mill Valley)
The Wall Street Journal has been a conservative paper forever. Since Murdoch got his hands on it he has been moving it further and further to the right.

Now apparently he is trying to finish it off once and for all by making it the FOX News of print media for like minded business people everywhere.

This gnome like immigrant has been a disaster for this country.
Tom Beeler (Wolfeboro NH)
As a longtime Journal reader I have been keenly aware of the difference between the news reporting, which is solid and often first-rate, and the opinion pages, which to me always seemed to be written by someone who doesn't read the rest of the paper --- Fox News or Breitbart perhaps, but certainly not the Journal.

In fact, just as Fox News has always been the official organ of the dark side of the Republican party, the Journal opinion pages read like the print version of Fox -- not driven by the 24/7 news hole of Fox and thus more circumspect about publishing fake news and manufactured controversies, but still stocked and driven by the same old tired ideology.

It would be a national tragedy if such good reporting is poisoned by the opinion page ideologues.
marinepro2 (Bologna, Italy)
I would call this carefully crafted piece "fluff criticism". Yes, the passing mention of the New York Post going from once liberal to a "peppery" conservative tabloid.. when we all know that under Murdoch it's become a screaming right-wing rag. And saying the Journal's newsroom is embroiled in a fight over the paper's direction is like calling a puppy tugging on a leash a battle royal. This article might have been relevant 10 years ago, but the Journal has long gone over to the dark side--but ever so subtly, so you kind of have to compare editions from years ago to see what's happening and happened. Leonhardt, refers to displeased Journal "staffers" whispering in his ear and "insubordination" in "later paragraphs," like a squad of Deep Throats whispering "follow the news." There is an underlying theme that hints at integrity among journalists. But, basically, a journalist's integrity lasts until the job appears threatened, and of course "access." And who hasn't seen reporters roll over to have their bellies scratched upon name recognition from a politician. "Journalistic integrity is flushing out so fast the drain is backed up. Readers who wish to get some kind of balanced picture are best to discount much of what they read in the corporate media, and troll the web for the "alternative facts/news" and pick and choose what works for them.
libdemtex (colorado/texas)
The media does not have a liberal bias problem. The media's problem is false equivalency and failing to report facts.
heinrich zwahlen (brooklyn)
WSJ is finished, it will end up becoming the USun
Dwight Bobson (Washington, DC)
When the WSJ was made a part of the Murdockian Media Empire, I cancelled my subscription. I had read about Murdock and his greed machine before he came to this country and knew he would destroy any sign of journalism with his disciplined control of a propaganda mechanism. Like Trump, he held true to character and contracted people who sold their souls for 30 pieces of silver and became part of a group who wanted to profit from destroying American democracy. If they had a belief system, it was about money and its accumulation, just as is Murdocks. I blame the political criminals in congress who greased the skids to allow him citizenship through special legislation so he could be an owner of media. They are just as guilty of the corruption and ultimate treason against our democracy.
Doug Terry (Somewhere in Maryland)
Do "left leaning beliefs" often distort news coverage? In terms of covering government, if you define the right as hostile to the entire effort, then any reporting that might hint that government is necessary and sometimes useful is "left leaning", isn't it?

Do you send someone to cover NASCAR who is hostile toward car racing? Sometime to write about baseball who hates the game? For many decades, people who would go to cover government and politics had an underlying belief that it was not a waste of time and money, that it could make a positive difference in people's lives. One "bias" from that view is that the way things were done, like gerrymandering House districts, got a pass because journalists did not see themselves as crusaders, but rather as people charged with reporting what was happening, with some mild interpretive thoughts slipped in on the side.

From the view of the extreme right, everything reported about government and politics is biased because it doesn't entirely reflect their perspective. That's what they want to stamp out: anything that might cause anyone to question or examine the views on the right.

As a reporter/editor, I have never fully accepted the doctrine of objectivity. Where does one acquire it? If everything is tit for tat, he said/she said, then news coverage is merely a debate between factions. If someone reports the truth (The dam is about to break!), do you then have to report, "Charlie, who lives near the dam, says everything is fine?
SPQR (Michigan)
I can't imagine a newspaper gaining respect and expanding its reach, as long as Bret Stephens is it's senior political editor is Bret Stephens.
Frank Walker (18977)
Murdoch is one of very few bad things to come out of Australia. They don't want him back. I used to like the WSJ before he ruined it.
JO (Midwest To NYC)
And so why does Gerard Baker still have the editorial job if he's in bed with the publisher or Trump? He should retire or take a job in the administration if he wants to ram his personal political bias down the reporters and editors' throats.

Shine the light and celebrate your own good fortune of getting a top-notched editor or two in the shake up.
RichD (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Well, maybe the "glowing stories" about Trump in the WSJ are simply done to counter the smear campaign against Trump that blare from the front page of the NYT every day. A couple of weeks ago, I counted over a dozen anti-Trump stories and editorials in the Times in one day - and sometimes the number is even greater. I still think he must have walked by and spit in your building once?

Frankly, and I hate to say this, but often I go to the BBC to get some perspective on the news. Maybe it's just because they are not so totally immersed in American politics, but I usually find them much more objective. Because virtually everything in American media these days is seen through the prism of partisan politics, your paper and FOX being opposite sides of the same coin.
pretzelcuatl (USA)
The WSJ is Breitbart for snobs.
Len Charlap (Princeton, NJ)
"On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage."

Making a statement like this demands particular examples. I read all of Leonhardt's articles, and I have never seen any. Here he refers to NONE!

I'm waiting, David.
Allan Dobbins (Birmingham, AL)
About fifteen years ago I had an electronic subscription to the WSJ. At the time they had a wide range of views expressed in their Op Eds. Then that changed and I dropped my subscription.
DLS (Boston)
As a regular reader of the WSJ, I would argue that even the quality of their financial reporting has deteriorated since the beginning of the Murdoch era. The assurance of editorial non-interference from Murdoch was never credible -- Baker needs to ask and understand who their intended audience and competition is. Is it the Financial Times and the Economist, or the New York Times and the Washington Post or are they now aspiring to the quality of Fox News? There is a demand for the careful analysis of complex facts, which will outlive Trump and notwithstanding whether the reader is left leaning or not. And believe me, further Murdochization of the WSJ will only cause them to lose their most devoted readers, without gaining a commensurate readership from the Fox News audience.

The 'mainstream' news media today is over sensitive to countering the label of 'liberal bias' (hence the hyper-coverage of Hillary emails). Weather forecasters get the weather forecast wrong, stock pickers lose money on their bets, and the polls and mainstream news media did not predict the outcome of this election. So what? Instead of all the navel gazing, please continue to report the facts, and be as Seth Klarman would say, an upstander instead of a bystander!
McAustin15 (Austin TX)
Use to be one could ignore the WSJ's editorial & opinion pages, but safely rely on its factual business and economic reporting. The high price of an annual WSJ subscription was worth it for decades. But if the factual reporting declines, then the even more expensive Financial Times could be the default daily investor's news.
Rick74 (Manassas, VA)
As a subscriber to both newspapers, I find it refreshing to see the New York Times pee in the Wall Street Journal's Wheaties. The Grey Lady is not a paragon of virtue in keeping ideology from its news reporting. A cursory scan of its front pages and its loaded op-ed pages can tell you this on a daily basis. The Wall Street Journal leans conservative, but it is not the Fox News Channel that the New York Times and Mr. Leonhardt would want you to believe.

It is worthwhile to subscribe to both newspaper as they tend to respond to the others' shortfalls and biases. Still, two media cats fighting is priceless.
Mike C. (Walpole, MA)
As a reader of both, it's clear that the Times can only aspire to the relative non-partisan slant of the WSJ. It's far from perfect, but nothing like the Times, where the far left editorial slant, headlines, content, and biases of reporters seep through in virtually every article. The Times to the left is what Fox News is to the right, but on leftist steroids.
saywhat? (NY, NY)
correction to my just sent comment--I meant to type 100,000 voters bused. Please either change the number to ditch the quote.
MCH (Florida)
Fox News is more fair and balanced than CNN and certainly MSNBC which is comprised of a bunch of radically left, single-minded "journalists". At least on Fox one gets to see and hear Bret Baier is undeniably the best news anchor on TV. Bill O'Reilly provides viewers with liberal minded guests the opportunity to express their opposing views. Rarely does that happen on MSNBC with the likes of the Great Inquisitor Chris Mathews who rarely lets a guest complete a sentence, alt-progressivives Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow, fallen angel Brian Williams, and absurdist Lawrence O'Donnell. Let's not forget the repugnant Al Sharpton now demoted to the wee hours of the morning. As for the Times, its front pages, editorials and opinion columns are now monographic wallpaper for the Democrat Party's progressive ideology. What a shame that we lost the Herald-Tribune. At least, for now we have the WSJ. Fair and balanced the Times is not.
Arch1015 (Atlanta)
Fox News is fair and balanced? That's news to me.
Jamie Nichols (Santa Barbara)
I'm relieved to see this reader's blinders are functioning so well. Rarely have I read a comment containing that much right-wing nonsense and invective. Keep up the good work MCH. There may be an internship at Breitbart News in it for you!
old norseman (Red State in the Old West)
Aaaaaaarrrggghhhh! What in the blazes are you doing even glancing at the NYT? This is the single most close-minded misreading of reality I have ever seen. And by the way, MSNBC has hired Joe Scarborough, and even Megyn Kelly, neither rabid left wingers. Where is the equivalent "fair and balanced" counterweights on Fox? Get back in your bubble and leave thinking people alone.
Mike (Santa Clara, CA)
It's obvious that Murdoch and his anointed, Gerard Baker, are turning the WSJ into "FOX Light." Those journalists with integrity that have stood up and voiced their concerns have been politely told to "take a hike" by Baker. I imagine smart business people will learn to disregard the editorial section of the paper and just read it for it's business content.
TBBBO (Washington DC)
I dislike snarky comments, but sometimes one is warranted. Physician, heal thyself.
Adirondax (Southern Ontario)
It's hard to understate the impact Rupert Murdoch has had on American politics.

Fox News alone has stampeded Americans into believing a cacophony of lies that serve his own family's interests. The truth is propaganda works. Murdoch is the living color proof of that.

Being owned by Murdoch means your paper is no longer independent. According to earlier reporting by the Times, you can't go to the bathroom without getting Murdoch's approval.

Please don't apologize for the Journal. It is what it is. Just another Murdoch mouthpiece.
The Iconoclast (Oregon)
Come on David Leonhardt, you can do better. As far as the WSJ goes this would have been relevant 30 years ago. Though my first and main response was; New York Times try looking in a mirror, listening to your critics, and reviewing Journalism 101.
Cheap Jim (Baltimore, Md.)
The e-mails again, huh? That's horse hockey, along with the bogus (later repudiated) AP story, the Biden candidacy that Dowd got hoodwinked with, and the decision to excerpt "Clinton Cash". The Times either blew the whole election story continuously for the past two years, or they were all in against Clinton.

And pointing at another paper and saying, "b-but they're bad too!" doesn't cut the mustard.
Doug (Hartford, CT)
Hope you are right David. Baker is not there in service of the truth, but in service of Rupert. Hopefully the institution is bigger than he is, and hopefully his sons will stay hands off. No bones about it, good investigative journalism is sacred.
Peter Lewis (Avon, CT)
The NY Times is worried about the WSJ becoming politicized? Give me a break. As a longtime paid subscriber and daily reader to both The NY Times and WSJ, I can absolutely say that over the past 18 months, the Times has turned into a biased, lying and manipulating partisan rag. Many news articles sound like malicious gossip full of unnamed sources. It's main goal is to bash Trump and the quality of reporting and truthfulness has slipped. The anti Trump hysteria has made its way from the editorial and news sections and now pollutes the Travel, Arts, Science, and Style sections. Hate Trump 24/7/365. Is Charles Blow the publisher? I might as well get all my news from Buzzfeed or Mother Jones.

In contrast, the WSJ keeps it news sections pretty apolitical to the point of being bland. Editorial pages are another story but that's what they're there for. Maybe it is becoming more conservative but it will a take lot to pull it into Times bias territory.
Ray (Texas)
The WSJ is an anomaly in the newspaper world; the Editorial Page is right-center and the news side is left-center, whereas most of their competitors are aligned on both sides. This sets up a conflict, which isn't necessary bad. When you read news, whether the NYT or WSJ, a skepticism of their underlying motives is healthy. Both have agendas, make no mistake...
jimwjacobs (illinos, wilmette)
You must be joking writing about WSJ bias! Coming from a columnist for the Times, biased left in the extreme, you must be joking. Or you have lost any sense of balance-and I did not vote for our president.

Jim. Illinois
Renate (WA)
The NYT should have a critical look at its own policy before criticizing another newspaper of being biased. For me part of the NYT is rather an activist pamphlet than a 'classic' newspaper. The self-censorship is totally obvious and lets not forget the predictable opinion columns. This lets one with the feeling of not being informed accurate. For a broader view into the world I rely on different foreign news publications.
Paul (Cambridge)
What a coincidence! My online subscription to the WSJ ended today, as I recently decided to cancel it after many years of readership.
Many of the articles are beneficial and well-written, but, as I had informed the polite customer service representative who tried to change my mind, it became clear to me that the WSJ was becoming a platform for the alt-right crowd (just read the comments after each article,) and that the editors were obviously bending to them, when not leading them.
Peace100 (North Carolina)
It is pretty disheartening to think that an opinion has to be tagged as liberal or conservative instead of being evaluated in the context of likely values d or useful
Lauren (Pittsburgh, PA)
People who live in glass houses should not throw rocks. I appreciated the letter from NYT's publisher and editor of November 13th, apologizing for the paper's bias, and vowing to become more of an independent news source. But I haven't seen much evidence of that happening. The Times needs to hire more conservative or moderate columnists. I've been considering cancelling my subscription, because the paper has become so predictable, and sometimes downright insane (I'm looking at you, Leonhardt).
Ellis6 (Sequim, WA)
"Which is why the media reported so aggressively on Hillary Clinton’s emails, damaging her badly."

The reporting was not just aggressive -- it was irresponsible. Conservatives have been successful at "playing the refs" by constantly accusing the press (and media generally) of being hopelessly liberal. That has gotten a response -- media bending over backward to prove they aren't biased. In doing so, their coverage can, and has, become biased against the left.

Maintaining truly fair coverage is difficult, but there are no conservatives today arguing that the media have to bend any way to get conservative bias out of news stories. False equivalency, something the Times has frequently been guilty of has been one of the great victories of the right wing noise machine. Liz Spayd, the Times' public editor (whatever that title is supposed to mean) wrote a truly horrible defense of the Times on that subject. From what I've read of Ms. Spayd's columns, she sees her job primarily as a cheerleader for the Times, not as an objective observer who takes it to task when it errs.
Jay (Sonoma)
The Wall Street Journal was two newspapers before Murdoch bought it for almost double its market value nearly 10 years ago. The editorial page was often at odds with the excellent journalism found on the news pages. WSJ reporting carried the deserved prestige of journalism's highest standards.
Big stories often turned into books by WSJ reporters. The brand carried was respected.

The slow, steady decline of newspapers in the United States caused the Bancroft family to accept, reluctantly, the Murdoch offer to buy the newspaper. They didn't trust him, but he was offering more than its market value. Murdoch's acquisition of the jewel of American journalism raised only one question: when, not if, would the paper become infected with the sordid Murdoch touch. We have our answer. It's happening now.
Joseph A. Kopec (Beaufort SC)
Cancelled my print sub years ago, but still read Murdoch Journal online. I have two constructive thoughts on this topic: The WSJ was a great newspaper that reported the news with an encyclopedic analysis of financial news. One read the news pages with the opinion that reporters and editors aspired to be first with news, but to be accurate. Accuracy depended on journalists prepared to report the facts no matter the consequences. I see no change in that posture.

Second, in the history of journalism, the first thing one discovers is that powerful men and women buy newspapers and other outlets to influence public opinion -- Pulitzer, Hearst, McCormick, Graham, Murdoch -- the list is black, gold and gray. Mr. Murdoch is a keen observer in this mileau so if you don't like his opinions don't buy them. Read the Times and Post.
bp (Halifax NS)
Anything owned by Rupert Murdoch is tainted by his obvious bias to the far right. That has been his contribution to journalism, He destroyed the venerable The Times in the UK. The only thing going for him at that time was that he also brought down the sickening trade practices of the printers' unions. Murdoch's money has not improved journalism. It has infected it with bloat.
Princess Pea (California)
It has gone too far. I can't read an article like this without asking if it is a paid "fluff" piece or is it real. In the case of Wall Street Journal I just don't trust it any longer period.
Jonathan Katz (St. Louis)
The NYT news pages haven't aspired to objectivity for decades. They long ran a campaign to normalize homosexuality (perhaps as a reward for giving us the AIDS epidemic), Almost every day there is a "news" story plainly designed to push a political agenda.

Perhaps Mr. Leonhardt cannot recognize propaganda. It isn't always overt lies and insults. For example, a professional magazine (Physics Today) not long ago (February 2016) ran a story about a joint visit of American and North Korean geologists to a volcano in North Korea, illustrated with a picture of everyone enjoying a picnic. It implied, without overtly saying so, that North Korea is a normal country where people have picnics. It disguised the reality of hundreds of thousands dying in a famine and everyone terrified of disappearing into the gulag for a hint of a critical word, or for nothing at all.
fahrender (east lansing, michigan)
I would apply a different rule to any newspaper or network: What do they NOT report or give little attention to? The use of traditional terms like "liberal" or "conservative" have become so degraded or distorted as to automatically make their usage suspect. Bias is, indeed, inherent in all human beings. That means that every media entity will have a bias of some sort.
Of ownership, only Murdoch has been mentioned. We know of his bias and it is, in the eyes of many, extreme. What about the NYT? The Washington Post? The L.A. Times? And so on.
What about the cohort of editors and journalists? What are their backgrounds? I read recently that most of both cohorts almost none of them have a working class background. That could well be an important factor in why almost nobody really got what was happening in the election last year. Is there a newspaper or television network that has a moderate to liberal working class point of view? On the Right there is Fox. Anything on the Left?
adlibruj (new york)
Well, it might be true that reporters lean left. Maybe that's why that when the Times was running it's daily tally of who was more likely to win, the higher Hillary's numbers went, the more aggressive the reporting became about Benghazy, e-mails. Foundation, etc. So, in the end the Times was complicit, like the FBI Director, Alt Right, the Russians, the Bernie or bust people, in handing the presidency to a crazy oligarch. Reporters trying to earn their reputation. Business as usual.
Nyalman (New York)
If only responsible New York Times reporters would push back against their papers stridently liberal bias!!
Ray Ozyjowski (Portland OR)
This article does a pretty good job of defining the Murdoch empire, but maybe you can take the time to explain the further movement to the left of the New York Times, where it's not just "news fit to print" but it's how can we influence our liberal agenda.
Mookie (DC)
No struggles in the NY Times though. It's all anti-Trump all the time.

NY Times reporter call the First Lady a hooker. The NY Times "reprimands" the reporter for the "unfounded rumor." We used to call unfounded rumors lies and derogatory comments but that was before the NY Times became an extension of the Democrat party.

I can think of a few "unfounded rumors" one could call Mr. or Mrs. Obama. Is that fair game now? What about their kids?

And what was the reprimand? My guess is it was "just slur her where it's safe -- in the office."

Whatever issues are going on at the WSJ, they pale in comparison to the end of journalism at the NY Times.
Ralphie (CT)
you got it, spot on.
just say'n (Detroit Michigan)
So, Mr. Leonhardt believes "the Media" is left leaning. Perhaps it's just the perception thing. When one is so far to the right, everything looks left.
Manuel (Ohio)
I have read the NYTimes since 1964 & the WSJ since 1985. I'm afraid the era of the daily newspapers with, excellent coverage of important stories has devolved into infotainment.
As a product of the print journalism program at Ohio University, I know there is difficulty in writing & editing objective coverage, yet John Wilhelm, Guido Stempel, Ralph Izard & our other professors taught us always to aim for that objective, and by & large that is what we have read. In the last 10-15 years, however, a new kind of reporting & writing have emerged. Stories & newsfeed are now customized to what is believed to be the observers' preferences, while viewers tune into the news channel that best fits into their bubble of comfort. Last year, we saw various publications running news stories of dubious provenance without fact-checking sources, & actually supporting candidates in not so subtle ways( including the WSJ & NYTimes).
Because of my personal inclinations (& my education) I still attempt to see both sides of an issue before deciding where I stand, but it's getting much harder. Thank God for "The Week" magazine & "Morning Joe Show"!
I still subscribe to the Times & my local paper, but I now go to the library on Saturdays to read the Wall Street Urinal. I eschew Faux News, take CNN with a barrel of salt, & watch 'Hardball" for laughs. These are the good old days?
Barbara de Michele (Issaquah, WA)
Finally, an admission that coverage of Hillary's emails had nothing to do with an actual national security story, but was instead a demonstration by journalists to NYT conservative readers that they were "fair and balanced." The fact that she was "badly damaged" appears to be the cherry on the top of that intent. And then the NYT wonders why readers turn to alternative sources for news. We deserve better than reportage built around reporters' need for approval from a segment of their readership.
Mr. J. (Cornish NH)
D.L. should reread the innumerable NYT stories on Hillary Clinton's emails. Not only the first paragraph, but for many paragraphs, unsubstantiated allegations from Republican sources were given and only deep into the story did the reader see that there was "no there, there."
David Lloyd-Jones (Toronto)
David Leonhardt is a little late to this party. We've already seen this story once.

The Republican Party used to be a reasonably sound conservative political party, with an embroidery of assorted lunatics occasionally stealing its limelight. Then a lunatic took over the whole shebang.

The Wall Street Journal has been a perfectly sound newspaper with a lunatic editorial page for a generation now. Gerard Baker just wants to let the lunacy spread.

The Wall Street Journal is just trying out the Republican playbook.

Jay Maslyn (Bath, ny)
it's laughable that the NYT can't see themselves in their own article... and don't insult us by bragging about how "aggressive" the Times was in reporting Hillary's emails - compared to what?

"I happen to agree that liberal bias can be a media problem. On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage. The Journal, and every newspaper, should indeed fight that problem"
KJ (Tennessee)
I haven't read the WSJ for years, since it was started getting old.
The Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas (Frisco, TX)
I indulge in print copies of both the NYT and the WSJ. I read as much of both as possible each day. Recently, I find myself, when reading the WSJ, wondering if I have landed in an alternative universe. Something just a bit off--more than a different perspective, closer to a different reality. I'm glad to see this editorial. We have moved into a world where many of us will question our sanity. It helped me to find my focus again.
sjs (bridgeport, ct)
I know that the WSJ is right-leaning, but I have always respected it. I truly hope it does not turn itself into a right-wing promoter and apologist. We need 'fair and balanced' for real and not just as a slogan.
DavidCayJohnston (Rochester, NY)
The shift in WSJ news is subtle, but clear and has been since soon after Murdoch bought the paper, at least to those who, like me, have written press criticism for decades.

Three times WSJ reporter friends I was speaking with were interrupted by Murdoch-era editors. Because they left their headsets open, I listened as instructions were issued on how to subtly slant a story so it would be acceptable to Murdoch's editors. One of the WSJ subsequent stories quoted conservative Republicans, but only summarized what Democrats said, an abrupt change from the rounded and balanced report that had been filed, as read to me by the reporter.

This kind of news-as-instucted is unheard of in the newsrooms of major American newspapers. Try that at the NYTimes, the LATimes, the WashPost, the Philadelphia Inquirer or any other quality newspaper and the reporting staff would walk out. However, slant has become SOP at Fox News, another Murdoch property. Peers and friends who worked there have told me about this, leaked memos show it and Gabriel Sherman has documented it extensively in his biography of Roger Ailes and other writings.

Murdoch's WSJ readers are more sophisticated than the Fox audience, which may explain why his editors have been more subtle. But the infusion of management biases and the often uneven explication of issues is obvious to those who daily scrutinize the WSJ report under Murdoch.
diogenes (tennessee)
This is totally laughable. The Wall Street Journal is nothing but a propaganda mouthpiece for the globalists and the 0.1%. They have promoted open borders for cheap labor and to flood America with the poor and backwards of the world and no tariffs to ensure de-industrialization of America via unfair trade for decades. They are a bigger megaphone for the super rich and big business and banks than even the New York Times. Nothing Murdoch could do would make this rag sheet any worse and likely not any better given he is a globalist with no loyalty or patriotism himself as exhibited in both his personal and professional life.
rawebb (Little Rock, AR)
While we have come to expect right wing nonsense from the WSJ editorial page, bias in news coverage often does not fall into liberal-conservative dimension. The NY Times went after the Clintons in 1992, and it was personal, not ideological--and most of the stories were bunk. Ken Starr spent years and millions of dollars trying to validate any "scandal" from the '90s and could not. Clinton coverage from the Howell Raines days, however, set a pattern that continued right through the recent election. In spite of an editorial endorsement of Ms. Clinton, the obsessive coverage of the email server and Clinton foundation stories never stopped. I think Hillary bashing had become a bad habit on the part of the Times, and the paper and its reporters could not stop. It has cost the country dearly.
Steve Vic (Alameda)
I have to laugh at the irony of this column appearing in the New York Times which is, more than any other major publication, hyper-partisan. The NYT gives lip service to "objectivity,"' the ridiculous inquiry of Liz Spayd to the news room several months ago where they sweared they were objective notwithstanding. The news room is guided by an overall editorial philosophy that progressive liberalism is superior. Most NYT news articles on politics are basically muted versions of what Paul Krugman and Charles Blow and Company are saying on a daily basis. Sad!
mindyzumba (somewhere on planet earth)
"shaving off the edges..." of stories...interesting phraseology here...sort of like "faux news...", "alt-facts...."

Media not simply reporting the facts, but slanting them to favor lies...what could go wrong here?...

...oh, yeah, we got him with his hands on the nukes, reading secrets at the lunch table in mar a lago....
John O (Napa CA)
I stopped reading the WSJ about ten years ago. Conveniently, my subscription to the National Geographic has expired. I have no plans to renew it.
Gina (California)
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias"
-Stephen Colbert
K. Penegar (Nashville)
"I happen to agree that liberal bias can be a media problem. On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage. The Journal, and every newspaper, should indeed fight that problem."

It would be very helpful in evaluating your claims if you could and would provide some survey or your own count of 'distorted coverage' brought on by 'left-leaning beliefs'.

Indeed, your only particular example of bias in journalism, the 'aggressive' coverage of Clinton's email, seems not so left leaning to me.
Nathan (San Marcos, Ca)
Wow. Against the lock-step total resistance march of the NYT, WaPo, CNN, and MSNBC, and against the pro-Trump Fox and a few other outlets, the WSJ has been one of the few trying to find its balance, its responsibility, a calm and unprejudiced approach. I read the tension in the paper as a good indication that reporters with differing views from each other are all getting through. Since the election, there are very few news outlets that have achieved and sustained the sobriety and measure and depth of the WSJ.
Robert Stewart (Chantilly, VA)
"But The Journal’s news pages, like those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity."

The WSJ not only "aspired to objectivity" in prior decades, they succeeded.

Years ago, when working for a multi-employer pension and benefit trust, I was reading multiple periodicals in an attempt to stay on top of labor negotiations between the management and union whose benefits were administered by the trust. The WSJ was the only newspaper that got the facts exactly right about the negotiations and subsequent contract.

Their op-ed page was always good for wrapping fish, but not much else.
Daniel A. Greenbum (New York, NY)
Mr Leonhardt what would a non-liberal bias look like on the issues you mentioned?
Steve Pease (Sonoma, Ca)
Physician, first heal thyself!
Mr. Moderate (Cleveland, OH)
Surely, you jest.
[email protected] (Washington state)
Mr. Leonhardt,

I read your opinion with a widening smile the farther I went. Your tone is that you are striving to represent the New York Times as being extremely careful to segregate Opinion from Journalism of the mid-twentieth century which is simply not true.

The New York Times Departments outside the Editorial group has failed to find anything newsworthy other than Donald Trump since came down the escalaitor to announce he would run for the job of President of the United States.

It seems that among all of the ostensible journalists employed by The New York Times they just cannot find anything--nothing at all--that is newsworthy or uncritical of Donald J. Trump. All across the country outside the little world of the 200 mile radius around Manhattan Island people are reading your Opinion and smirking because we all know that The New York Times is blind to it's own flaws and creative at explaining away the possibility that it might just employ some people who are true zealots about writing stories that always, always have some negative bent on Donald J. Trump.

Sir, your Opinion is, of course, your opinion. It's sad though that you, and the rest of the staff of The New York Times fail to see your own flaws, deny that you are just as tilted as any of the other names you cite and unfortunately, you have no credibility outside that little circle other than the similar little circle around Los Angeles where the Los Angelenos drool over how closely they mimic New York City.
Andy Beckenbach (Silver City, NM)
"I happen to agree that liberal bias can be a media problem." Really? There hasn't been a "liberal bias" in the MSM since Watergate. There are liberal corners of the media, "The Nation" or "Mother Jones", but it pales in comparison to the rabid right-wing media. And Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes are largely responsible.

But thank you for focusing on the problem of "trying to Murdoch-ize" the WSJ.
Matt (Palo Alto)
While there is much to criticize about the press today, irony and hypocrisy have reached new heights with this piece. Over the last 10-15 years and particularly with the last two elections, the NY Times has moved from a largely objective reporter of the news on its main pages to a clearly biased one with an obvious agenda. This is true across the board -- what is reported, what the article titles and headings say and the content of the articles. The NY Times implements this bias in a more subtle and sophisticated manner than say Fox News but it is clearly there. In contrast, the Wall Street Journal has done a better job of objectively reporting the news and saving its opinions for the opinion pages. In part this shift among the NY Times and other previously trusted sources such as the networks is the reason why people have taken such sources less and less seriously and truth has been put into play and a major check and balance in the modern American political system undermined. The NY Times needs to wake up, correct its own ways and then hopefully earn and gain back the trust, respect and influence it once enjoyed among most of the American public as a whole rather than just among one slice of the American political and cultural spectrum.
Circlesandarrows (Virginia)
You have GOT to be kidding. "... journalism changed in the early 20th century. Reporters began to see themselves as professional fact-gatherers rather than as partisan warriors." That's pretty much all journalism is nowadays. It might surprise some readers that the basic standard of journalism is NOT truth; it is accuracy. (Recognize this borrowed line from the third Indiana Jones movie: "If it's truth you're interested in, Dr. Tyree's Philosophy class is right down the hall.") Reporting is about observing first hand when/where possible (Edward R. Murrow), and reporting on what was seen/heard -- or interviewing those who did witness what the reporter did not. Reporting is about accuracy of that which is being reported on and must strive to find and include any different accounts. Fill a glass half-way with water. Is it half-full or half-empty? Both are accurate, so how can one--and only one--be true? But by describing one, and only one state, you have chosen a perspective. (NYTimes and MSM usually include reasons how the glass became half-full and it's generally because the GOP denied it more water or Big Business stole it.) The foreign press have it right--accept your humanity and identify having a perspective and allow the readers to evaluate your work against other outlets for themselves, instead of masquerading as the only arbiters of "truth." Poll after poll shows low public opinion of journalism and that it's too biased. Is that accurate or is it the truth?
OlderThanDirt (Lake Inferior)
The WSJ's reporters are reporting that the paper has swung too far to the right (I guess even Rip van Winkle and Sleeping Beauty must wake up sooner or later.)

The stance of the newspaper's administration is that it categorically rejects the reports of it's own reporters.

Why should the public believe anything that WSJ's reporters write, when their bosses don't?
Greg (Brooklyn)
>>>I happen to agree that liberal bias can be a media problem. On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage.

You forgot the biggest one--illegal immigration--where the Times is not just biased, it is running a 24-7 propaganda machine.
KayDayJay (Closet)
Holy-Moly, talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
Robbie J. (Miami, Florida.)
Sounds like the best case yet for media to be owned by their employees and their subscribers. I don't know how it could be done, but I do know it should be done.
Rupert Murdoch is an immigrant.
sophia (bangor, maine)
No one person has damaged the United States more in my lifetime than Rupert Murdoch. He is an evil, disgusting man. FOX News is nothing but fake news and outright lies. People who watched The Daily Show (at least when Jon Stewart was there) knew more about the truth of the news than did those who only watched FOX.

Murdoch and Ailes....and now Trump. Three peas in a pod. America is disintegrating right in front of our eyes.
ChicagoWill (Downers Grove, IL)
When the Bancrofts owned the paper, I would download the daily summary from daily and listen to the articles almost every day. The editorials were reliably stridently conservative, but the articles were reliable. And, I did triangulate what I heard there. When Murdoch took over, I said to myself, "He would never destroy such a storied brand." After only a few months after that, I found editorial opinions leaking into the articles. After about a year of this , I stopped downloading the summaries and listening to them. I have never gone back.
Lorem Ipsum (DFW, TX)
The Post is not "successful." It loses tens of millions a year. One day Murdoch will tire of the thing, and Trump will have to buy it.
Mike75 (CT)
I read both the NYT and the WSJ and then make up my own mind.
Conovox (Missouri USA)
President Obama let the whole cat out of the bag in one of his last lectures to us. He whined about how, 25-30 years ago, we were all going off of the same facts. And I do mean whined.

Having the monopoly on what 'facts' the entire public is and, more importantly, is not allowed to know/read/hear certainly was fun for the left, and awful for the country.
Ian (NYC)
" ... The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity."

Was this said with a straight face???
J (CA)
I find the WSJ FAR more balanced and objective than the NYT. I see articles from different sides of an argument and different points of view there which is important to me. On the NYT I only read heavily slanted, far left commentary with no counterpoints or suggestion their point of view could possible be wrong. The NYT still can't distinguish legal from illegal immigrants. ".. The New York Times .. have aspired to objectivity"?? Funniest quote of the month. I need more than half the story and find myself migrating to the WSJ.
Benito (Oakland CA)
Was there any push back by reporters at the New York Times during the primaries when managing editors inserted negative "context" in otherwise positive articles about Bernie Sanders? One could argue that the New York Times cheer leading for Hilary Clinton contributed significantly to the historic disaster we are now experiencing. Polling, for what it is worth, showed Sanders faring better against Trump than Clinton, but the NYT backed the establishment candidate with the big money backing.
David Wells (West Linn, Oregon)
Remember when the Chinese took over Hong Kong and pledged not to interfere?
Floyd (Ny)
I read both papers every day. The NYT follows a soft Marxist model in the editorial pages, and the stories are structured to demonstrate and confirm this model. Oppressors vs victims. Capitalists vs workers, profiteering polluters and their lower class & minority victims, Israelis & Palestinians, men & women, drug companies & patients, police & non-white citizens, oil pipeline & native Americans, American policy vs Latin America, Reagan & AIDS patients, billionaires stealing our free press, banks vs borrowers, and on and on. They applied this analysis to every situation, and offer a government based solution. The WSJ editorial page aims to preserve the independence of the individual and argues that law abiding free market capitalism is the reason behind our free modern society & it should be preserved as much as possible. Its op-eds show the arbitrary paths that Obama regulators & prosecutors have used to achieve progressive goals. WSJ&NYT editorials arrives at opposing conclusions. The pipelines, police bias, fracking, Obamacare, EPA tactics, CAFE & big three problems, the NLRB & the benefits of unions, CFPB. The NYT follows the above formula, while the WSJ pieces argue that most of the government based solutions hurt the people they claim to help, create cronies, and are often illegal. The WSJ news articles tend to be factual without attempting to conform to a moral tale. The very existence of a dispute at the WSJ and its absence at the NYT & WP speaks volumes.
Kathleen Martin (Somerville, MA)
What are "left-leaning beliefs"? Do lots of reporters favor nationalization of industry, or radical income redistribution? For a long time now the word "left" has lost all meaning in American political discourse. Left doesn't mean "not movement conservative;" it refers to a set of political beliefs and policies that very, very few American reporters actually hold. In terms of the European-American political traditions, liberals are centrists, not leftists. But if you want to make most Americans dislike them, and make your own far-right views seem normal and centrist, then you falsely refer to liberals as something most Americans don't relate to -- the Left.
Robert Cohen (Atlanta-Athens GA area)
When R.M. bought the jewel WSJ, there were cynical prognostications that what would happen, amalgamating the opinion-editorial and the great reporting, is allegedly now being encouraged or supposedly occurring.

Because RM has the responsibility to News Company to maximize profit, he apparently feels justification.

He is what they call across the pond, a "Press Lord."

I recall when a rival P.L. apparently mysteriously disappeared at sea.

Please look it up if you frankly perceive a distortion of reality by cheap innuendo.

I recall that it could have been suicide, because of alleged debt and/or whatever had afflicted the rival.

The WSJ is highly respected, and, so please, Mr. M, let it be.

Competition & greed---without some decency, altruism & humanism--are to be our children's & their children's miserable fate (?).

However "in the ultimate public interest" is subjectively defined, one dearly,
deeply appreciates the WSJ in which its founding family apparently had sacrificed some materialism for the good of our nation & world.

I sincerely believe it would be "sinful" for the Murdoch family & controlled corporation to combine their WSJ ideological-political-editorial slants with the investigative, courageous, priceless, clearly honorable stuff.

$ and influential ideological/political power are terrific until they ain't.
Andrea G (New York, NY)
It's been widely known for years that the Editorial pages of the NYT lean left while the Editorials of the WSJ lean right. The issue of objectivity comes into play when we get into the "news" pages. I'm an avid NYT reader so I feel comfortable in saying that the "news" pages are far from being objective. You'd be hard pressed to find an article that either fairly or positively covers anything Republican or anything critical of Democrats without a "but". I am a 2x Obama voter but grew tired of the endless over-the top articles of praise and longed for investigative pieces related to anything from Obamacare to Syria. I also voted for Hillary but found the non-stop Trump hit pieces to be exhausting and bordering on ridiculous.
One thing I found strange about this article is the author points out that the WSJ ran "mostly solid" stories that were critical of Trump but his gripe is that the headlines associated with these stories weren't sensational enough??
Occupy Government (Oakland)
The problem with a right-wing media is that it presumes the honorable profession is inexorably leftist. In fact, the only reason Fox took off was that the leftist media was not fair and balanced.

By undermining public faith in our constitutionally privileged press, the reactionaries are dismantling the infrastructure of our republic. Add to that the challenge from Donald Trump on the courts and the system of checks and balances, and the spurious claim that the election was fraudulent, the only thing we have left to believe is an autocratic leader with unquestioned power.

This is not a struggle for only the WSJ. It is a struggle for moderation, compromise and civil discourse.
James (Atlanta)
Now this is laughable. The NY Times criticizing another paper for becoming political. And of course nowhere in the article are any of the comments regarding the so called "internal struggle" attributed to actual people (other than the editor of the WSJ who calls the criticism fake news), so the writer, Mr Leonhardt, is free to make up whatever troubles he wishes to imagine at the WSJ. This piece is just another ham handed effort to diminish the WSJ so that folks will think of it in the same dismissive way they think of the politically compromised NY Times.
Steve Shackley (Albuquerque, NM)
"...believe that his sons, rising in power, don’t care as much about conservative causes as their father." I'm not sure about that. Well under the radar is that now one of Murdoch's sons is on the board of National Geographic. Whether he has purchased a portion of the magazine is unknown. Since then we've seen many more articles on religion, and fewer on the plight of the third world or climate change. That could be sampling error, but no one knows, or will know. I have been subscribing to National Geographic since I was 12 years old (now 67), and for the first time tossed my subscription with a letter to the chairman why I was leaving (no response). I became an archaeologist partly due to National Geographic stimulating a young boys imagination and interest in science. Will the Murdoch's influence do to National Geographic what it has done to news? We'll see, but be vigilant at the same time.
Joe Smith (Chicago)
It is no matter whether professional journalists are left or right. Journalists go where the facts take them. And they are trained to be critical thinkers and challenging to authority. And that is what we need in a democracy. That the Republicans are fact-challenged, their policies bankrupt and totally controlled by the true elites-- rich, conservative, white men-- makes professional journalism uncomfortable for them. Hence the need for Murdoch, a rich, conservative white man, to create propaganda in support of his causes: the Times, Sky and other vehicles in the UK; Fox News NY Post and the WSJ here in the US. The shibboleth of "fake news" is the pinnacle of this effort to discredit professional journalism. It is shameful but not surprising that Baker used the term himself.
Actaeon (Toronto)
"Which is why the media reported so aggressively on Hillary Clinton's emails..."

And here I thought it was because sensational scandals sell papers. If the reason was that journalists were striving to be politically fair, then they are stupider than I thought.
Foyorama (Anchorage, AK)
we cannot "resist" without the media and the media needs to be accurate when narrating and reporting events, as a reader all I want is the truh, no matter what event is being narrated or reported on....
The Owl (New England)
Interesting column...

But Mr. Leonhardt needs to understand that the representative of tho owners, Mr. Arthur Sulzberger, and his hired Executive Editor have been steering th NY Times more and more into being a LIBERAL megaphone.

Isn't that a right of the ownership of the newspaper?

Of course, during the election cycle of 2016, this dive to the left that was seen in editorials, columns, op-eds, features, and hard-news pieces landed the Times in a world where their credibility was roundly and deservedly challenged.

As I read what the management of the Wall Street Journal is trying to do is to avoid the great chasm that the Times managed to fall into as a result of their own arrogance and ideological obsessions.
Dwight M. (Toronto, Canada)
'Fearless financial reporting'. Right. At the Wall Street Journal! Until there is a labour section in the Wall Street Journal and every genuflecting 'so called' newspaper dedicated to 'American capitalism' it is impossible to be 'fearless financial reporting'. You are leaving out who actually produces but laud the grifters!!!
You want fearless financial reporting try Wall Street on Parade. Great site.
MVH1 (Decatur, Alabama)
Murdoch left WSJ alone pretty much but the call of Enquirer type "reporting" seems to be too much for him to resist. After making a mess of things in London, could he be headed to the same murderation of a once venerable publication? I was sick when he bought it and waiting for this kind of move from him so he doesn't disappoint. One may simply have to wait a little longer for it to happen occasionally. He's a disgusting panderer. Murdoch was not a Trump supporter, until, who knows what his reasons are outside of more money. Paul Gigot was once an honorable, decent man. Does he really need that job so much he's willing to do a James Comey type sellout?
Joren Maksho (Hong Kong)
Journal political reporting is freer of bias than the NYT or the Post, and it is obvious. (The editorial pages and op ed pages are entirely different--what you would expect, but they are well crafted and edited). As for the Wash Post, it is a shadow of its old self, yet a legend in its own mind. Nary a real journalist still there. Much of the web content must be written by interns or other low-skilled people, and it is hardly updated through the day. Political reporting is thin in the paper. They have done a lot of hiring, but editing in all its roles seems almost entirely lacking. No wonder advertising is down, influence and prestige are almost gone, and the paper loses money by tens of millions of dollars a quarter. Bezos can afford that, but he will have to clean house in order to rebuild the Post as a journalistic enterprise.
CF (Massachusetts)
You've got your cart and horse, chicken and egg sequences wrong. Fox News did not recognize the polarization, it created it.

Long before Fox News, there were tabloids at the supermarket checkout. My mother would occasionally pick one up. When I asked her why she read that garbage, she said "I know it's garbage, but it's entertaining."

That's what Ailes knew. He knew people would love garbage news entertainment in the mind numbing format known as TV. When you buy a paper at the checkout, you still have to read it. TV feeds it into your brain like the slow drip-drip of a brainwashing IV.

Fox News made a ton of money for everyone involved. America lost.
AnonYMouse (Seattle)
If it's not fact based, it's not journalism. And it needs to be labeled as such (entertainment). If marketers are required to label native content as paid sponsor or advertisement, then entertainment or political commentary purporting to be news should labeled, too.
R (The Middle)
Both the Times and the Journal have allowed their opinion pages to become shrill in these polarized times, to the point where they're almost unreadable.

That WSJ subscription dollars pay men like Baker, and prop up an administration like Trump's, is starting to greatly outweigh the benefits of the always great financial and business reporting done in the Journal.

My personal subscription has long been canceled, but I still pick it up and read it at work.

The Times Sunday edition just destroys the Journal weekend edition though. It's not even close.
Cheap Jim (Baltimore, Md.)
The Sunday edition. I saw what you did there.
Adam Apt (Cambridge, Mass)
I recommend a glance at Jim Cramer's autobiography, *Confessions of a Street Addict*. I'm recalling this, because I don't have it at hand. Cramer tells the story of Murdoch calling him in for advice on a run he was considering at Dow Jones (before the run at which he at last succeeded). As Cramer relates their conversation, Murdoch says with a smirk, 'Of course, I'll guarantee the editorial independence of the *Wall Street Journal*.'
George Young (Evanston, IL)
WSJ editor Baker deserves to continue to be the targeted focus of such criticism. Murdoch has been a known and entirely consistent quantity throughout all of his numerous media acquisitions forever. Leave aside that angle of ownership steering the direction, it's been dredged up for decades to no avail.

Baker is the individual on point for controlling those day-to-day "edges" in reportage. His disingenuous WSJ editorial about being unable to employ the term "liar" for the creator and deliverer of untruths said all that you needed to know about his personal concepts of objectivity.

His view seems to be that absolute objective truth has to be set aside or de-emphasized if it "appears" to favor a political persuasion. Thankfully, most other major news organizations have gotten over that thinking, especially since the actual installation of the new administration eliminated speculation over "what was to be" as an excuse for reticence.
k2isnothome (NW Florida)
So tell me again why the media was so obsessed with Clinton's email server? The piling on to that (somewhat trivial) story did immense harm to her, as much as the pointless Congressional "investigations" of the Benghazi tragedy.

Until the media as an institution accepts responsibility for the mindless piling on and obsession with the most trivial details of that so-called scandal, I will continue to hold the fourth estate in low regard and disdain Leonhardt's optimism.
Reuben Ryder (Cornwall)
Trump and Murdock are in bed with each other and one is worse than the other. The Wall Street Journal was once a great paper, but it's editorial brigade gave way to Murdock early on in the fight to be rational and borders on a propaganda machine. It's regular press have been brilliant in the past but dumbed down as explained in this article, but noticeable for quite a while by even a causal reader. The average WSJ reader, however, is not average. He, maybe one or two she, is a rampant conservative, greedy as any glutton can be, and totally intolerant of any view that suggests a moral or social conscience. It is quite noticeable in the postings. When it comes to leading a populist revolt, names like Trump or Murdock do not come to mind. How the "New Dumb" picked Trump to lead them can only be explained by the possibility that they are Want to Be's, or resonate to Trump's strings.
Ivan Light (Inverness CA)
Conservative, right-wing, and fascistic need definitions or we wander in Wonderland along with Alice. In the USA, conservative has meant small government, free markets, and civil liberties, and internationalism along with vast standing armies, a post-Enlightenment add-on. Right-wing means anything right of center. And fascistic means big government, encroachment on civil liberties, controlled media, militarism, scapegoating minorities, extreme nationalism, and public works projects. Trump has moved the formerly conservative GOP in a fascistic direction. This change is what the WSJ has to swallow, and for real conservatives, it's unpalatable.
macbloom (menlo park, ca)
Maybe it's my age but there *seems* to have been an unending and overwhelming journalist stream of stories about LGBT, BLM, abortion in the nytimes and media. As a lifelong lefty I truly support the struggle and objectives of such movements as do my bubble of friends and family. But as an educated person I also tend to look at the statistics of such matters in terms of populations effected: LGBT issues effect a tiny percent of the population, BLM skewed perception that police are slaughtering Africa Americans wholesale, Abortion rights will never be totally unavailable in the US but the focus on the rare late term procedure becomes an all or nothing focus. Philosophically such issues are important and must be addressed because they can erode the progress of rights in civil society. Yet such unending hyperbole avoids big environmental, infrastructure transportation, trade, taxes, technology, education and job issues that effect the vast majority of our citizens. You opened the door to those who could laugh and ridicule their way to power by turning journalism into entertainment.
Renate (WA)
I have the impression that they know all this but that they just don't care. They want to make the world to fit their view, not the other way around.
JLC (Tucson)
In my memories, the WSJ was one of the most respected news sources for many, many years. I liked the way writers combined financial news with world events. But immediately after Murdoch put his imprimatur on the WSJ, I just quit it. Bedmate with Fox News? I'll never know. It must be torture for journalists with ethics and conscience.
ACJ (Chicago)
The WSJ helps keep my liberal leanings honest...but, I have noticed lately a slight lean into Trump land---too bad, because we liberals need the kind of balance the WSJ brings to the table.
T Montoya (ABQ)
Let's not hold out our hopes that the sons will turn this around. For decades that's how we have talked about some of the harshest dictatorships in the world (North Korea, Libya, Syria...), "Things are bad now but let's wait because it looks like the sons are going to be much more moderate."
Byron Calame (Salt Point, NY)
This is a very astute assessment.
Duane McPherson (Groveland, NY)
This is a curious piece of propaganda: starting out as a critique of right-biased journalism, then pivoting abruptly to smear ordinary journalism as distorted and left-biased. Baloney!

Ordinary journalism -- the stuff you get in dailies like the NYT or Washington Post, or weeklies like Time or Newsweek is biased toward the viewpoint of those who advertise there, which is overwhelmingly profit-making companies.

Hardly a hotbed of left-leaning beliefs on abortion, parenting, religion, or anything else!
als (Portland, OR)
Indeed. Mr Leonhardt owes it to himself to give Eric Alterman's "WHAT Liberal Media?" a read. It's fourteen years old, but time hasn't eroded the validity of his analysis one little bit. And Paul Krugman has lamented at length the descent of "respectable" journalism into stenographic reporting and a cockeyed craving for "balance" that can be summed up as a headline reading "Experts disagree on Shape of Earth".
hpjbxcpa (Highland Park, Il)
What planet are you on? The Liberal bias in the US is a known factor for years. If you consider the NYT or WAPO , etc anything but far to the left, you need help badly.
Jerry S (Greenville, SC)
"You can see the news pages becoming more politicized. "
What's good for the NY Times should be good for the WSJ.
Toni Lee de Lantsheere (Cambridge, MA)
I have long thought that Mr. Leonhardt had a subtle right wing bias. Thanks for confirming it with this column. And if Mr. Leonhardt thinks his colleagues at the NYT have a left wing bias, his mind, his thinking, his perception of reality is even more sadly diminished than I had suspected. Maybe the election of Trump has helped Mr. Leonhardt to come out of the alt right closet. SAD!
William Wintheiser (Minnesota)
I generally like the Wall Street journal right up to the opinion pages. Then I might just as well put the paper down and turn on Fox News. I blame Murdoch for bringing tabloid journalism to the television set in our homes. Fake news is Fox News. The British may think this is the way to get your news, for me I prefer the truth no matter where it leads to. The closest I've found has been the New York Times. It is true they do slant to the left, but I can generally rely on its coverage. Trump ranted and raved about Obama,s birth certificate. Finally a movement was born: birthers. Hitler ranted and raved about Jews. Germany got national socialism. I see little daylight between the two versions of mass media propaganda. Trump our commander in cheat is americas version of a brown shirt albeit faster mass communication. The Wall Street journal should go back to its roots and leave politics out. They could probably increase circulation. The nut jobs can go watch Fox News. Sad though, they won't have that hot looking blonde to lull them.
als (Portland, OR)
What WW says is true, but it has always been true. The standing joke about the WSJ has long been that the writers of the editorials give no evidence of actually reading their own newspaper. It would be hard to imagine a starker system of "alternative universes" than the contrast between the opinion and news pages of that newspaper.
Woof (NY)
Re: Reporters and editors have become accustomed to the “shaving off the edges” of Trump-related stories, one said, especially in headlines and initial paragraphs.

See NY TImes, 2/13/2017

"Melania Trump Thanks Model Who Defended Her Against a Reporter’s Insult"

The edge left out in the head line, properly inserted

Melania Trump Thanks Model Who Defended Her Against a NY Times Reporter’s Insult

To find fault with others is easy
Mookie (DC)
The NY Times would unleash a hoard of reporters to determine, and publish, a WSJ reporter's identify if the WSJ reporter had made a derogatory comment about Mrs. Obama.

But, with regard to it's own, ... crickets.
I stopped reading the WSJ the day Murdoch bought it. You can't rely on information from a Murdoch company, that's just idiocy.
PistolPete (Philadelphia)
You had me until this part: "But The Journal’s news pages, like those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity."

I have been a NYT subscriber for more years than I can remember, but I still call a spade a spade: The NYT news pages may aspire to objectivity, but way too often falls short. And those who can't agree with this are the same ones that are still scratching their heads about how this guy was ever elected.
slimowri2 (milford, new jersey)
The Wall Street Journal might be having editorial problems but it is a great
newspaper. Any comment that the reader wants published in the comments
section is published. It is a monument to the First Amendment. Writers are
easy to contact and all opinions are published. David Leonardt should
examine the NYTIMES op-ed writers for biased journalism. The names fall
off the page, Charles Blow, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Gail
Collins, Roger Cohen, Russ Douthat, Nicholas Kristof. The bias drips off the
Charles (Long Island)
"The bias drips off the page."

But, bias from all points of view and both sides of the political spectrum. What's wrong with that?
Termon (NYC)
What is now a "nursery rhyme" (Rock a by-baby...) was once a political hatchet piece, spread in the market places to influence people against James II and the Stuart dynasty. Lies and propaganda are not new in politics, but the global reach of Murdoch is new--Jerusalem Post to Washington Times, as unfair and unbalanced as the market will bear.
Philo (Scarsdale NY)
I subscribe to both the Journal and the NYT's and have for several years now- it is sometimes fascinating to see the headlines on the same day about the same subject as well as the headlines not covered by the WSJ on any bad news for trump
I was wondering as I read the editorials in the past several months how the WSJ could support trump - so many of his policies and campaign pledges were against the things that the WSJ had been advocating just the year before.
Then I realized, the editorial was being written by someone ( now I see its Baker) who has/had a loathing for Obama, Clinton and anything liberal - and would compromise their so called principles to defeat what they see as the enemy - liberalism
The WSJ is becoming Fox News or rather FAUX NEWS
MJS (Savannah area, GA)
"But The Journal’s news pages, like those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity."

Unlike the NYT and WaPost, the WSJ's news and opinion pages were objective during the recent campaign and post election coverage. I'll take the WSJ over the NYT any day.
"Which is why the media reported so aggressively on Hillary Clinton’s emails, damaging her badly."

So glad, someone is admitting that this newspaper and others 'reported so aggressively' on her emails 'damaging her badly'. The next step is to admit that media in America is largely responsible, especially any and all that belong to Murdoch, for the billionaire, authoritarian regime we now have occupying the White House.

For years, Murdoch systematically destroyed British media and politics. After many of minions were arrested, and News Corps abominable practices were revealed, he moved his operation (and sons) to the U.S. where he has succeeded his quest for worldwide conservative domination of his media empire. His dream has mostly been completed except for some journalists with a measure of integrity at the Wall Street Journal. It will be interesting to see which side will win in this battle.
John League (Venice, FL)
After the election, I read numerous pieces quoting editors who said they had misread the American public and underreported or were unaware of the depth of the grievances of working class Americans. It was those American who put Trump in office. Editors said they needed to double down on coverage of working men and women to better understand the problems facing America. Where are those stories? See J.D. Vance's book for some guidance.
semari (New York City)
There can be only one solution to a fair and truthful press. The last and perhaps best word on this subject was written by Gunnar Myrdal is his classic 1969 "Objectivity in Social Research". He indicates, given the likelihood that pure objectivity is perhaps humanly impossible, the closest we can get to it is to state our biases at the outcome. If only that were the case in so many print, online, and video outlets these days
Old Liberal (USA)
Personally, I cannot think of a more important discussion to have than what is and should be the role of the media.

Whether it be opinion or news, the reporting should be based on hard facts backed by indisputable evidence and guided by the truth. Of course, we seldom see this happen because everything is contextualized and facts and evidence is cherry picked.

All of us have preconceived thoughts, ideas and opinions - how could we not? However, those who fail to apply critical thinking are reliant upon others to shape their thoughts, ideas and opinions. It is significant that so many Americans (probably the vast majority) are intellectually lazy. The real question is why, given that their very existence depends upon understanding the truth.

I hope this comment section remains open indefinitely. I hope David Leonhardt and others will continue to self-analyse the reporting of news and the shaping of thoughts and ideas.

I have literally a thousand thoughts on this that I would love to share and explore with other readers. Here is one - I don't think of the NYT today as left leaning. I do think they favor the Democrats but I don't think of the Democratic Party generally as left leaning nor liberal. In my view liberalism centers around democratic socialism and it seems clear to me that Democrats do not favor democratic socialism. Coincidently, I have never known a conservative who doesn't think that the Democratic Party is wildly liberal. So, what's the truth?
Keith Ferlin (Canada)
Two truths I do know is be true to yourself and never betray your humanity. After that we have to muddle through on our own, hewing to those two tenets.
gary brandwein (NYC/ fomerly of Sheffield GB)
The end of Glass Segal and corporate tax law, (tax evasion and gthe ability to carry losses into any enterprise) enabled the powerful concentration of money , allowing the accumulation of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. Obviously, it is possible for a figure of Murdoch, who corrupted the police in London, stealing cell phones of the dead and violated, to turn a buck, can operate this paper at a loss. WSJ's investigative coverage of corporate corruption was once the best. How could this 'felon' violator of human decency be allowed to own a paper like the WSJ after dodging a litany of corruption suits and paying out of pocket. His lieutenants bribed the London police, MP's a while access to PM of England. Ailes and Trump are infants compared to this guy. How could this personal history have flown under the radar..Think of, Al Capone as US Ambassador to UN human rights commission or Henry Kissinger asa judge at the World Court of the Hague.
CincyBroad (Cincinnati, OH)
I cancelled my subscription to WSJ years ago when their bias just became too much to stomach. I appreciate getting good information and I know the finance industry has a conservative bent, but democrats could cure cancer and the WSJ would still find fault with them. It was exhausting to read.
GlassWriter (Los Angeles, CA)
I have a difficult time with all the screeching about objective reporting in an era when garbage news and garbage politicians are king. Democracy, even the watered down version of democracy we've enjoyed in this country for some years, is dead. Every day on every front the worst of business interests are taking over this country. This is not a time for principled journalists to sit on their Adirondack Chairs with their legs crossed and a martini in their hands discussing the fine points of journalistic neutrality.
HighPlainsScribe (Cheyenne WY)
Sometimes I toy with a list of the most toxic influences on modern society. It's amazing how many denizens of that list are authoritarians and rapacious moneybags posing as conservatives, despite my best efforts at objectivity. Murdoch, Ailes, Trump, Scalia, Limbaugh, Gingrich and Delay....; It's a long list. There would also be more liberal pols and institutions on the list also, especially Hollywood and the gaming industry, which have had more influence on violence and the proliferation of guns than the NRA and republican pols together. Republicans on the whole practice a philosophy of 'if they break the rules just a little, we're going wholesale.' If there is some left bias in media, we're turning to outright lies and propaganda. It seems that leaks from within republican institutions and are our best chance arriving at something resembling the facts, especially when republicans control the three branches of government.
Paul A Myers (Corona del Mar CA)
The Murdoch phenomenon is the predictable outcome of excessive economic concentration in the media sector, which is an affliction affecting almost every economic sector of the American economy.

An oligopoly economy eventually results in an oligopoly society of divided market shares, otherwise called polarization.
Truthtalk (San francisco)
The reminder regarding the endless coverage of Hillary Clinton's emails should alieve concerns that the mainstream media is drifting too far to the left. The mainstream media and the courts seem to be our only remaining hope in the battle to maintain some degree of normalcy while the Trump agenda seems to be to create complete distrust. We are apparently supposedto distrust the media, the courts...the facts and even our own senses. "In Trump we trust" may soon grace our currency.
DSM (Westfield)
All of the media is struggling with how to deal with a president whose lifetime strategy has been to lie so often about so many things that the truth will never catch up to him.

Nonetheless, it is important, too, for the media to realize that there are significant reasons for Trump's victory other than his lies--after all, Ted Cruz was not much more honest.

Perhaps if the media had reported on Clinton's potential flaws as a candidate (aside from the email server) as much as it did on her email server, Biden would have been willing to run and able to win.
rati mody (chicago)
We need to remember that Trump does not lie! He believes in alternate facts. as his Kelly Ann Convey says, or better yet, what he says in his Art of the Deal-"Promise big!" That is exactly he has done to his voters. Now that it is time to deliver the BIG PROMISES, he has misdirected everyone's gaze to the migrant issue. We need to keep asking, WHERE ARE THE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS he promised? In the meanwhile the circus continues. ,What a fall my countrymen.
Katherine Cagle (Winston-Salem, NC)
I subscribed to the WSJ briefly but cancelled my subscription after seeing featured editorials that had headlines reminiscent of supermarket tabloids. Headlines were so bad I wouldn't even click on them to see the article. I respect journalists like Peggy Noonan because even when I don't agree with her, she presents evenhanded information. I decided the subscription was too expensive if I wanted to see only a few articles.
Woman Uptown (NYC)
As most journalists know, true freedom of the press belongs only to the man/woman/family that owns the press. The Journal's opinion pages have always hewn right, but the reporting before Murdoch was solid and the editing even more solid than the competition. The paywall makes clear who their audience is now, and I refuse to buy it on the street.

We have, I believe, President Reagan to thank for clearing the way for Murdoch's citizenship so he could buy Fox, which has done more damage to the truth than any other medium. The Journal now appeals to consumers who want their lies a little more dressed up, and I have a lot of sympathy for those on its editorial staff who remember their obligation to report fearlessly. I'm supporting Pro Publica and other independent outlets who aren't so concerned with upholding a large corporate structure.
diogenes (tennessee)
The WSJ has never hewn "right" only as running dogs for the corporations and super rich. The WSJ has no conception of true conservatism or patriotism.
Roger Thurman (The Hague The netherlands)
There are many close to where I'm sitting who believe that the greatest con trick played on a seemingly intelligent audience is the way that the American mainstream media has convinced its readership/viewers that it sits well left of centre. As a result whenever a reader reads anything, with the possible exception of sport, they take two or three brisk steps to the right and say to themselves the truth lies somewhere here. Traditionally the press has sided with the great vested interests. While recent Trump commentary knocks this idea a bit, I believe the basic hypothesis stands. In England Murdoch single handedly destroyed the morality and integrity of one if not two generations. Many would like him to be called to account. His handling of the WSJ has been colored by patience; could things now be changing? At least now he's yours.
MKKW (Baltimore)
WSJ may well need to apologize for having an agenda but not for being conservative.

And stop with the mia culpa of liberal bias, No conservative media outlet apologizes for being conservative.But perhaps they should at least acknowledge it because then the press, oriented to stories that support their right lean, would enlighten their audience by explaining that their views are colored by traditionalism, maintaining existing views and not liking abrupt change in society or politics. That might make it clear that the WSJ chooses stories that support the status quo of business and social order.

And abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few, are social issues about choice and freedom. The US Constitution is a liberal social document that codifies liberal thought and openness. Conservative views want to actually dismantle or restrict the fundamental rights the Constitution affords us all. For instance, abortion as legal issue is not about the right or wrong of it but whether the government has the right to tell a woman what she can or can't do with her body. The religious conservative groups are challenging the Constitution.

Journalism at its best is a defender of the Constitution.
Anne Smith (NY)
But - Should the government force a medical practitioner who believes that the fetus is a human life and terminating it is murder (which is not necessarily a religious belief, Nat Hentoff was opposed to abortion) to perform abortions? Should the government take away the license to practice? Would that not be challenging the constitution as well?
Robbie J. (Miami, Florida.)
"Journalism at its best is a defender of the Constitution."

Alternatively, I would say that journalism at its best is the defender and curator of the _debate_. Journalism should call for the debate when it is needed; should highlight the questions that are relevant but ignored, and should conclude the debate when all questions are sufficiently coherently aired and sufficiently supported to decide them. Journalism should make public the resolutions so achieved, as well.
Winston Smith (London)
The Constitution is a framework for laws that codify the freedom of ALL thought, not just the kind you like. Why do Liberals always degenerate into the most close minded of Fascists? When that Constitution is perverted to exclude ALL points of view, such as the rights of defenseless, viable, unborn children it could lead to the most vile abuse equal to any despotic oligarchy. Its' very core purpose is, as in all civil governments what ever the form, to protect and defend human life from the uncivil war of all against all. That protective union is the basis for freedoms that develop from this basic safety. Because Conservatives wish to preserve human life and believe it is the heart of the social compact should not be cause for illiberal derision, freedom is not license to kill or lie because you feel like it.Religion is a red herring and has nothing to do with a human being's duty to other human beings under a civil compact.
James K. Lowden (New York)
The biggest flaw, surely, when comes to financial reporting and its cousin, economics, is reporters' general ignorance of the subject. NYT or WSJ, articles and editorials routinely get tax, spending, tariff, trade, and employment issues backwards and upside down. It's sadly predicable that figures are reported with no denominator, or with the wrong denominator.

It's no secret that it's a rare reporter who has an economics or finance degree. Less well known is that that knowledge deficit cannot be corrected by careful reading of the financial news or with "research" on the internet. Sources of information regarding money nearly always have vested interests, and those interests are seldom made plain.

The consequence is that reporters are routinely, regularly manipulated. Unable to distinguish reality from spin, they report on the controversy. Thus we see and read, day after day, deficit scolds whose actual agenda is tax cuts and "free trade" advocates without examining the ways in which the agreement restricts trade and labor rights.

I don't see any of that changing anytime soon. Until it does, it seems to me any praise on these pages for insightful economic reporting is wishful thinking at best.
Rhiannon Hutchinson (New England)
I'm really tired of people using glib, empty labels to obscure meaning. No, the media does not have a "liberal bias". That's a useless label that stops effective discussion cold.

What most reporters do have is core values, and those values generally include truth, integrity, transparency, fairness, equality, compassion, and the importance of "afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted".

If we want to have a disagreement about those values, fine -- bring it on. Because I think 75% of Americans would agree those are exactly the values they themselves embrace.

The more important question, though, is whether the media's approach mirrors the values most of us, Democrat and Republican, claim to live by. i for one believe it does.
dennis (ct)
"Because I think 75% of Americans would agree those are exactly the values they themselves embrace."

That is exactly the thinking that got Trump elected. Get out of your bubble.
Daibhidh (Chicago)
There's a false equivalency issue however with counteracting perceptions of liberal bias. For example, if you're covering global warming, where the vast scientific consensus backs up the view that it's real, which is backed by liberal viewpoints, then is that a case of "liberal bias?" And, therefore, is the paper then obligated to present the right-wing view that global warming is a myth and it's not happening?

That seems problematic, and creates what I'd call a "nontroversy" -- that is, a false controversy, which prevents thinking and discussion from advancing on the topic, namely: What to do? And how to proceed toward more Earth-friendly energy sources and working to reduce carbon emissions?

The Right has excelled at propagating assorted nontroversies throughout media channels, openly and willfully pushing their ideologically-charged views on issues, and forcing and/or counting on more liberal-minded media outlets to try to be even-handed (hence the false equivalency issue raised earlier).

The classic line of a liberal being a person who won't take their own side in an argument would seem to hobble them when going up against right-wing partisans, who have no such reservations. The Right presents their side.

Go where the facts and evidence are, report them objectively. Rather than giving fact and non-fact equal stage time.
T Montoya (ABQ)
Whether the WSJ wants to admit it or not, they have a higher standard than typical for proving that they can deliver high quality journalism. When you are owned by someone with the professional, and to a lesser extent personal, history of Rupert Murdoch you have to know that every piece you publish has to stand up to scrutiny. It has become harder for them to win Pulitzers and that may continue if they can not distinguish their work from their owner's viewpoints.
dave (pennsylvania)
If there are ANY parallels between Fox and the WSJ, we should be alarmed. Roger Ailes was a republican apparatchik who built his infotainment empire from scratch, and stayed in power by producing a gusher of money, not Pulitzers. He made the world "safe" for fake news, and by giving the aging unwashed a place to go to have their prejudices reinforced, he paved the way for reagan/bush/palin/trump (no caps!). The alleged liberal bias of the Media is a complete fiction--Al Gore, Gary Hart, and Hillary all had their candidacies destroyed by "liberal" press coverage, and Bill Clinton's dalliance with an intern became the crime of the century. If you are asked to "shave of the edges" of your reporting, you are working for Pravda, and your boss is a Putin clone.
Dan Moerman (Superior Township, MI)
Pity the National Geographic!
Philip Martone (Williston Park NY)
The New York Post is not just a "peppery conservative tabloid".It is a biased conservative tabloid! It never publishes an opinion column that does not follow the party line like Pravda! And I am sure Murdoch reads and approves all opinion columns before they are published! Not to mention the opinion columnists (like one Michael Goodwin) who suddenly changed their entire point of view when Murdoch hired them!
Ian (NYC)
And the NY Times doesn't follow the party line?
Didi (USA)
"You can see the news pages becoming more politicized." Um, maybe you should take a look at your own New York Times.
Sharlene (Santa Cruz, CA)
Newspapers have always had a bias that bled into news stories and we all know it. To me, and hopefully to the rest of us, its the FACT CHECKING that is key. For the most part, this seems to be true of WSJ, NYT and WaPo. Its up to each of us to use critical thinking no matter what we read.
shstl (MO)
To those of you trying to say that liberal media bias is not as harmful or malicious as conservative bias, BALONEY. I used to be one of you. A lifelong Democrat, I always believed the liberal media took the high road and the conservative media was full of liars and political henchmen.

But then a news story called "Ferguson" happened right up the street from me, and I was able to see over and over and over again how liberal media bias can be just as glaring and destructive. More than two years later, this newspaper still calls Michael Brown an "unarmed black teenager," conveniently omitting the actual TRUTH of that story and ignoring the fact that thousands of innocent people were hurt because of that lie.

Frankly, I'm sick of the arrogance of the left. You are not better or different or morally superior, and neither are your newspapers. I'll believe your suggestion that the Wall Street Journal is "in the tank" for Trump when you go back and measure your coverage of Obama with the same scrutiny. And I say that as a 2x Obama voter.
Ken (Ohio)
You write this as if you've just returned from a decade on Mars. Yes, uh, there can be a 'somewhat liberal bias to the news on issues like education, abortion, families, religion...'. Welcome back to earth and the unvarnished absence of any microscopic pretense of mainstream objectivity.
Christopher Hanks (Milwaukee)
"Reporters and editors have become accustomed to the “shaving off the edges” of Trump-related stories, one said, especially in headlines and initial paragraphs."

Whereas at your paper, Dave, those "edges" NEVER get sharpened, right?
G Fox (CA)
Murdoch's politics are blatantly obvious when you read the Post. A headline earlier this week: "Obama Schemes to Undermine Trump Presidency." You gotta laugh! The Post combines lurid tabloid fodder with some golden nuggets of interest and gossip, which is part of its appeal, but at the end of the day, everyone knows it's a mouthpiece for Murdoch's views---no doubt there!
Chris (Georgia)
"But The Journal’s news pages, like those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity."

WHAT? Objectivity, even in the supposedly non-editorial news, in the NYT and the WP? You have got to be kidding me. Every article reads like an editorial.
Peter Duffy (Long Island)
By reading some comments I guess "that paper is biased " only applies to the paper one disagrees with!
To say NYTimes isn't biased is delusional.
njglea (Seattle)
Allow me to once again thank Ronald Reagan for dutifully serving
The Top 1% Global Financial Elite Robber Baron/ Radical Religion Good Old Boys' Party in gutting Teddy Roosevelt's trust-busting-anti-trust-regulations and allowing people like Mr. Evil Murdoch to control half of the world's media.

This is what we get. NOW is the time for every single person who cares about democracy in America - including journalists and media people in every category - to stand up and say NO. The Robber Baron World is not one we want and we will fight like hell to save democracy in America and around the world.
HeartlandHeartbeat (Kansas City, MO)
The pot (NT Times) calling the kettle (Murdoch) black.
Sandra Garratt (Palm Springs, California)
Australia does not want Murdoch back in their country, he is a criminal in the UK, the EU has no respect for him, yet he got fast-tracked for US citizenship.......why? So he could destroy American news & journalism and provide the radical far right with their propaganda machine? The one respected WSJ has been destroyed....hard to believe that the family sold it claiming they knew nothing of Murdoch criminal activities. I find that a stretch. Shame on them for selling out to a genuine monster.
herbie212 (New York, NY)
Yes, to deal with the liberal megaphones ABC, NBC, CBS CNN, MSNBC, New York times, LA times, San fran cron are all arms of the democrat party. Where is a non-partisan pure news outlet?
Peter Duffy (Long Island)
"But the Journals news pages, like The NY Times and Washington Post..." ascribe to balanced journalism?
There is little to no balance in The NY Times.
You just lost credibility with more than half the nation who sees MSM AS PART OF THE PROBLEM.
Disappointing to say the least what you describe happening at WSJ.
Different than what goes on at NYTimes?
That's naive...either because you believe it, or because you think we believe it.
hen3ry (New York)
Remember the Soviet Union and samizdat! That's what we'll be doing if things continue this way. We'll have the official news and then we'll have the satirical stories that have the real news.
Marigrow (Deland, Florida)
"A dearth of stories about....frightened immigrants". The nytimes equates legal and illegal immigrants. Nothing but open-borders propaganda by the nytimes.
jon carson (utah)
Two examples of how far they have sunk.

Two years ago UN releases report on accelerating climate change that is lead story for almost all media. WSJ puts it in a small box on page 6 and then quotes a scientist (Fred Singer) who denies the health effects of tobacco as its lead source for climate denial. Took about 10 seconds on the internet to figure out who Fred Singer is.

Last Dec editorial page calls for Trump to divest his assets. Why? Because its the right thing for a incoming president to do? Nah. To deny liberals a talking point. Huh?

And now its just one more Murdoch media outlet and part of the right wing outrage bubble that has given us Trump.
Jena (North Carolina)
I remember the day I subscribed the the WSJ as a college student and remember the day I cancelled my subscription-the day the editorial page ran an article criticizing the Pope for opposing the Iraq War! Decades of great reporting but off the wall editorials and finally I had enough of Murdock's crazies on the editorial page.
PaulB (Cincinnati, Ohio)
This is a fair and balanced appraisal of the WSJ (seriously). But my concern is that it may be increasingly irrelevant as mainstream media publishers are overtaken and then passed over by the Wild West online "news" media outlets that are often no more than fanatical ideologues spewing their tainted versions of facts.

Look at who is getting White House press credentials these days: Breitbart News, the Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump blog, and many others. Who does simmering Sean Spicer call upon at his daily briefings: representatives of far right news outlets that are only vaguely, if at all, anchored in professional journalism.

Murdoch is a cynical publisher who's mined gold in the hills of conservative orthodoxy. But he is a piker compared to Bannon, Art Jones and others who delight in creating their own "facts" to peddle to their right wing true believers.
tom (oklahoma city)
Too bad that facts and the truth have a liberal bias.
MVH1 (Decatur, Alabama)
Not only do facts and truth have a liberal bias, but it seems only liberals are still interested in them.
The Owl (New England) the lead investigators in a key paper rushed to leak the report prior to the Paris climate change conference, fudged the data to eliminate the observed cooling period for the past thirty years.

The research agency refuses to release the actual data and is now saying that there serious computational errors in one of the data sets.

Yea...truth has a liberal bias...only "the truth" is as far from it as it can be.
Gerry Professor (BC Canada)
Oh, do you mean "facts" like the 1% gaining all (or most) of the economic gains of the past 40 years while ignoring a world population increase during those years of 2 billion (plus or minus). Are these people eating air? Have you not noticed 200-400 million formerly peasant-poor Chinese and Indians now live
lives that include modern housing, travel, smart phones, and automobiles? Never in the history of the world have so many increased the amounts of material necessities, comforts, and amenities.
Mark Harris (New York)
Is anybody really surprised by this? It was obvious that when RM bought the WSJ that he would inevitably turn this once great paper into another megaphone for his conservative agenda. That's why I've always said Fox News is an oxymoron.
davidraph (Asheville, NC)
I'm liberal/left, never voted Republican in my 42 years of voting, yet I came to view the NYT as a mouthpiece of the Clinton campaign last year. No so much the writing itself, but the selection, placement, and headlines of stories. Look at yourself first, Mr. Leonhardt, before throwing stones. Where's an article about staff unhappiness with Abe Rosenthal who's just as biased and harmful to journalism as Gerard Baker?
Lincolnite (Lincoln, CA)
Couldn't agree more. The NY Times was incredibly biased during the campaign. They don't seem to get why people don't trust it. I'm thrilled that the WSJ is trying to be balanced. The NY Times should do the same instead of pushing their agenda in every article.
Bimberg (Guatemala)
Perhaps there is no such article because the staff aren't unhappy. You prefer to see a conspiracy to hide information instead.
Chris (New Market, MD)
"The Journal’s news pages, like those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere, have aspired to objectivity."

Really!?! I subscribe to the NYT and I enjoy reading it every day (and I live and work in the greater DC area), but objective . . . If you really think WaPo and NYT are objective, you need to check for confirmation bias. They are obviously, transparently, hugely left leaning in both section and coverage of news.
Steve Shackley (Albuquerque, NM)
I think you and I both realize that the NYT is biased toward the left, that's why we read it everyday. However, most of the 70% of Americans who watch Fox News and Brietbart do not realize that it is biased right and simply lies nearly 90% of the time. Many NYT readers can separate fact from fiction. Few Fox News listeners can or we wouldn't be in the predicament that the country is in right now. That's a big difference, Chris.
dennis (ct)
The NYT panders to the left and the WSJ panders to the right. There, that's it.

Unfortunately, the NYT still believes it's an unbiased paper.
Billy (Out in the woods.)
How is it that The NY Times can endorse a candidate before the primaries have begun, throw all their arsenal behind her and then claim to be objective?

Are you people dishonest or delusional?
MVH1 (Decatur, Alabama)
And when during the campaign season did you quit reading all the things we complained about as sinking Hillary? It's fascinating.
Rebecca Hewitt (Seattle When not In Paris)
Almost every paper in the nation endorsed a candidate in this election (and have been doing so in every election for time immemorial). What is more fascinating is the number of papers who have never endorsed a Democratic candidate for President came out in favor of HRC because Trump was such a terrible choice. Preferring HRC is what 3 million voters did as well. Had it not been for Russian interference, gerrymandering, voter suppression (solely by Republican led state legislatures), and James Comey's despicable letter to Congress 11 days before the election, HRC would be president, and we'd probably also have a Democratic majority Senate.
LS (Maine)
Murdoch is a cancer on journalism.
jill (Brushton, NY)
Coming from the NY Times, this is the most ironic article I've ever read. Have you checked your headlines since in the lst year??
Paul Adams (Stony Brook)
I use a simple rule of thumb: don't trust a disproportionately wealthy journalist, editor or media-owner.
Jonathan (NYC)
Unfortunately, it is hard to find homeless vagrants sleeping under bridges who own newspapers.....
Tom Wyrick (Missouri, USA)
Murdoch-Fox-tabloid journalism thrives on social discord and chaos. The opposite also holds: A low-Fox diet promotes social health.

Relying on barbarians for fake news and crude entertainment is like buying our oil from terrorist nations. Originally a convenience, eventually we came to regret it.

I subscribed to the WSJ for 20+ years. Never again. Financial news can be found online, whereas conventional news is better reported in the NYT and Washington Post.
jrd (NY)
If the subject is Bernie Sanders, so-called "free trade" agreements, "entitlement spending" or the Washington consensus generally, more than a few Times readers (and far more than a few Iraqis, for example) would be surprised to learn that the news pages of "The New York Times, The Washington Post and elsewhere have aspired to objectivity."

Look to your own, David Leonhardt.
Ann O. Dyne (Unglaciated Indiana)
You say the WSJ has done some solid reporting since Murdock ingested the paper. Well, Glory Be - I just assumed once he took ownership, the WSJ was to be taken with a graincar of salt.
seanseamour (Mediterranean France)
Simon Schama, the British historian, recently tweeted: “Indifference about the distinction between truth and lies is the precondition of fascism. When truth perishes so does freedom.”
oldBassGuy (mass)
"...Murdock...buys media properties, or starts new ones, and turns them into conservative megaphones..."
"...You can see the news pages becoming more politicized..."
"...through the lens of Fox News. Its former leader, Roger Ailes, knew..."
"...The Wall Street Journal is no Fox News..."
"...On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage..."
"...Baker believes that most media is hopelessly biased, ... and his approach as the fair and balanced one..."

So a decade after Murdock acquires WSJ, we are finally seeing an article such as this, written by yet another apologist for the professional right.
It was obvious what was going to happen to the WSJ. The moment Murdock has a hand in anything, it turns to .
The article provides numerous supporting examples. To have a misanthrope such as Ailes run FOX for decades tells me all I need to know about the integrity of Murdock.
The important issues listed in the article are 'pure' politics.
WSJ is not "becoming" politicized, it has already arrived, and long ago.
Baker is "fair and balanced"? Where have I heard that before?
WSJ is FOX in print, but with a slightly more sophisticated veneer.
Jonathan (NYC)
So there is one conservative newspaper, and ten thousand liberal ones. What a tragedy!
James (St. Paul, MN.)
During the election cycle, the WSJ was clearly functioning as a mouthpiece for the GOP, and the New York Times was clearly functioning as a mouthpiece for the Democratic National Committee. To get honest news about the election, one had to use smaller and less well known sources of information. Sadly, this leads us to understand that the era of great, objective newspapers is behind us.
ptcollins150 (new york city)
While you "happen to agree" that liberal bias can be a media problem, you're proof point is curious, at best. That reporters don't protect any political party isn't the reason "why the media reported so aggressively on Hillary Clinton’s emails, damaging her badly." They reported on Benghazi! because Republican media, Republican Congress and Republican MONEY taught much of the country to growl in sullen impotence whenever they should have been thinking. The media fed the world cooked-up sensationalism, and Hillary had no eye-popping craziness, so the press let a Republican congress dictate that story with Benghazi! Emails! If, perchance, the pen is still mightier than the sword, perhaps you and others could try wielding it with a bit more accuracy.
WKing (Florida)
Physician, heal thyself. the Journal has more liberal commentary than the Times has conservative commentary. I would also say that there is more bias in the Times' news reporting.
Weissbluth (Chicago, IL)
"On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage." How are left-leaning beliefs related to parenting? Is there any data?
Allen W (Indianapolis)
I subscribed to the WSJ in college and continued on through the the first couple years of Murdoch's reign - roughly 20 consecutive years. The Murdoch bias was already apparent so early on and became progressively worse - so I ended my 20 year relationship. I occasionally pick up a free copy of the WSJ in the airline clubs when I travel. What I have see over the years of occasional WSJ reading Is that the value of honest, credible journalism continues its' path of erosion. Coverage - both news stories and editorials - of all things Trump is simply biased, unnerving and down right disappointing from a once iconic establishment that I trusted. Rupert - you truly messed up this once iconic newspaper. I have been a NYT's subscriber from the day I quit the WSJ - over a decade now- and very seldom look back (at the WSJ) as it just makes me "SAD".
Ray Ozyjowski (Portland OR)
I've read the Times and the Journal since college in the 70's - do you really think the Times is any different? Read both, and judge for yourself. See truth where it lies and formulate your own opinion. Relying on one or the other is foolish. Both papers have agendas.
Ed (Oklahoma City)
Buy American! WSJ is not an American product.
Pat (New York)
One should only read the business section of WSJ. The rest is fake news ala Fox.
JPE (Maine)
By "ascendance" do you mean "election?" That choice of words itself betrays NYT's pretensions toward objectivity. As a reader of both rags, I'm skeptical of both. Every reader should be.
hawk (New England)
"news pages becoming more politicized". Are you kidding?

What does that make the NYT?
Stourley Kracklite (White Plains, NY)
You are making an implication rather than stating a position. It's not a point of view, it's a lazy bias.
Paul Leighty (Seatte, WA.)
Murdoch does manage to turn everything he touches into a sticking mess doesn't he.
Ted Morton (Ann Arbor)
The article, and the comments I've read so far, missed the UK incident called Phonegate in which senior staff at News International (owned by Murdoch) were involved with the deliberate hacking of phones to obtain voice mails, those hacks included the phone of a murdered schoolgirl, families of dead British soldiers, and victims of the July 2005 London bombings. The parliamentary inquiry into this ended up saying that Murdoch was "not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company", the News of the World - close in content style to the National Enquirer - subsequently went out of business.
I predicted that this would happen when I heard that Murdoch had bought the WSJ and Faux News is what it is because of his 'leadership'.
Michael (North Carolina)
As Malcomb Gladwell demonstrates in "Click", and Daniel Kahneman in "Thinking, Fast and Slow", to be human is to be biased. But, for me, bias comes in various forms - one type represents an orientation grounded in experience and respect for verifiable fact, and another is grounded in ideological belief, whether or not supported by verifiable fact. That divide is evident in virtually every aspect of modern political dialog. And it is leading us to no good end. When respect for truth, or even agreement on the very definition of truth, is weakened, cooperation becomes virtually impossible. And our challenges as a species and as a planet require, perhaps more than ever before, cooperation if we are to survive. One thing is clear - climate is unbiased, and most certainly does not read WSJ (or NYT).
mancuroc (Rochester)
"I happen to agree that liberal bias can be a media problem. On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage. The Journal, and every newspaper, should indeed fight that problem."

Mr. Leonhardt, I would challenge you to provide evidence for this statement.

In state after state, attacks on abortion rights, beyond what even many conservatives consider reasonable, and on public education have gone under the radar. Religion? I've seen very little left-sounding coverage (whatever that might mean) of religion, while "religion" (meaning the money-grubbing, megachurch variety) rarely gets challenged.

And, as a parent and grandparent, I would love to know how you see parenting as a liberal versus conservative issue. All I can think of is the area of child abuse; that's less about parenting than about how you treat your fellow humans in general.
Robert E. Kilgore (Ithaca)
Liberal bias merely illustrates reality. By and large, the liberal point of view represents truth and decency. Why would you want to balance this with lies, greed, and crude indecency?

We separate the outhouse and the kitchen for good reasons. Trump's psychosis seems to be affecting more than simply knuckledraggers and obvious thieves...
Jonathan (NYC)
Er, how exactly does this differ from the NY Times? Or the Washington Post? If all the writers are best buddies with the DNC crowd and have lunch with the Clinonistas every day, what kind of news coverage results?
Len Charlap (Princeton, NJ)
And IF pigs could fly, we'd need a lot of people to clean up the mess.
Stourley Kracklite (White Plains, NY)
The editor of the WSJ instructs his reporters what not to say. You assume that other papers do likewise. If you have substance that informs your assumption you would share it.
Bruce Mincks (San Diego)
What kind of editing reflects this quality of reporting? It's trickle-down fascism.
Jan (NJ)
I read the WSJ daily and find it an excellent source of information. Unlike the NY Times which seems to be overly biased, hateful, and untruthful. It slants the news to cater to a radical liberal agenda but that is their choice. And they wonder why their readership is down 77%.
Rebecca Hewitt (Seattle When not In Paris)
Jan, you are entitled to your opinion. You don't like the liberal, progressive slant of the NYT and do like what you read in the WSJ. Fine. But the NYT readership is NOT DOWN 77%. You are stating Fake Facts, and most of us are fed up with that. The NYT is experiencing record subscription rates as is the Washington Post, Slate, the New Yorker, the Guardian......and groups like the ACLU and SPLC. So go ahead and write your opinion. But do NOT throw out Fake Facts. It is annoying.
carolinajoe (North Carolina)
NYT readership is actually up.....
Ben (CT)
Thank you, Mr. Leonhardt, for acknowledging that much of the media coverage comes with a liberal bias. We all have differing views and there is room for all of them in society. Covering a story with bias to the right or left is not wrong. However, we need to be willing to admit which side our views fall on and therefore which side our coverage of the story may favor.
Bruce Sterman, Manhattan Chili Co. (New York, NY)
There has never never ever ever been a more important time for sophisticated and fearless financial journalism.
Stephen Neumeier (Boston, MA)
I have been surprised at how critical the opinion page has been.

Read the last four Brett Stephens articles.
Brian B (Atlanta, GA)
At least y'all have options.

In Atlanta, a regional oligarch, Cox, dominates the media landscape with the leading local TV news--mostly crime stories and weather, the leading news radio station--mostly right-wing talk and traffic, and the city's only major daily--mostly regional boosterism and sports.

By some accounts, the Cox family only keeps its papers as a legacy in deference to their nonagenarian matriarch.

Gathering news from various ex-Cox reporters' facebook pages has become necessary.
Norm (Peoria, IL)
As a long time reader of both papers, it is hilarious the Times is raising concerns over "slanted headlines", etc. By the way, I am still waiting for the Times to publish the "proof" that it has that Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election. "Everyone says" doesn't count.
Gabbyboy (Colorado)
Maybe today's news on Flynn will give you a clue.
JHBoyle (Fla)
Does not the Flynn resignation look like "evidence" to you? It does to me.
Shawn (Seattle)
Proof of Russian influence is easily quantifiable - the DNC leaks orchestrated by Russia caused an incessant drip drip drip of anti-Clinton media coverage, doled out at Russian will. Count up the hours and hours of free anti-Clinton airtime and print space.
WMK (New York City)
It is nice to know that there is a conservative newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, when most newspapers and media lean left. It is a refreshing change after having a steady diet of liberal bias. I hope the WSJ stays conservative for those of us who like our news conservative and balanced. We do exist believe it or not.
James K. Lowden (New York)
The supposedly left-leaning Times -- and the media generally -- buried the lede when Bernie Sanders was drawing bigger crowds the Hillary or Il Donaldo. Newspapers across the country endorsed a candidate who voted for the Iraq war, who supported TPP, who only begrudgingly and halfheartedly addressed the minimum wage and student debt. For her tiny, centrist social spending proposals, she promised "every dime us paid for".

That is your liberal bias.

Progressives very nearly nominated Sanders over the opposition of party leadership despite highly negative media coverage. When Sanders was covered, he was often characterized as an angry old man, a half truth if ever there was one. Krugman among others claimed his healthcare plan was too expensive, when in fact it saves $1 trillion annually.

That is your liberal bias.
Jansmern (Wisconsin)
"Conservative and balanced". Now there is the perfect example of an oxymoron! Well done!
I read the WSJ for years prior to the Murdoch purchase. As others have noted the editorials tended to reflect conservative opinion but the news and feature reporting appeared to be totally independent. In fact some of the feature stories about poverty were the most heart- wrenching and sympathetic - seemingly "liberal" in view. Amazing reporting prior to Murdoch

Around the time of the WSJ purchase Murdoch had reportedly said he wanted to "destroy" The NY Times. And he did not like the long WSJ articles

I continued with the WSJ for a while after the Murdoch purchase but it became clear it had transformed into a Murdoch/Fox News platform.

A true American tragedy - Murdoch's trashing of the WSJ and the loss of the professional and dignified WSJ institution
Scottilla (Brooklyn)
I tried reading the Journal in the 70s when I was in college. The news content was so slanted then that it was unreadable, and I can't imagine that it has improved in the intervening years. Murdoch slanting the news content to the right? Unlikely.
AndyP (Cleveland)
I have long wondered how Mr. Murdoch's malign influence on political discourse in the United States, especially through truth-challenged Fox "News", has drawn relatively little attention in the media. He is, after all not even an American (he is Australian). Perhaps his great wealth and influence in the media made commentators hesitate to criticize him. Even when Roger Ailes, who ran Fox News for Mr. Murdoch since its inception, was accused last year by current and former Fox News employees of sexual harassment, fairly little was said about Murdoch's tolerance of Ailes. Now that the Trump presidency literally threatens our democracy, and the public learns that Mr. Murdoch has long backed and promoted Mr. Trump, perhaps they will focus on the damage his machinations have done to our country.
TR (Kansas City)
I've tried but can't stomach the WSJ. Very right wing, and the recent announcement not to call Cheetohs lies lies did it for me. Won't even go to a single story. Especially now with Murdoch ownership. It's a shame, all real journalism outlets need to be fearless and honest in reporting the lies, corruption, illegalities and other horrors coming from 1600. Grow up and do your job!
Harry B (Michigan)
Sorry, the journal is now tabloid news. I fondly remember buying the street to try and educate myself on worldly and financial news. Not anymore, Murdoch is nothing short of anti American. The man should be investigated and his citizenship revoked for treason. He left a trail of deceit and lies in England and now his wrath is upon our shores, Australia's worst export ever.
Wes Schott (Houston)
WSJ is not half the paper it was before Murdoch. I canceled my subscription not long after it began to dramatically change. Leonhardt is much to generous.
Jim Waddell (Columbus, OH)
The fact that this dispute is occurring says a lot about the objectivity of the WSJ. Can anyone imagine a similar dispute at the NYT over their decision - published on the front page and not the editorial page - to actively oppose Trump?

Similarly, two of the WSJ's major editorial writers - William McGurn and Bret Stephens - took radically opposite positions regarding Trump throughout and following the election. Can anyone imagine that at the NYT?

And as for balance in the stories selected for publication, I'll take the WSJ over the NYT any day. In the NYT there are plenty of stories about blacks being killed by police, the perils of climate change, and the heartrending stories of undocumented (can't use the word "illegal") immigrants, but rarely stories about crony capitalism in the wind and solar industries (for example.)
someone else (jacksonville)
Clearly you don't read much of the NYT because they have in fact covered what you call "crony capitalism" in the wind a solar industries, and I could easily imagine this sort of dispute appearing on their front page. All you've managed to do is list the kinds of stories that the WSJ won't touch. So which paper is actually balanced? If you don't think non-white people's experiences deserve attention then I suppose the WSJ is perfectly suited for you.
Chris (Georgia)
Bingo. The left is so smug and self-righteous that it is blinded to its own biases.
American (Santa Barbara, CA)
This article clearly shows that news media in the United States is not about news at all. It is mainly about manipulating public perception of different issues to influence public opinion to their way of thinking. This is bad and shameful. What a free press?!
Dra (USA)
FYI! You're responding to an editorial, not a news article.
Katharina (Massachusetts)
I canceled my subscription to WSJ because of its conservative bias and reporting. I am so sick and tired of biased reporting... news must be reported with a neutral tone and be based on facts and nothing else.
Joe Pearce (Brooklyn)
So, Katharina, when do you plan to cancel your subscription to the New York Times, in view of its liberal bias and reporting, since you are "so sick and tired of biased reporting..."? Or does this only work in one direction? I think it does. Please note that while Mr. Leonhardt mentions a problem with biased liberal reporting in passing, he does not mention his employer at all in this respect. About two months back, the Times's Public Editor or whatever he is called went after the Times itself for its biased coverage of the entire election. I could be wrong, but I can't remember seeing a single piece by the Public Editor since that time. The Times could be emulating the WSJ in this respect, but since Murdock took over that paper only in 2007 and the Times has been writing this way for the past half-century, I really wonder who is emulating who as the years pass on.
wko (alabama)
Wow, you best cancel your subscription to the NYTimes as well. If you can't see the liberal bias here, especially in the op-ed sections, then you are just blind to the bias. And don't be naive about left bias on the front page either. The NYTEB is as left as it gets, just like the WSJ on the other side.
Will Watkins (AVL)
I find it strange you state that you "are sick and tired of bias reporting" but what you mean is you only want to hear liberal viewpoints that is why you read the NYT. I would suggest you not cancel your WSJ subscription so you get both sides of issues. The problem all of us are facing is that we are increasingly yelling into our own echo chambers. That is why I subscribe to the NYT & WSJ to find the actual news somewhere in the middle.
saywhat? (NY, NY)
It would be fairly easy to debunk the statement that there were millions of non-NH voters and that many were bused in from MA. Think of the number of buses that would be required to move even 10,000 MA voters across the line--something around 20,000! Just check the log books for charter bus companies in the area.
Jeffrey Herrmann (London, UK)
Say what? Check you math!
mikecody (Niagara Falls NY)
20,000 buses to move 10,000 voters? That means each voter needs two busses. I know there is an obesity problem in this country, but I did not think it had reached that level.
saywhat? (NY, NY)
I did try to update the math; sent a correction soon after I posted--i meant 100,000. so apologies---but I am still looking for evidence of 20,000 buses hired to go the NH on November 8!
KHahn (Indiana)
I've read both the WSJ and NYT for a couple decades now. While the Editorials in the WSJ are certainly conservative I have not noticed any shift in the reporting. Also there have been strongly negative editorials of Trump in the WSJ which I found most informative. Similarly I found the NYT editorials critical of Obama most informative. I knew in both cases the belief was from the heart.

I also find it a bit disingenuous that a paper that said Hillary had a 90% chance of winning is questioning the bias of another paper.
Doug Terry (Somewhere in Maryland)
"KHahn", do you assume that everything favorable that is reported about Democrats comes from bias? If you make that assumption, then bias is easy to spot everywhere you go.

I believe that the excessively favorable polling in regard to Clinton in the election was due in part to errors in the polling. Indeed, I wrote about this prior to the election, predicting a much closer race than most media were indicating. A lot of people have done away with landline phones, which was once how most polling was conducted, so people are harder to reach, skewing results. Trump activated a lot of voters who skipped prior elections and, in turn, Mrs. Clinton cooled her base by not presenting an overarching reason she wanted to be president, instead relying on a laundry list of smaller items that, outside of specific interest groups, had little broad appeal. As I wrote, as did many others, in 2008 and 2016, she was never a natural as a campaigner, she always seemed to be struggling to find how she wanted to act, what she aspired to be as a politician. To my eyes, she was an over managed robo-candidate hoping to fake her way through so she could get down to work as president.

The full story of how the election of 2016 was flubbed by commentators and poll readers has not yet been written. I suspect it won't be because there is little journalistic gain in pouring over this failure and, besides, we are in a crisis now with this new unqualified and unpredictable president.
Jim (<br/>)
In fairness it was virtually all the professional polling organizations that were predicting that Clinton had a 90% chance. The Times reported their predictions it did not "invent" or selectively report only the highest numbers in those predictions.
k2isnothome (NW Florida)
I don't think you understand the word disingenuous.

The experts who informed NYT on polls were clearly wrong as were millions of us. It is not disingenuous to write that if that number, however wrong, was obtained honestly and reported as such.

Lying to the nation about the likelihood of Iraq obtaining nuclear weapons is clearly disingenuous. Yet those guys walked.
Jack (New Mexico)
If we have to depend on the WSJ to oppose Trump, we are in for a surprise. Murdoch is a right wing nut that I would not depend on anything any of his publications would print; WSJ and Fox are the same and this article is an example of trying to whitewash terrible people. But who believes the nonsense? Murdoch is a fascist and rational people avoid the WSJ and Fox alike because of these publications right wing ideology.
Chris (Georgia)
Rational people avoid people like you, Jack, calling ideological opponents "fascist" and "nuts". You betray yourself.
bob rivers (nyc)
Actually jackie, sane humans avoid the utterly horrendou NYT and its lunatic editorial board, with its ludicrous open borders position and yellow journalism.

But then people like you and the NYT thought Hillary was going to win, so that just proves the quality of your judgement and their product.
BL Magalnick (New York, NY)
One interesting note: a friend used to be a proofreader at the WSJ until Murdoch took over, at which time he declared that proofreaders were "unnecessary." Wow! My point, beside the obvious shock at the ignorance of someone who wants to be in the newspaper business, is that such an attitude says that Murdoch does not take journalism seriously. Rather, he sees it as a political tool.
Craig Howell (Washington, DC)
As both a foam-at-the-mouth liberal and a longtime reader of the Journal, I have to say that I haven't noticed much deterioration in the Journal's business reporting. For example, they still have plenty of no-holds-barred coverage of business scandals. I pay no attention to paruisan op-ed screeds by the likes of Karl Rove.

One good thing Murdoch did was to boost the Journal's arts coverage. Their Saturday Review section alone is worth the price of a subscription, with numerous thoughtful essays and book reviews.

I stopped subscribing to the National Geographic when the Murdochs took it over a while back, sure they would convert it into a climate-denying rag. Instead, Murdoch's sons seems to be running the show, and the January issue of NatGeo is devoted to transgender children, hardly a topic the Fox News crowd would appreciate. So let's give credit where credit is due.
beth reese (nyc)
It was inevitable that the "wall" between the reporting and editorial departments of the WSJ would come down after Murdoch bought the paper. It has been a slow but inexorable process. The WSJ broke the Bridgegate scandal in 2013. That would not happen today.
Swannie (Honolulu, HI)
Emails, emails, look, look, we got emails. Look, look, look, we got even more emails! It was bad enough that the press shoveled out all that rubbish, but what really got my attention was when the FBI director parroted more of this phony flim-flam. Something is seriously crooked inside our federal government.
Glen Macdonald (Westfield)
Murdoch, Ailes, Trump, Bannon - they are all the same. Aggregate power to serve thyself. Such concentrated corporate power and the objective reporting of news are not a match. The WSJ journalists just want to be the professionals they were trained to be and that they know in their minds and hearts is the right thing to do.
Phil (Florida)
Why must everything be categorized as left vs. right? "left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage." Maybe what you describe as "left-leaning" is really common sense, or more intelligent. trump supporters want to make it into that, but we are seeing many Conservatives who see what he really is and are opposing him just as much as Liberals.
Andy W (Chicago, Il)
When the WSJ is doing a generic article on business where no politics is involved, it's a great paper. When it reports on any aspect involving politics, it's bird cage liner. It's editorial pages are not even worthy of being used as bird cage liner. My information needs have been well served by cancelling my online WSJ subscription. I am happily using that money for the Times and other high quality, well balanced publications. When a worthy article on business appears in The Journal, I find that it's usually easy to obtain a copy for free. That is all the money any Murdoch publication deserves.
T Montoya (ABQ)
For all their faults liberal media will still take a hard look at any issue. In my occasional wanderings through conservative media I find the conversation doesn't even start because some of the hardest questions have been filtered out. In it's place is some story about a missing white girl in South America or a police officer that went out of his way to defend an American flag.
Jon Harrison (Poultney, VT)
It's distressing that a foreigner, Murdoch, has been able to wield such influence over American media and politics. Hopefully the Murdoch sons will prevent the WSJ from becoming a parody of its former self.

I totally agree that liberal bias exists in coverage of issues like education and abortion. But religion gets a free pass every day in this country. Liberal bias hasn't prevented religious doctrine from infiltrating wide swaths of public life and, increasingly, public policy.
RosiesDad (Valley Forge)
Let's hope not. I rely on the Times, the WaPo and the WSJ for my daily news consumption. (Although I avoid the Journal's op-Ed pages.)

I found it a bit disturbing to see Baker on a Sunday show several weeks ago tap dancing around the issue of calling Trump Administration lies what they are (his rationale being that calling an untruth a lie ascribes a motive). If untruths were a rare occurrence, I might accept his point. But when they are an hourly event, it should make one suspicious that the point is dissemination of propaganda.

So I will continue to read the Journal and will continue to hope that the credible journalists there win the argument. We need all the credible sources we can get.
John D. (Out West)
"One of the world's best newspapers"? You've got to be kidding. Never has been, never will be.

What in the world do you see in an always conservative, conventional-wisdom reflection of conservative finaancial types, which has always had a loony right editorial page? The only way I can come up with a favorable comparison is to imagine the IBD as the only competition.

Yeah, it's kinda sad the rest of the paper appears to be converging with the editorial page, but I can't see that as a loss to civilization.
Eddie Lew (New York City)
We are in denial about Big Brother and he becomes more pervasive as the years go by. Denial and ignorance is the crucible he blossoms in. The cancer of ravenous megalomaniacs are spreading. Is anyone really concerned? It gets more virulent every year.
rlmmi (<br/>)
I used to subscribe to WSJ knowing it leaned right. I thought it was good to read the opinion from all sides, it was respected and well written. I also enjoy readers' comments. They allow me to find out what people around the world are thinking and give added perspective to the issue at hand, however WSJ did not edit comments and there were often some trollish ones or commenters bashing each other. And it was all very right wing, often misogynistic (perhaps reflecting their reader base) and a total turn off. I cancelled my subscription.
mkb (New Mexico)
The comments sections are indeed a horror show.
Kaz (Grand Rapids, MI)
David, thanks for confirming my suspicions. For years I've read the WSJ--excluding the editorial and op-ed pages. I thought the reporting in the news pages was good, objective and un-biased. But in the last year or two I've noticed the influence of Murdoch and his lieutenants in the headlines and stories in the front section as well. I wish the family that owned the WSJ had never sold it to Murdoch.

I will probably let my subscription lapse this year--and that's a shame.
steven.kreider (new york)
Why not require each writer to put (D) or (R) to signify voter registration behind his name? And then to show their voting history in presidential elections at one click? Everyone is biased. Let's disclose the bias.
James Griffin (Santa Barbara)
Must be the ink in the water for anyone to think that the major media corporations and their shareholders lean to the left. Revenue drives the news.
Return on the investment. The truth is for sale, print it.
Robert Benz (Las Vegas)
We all new that the WSJ was somewhat if not totally bent toward Republican thinking - or lack there of (see Iraq). What's interesting is the concept of "liberal bias" with respect to Trump. There is nothing more liberal of an economic policy than that relying on tariffs (or the boarder adjustment rubbish). Trump makes Bernie seem like Goldwater
bcole (hono)
Regretfully, I have avoided the WSJ since '07, for good reason, but Monica Langley, looking so starstruck, just wow, reinforcement. Guess she couldn't do better.
David Gifford (Rehoboth beach, DE 19971)
Intelligence and information have a way of making anyone seem more left-leaning. Journalists, who are usually gathers of facts, are much more likely through their investigations to see that the world as more gray than black and white. Unlike Fox watchers, they aren't laying back letting someone else spoon feed them distorted news. So yes, they probably end up more "so called" left-leaning. Facts matter more with liberals than conservatives so it would just play out that journalists would eventually appear more left leaning. How could they not.
vulcanalex (Tennessee)
They are gathers of facts, how quaint they usually are providers of biased opinions.
anne y mouse (upstate NY)
I have valued the Journal for its non-emotional, non-manipulative language. Both liberals and conservatives considered the paper to be the least biased. The Journal will have more clout and readership if it sticks to its mission and maintains its reputation.
This was predicted when Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal years ago. I certainly remember a lot horror and handwringing from all sides of the political spectrum when the audacious Aussie of the Tabloids purchased the WSJ in what the Washington Post described as "a $5 billion coup."

So, it was really only a matter of time before a once classy conservative newspaper became another of Murdoch's right-wing propaganda tools intended to slant and skew information and facts to the right for a higher-class, wealthier readership than the NY Post.

I don't know if there is or not, but to me there seems to be a difference between the terms "conservative" and "right-wing." My father was a principled conservative, my mother a principled liberal in the old-fashioned sense. These days conservatism has been swamped by the right wing, which lurches to the extreme right side of the political spectrum and is more irresponsible—basically politically conservative but without the principles, integrity, and decency of conservatism. In that sense, the WSJ has gone from conservative newspaper to just another right-wing propaganda outlet.

No wonder well-educated journalists who consider themselves "professionals" and work for the WSJ are worried and disheartened. As was the case when the Koch brothers were determined to buy up top newspapers to "control" what is printed as "news."
Bill (Virginia)
The decline of the WSJ began a long time ago. It used to be the source for financial and other reporting. Then a cancer grew in the editorial pages in the 80's and got worse as the years wore on. Murdoch is just a logical conclusion to longer trend lines. They have also been supplanted in the world of financial information by other organizations.
AR (Virginia)
"The Wall Street Journal is no Fox News"

I beg to differ. The best way to understand the WSJ is not to read its published articles, which are sub-par but not terrible, but rather the appalling comments threads that accompany them. Only people stupid enough to put even more money into the coffers of Rupert Murdoch by purchasing a paid subscription to the WSJ are allowed to upload comments online.

Having read through more than a few of those WSJ comments threads during the years of the Obama presidency, I can tell you that they are collectively a cesspool of pro-corporatist and frankly anti-democratic invective and bile of the worst kind. Just read what some commenters there wrote in reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela in 2013. Not pretty, I tell you.

As I've written before, I can only assume that older Australians have cherished memories of that day in 1985 when Murdoch renounced Australian citizenship and became a citizen of the United States--only for the purpose of becoming eligible to purchase a TV station, mind you.
AR (Virginia)
Note: When I state that WSJ commenters are anti-democratic, that's anti-democratic with a lower-case "d" and not an upper-case one. Like Murdoch, most of them are true supporters of oligarchy and limited voting rights based on income level and property ownership. No accident they so doggedly promote fake voter fraud claims.
Jack Mahoney (Brunswick, Maine)
Whenever I read the whiny complaint, "Well, liberals do it too!", I pause to consider the evidence offered by the writer.

No evidence. Again. And that works?

Through the years, liberal journalism has been a thorn in the side of fair and balanced treatment of the nation's witches, slaves, Nisei, and now immigrants.

The current political landscape could be adequately described only by Luigi Pirandello, whose play, "Right You Are! (if you think so)" explored the certainty of insanity.

Hey, if we only could all agree that an orange is actually a musk ox, things could start getting done around here!

Very upsetting.
JABarry (Maryland)
The difference I see between left-leaning and right-leaning journalism is the difference between being open-minded and closed-minded. Left-leaning journalists report on politics with a skeptical eye, sometimes going too far to present opposing viewpoints. Right-leaning journalists proclaim upon politics like true believers, never acknowledging a possible alternative viewpoint.
Daphne (East Coast)
I read both the Times and The WSJ and can attest that the Journal covers the news in a far more objective manner. The editorial and oped pages lean right but are no more, less actually, ideological than their counterparts at the Times. The Times, on the other hand, is entirely driven by the paper's far left anti-Trump ideology. Reporters who's job was to take down Trump and promote Clinton during the campaign are now supposed to cover his administration without bias? Good one. Perhaps Leonhardt is confused by the lack of insult, name calling, misdirection, and wining in the Journal. He is so used to it in the Times he has come to see it as normal.
Karen L. (Illinois)
How can the Times and any thinking American not be anti-Trump? He is supremely unqualified to hold the office. That is why there is opposition. And that is why there are so many protests around the country and the world. I suppose we could have opposed him solely based on the color/style of his hair like so many right-leaning people opposed Obama because of the color of his skin.

BTW, who's=who is; whose is the possessive pronoun.
Rebecca Hewitt (Seattle When not In Paris)
Here's my bias showing, perhaps. The coverage of Trump is entirely negative because the job he is doing so far is simply abysmal. His national security advisor just resigned over colluding with Russia on sanctions then lying about it. A group from Breitbart are writing executive orders which are essentially junk which cannot withstand oversight by the judicial branch. Trump has shown nothing but narcissism and ugly divisiveness. There is nothing positive to cover. To attempt to do so simply in the effort to be balanced would be a crime, because Trump is essentially indefensible. As for name calling, misdirection, and whining, Daphne, take a look at the BENGHAZI!!! hearings, LOCK HER UP!, the constant name calling by Trump of everyone and anyone who opposes him. The absolute silence on the right, including the WSJ, when Trump was espousing the despicable birther chargers. Insulting Trump is a self-inflicted wound he does to himself by his boorish behavior, his inability to speak above an 8th grade level, his finger pointing, and his vicious attacks on Muslims, and inner cities, and immigrants. He called the entire previous government "So Stupid!" And you want the NYT to say "nice things" about him? There is simply nothing nice to say.
Diane5555 (ny)
We have watched as Money has taken over our elections, and now the "free" press. The era of the Murrows and Conkrikes is sadly over. Big money has taken over both. Our only recourse is to be viligent in determining what is truth and lies. Critical thinking is so needed, but so seldom used.
Joanne (Maine)
I'm convinced that many citizens cannot think critically. All issues are black and white to them and solutions must be simple to be considered. Because Trump has given so many illogical thinkers a voice, the problem is now out in the open. The big question is how to resolve it.
Nora01 (New England)
Gee, does this mean that the WSJ will not be beating the drum for hearings on the security breach of letting diners at a private club take commercial cell phone photos of government documents or of the so-called president preening and holding discussions with Mr. Abe in front of the same whole dining room?

Trey Goudy, where are you now that we need you? Surely, you are amassing evidence and lining up witnesses for a new endless investigation in to potential security breaches, yes?

Note to GOP, if the so-called president is this needy for attention, he is a clear damage to us all - far, far more so that fully vetted Syrian refugees.
Anne Smith (NY)
Why should the WSJ write stories about frightened immigrants (who, I assume, are immigrants who are not here legally as there is no reason for those here legally to worry) when the Times covers that more than enough? In fact, the only time the NY Times talks about someone's immigration status is when they are scared or very high achieving; when criminal activity is involved that status is irrelevant. In terms of identifying 7 countries as "Muslim majority", which is true, why not identify them as "countries previously identified by the Obama administration as posing significant vetting and security issues" which is also true and, perhaps, a bit more pertinent?
When I read news stories, I like to read facts and ALL relevant facts - not the reporter's spin on facts and/or omission of facts the reporter doesn't like. Of all papers I read, I find the Times reporting comes closer to far left news sites than a trustworthy source of news. That is why I have canceled my subscription which should take effect in a week or so.
cbindc (dc)
The WSJ has become part and parcel of Putin's effort to destabilize the west. They are some of the most useful idiots around.
Doug (San Francisco)
Lots of teeth gnashing going on here about bias, but I'm more concerned about seeing shorter and shorter articles, little analysis and a general degradation of what used to be a quality reporting.

When i read that 50% of people get their news off of Facebook now, I shudder, but understand. What other choice do they have?
JS (Boston Mass)
I canceled my subscription to the Wall Street Journal when right wing bias of the editorial page crept into news stories about economics. It started with the fake causes of the great recession. No it was not the banks it was the Fed or whatever. Now we hear that the Consumer Protection Bureau which uncovered the Wells Fargo scams is bad for us. No word on who else would have uncovered it if we had no Consumer Protection Bureau. An of course lets not forge the terrible Fiduciary rule which prevents financial advisors from cheating people out of their retirement money. How can you possibly make investment decisions on information from a newspaper that has such an overt tendency to create fake financial news.
mdalrymple4 (iowa)
I am amazed you consider abortion (legal and a personal decision for women), religion (separation of church and state - remember) important issues. Important issues are the environment, our safety, gun laws and staying out of wars. Just because the right wing has said the media has a liberal bias does not make it so. I have read the journal in the past, but that was before total polarization by conservative views... I dont watch Fox news either for the same reason. It is nice to be presented with both sides of an issue, but that rarely happens anymore and is probably the reason we have elected a bunch of hateful people to run (ruin) our government.
Robert Martinez (Detroit)
The media hurt Hillary badly because it was led down the garden path by the gop marketing machine. An objective press can be swayed by someone continually shouting claims of "liberal bias". So the objective press pauses to reflect on the claims and concludes that maybe there is some truth to them and we should hit Hillary harder. About emails. All the while Fox News and other sites continue with their biased reporting, not practicing what they're preaching. And where is the objective media when reports of russian connections to trump are reported or the fact that he is totally unqualified for the job. Chasing a fabricated hot story about emails and Benghazi.
Peter Duffy (Long Island)
The media hurt Hilary.
That's hilarious.
@Robert Martinez
Yes, and the DNC hurt us all; thanks Debbie et al for giving us Trump.
blackmamba (IL)
There is the business of journalism and the duty of the press. Being a publisher is not the same thing as being a journalist.

Every editorial choice reflects a bias about what is "news" along with how, what and where is the information relevant to a targeted audience. Just the facts along with fair and balanced reporting is subject to our diverse gender, socioeconomic, faith, "race", colored, political, educational and human mortal context and perspective and interpretation.

Being an informed citizen in our divided limited power democratic republic is not easy. The ability to think independently creatively and independently is a key skill. As technology has atomized, democratized and sped-up journalism it is even tougher being an American.
Peter Duffy (Long Island)
Some good points, but if we darren to get to a better place in this great land, FACTS should be seen and understood as just that, facts.
Regardless of bias.
It's the bias and the lack of inclusion, balance that needs attention and fixing.
And we WILL NOT get there without a media that respects the original intent of freedom of the press...and its role in unbiased digging and reporting of the facts and the truth.
The only thing worse than the dysfunction in gvt, is the media off mission.
And yes, THAT makes it hard to do our job as citizens.
blackmamba (IL)
@ Peter Duffy

All swans were black until they were not.

The universe revolved around Earth until it did not.

A balance of the many biased is the way to facts.

There are science and math "facts". But what are socioeconomic political faith historical "facts"?

Our "facts" are limited by our nature and nurture.
marty (andover, MA)
I'm 60, a former practicing attorney now in the financial field. I grew up reading the NY Times and the WSJ, and eagerly awaited my dad's arrival from work with the old afternoon edition of the New York Post. (Yes, there were actually afternoon editions back in the day...). I continued to read the WSJ all through college, law school, my practicing years, etc. While somewhat conservative in bent, it offered superb and probing stories in many fields, highlighted by the often lengthy front page to the interior exposes/stories about somewhat esoteric subjects. But that all changed, first with the arrival of the Internet, then with the Murdoch purchase 10 years ago. (And the Bancroft family sold at exactly the right time, before the financial meltdown and with Murdoch on the hunt...remember MySpace?). I realize all print newspapers have struggled as their business model dramatically changed, but the Journal was able to aggregate a large number of paid on-line subscribers to enable it to maintain some degree of quality. But the Journal devolved into a typical Murdoch production and the quality of its business/financial coverage fell dramatically. The Op-Ed page turned into the "blame Obama" page. The former lengthy features disappeared. It became a Murdoch rag for the most part with occasional glimmers of hope from the past. I'll stick with the NY Times.
Colenso (Cairns)
Private Eye, which engages in a very British, wry and salty, middle class, public school, black humour that is completely incomprehensible to many Americans, refers to Murdoch as the Dirty Digger. The soubriquet sums him up perfectly. Here in Oz, we despise and despair of Murdoch, who controls so much of the Australian media. The only good thing about Murdoch is that he's eighty five, and hopefully will soon be joining Scalia.
Robin (Ireland)
Unfortunately all media has a bias of one kind or another, but that's not necessarily a bad thing because it's important to look at issues from different perspectives. i read the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and see differing perspectives. And I also read the Guardian and the Telegraph in the UK and they reflect left and right. I read The Times each day and don't believe it to be right-focused. It included articles and contributions from both ends of the spectrum, both from journalists and politicians from various parties.
In the end, the vast majority of people (and I can't exclude myself) read what tends to reflect their views and/or not contradict them too violently.
D. Smith (Cleveland, Ohio)
My WSJ subscription had just increased and when I called to cancel, the call center representative seemed almost desperate to keep my subscription. Like others, I want a balance of news sources. I also want opinions that challenge my world view and cause me to seriously rethink whether my assumptions are correct. Increasingly, the WSJ has become an instrument of ideology without factual reasoning or context. There are fewer and fewer interesting news stories and with headlines so biased they make me wonder whether they were prepared before the article was written. I hope that the WSJ reconsiders its approach. You cannot influence the readership if you have lost all credibility.
Mike Marks (Cape Cod)
If comments on WSJ articles accurately reflect the mindset of subscribers, the majority of WSJ readers are fervent Trump supporters who loudly condemn any reporting that reflects negatively on the new administration. It doesn't matter how carefully worded the writing, if the story is interpreted as negative for Trump, facts be damned, both the reporter and the WSJ are castigated. Baker is walking a fine line in the WSJ's effort to communicate reality to an audience that would rather deny it.
Jim B. (Ashland, MA)
Reading these comments is more than a tad disconcerting. I read, not regularly anymore, the editorials of the NYTs and almost always feel like I wasted my time with it's ideological predictability. Issue: plug in response.

I read the editorials of the WSJ and agree or disagree know I at least have red something that hasn't wasted my time. WSJ equals Intelligent right of center bias vs. kneejerk zeit-geist NYcity ideological bias.

Most of these comments strike me as the tenured professor's contempt that Brooklyn's Sen. Pat Moynihan rightly detested.
The features section on the other hand: well, it is the Grey Lady, the always very interesting Grey Lady with much that can be discussed.
joe (nj)
Interesting to see such a piece appear in AP publication that is so incredibly one sided that the entire paper is dedicated to Trump hate speech.
FiveNoteChord (Maryland)
Are you suggesting that the NYT's descriptions of 45's administration and specific actions taken by it so far re inaccurate? Can you provide examples?
Topaz Blue (Chicago)
I have paid subscriptions to the NYT, Wapo, Economist, WSJ, and others. I see the slant in the headlines and news items in each of these, but by reading a wide source of reasonably credible news, I can form my own objective conclusion based on facts. Citizens who read a variety of both left and right leaning, but credible news publications may help to keep each of these papers as honest as possible. If any one of them veers to far to the right or left, I will cancel my subscription and encourage others to do the same.
David Gregory (Deep Red South)
Remember that "Fox News" is a brand and "Fair and Balanced" is a slogan. Neither is a statement of fact. The truth and Murdoch are incompatible and always have been.

Something I would like to see detailed is exactly how shape shifting Rupert Murdoch got American Citizenship so quickly, enabling him to buy a string of TV stations here in America back in the day. It is quite ironic that Fox so-called News uses anti-immigrant sentiment in it's programming when it is owned by someone who has in succession been the citizen of three different countries for political purposes.

The WSJ Editorial Board has always been on the extreme right wing but there used to be some firewall between the Opinion and News that has steadily eroded under the ownership of Murdoch. The day Murdoch bought the WSJ it became a no-go zone. My TV included no properties owned by Murdoch. The day The National Geographic Society sold the magazine to the disinformation empire of Murdoch, I cancelled my membership and sent a letter expressing my disgust.

I have no problem with considered conservative thought, but I object to political hackery and propaganda masquerading as news. I read The Economist and The Financial Times in addition to the New York Times and both are quite Conservative in their outlook, but I object to the fact challenged nonsense of Fox News or the detached from reality Editorial viewpoint of the Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.
Chris (Georgia)
Shocking that this is a "NYT Pick." Not. Self-interest at its finest.
Liberal dem (NJ)
Yes. The editorial page was always extremely right wing and conservative, not sure what Leonhardt is talking about. The news can be well researched but the Murdoch influence is very visible and not welcome.
dwalker (San Francisco)
"The Economist and The Financial Times ... are quite Conservative in their outlook."
The FT is not "Conservative," two or three of its columnists aside (and even they have their heads screwed on right and their hearts basically in a decent place).
Richard Luettgen (New Jersey)
Yes … it HAS become a shame, this excessive politicizing of a national journalistic treasure. Ahem.

I’m IMMENSELY entertained by pots calling kettles black. But I’m less concerned than David about it – so long as Bret Stephens turns his coat so regularly and lambastes anything Trump, basically out of a sense of outraged patrician propriety, and George Will does the same down south in the WaPost … there remain pretty significant contrary voices out there that keep OTHER newspapers viably balanced. And thankfully, at least with Stephens, he’s shoveling petunias against the tide at the WSJ.

May Rupert Murdoch live 1,000 years.
Mark (New Jersey)
"Fair and Balanced" not. Richard, I guess you voted for Christie. I am willing to bet you also voted for Trump. The facts about those two are coming to light just as the history of Rupert Murdoch will be written as one who attained great wealth by fostering decades of polarization using "alternative facts" and being an enabler of a corporatized Republican party. A party led by people who claim to be conservative and yet, at every turn, show themselves to be nothing more than greedy opportunists. Murdoch has now destroyed the fabric of the WSJ just like everything else he touches and that is why I no longer subscribe. When you lose your integrity by selling it, you can never buy it back. O'Reilly and his sex-a-paces harassment covered up again and paid for by Murdoch are a testament to that false conservatism that sells well with ignorant but not those who look for value in their purchases. Soon, the WSJ will be the tabloid the Post is and what a shame it will be. But then again, some are absolutely shameless in their pursuit of money and power and that is why the news of the first scandal and resignation of the Trump administration all within the very first month, should be news to no one.
Richard Luettgen (New Jersey)

You want to get a life.

I voted for Christie (twice) because his Democratic competition in both elections was abominable. But I'd favor impeachment proceedings against him over BridgeGate.

Of COURSE I voted for Trump: I'm one of less than a dozen in this forum that regularly and actively defend him. In other words, I'm one of a small group here NOT losers.
Deborah (Montclair, NJ)
The first mark of a loser is the need to reiterate that one is not.
John (Hartford)
The shift at the Journal has been going on for quite some time. The FT is now a better choice supplemented by some in depth reporting on financial topics by places like Bloomberg.
Svenbi (NY)
The yellow "journalism" which can be seen in Murdoch's British tabloid enterprises are frightening in their simplistic stupidity. No wonder he could sway large parts of the electorate to vote for bombastic lies, leading to Brexit. Thanks to the education cuts by the torries, many of these voters are not only economically behind, but much worse, are now frightening intellectually behind. DeVos is greeting us from the Murdoch school book press room, where 2+2 really equals 5, in the name of the Lord!

Interesting side alliance, since Ivanka has been mentioned already as a "former" trustee, is the fact that she met with Murdoch's former wife in Croatia this past summer, who was said to be Putin's girlfriend now...oh, yes, that swamp

After declining clothes line sales, and the impending impeachment of her father due to his mental illness, one has to wonder if the tables will turn in the future, and Ivanka will be -after the Kushner divorce- the girl friend of one of the two Murdoch sons, just to secure some indemnity from this current train ride into the abyss...
bes (VA)
Please tell us, Mr. Leonhardt, how much journalists' "left-leaning beliefs too often distort[ing] coverage," can matter when over-compensation for that tendency—in the form of unbalanced coverage of Hillary Clinton's e-maiis—has landed us in the mess we are now in? And please also give us some examples of how right-leaning coverage over-compensates for its bias. I generally agree with much of what your columns say, but here I think you are indulging in yet more false equivalency.
Ken Levy (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
“There is no shortage of troubling anecdotes: A revealing story about Trump’s white-supremacist support that never ran in print. A dearth of stories about climate change and frightened immigrants. An email from Baker encouraging the staff not to mention the Muslim makeup of the countries when describing Trump’s immigration ban . . .”

So it’s not just lying – that is, making up “alternative facts” like climate-change denial, massive voter fraud, Social Security is going bankrupt, Obamacare is a disaster, etc. It’s also material omissions: refusing even to mention all of the facts and stories that might lead their audience to very different political conclusions. And when the other news sources do mention these "inconvenient" facts and stories, right-leaning "news" sources either ignore them or lazily dismiss them as leftist propaganda.

Prosecutors are not allowed to withhold exculpatory evidence from the defense; they must disclose it. The same basic rule (or norm) should be applied to journalists on both sides. They too should be required, or at least pressured by their employers and audience, to disclose and then address conflicting evidence and arguments.

One way to exert this pressure is to do what Jake Tapper did with Kellyanne Conway: refuse to give them a platform, at least until they make an active effort to provide evidence for their false statements and address evidence against their misleading omissions.
VJR (North America)
The United States has functioned reasonably well for over 200 years because of a respected and healthy operating "Fourth Estate" of government. Without it, the checks and balances of the other 3 branches are not very robust and the possibility of violence and chaos begins to become very real.
David N. (Florida Voter)
The concepts of rationality and truth have been under attack for years, both in science and in philosophy. Biologists and psychologists tell us that the human animal driven by primitive needs, with rationality a thin veneer over the struggle to survive and reproduce. Philosophers argue that truth is a naive concept drawn from the discarded system of realism. The post-modern mantra is that all human experience is subjective and emergent; objective facts are illusions.

The democracy of the Greeks, of the French Enlightenment, of John Locke, and of Thomas Jefferson assumed that human beings were capable of grasping the truth. To be a truth-teller was a matter of honor. Early proponents of democracy held that the best way to establish the truth was to advocate for free speech, whereby propositions could be freely tested by rational beings. Democracy was never meant to be the simple prejudice of the irrational mob.

The disdain for truth and truth-seeking is rampant on the right and the left, and among authoritarians and populists. The supposed "truth" of ancient religions is just another barrier to rationality, with religious adherents refusing to consider evidence alien to creed.

Current scientific theories and philosophical systems condemn humanity to animal status. If rationality and truth are naive fictions, democracy is impossible.
Nancy Rose Steinbock (Venice, Italy)
It's always interesting the see the opinion that responsible news journalists are biased toward liberal and progressive actions. Maybe, that is just 'big tent' reporting. Yes, it is true that words can be interpreted by any reader as either biased or 'politically correct.' But, generally one can assert that responsible journalism does cover stories factually. As the once venerated news outlets have to respond to (what else to do?) the proliferation of bias, then the are opened to 'fake news'. All peoples deserve their civil rights. We deserve the right as well to facts -- indisputable and documented. After that, any individual is free to make of it what they will but to be ignorant of them through news suppression or to be seduced by journalism that is meant to sway, then we are in dangerous territory. Respectable opinions, be them liberal, progressive or conservative, help us all to understand and cope with, the world as it is, not as biased news organizations would want us to see it.
Tim (Glencoe, IL)
"I happen to agree that liberal bias can be a media problem. ...

But that’s very different from saying reporters protect any political party. They don’t. Journalists’ incentives and instincts all point the other way. Which is why the media reported so aggressively on Hillary Clinton’s emails, damaging her badly."

Republicans have used their majority in congress for much of the past two decades to investigate and prosecute every misstep the Clintons have made. Hillary set up a separate email server in a misguided attempt to avoid the relentless investigations. While Republicans were Impeaching Bill, Bin Laden was preparing for 9/11. While they were pressuring and impugning Hillary, Trump, the most unprepared nominee in history with obvious ties to Vladimir Putin, was skating through to the Presidency.

The media, following their own instincts and incentives have not gotten to the truth. The real story is Republicans using the overwhelming power of government for the purpose of consolidating power and the extreme price the country has paid.
Martin (New York)
I see bias toward both left & right in the "mainstream" media. Much of it is minor & inevitable. Some of it, like the "he said she said" false balance syndrome, is bowing to political pressure. But what I see in Fox and the Post, on the other hand, is not "bias." It isn't as if they set out to report the news and then succumb to personal biases or external pressures. They set out to manipulate and mislead and convince. In pretending to be journalistic endeavors, they are dishonest, not biased.
Dan Green (Palm Beach)
During the long drawn out presidential campaign it was no mystery the biased we were exposed to 24/7 by The NYT, The Washington Post, and CNN. Nothing wrong with that as we enjoy freedom of the Press. Point is we know where these influences position themselves. Like their political elite counter parts, and the entertainment complex, these media giants have no connection with main street. So far to avoid sensationalism the WSJ remains the last man standing. Also obvious where Fox stands. If social media puts these media giants either out of business or just a shadow of what they once were lets hope the likes of Facebook and Google are up to the task. Tim cook is already warning of fake news everywhere.
Nancy (undefined)
I recently bought a subscription to the WSJ specifically so that I could read what "the other side" was saying. I've been a devoted NYT reader my entire life; I thought it was important to get outside my comfort zone. Here's what I've noticed: the WSJ comments are more of a mixed bag than those on the NYT, and commenters tend to respond to each other more rapidly and directly - there's real back and forth in the comments section, and it seems to be chronologically arranged, which is not always the case here. It's definitely nastier, though. An additional observation: there is a tendency to demonize Democrats in a way that I find odd but am glad I encountered. Many WSJ commenters seem to think that successful (i.e. wealthy) Republican business people are more altruistic and civic-minded than the kind of (much less wealthy) highly educated Democrats who go into social service and government work. Their reasoning is that the wealthy business people "do not need" more money and are therefore serving out of a sense of public duty, whereas the Democrats (they claim) are only in government in order to gain wealth and power through corrupt means. Many WSJ commenters, I guess understandably, seem to value wealth acquisition much more highly than I or my liberal friends do, but they truly see that as a virtue. It was enlightening for me to discover this.
Joe (Evanston, IL)
"On important issues — abortion, education, parenting and religion, to name a few — left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage." I would need some example to backup that assertion. I haven't found that skewed, right-wing perspectives usually illuminate much about society that just basic reporting won't show.
NEKVT (Vermont)
Leonhardt falls into the "liberal bias" trap, showing the power of the oft-repeated statement. What gets labeled as "liberal bias" is actually the result of education - we should call it instead "informed view." Studies show repeatedly that education leads to a broadening of views and a tendency toward progressiveness. Of course there are conservative PhDs, and I imagine Mr. Baker has a degree of some sort. But that brings us to the question of "what does it mean to be educated?" Few today have a grounding in the "liberal arts," the name of which is amusing to say the least. Our schools, especially our colleges and universities, no longer teach how to use one's brain - now our "education" is vocational. How to do a job. And we wonder why we have a population that can't reason or follow a logical line of argument. This isn't to say that someone with no education or even with simply a vocational education can't reason - some have innate critical thinking skills and use them. And some with those skills are simply self-interested and no amount of education or anything else will move them. In general, however, while reporters tend to what we call "liberal," what we are really seeing is the effect of education and exposure to a breadth of human experience.
Richard Fleming (California)
Murdoch profits bigly when the media outlets he purchases stir up controversy using fake facts, alternate realities, and salacious events, all of which are presented in a shrill, alarmist, and angry tone. He shares a lot of responsibility for the declining acceptance of truth and facts on the part of Trump supporters, who make up a little over one quarter of the adult population. Everything Murdoch touches turns into a deceitful travesty.

Sadly, Murdoch bought National Geographic in 2015. I promptly cancelled my subscription, knowing that that venerable and history-making publication will end up as a shameful repudiation of its former self.
interested party (NYS)
Wanted: Very, very, well to do person to buy WSJ from Murdoch Inc. No educational, professional, ideological requirements. Must have ability to write check, turn around, walk away. Health care benefits to be determined at a later date.
Ira Loewy (Miami)
I have been trying to cancel the WSJ since November. Repeated phone call begging them to stop delivering their rag don't seem to work. Apparently they would rather send out free papers then see their circulation numbers go down.
Beth Stickney (Bellows Falls, VT)
If the press is distorted by "left-leaning beliefs," how do you account for the near-blackout of coverage of Sen. Sanders' campaign, when he was precisely the candidate clearly enunciating left-leaning beliefs -- beliefs according to polling mostly shared by majorities of Americans? At a point where the press had given Trump oceans of ink and eternities of air time, Sanders had been graced only with a few column inches, and 30 seconds here and there. Combine this evidence with the press's obsessive attacks on Clinton's emails, and the clear conclusion is the press hates the left.
Anne Smith (NY)
No, many in the press, especially the NY Times, were part of the Clinton campaign. They gave Sanders practically no coverage because they wanted Hillary - probably the most pro-immigrant candidate. They pushed Trump during primaries by covering him daily - and not too critically during the primaries because everyone felt he was the most likely to lose to Clinton. Once chosen in the primary the Times went after him pretty relentlessly.
I know, just a conspiracy theory.
Jacki Willametz (Ct.)
My hubby received the " journal " at work and I would read it when he brought it home.
I don't think trumps voter base can read above a 4 th grade level.
None of the WSJ would interest the unwashed masses.
Imo the paper has been conservative and aloof forever.
It was created for the elites not Main Street
G. Nowell (SUNY Albany)
I have subscribed to the WSJ for years. The only reason I haven't flipped 100% to Blooomberg is that my dog enthusiastically brings the paper in every day, and I so far can't bring myself to break with that wonderful ritual.
Robert FL (Palmetto, FL.)
Years ago I subscribed to the Wall St. Journal for financial news and information.
However, a trip through the editorial pages soon had me doubting that the incredible right slant did not seep into financial sections.
When making investment decisions you cannot take into consideration information that may be unreliable due to political prejudice.
Termon (NYC)
The struggle inside the WSJ is just another flexing of the muscle of big money, and the success of that flexing reflects the rising tide of ignorance and ill-will in American discourse. Much of American "commerce" is based on opinion--the Dow climbs on whims--and the proles fail to see that as the index rises, they get little from it. Goods sell on whims, so that advertising is an essential part of sales. It's even applied now to a growing list of ills and diseases that we didn't know existed until the TV told us. Check out all those new drugs with names that end in "-umab," the products of what was science fiction decades ago: monoclonal antibodies: a brave new world indeed, where facts are redundant.
Stue Potts (Megalopolis)
I believe that much of reader prejudice against particular papers is based on conflation of opinion pieces with hard-news reportage. A top-notch editorial staff, regardless of its political leanings, demands objectivity and accuracy from its reporters. Unfortunately, this kind of prejudice is exacerbated by the increasing tendency of readers to judge so-called bias by headlines alone, rather than by careful reading of news articles. Coupled with our newish battle between the legitimate press and the "alternative-fact" spewers, these factors will tend to worsen such prejudice as time goes on.
Termon (NYC)
"A top-notch editorial staff..," creates the climate of opinion, which invades and pollutes the "news" selected for reporting. Fair and balanced? Fit to print? If it bleeds it leads? If it's anti-Clinton, even better....
Joanne (Maine)
Yes on both of your points. By reading comments, it is easy to see that many readers identify the "slant" of the article based on the headline alone. And many readers do not understand the difference between opinion pieces and news articles. Perhaps one of the reasons is that, in printed newspapers, it is easy to separate the local/US/international news articles from the editorial and op-ed pages and columns. It is much more difficult when reading a newspaper online, especially when reading the constantly-updated website and not the part of the website that represents the daily issue of the newspaper.
dbsweden (Sweden)
Mr. Leonhardt, would you please be very specific when you assert that the subjects of abortion, education, parenting, etc. are slanted to the left. Facts and truth have no leftward slant.
Jim Waddell (Columbus, OH)
Here is how these issues are slanted:

Abortion is treated as an issue of women's rights rather than as a question of when does life begin. Has the NYT ever discussed when an abortion is a surgical procedure and when is it murder? Have they ever discussed allowing abortion in the US for the purpose of sex selection?

Education reporting is focused on funding of government run schools rather than the issue of choice for students and their parents. Choice is seen as a threat to public schools (and the teachers unions) rather than as a legitimate alternative to the government monopoly.

Religious reporting tends to disparage the beliefs of conservative Christians, while ignoring the even more conservative beliefs of Muslims regarding homosexuality and the role of women. Reporting also tends to focus on freedom FROM religion rather than on treating religious and non-religious institutions equally.

As for parenting, I have to agree with you.
Jo (NY)
Uh . . . When a dedicated lefty acknowledges a leftward slant in the coverage of certain topics, probably reasonable to believe him (at least about that).

By the way, what is the "truth" about abortion, for instance?
FEC (Baltimore)
I cancelled by NYT subscription when they ran a front page feature story about Trump and his relationship with women through the years. It would have been fine in the feature section, but on the front page as NEWS? I can get that kind of "journalism" anywhere, so I will. I guess that it is already too late--newspapers, if they survive at all, will have to become either right- or left-leaning even in their news. We'll have to read them all and try to figure out the truth. Same for broadcast "news." Where is Walter Cronkite when you need him?
John (Hartford)

So if you cancelled your NYT subscription how and why are you still reading the NYT??????????????
Roy (Ridgefield ct)
I disagree. when a crotch grabbing, womanizing, candidate for president demeans women over an 18 month primary, we should understand his concern with and ability to handle the many women problems he will deal with a president. His history, as pointed out on the front page, says we were idiots to think he will handle these issues intelligently.
I am sure you read NYT daily and write comments too. The fact is that NYT is doing very well financially and with readership. You may not like it but it will survive for me and you. Murdoch and Trump are like twin brothers and his media will support him good or bad like it supported G W Bush for and through the Iraq war with fake news.
Richard A. Petro (Connecticut)
Maybe when I start making $250,000.00 a year or so, I might actually pay attention to the "WSJ".
Until then, it's just another right wing rag. Maybe a little classier in format but not really very different then "Breibart News".
idzach (Houston, TX)
I happen to believe that the Journal is still a great paper, with great writers, e.g., Noonen.
Paul (Washington, DC)
Peggy Noonan, a great writer? I think you have redefined the word great.
Termon (NYC)
Noonan? A Bush shill, a wordsmith to whitewash the Iraq war? That Noonan?
Deborah (Montclair, NJ)
She's a GREAT writer if your taste runs to Reagan-esque fantasy and the art of Thomas Kinkade.
Independent DC (Washington DC)
I teach a college media course and every session I compile headlines from the Times, Journal, Post, Fox and NBC. I use a hundred headlines and over 70 students can easily identify the political slant. The grade average this past session was 88%. The easiest to identify? The New York Times, and Fox News.
Winston Smith (London)
I'll bet a million dollars the NYT came in first by a mile.
Paul (Bellerose Terrace)
Reminder: Headlines are not written by those who write what lies beneath them.
One of the Times' most conspicuous recent problems has been a mismatch between clickbait headlines and the articles associated with them. It has been addressed by at least the last two Public Editors.
Independent DC (Washington DC)
Perhaps Paul, but the NYT opinion writers write their own headlines.
Paul (Washington, DC)
The shift was easy to manipulate. The Op-Ed pages have been a cauldron of "right wing" warpig trash since the first Gulf War. That writers would begin to be harassed seems no surprise to me. I used to be a fan. I have refused to read the paper since their pandering marketing of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Haven't touched a copy since, never will again.
David C (Clinton, NJ)
Interesting. I was appalled by their editorialists throughout the campaign last Fall and Summer. Finally cancelled my subscription.
I fail to understand how a foreigner, Murdoch, is allowed to own so many media outlets in this country. I am also flabbergasted that Fox News is considered "news" by the FCC.
Anne-Marie Hislop (Chicago)
It seems to me sometimes that the difference between left and right is that many on the left recognize the bias of what they read/hear, while those on the right seem often to believe that their bias is "the truth." When I read the New York Times, I do so knowing that its opinion pages distinctly lean left, though there is fair voice given to some conservatives. For me, that means that intended or not the news headlines (and sometimes even stories) may also have a liberal bias. When I read the Chicago Tribune, it is clear from its editorial page that it is a right-leaning paper (e.g., NYT decried Betsy DeVos nomination; Trib supported it; NYT points out what is good about the ACA, Tribune tells me that 'Obamacare' is a "complete failure").

My conservative friends & family, however, often refuse to see any bias in what they read. They claim that while the New York Times is bias or "a lefty paper" their chosen source (WSJ or Trib) gives them "the truth."

With the likes of Murdoch owning the media and using it to his purpose, the internet becoming an echo-chamber of bias, and the country divided along ideological lines, it is hard to see how the problems we have will not get worse. The fact that the current administration feels entitled to its own set of facts pushes us further into the surreal.
Jo (NY)
The prevailing criticism of the Times is not so much that its editorials lean distinctly left--they do and that is expected--but that its news pages do.

Last year's front page call to abandon normal journalistic behavior in opposition to Trump is case in point.
rwanderman (Warren, Connecticut)
Well said. And, add the new or maybe not so new propensity to gas light fact from the right and you have a serious problem. Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, Trump... all gas lighting liars.
Concerned Citizen (Anywheresville)
Of course you think that, Anne-Marie -- nearly everyone like to have their own existing views and beliefs parroted back to them.
N B (Texas)
I've always thought the WSJ was a right wing mouthpiece for the GOP. What is new?
Jo (NY)
And fitting as The NY Times has become a left wing organ of the Democratic Party.
Paul (Washington, DC)
Some of the writers who have been selling the swill as a class act have decided to rebel. Good luck on that one.
walterhett (Charleston, SC)
I write to point not to partisanship or slant in reporting but to point to a failed, badly flawed methodology--the process of reporting is broken; it no longer serves or illustrate the central themes of stories--it conforms to a disjointed paradigm, leaving readers with insufficient insight--stories are scrubbed clean and quotes are mainly spin.

The problem is solved by improving context. Not a single story in the Times has described historical examples of white supremacy in America (Supreme Court decisions in Dred Scott, Plessy, the racist practice during reconstruction of not allowing dark skinned Negroes to speak on the House floor, the Senate floor speeches of South Carolina's Ben Tillman, et al., Woodrow Wilson's segregation of the federal government); yet these examples are necessary to understand the broader story and its impact: the alt-right mindset of Steve Bannon (and the President)--how the institutional expression of racism is more than disputes about discrimination--or government giveaways!

In particular, the Times missed badly on how few dog whistles it took for racism to be an effective political tactic during the last election. It claimed voter anger and failed to see voter comfort.

A final point about context: only one story I read or saw reported women can be believed when they report assaults to family/friends/co-workers contemporaneously. Omitting that widely accepted test from reporting turned the allegations of 14 women into a "she said, he said."
Mary Lynch Mobilia (Sharon, MA)
P Nelson (Austin)
Thank you for your comment. Context is half the story.
Paul (Bellerose Terrace)
Walter, you are right. But not only are journalists now far more poorly educated than a few decades ago, far more dangerous is their stupendous lack of proper journalistic skepticism.
Now, anybody in the government employ can get agenda loaded information in the paper, the Journal, the Times, whatever, often under cover of anonymity.
Just last week, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman had a front page article in which anonymous sources claimed that new Trump administration functionaries found themselves in darkened White House rooms, unable to master liight switches, or find working door knobs to exit rooms. Thrush and Haberman believed that? And they expected us to? Not on my watch.
Old journalistic saw. Cub reporter sidles up to editor: "What's up." Editor: " Your mother says she loves you. Go check it out."
alan haigh (carmel, ny)
"left-leaning beliefs too often distort coverage". Actually, a Renaissance education, particularly knowledge of history and a range of cultures leads the human mind towards a more liberal perspective- especially if an educated mind is not excessively biased by economic self-interest.

Journalists tend to be well educated people whose ambition is not primarily directed towards the accumulation of wealth, so their information based liberalism is usually not corrupted by the strong instinct to hold onto as much wealth as possible.

Murdoch's extreme greed is the force that pulls his conservative agenda. This is a disease common to many plutocrats, with a few notable exceptions, but for him it is chronic and he's done tremendous damage to this country with his propaganda machine disguised as news.

He's one immigrant whose deportation might improve our nation, especially if he took his evil genius, Roger Ailes, with him.
chipscan (Pass-a-Grille, Florida)
Two decades in journalism attest to the fact that accumulation of wealth was not of paramount importance. As much as I wanted to be as wealthy as my siblings who went into business and reaped enormous financial rewards, the lure of news and stories that informed average readers about information critical to their well-being was too strong to resist. I made nowhere near as much but I always found it fascinating how, at family gatherings, no one wanted to hear about the latest on Wall Street, banking and reinsurance. No, it was always, "What's your latest story?" Thank you for your informed defense of liberalism in the media.
Tom Groenfeldt (Sturgeon Bay, WI)
Another aspect of wealth and journalism is that the bests papers in the U.S. were often owned by families who made a great deal of money, especially in the days when a local paper was often a monopoly, but they didn't seek to maximize profits. They enjoyed the prestige and the community service, and the ability to push their own personal agendas. A couple of generations on, as the papers were supporting a large number of family members, many of whom cared little for journalism, that model failed. And with public owned chains, like Gannett, profitability seems to be the only concern.
Rico Garvey (Wash DC)
Actually I find that "journalists" are the most poorly educated people. Remember the former journalism professor at Mizzou leading a left wing protest? "We need some muscle over here"! Her clear intent was to shut down, with violence if need be, any opposing opinions. This is who is teaching journalism? We really don't have very many real journalists. If a reasonable, fair-minded reader can read a piece and not easily determine the writer's bias, then it is most likely a balanced and thoughtful exposition. However, almost all newspapers have their strong biases on display in their headlines - you don't even need to go deep into an article to ascertain its slant. It is very sad that we are so incredibly divided along ideological lines. It's too bad we have lost the ability to be respectful and reasonable in our dialogues. If the violence and wanton destruction continues unabated, we can kiss America goodbye as we descend into another civil war.
Marilyn (France)
Murdoch ownership was enough reason for me to drop the WSJ. I go instead to the Financial Times.
A fish first stinks from the head.
Jim (North Carolina)
Murdoch is responsible for a major part of the political divide between Americans today, the depth of that split and precision with with the lines are drawn, and has been the handmaiden to the deterioration of respect and reason that political opportunists on the right take advantage of. I could list a dozen issues, but climate change is enough....
In a right-thinking world someone like him would be banned from buying media in nations not his own, if not everywhere. He has done nothing to improve the world, or democracy, and much to harm them.
seanseamour (Mediterranean France)
"Murdoch is responsible for a major part of the political divide between Americans today" ... "has done nothing to improve the world, or democracy, and much to harm them."
His fingerprints all over Brexit and the discredit of the European Union, living examples of the harm wrought - the parallel to the US is a divide and conquer strategy to enable the emergence of a plutocratic autocracy.
Can we stop turning around the issue that preoccupies Progressives (not a dirty word) from the broad political spectrum, liberals and conservatives alike?
The right wing extremes will take us down a path of devolution if the likes of Murdoch and Koch are allowed to propagandize us unchecked.
For a broader picture of this "conspiracy of opportunity" I suggest the reading of Jane Mayer's "Dark Money" (read closely the De Voss contribution).
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
"In a right-thinking world"

That would seem to be Murdoch's goal. :-)
Sandra Garratt (Palm Springs, California)
Rupert Murdoch should never have been fast-tracked to US citizenship, he is anti American in his views and has hurt this country and the UK in ways that may never be repaired.....he is a dangerous & destructive man and I wonder who he paid off in the US government w/ cash/promises to get to the front of the US citizenship line? We should know that and consider revoking his citizenship based on his radical political activities. He clearly does not represent American values and his greed is endless.
j. von hettlingen (switzerland)
Rupert was once asked why he was so opposed to the EU. “That’s easy,” he replied. “When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.” His media outlets were key backers of Brexit. Now the reactionary has Trump in the White House, who will do what he says. Indeed, Murdoch's malign political influence poses a fundamental challenge to liberal democracy in the West.
In 2011 some prominent members of the Bancroft family that controlled the Wall Street Journal said they wouldn't have agreed to sell the paper to Murdoch had they been aware of his Britain-based News International's conduct in the phone-hacking scandal at the time of the deal, which shocked the media world. Phone-hacking practice was widespread on his watch and he had secretly paid out over £1 million to settle cases brought by hacking victims in Britain.
JPE (Maine)
Bancroft family was very divided about the sale all along; some members opposed it up to the end. Fact that "some prominent members" are now saying that would not have sold probably represents the views of those who lost and who wanted to retain the enterprise all along.
Charles Hayman (Trenton, NJ)
Fake news headline of the day, "The Bancroft's didn't know."
RjW (Spruce Pine NC)
And Jared Kushner helped Murdoch set up his bachelor pad after his last divorce!
Along with Ivanka's deep involvement with this family's finances the dots are connecting themselves into a self organizing arrow pointing the way to the disturbing truth of who's who and what's what here.
Quandry (LI,NY)
Well, if you read both WSJ and the Times, one can usually experience the diametrically opposing viewpoints. However, one can usually flush out the difference, in between.

And sometimes both viewpoints are noted. However, lately, I've found that more often in the NYT, and less often in the WSJ, and now I know why.

Finally, when I saw Baker interviewed with others on Charlie Rose, I found him monopolizing the conversation. So, I could imagine he could be overbearing.
MKRotermund (<br/>)
I, for one, believe ALL news sources are biased. The press is a human enterprise and therefore will embody the biases of its editors and writers. No newspaper or other media can cover all the news. Their choice of what to cover is the first source of bias. How they cover a story is the second source of bias. The only answer open to a reader is to read or listen to at least two sources, chosen for their different points of view: the NYT and The Economist, for example.
Blue Moon (Where Nenes Fly)
"So Ailes came up with a brilliantly cynical strategy. He created a conservative news channel that dispensed with objectivity, and sometimes with facts, while claiming it was more objective — “Fair and Balanced” — than the competition."

Be careful not to step in that pile of alternative facts. It's so hard to get the smell out afterwards.
idzach (Houston, TX)
Why no one want to accept that there are other opinions beside the NYT, or the WP.
Nora01 (New England)
Other opinions = fine. Other "facts"? = not so fast. There is a difference and it is both meaningful and profound.
John D. (Out West)
Blue Moon was writing about facts. No one denies people and media have different opinions, but alternative facts are not facts.
billd (Colorado Springs)
I subscribed to the WSJ for 25 years. Until 2007.

Its biased reporting and disgusting opinion page gave me indigestion.
idzach (Houston, TX)
and the NYT doesn't. I'm considering dropping my subscription when reading Mr. Blow's propaganda articles.
Mishomis (Wisconsin)
I have once was a subscriber and found the paper to my liking but then like all good things it came to an end.

I wish more people would think of Lincolns use of words like " Of By and For the People."
Anne (NY, NY)
Same here. I cancelled my subscription the day after Election Day. Besides the ever-worsening opinion pages, the WSJ also severely cut its arts coverage, which I always found to be excellent. I get my business news from Bloomberg now.
bill b (new york)
I am old enough to remember when the NY Post was a newspaper.
Now it's an Ode to Trump and Sports pages.
The Journal is on its way to being Trump's House Organ
and the Stock listings.
There are a lot of very good reporters in that newsroom.
They are no longer wanted.
Michael B (CT)
Wonder how much Murdoch will eventually pay to purchase Breitbart . . .
terry brady (new jersey)
As POTUS might say, "how sad". I dropped my subscription to the WSJ because of the right leaning of the paper and note that Rupert killed a major American Institution. I've also noted that the New York Yimes is printing more garbage opinions lately and soon the world will be without anywhere to turn for news.
sarah (rye)
Opinions aren't news. The news in the paper is excellent. Google "editorial". You don't have to read Charles Blow...
I subscribe to WSJ for some decent articles and they are doing a great job showing how unbalanced Trump and his cronies are as well as some in the GOP. I feel they have become less right wing and more factual and centrist. You can also see it in the comments section, the conservatives being very unhappy with it all. Anyway they had a great offer so i figured I would try it. So now i subscribe to NYT and WSJ for balance.
emc (NC)
I was a 20 years subscriber to the WSJ until Murdoch bought the paper from the Bancroft family. I continued for a couple of more years even though the editorial pages, which were always conservative, seemed to turn into the print version of Fox News. Then I felt I noticed a Fox News spin to the news content and that was pretty much it for me, the whole paper took on being little more than a print version of Fox News.
Mister Ed (Maine)
I did nearly the exact same thing except I had been a subscriber for nearly 40 years. Although I often disagreed with the Bancrofts and particularly Mr. Bartley, conservative politics was largely restricted to the editorial pages. Soon after Murdoch's purchase, editorial opinion began creeping into news articles, then it became a torrent. within two years, the property was ruined as a new source. It was too much work for a discerning reader to have to fact-check every article.
FunkyIrishman (This is what you voted for people (at least a minority of you))
Well, I am going to address the republican ( elephant ) in the room.

Let me preface this by saying I am a Liberal somewhere on the scale of left of Sanders and Warren. Having said that, perhaps I am a snob or perhaps I just gravitate to more ''fair and balanced'' than what is made of up of the extreme right.

I would suspect that if you are gong to set up a large megaphone for your ideological point of view, that you would look around and see what your base entails. ( who will actually pay for brand of spoon fed diatribe )

I don't think the republican base is that concerned with highbrow policy or monetary ''discussions'', nor would they be willing to pay for it. I think they are, for the most part, gravitating towards screech sites that dabble in conspiracy theories and hard core rants. (especially if they are free and offer non moderated comments sections )

Just a hunch .
Peter Duffy (Long Island)
Same as NYTimes in reverse.
Troy P (Virginia Beach)
Having a career in the financial industry, and knowing Murdoch's history, I ceased reading the Journal a short time after Murdoch bought it. It has become a tabloid for the Right, and nothing you read there can be trusted to not have an insidious ideological bent. The Journal's reporters understand that the credibility they built over their careers is slowing being crushed to support the Trump administration, no matter how ridiculously dangerous it becomes. Contrary to Mr. Leonhardt's desire for the Journal to become a bastion of "sophisticated and fearless financial journalism", it is becoming a comic book part of Hate Media.
Bill (London)
I was a keen reader of the WSJ until Murdoch bought it. As I read mostly online, you could tell by the style of the new style webpage that things were changing and from the news, changing in a political direction. So I switched to the Financial Times. I now subscribe to the FT and NYT, the latter picked up during the election. The WSJ has been history for years. No sense to mourn it now.
zb (bc)
The key difference between liberally biased journalism and "conservative" biased journalism is liberalism in founded on a hope in a better world and the conservative journalism is founded on lying about the world we live in.
Blue state (Here)
True, but I just want the news, 5 Ws. And no outlet sticks with just the facts.
Sandra Garratt (Palm Springs, California)
I don't think there is actual conservative journalism.....not for some time now....I think the conservatives have become quite radical and they offers GOP party propaganda in place of real journalism.
Doug (San Francisco)
Not quite right there, zb. Liberalism is founded on free things for all and the government as your nanny so that you don't care that those in power can skim off the cream for themselves. Conservatism is founded on personal responsibility and having the smallest government possible so there is little oversight as those in power skim off the cream for themselves. The former is comfortable, but you're a serf of the government. The latter is a more difficult life, but you make your own choices and get to keep your self-respect. I choose the latter.
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is the source of a poisonous cesspool of disinformation that societies willingly consume at their peril. Since acquiring the WSJ, Murdoch's propaganda operatives at the Journal regularly include dissemblers such as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney as well as the apex conservative simpleton, Sarah Palin. It is with great pain that they occasionally must report actual news that is detrimental to the conservative cause, and they do all they can to take the edge off of it.

The Wall Street Journal, a formerly esteemed publication, is in the process of being destroyed. It is a pity they are still permitted to use the name.
Tar Heel Happy (North Carolina)
And, here is the Time's opportunity. Make the business section more prominent. Hire away the best from that failing paper. It is cat litter container bottom paper, now.
John (Garden City,NY)
The NYTimes sure knows about being politicized
D. Conroy (NY)
When Murdoch bought the WSJ and we were all dutifully assured that this very thing would certainly not happen, did *anyone* believe it?
Frank Bannister (Dublin, Ireland)
Rupert Murdoch long wanted the UK out of the EU. Last June he achieved his goal. What does he want for the USA and how long will it take him to get it?
NMY (New Jersey)
How old is Rupert Murdoch? 110? He seems like it. How much longer can he hang on and ruin America when he's not even American?
Thomas (Galveston, Texas)
I was a subscriber to the WSJ for over two years, up until August 2016. It was during tbe presidential campaign and the WSJ coverage of it that I realized the Journal had become a puppet of Rupert Murdoch. So I switched to NYT.
A S Krishnan (Singapore)
Even before Murdoch, WSJ went after the Clintons in a most despicable way. While the rest of the paper is good, the editorial pages are pure propaganda.
rs (california)
I remember reading the WSJ's editorial pages in the late '70's. They were right wing/Ayn Rand-ish garbage then.
Siamack (San Francisco, Ca)
The vast majority of Americans consider news to be local news and the news sources cater to them. Here is a simple test, when was the last time you read or heard news from your neighboring state or our neighboring countries? Do you believe that yesterday nothing happened in Canada or Mexico worth reporting? The lack America's interest in the news is shocking. The newspapers are easy targets of propaganda because no one is watching.
Gary (Illinois)
Many states are dominated by one or two large metro areas. The locals have to hear about the crime, violence, political corruption, etc constantly. Print media is dead or dying in many of these locations and, yes, they seem to serve up endless OPED in their reporting news. I live across the river from St Louis, so, yes, I get tons of news about what's going on in Missouri and some Illinois though the bloody city of Chicago rules! Finally, how did you come up with your sentence, "The lack America's interest in the news is shocking." Kind of snooty I'd say!
The most ideological publisher in modern journalism is the New York Times.
Dennis (Baltimore)
Thanks for your opinion. Is there any basis in fact. You know, those pesky things that right-wing ideologues sometimes say have "a liberal bias"?
Blue state (Here)
It's not the most ideological, but it's bad compared to the old grey lady.
Mitch (NY)
Of course it is an opinion Dennis, just like Leonhardt's. And of course the NYT and the Washington Post have an extreme liberal bias. The late Justice Antonin Scalia stopped reading them because they were so "shrilly liberal". As did Presidential candidate and governor Jeb Bush. Left/Progs will say that is a sign of closed mindedness. While criticizing the WSJ for sensible moderation.
Dave Kliman (<br/>)
The world would be a far better place, if Murdoch had taken up art.
SMB (Savannah)
When Nero killed himself sometime after setting Rome on fire, his last words were said to be, "What an artist the world has lost in me". How much damage Murdoch has done in his long life.
Blue Moon (Where Nenes Fly)
Someone would just take his place, and we would still be left to deal with it.
Desmo (Hamilton, OH)
If you seek his monument- he's in the White House.