The Wall Street Journal: Defending My Newspaper Choice

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The other day I was reading my newspaper at my girlfriend’s brother’s new house in Amherst when he turned to me and said, boldly, “you subscribe to that paper?” I answered yes, I get the Wall Street Journal mailed to me six days a week, and it’s one of my favorite pleasures. “How can you read that right wing rag?” he demanded.

I told him that despite its ownership by Rupert Murdoch, the editorial page editor has said that the man has never told him what to write. I read this paper because it is the best newspaper published in the US, and I find the stories so interesting that I overlook the often right wing approach they take to Obama’s policies and to liberal points of view.

They have more money than most newspapers and so they can hire the best writers–one of them is Dan Neil who writes a hilarious column about cars every Saturday. Peggy Noonan, once a speechwriter for Reagan, can write with eloquence about Obama. Terry Teachout writes about theater, and there are dozens of book reviews. In short, there is no newspaper that covers business, finance, the arts and yes, the right side of politics better than the Journal.

“But what about the NY Times,” insisted John. “That’s a much better paper.” I respectfully disagree. I used to read the Times when I was growing up, and my father still gets it delivered every day. But they don’t delve into business and high tech like the Journal does…and they don’t have a great car column or a section on Saturday with as many great recipes and book reviews.

I first began reading the WSJ when I worked in Holyoke for Eric Suher. He used to get it delivered to the office–one time I got into big trouble when I pulled it out of his mailbox to read at lunch. That was a no-no. But despite my proclivity toward on-line media, this is one paper product that I am happy to pay for. Despite what my brother in law might think.