Why I Get More Than One Newspaper, Part 3

This morning's assortment, on the kitchen table. The NYT, the WaPo, and the WSJ all have page-one reports about the House Republicans' decision not to force an all-out fight on the next extension of the federal debt ceiling. The Post's story is on the bottom of its front page, which is why you don't see its masthead.


Interesting. In covering exactly the same development:
  • The NYT says that the Republicans have "reversed" course
  • The Washington Post says they have "altered" their plans
  • The WSJ says simply that they the Republicans are proposing a solution to the debt-ceiling problem. A few paragraphs into the story it explains, as the others do, that this is "the clearest sign yet Republicans are backing away" from a debt-ceiling fight. But that is not what a scan of the story's headline and subhead would indicate.

As with two previous examples, here and here, bear in mind that these are news headlines, not the editorial page. Also as in the previous two cases, the play and billing of the WSJ stories (and opposed to the details in the stories themselves) are more "Republican" than in the other two papers.

For years observers have noted the difference in tone and evident partisanship between the WSJ's news operations and its editorial pages. Essay question: Under Rupert Murdoch are we seeing a continued "harmonization" of the varied parts of the WSJ empire?

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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