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Friday, August 3, 2007
Kincaid's Old-News Attack
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An Aug. 1 Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid asserts that Rupert Murdoch should "clean house" of the "liberal and left-wing writers" at his newly acquired Wall Street Journal. But Kincaid offers no evidence of "liberal and left-wing" journalism currently being practiced at the Journal; in fact, he spends much of his column attacking someone who hasn't worked at the Journal for 35 years.

A. Kent MacDougall, Kincaid tells us, "declared that Karl Marx was his favorite journalist" and "generated some controversy in the late 1980s when he wrote two articles for the socialist Monthly Review about 'boring from within' at the Journal and the Los Angeles Times." MacDougall's most dastardly deed, according to Kincaid? "MacDougall had boasted in the Monthly Review about how he was able to get front-page articles in the Journal that favorably portrayed left-wing economists and their ideas." Horrors! But, as Kincaid also notes, "He left the Journal in 1972."

Kincaid notes another Journal reporter, Jonathan Kwitny, who allegedly "also achieved notoriety for writing major articles with a left-wing slant." But one of the stories he cites -- "attacking the Reagan Administration's anti-communist effort in El Salvador" -- betrays the old-news aspect of this allegation as well.

The only contemporary evidence Kincaid cites comes not from the Journal's news pages but from its notoriously conservative editorial page -- which apparently aren't conservative enough for Kincaid because of its "radical commitment to open borders and free trade at any cost."

An accompanying press release similarly fails to offer contemporary evidence of the bias he alleges, and it cites the case of MacDougall without noting he hadn't worked for the paper in 35 years. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EDT

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