Is a little Rupe optimism going too long a way? Over the last few months the chorus of commentary where Rupert Murdoch and the WSJ is concerned has frequently been a concession that things are not nearly as bad as people had assumed they would be (read: apocalyptic). Just last week, former WSJ head Paul Steiger said that thus far he has seen no evidence of the “bad Rupert showing up” at the paper. Well, not so fast! Jack Shafer says that Steiger is “playing stupid.” Referring to a 2007 article by Portfolio‘s Felix Salmon, which described Rupe as valuing editorial independance when it’s valuable, Shafer says that the WSJ is not “stink proof” and that its “editorial independence” is the paper’s primary asset, as well as a way for Rupe to achieve wider political influence, be it on of the red or blue hue.
Speaking of optimism gone awry, remember those 95 little rays of reporter-hiring sunshine Robert Thomson mentioned in a memo a few weeks ago. Well, turns out things are a bit less sunny than everyone presumed. The Observer is reporting that all the hires will be to the Dow Jones news wires, not to mention, there is no set time limit in which they will be made.