- The WSJ hit back at the critics after publishing a letter from Trump containing several lies.
- His opinion section published, without question, Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was rigged.
- After considerable backlash, the WSJ defended the move, saying “Trump’s monomania is news.”
The Wall Street Journal defended itself from criticism after publishing a letter from former President Donald Trump containing a slew of false statements about the 2020 election.
Trump’s letter was published by the newspaper’s opinion section on Wednesday and was nearly 600 words long. He falsely claimed that “the election was rigged” and listed numerous alleged irregularities, which the Journal published without correction.
The letter itself was a response to a Wall Street Journal editorial on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on ballot counting rules, which mentioned how President Joe Biden convincingly won in the state. .
There was an immediate backlash to Trump’s letter. The next day, the newspaper defended the move in an op-ed titled “The Facts About Trump’s Cheating Letter.”
He argued that the letter was inherently newsworthy and criticized its critics as “progressive parsons of the press” and “clerics of the media”.
The backlash came from media and ethics commentators, as well as, according to CNN’s trusted sources report, some of the newspaper’s own reporters.
“I think it is very disappointing that our opinion section continues to publish misinformation that our news team is working so hard to debunk,” an anonymous WSJ reporter told the outlet.
Commentary continued long-standing animosity towards the opinion section of the newspaper on behalf of its press team, whose members accused the opinion section of lax standards and a willingness to echo Trump’s talking points.
Walter Schaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, encouraged his Twitter followers to cancel their subscriptions, calling the newspaper “a dangerous medium of fascist propaganda.”
—Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 27, 2021
Also on Twitter, New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen saw the letter as an example of how, in his opinion, “the WSJ’s opinion section is one of the main institutions. of [Republican] Party, “which he says works by” flooding the area with shit. “
—Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) 28 October 2021
The newspaper did not respond to requests for comment from reporters from media outlets such as Jeremy Barr of the Washington Post.
But he came out swinging his response from Thursday.
“[Trump’s] The 2020 monomania is news, and that reflects on its suitability for 2024, “the editorial read.
“We trust our readers to form their own opinion on his statement,” he continues. “And we think it’s news when a former president who might run in 2024 wrote down what he did, even though (or maybe especially if) his demands are bananas.”
He then debunked many of Trump’s claims, saying that “it’s hard to answer everything” because of the speed at which Trumpworld produces lies.
Bill Grueskin, professor of journalism and former editor-in-chief of the WSJ, told the Washington Post that opinion writers do not normally just publish letters containing known lies without intervention.
“If someone is going to spout a bunch of lies, the publisher generally feels under pressure to remove them or publish a contemporary response,” Grueskin said. In this case, the Wall Street Journal waited after considerable backlash.
Ultimately, the newspaper concluded, there is no evidence to support Trump’s claims of winning the election.
The newspaper did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.