Rupert Murdoch's attempt to make the Wall Street Journal the "first read" for elites, rather than playing second to the New York Times on non-financial stories, looked like a recipe for disaster to Jack Shafer. It was likely to result in me-too coverage crowding out the Journal's signature reporting, he wrote earlier. Now he says he's pleasantly surprised. Not by the new stuff, but by the continuing strength of what the paper has always done best: financial enterprise reporting.
"Stick your hand in your recycling pile for a Journal, and I guarantee you'll come up with a winner," Shafer writes in Slate. "Maybe the Journal seems refreshed because the primary wrap-up has largely evicted political news from Page One, and into that vacancy has dropped what I consider the good stuff," he writes, citing a piece on Bear Stearns' demise and another on Countrywide's sketchy loans to political types. Or "was the good stuff there all the time, but I just wasn't noticing it?"