Murdoch's WSJ spins the Blago story, hard

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

We noted yesterday that the Journal seemed to go a bit overboard with his gigantic A1 story/headline about the Blago story. (The spread was so big, Journal editors had to redesigned the front page just for the occasion, bumping the familiar, left-hand, "What's News" column down below the fold.) The business daily usually only devotes that kind of A1 space to blockbuster business stories, but opted to give the local Illinois corruption story gigantic play.

Well, if anybody was wondering if that was a fluke, and if anybody thought when Rupert Murdoch took over the newspaper that his political opinions would not, directly or indirectly, impact the news pages, today's Journal offers key clues. The Journal features another huge headline, heavy on the spin: "Graft Case Touches Jackson Jr.: Democrat Denis Seeking Senate Seat from Blagojevich; Service Union is Scrutinized."

The lead also lays on the what-if innuendo quite thick [emphasis added]:

The scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat widened on Wednesday, threatening to taint a rising Democratic star and pull in one of the nation's biggest labor unions.

Of course, as CF noted:

As long as reporters keep including qualifiers like "could" and "threaten" and "may," they can just keep running these stories over and over again.

As we said, the Journal spins the Blago story very hard today (much harder than the other mainstream dailies and much harder than the established facts would dictate), and in an anti-Democratic, anti-union way that makes it hard to dismiss the possible Murdoch factor.

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