Slate's Jack Shafer raises a good point in suggesting exeuctives at the Wall Street Journal editorial page explain themselves and the defensive essay they published last month, lashing out at Rupert Murdoch's critics amidst the News Corp. phone-hacking meltdown. The screed also defended the Journal's former publisher, suggesting he was no way involved in the British scandal.
Additional hacking revelations this week though, now suggest almost everything in the Journal attack piece was off the mark.
Superficially, the Journal's defense of Les Hinton, the newspaper's former publisher, appears to have been especially wrong [emphasis added]:
In his resignation letter, Mr. Hinton said he knew nothing about wide-scale hacking and had testified truthfully to Parliament in 2007 and 2009. We have no reason to doubt him, especially based on our own experience working for him.
See, Journal editorial writers have worked with Hinton. He was their colleague. Therefore they believed Hinton's version of hacking events.
The problem, as Shafer explains, is that a recently revealed 2007 letter from Clive Goodman, a central player in the News of the World hacking scandal, suggests Hinton, who oversaw Murdoch's tabloid before becoming the Journal publisher, was informed about widespread hacking activities at News Corp.
We eagerly await a follow-up editorial from the Journal.