and in other news - posted w/ my sister's permission:

Editorial Board

Wall Street Journal

Dear Sirs;

It is with profound fury and regret that I cancel my over-38-year subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Up until today, June 4th, the anniversary of the 1989 massacre in China’s Tiananmen Square, I held out the belief, steadily eroding to weak hope that, as the news source for business, the Wall Street Journal would always come through with an unflinching respect for truth – especially the wider, most permanent ones.

And many of your reporters and commentators have soldiered valiantly in that effort, against an increasingly emasculated editorial board.

I will sorely miss the fine quality of these journalists’ prose, their tiny one-line rebuttals to the pervasive incompetence, graft, and self-interest of the current administration and the tattered Republican Party which has supported it. I will miss your Business & Finance, your Arts & Culture (oh, Greskovic), even Sports and Cars (thank you, Jason Gay and Dan Neil), and your delightful Journal Weekend.

Over the past two days I have searched your editorial page for some excuse to continue in my self-deception, but, no – you are evidently incapable or unwilling to reveal how completely unclothed is this “king” who ordered (yes, the buck stops with the president) the U. S. military into Washington, D.C.’s, Lafayette Square against peaceful protesters exercising one of our most important constitutional rights, “…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

But I don’t need to quote this First Amendment to our Constitution to you. You know it, and like the Germans of the 1930s and 1940s, you are turning your head away. Instead, you rant today about the already widely-condemned, including by protestors, looting and violence, and publish dangerous tomfoolery suggesting now is the time to use the U.S. Army to “ensure domestic tranquility,” an Opinion piece which concludes with a sentence which would be laughable if it were not so tragically delusory: “But if violent disorder arises, the president must intervene to uphold the law and protect the republic.” Has there ever been a more lawless American president who has done so much to destroy the republic?

If American soldiers, tanks, and Predator drones on American soil against American citizens at this time are not enough for you, the editorial board of the august Wall Street Journal, to highlight and recoil at such a clear violation of the First Amendment, then this beautiful country is headed for disaster.

I feel that I am sacrificing much by cancelling my subscription, but also that I have few avenues to express my outrage and anguish over the fate of my country, about whom I have so often sung: “O beautiful, for spacious skies… and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”

I cancel my subscription effective immediately.


Z. Vakili

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A nice summary of the situation, but I'd strongly disagree with this statement. "The Times for years has actively refused to acknowledge GOP's dangerous, radical turn, and it started during Barack Obama's presidency." The GOP's radical turn long predates Obama. It did accelerate during Obama's terms, but we cannot forget the efforts to crush dissent under GWB, the explicit efforts to overturn an election under Clinton, and the Reagan years. The truth is that the GOP has been an authoritarian, antidemocratic trash fire for a long time.

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It should be noted that Sen Cotton did not get the DOD Sec job he coveted and was passed over for Mattis. When Mattis left, he still didn't get the job and it was given to Esper. Make no mistake. As Esper spins in the wind for gently disagreeing with POTUS, Cotton's Op-Ed was a job interview, in the manner of Bill Barr. This manner of getting the attention of the president is well known now, including by the NYT.

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All true, but I'd like to add something. In addition to being a fascist and a bigot, Cotton was factually inaccurate. Now, that sounds like a really weird sentence, but there it is: for years, The Times has published Op-Ed pieces that include legitimate howlers, and won't vet them. That's how they wound up being so embarrassed by some of their columnists (not to name names, Bret Stephens, but it goes back to the likes of William Safire, as wonderful a writer as he could be). Then again, maybe The Times is just immune to embarrassment.

The other thing is that there is a marvelous old profile of Joe Lelyveld, who I don't think it is an exaggeration to say saved The Times after the Jayson Blair blow-up demonstrated the devastation wrought by the Howell Raines regime. And Raines might have survived what happened because the current publisher's father never has suffered from a lack of confidence in his own perfection. But the staff mutinied. And this leads to a line that may seem out of place but is very useful to remember: Bob Lipsyte, the great sports columnist, mentioned Raines's frequent invocations of Bear Bryant. It's from this profile: https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/features/11547/. I have to highlight the Lipsyte quote:

“If Howell really had been the coach of a football team,” says Lipsyte, “he would have been successful, because jocks are basically sissies and they roll over for alpha males. But what he had was a bunch of nerds, and nerds take it and take it and take it and then show up in the cafeteria with an AK-47. And that’s what happened at the Times.”

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When Bennett admitted he hadn't actually READ the Cotton OP-ED that should've been grounds for his firing. Do not understand why NYT hierarchy continually gets away with work behavior that would spell termination for mere mortals. And, the "we will not call a liar a liar" posture meant NYT lost its vaunted credibility a long time ago.

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All I will say is that many companies mistake their employees as simply mindless drones whose focus should tow the line of the corporate hive.

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Pretty much the entire establishment media have been loathe to criticize the GOP since at least the 1980s. Meanwhile, literally everything the Democrats do is subject to criticism. The problem now is the old slippery slope: when the media have essentially supported sooo many Republican abominations over the years, it’s hard to suddenly criticize a GOP POTUS on the basis of being historically unfit and unqualified. Trump’s responses to the pandemic and demonstrations following Floyd’s murder are historic failures — disasters — and the media still are hesitant to point it out, or that we should maybe be concerned that POTUS is unhinged.

As for the Cotton piece, as Eric notes, it seems that a piece is considered publishable for no more or better reason than the writer is a Republican in high office. Running a piece like Cotton’s, then, should require an editorial preceding it, to the extent that the stuff discussed is beyond the pale, is only being published because US senator and is otherwise deranged crap, or words to that effect.

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Thank you for being a clear and consistent voice.

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It’s George, not Gerald Floyd

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