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The Wall Street Journal’s Sly Satire

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Media, newspapers, Wall Street Journal, headlines, President Obama, President Bush,

Am I the only one who’s been amused by the Wall Street Journal’s hyperbolic headlines in the Obama era? Every few days it seems there’s a “most read” opinion-page article topped by a headline that should have been published during the Bush administration—but never was. Here are my recent laugh-out-loud favorites:

The President Politicizes Stem-Cell Research (today). Bush of course was the guy who turned this issue into a red-meat feed for the conservative base. To suggest that Obama is suddenly politicizing it by reversing Bush’s science-challenged research ban is not just blind to the obvious but comically absurd.

Is the Administration Winging It? (February 18). Whooee, what a gem. The title of this opinion piece could have applied to the entire Dubya reign, whose hallmark was recklessness, ignorance, and incompetence, from an unnecessary and abysmally planned war to the hapless “heck of a job, Brownie” Hurricane Katrina response. What’s even better is the byline on this one: Karl Rove. Stop it, my sides hurt.

Presidential Bait-and-Switch (March 5). The premise here, also a Rove construction, is that Americans voted for a leader who, as soon as he was in office, changed his tune—and that this occurred in the 2008 election, not 2000 or 2004. Remember the phrase “I’m a uniter, not a divider”? How about “I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders”? Bush was a serial bait-and-switcher, whereas Obama so far is basically carrying out the sort of change he promised, as one Journal reader pointed out in response.