The WSJ editorial page: blind to corporate campaign money


There is too much media bashing these days, especially in the media themselves and largely from right-wing sources finding fault with the "mainstream media."

But the Wall Street Journal editorial page leaves me no choice. It can be counted on to cross the line on a regular basis to earn some deserved criticism.

The lead editorial on September 18 waited for a few weeks after Labor Day to launch an individual assault on John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, and on organized labor in general. The core of the rant was that Sweeney and his cohorts in the labor movement were highly paid, spending lavishly, and pouring union money into political campaigns and causes.

What a big surprise! Of course, Democrats were the beneficiaries of that money.

Sweeney can defend himself on this score. I have no brief for or against him, although union membership has dwindled on his watch and he's taken hits for it by union sources.

But labor money in politics is overwhelmed by the huge amounts given to Republicans by business and its many allies. Naturally, the WSJ editorialists did not mention that fact in the editorial. Editorials are meant to be one-sided, but they should be fair. Don't count on the WSJ for that.

It is ludicrous for the WSJ to blast the unions and ignore the mismatch with business dollars. In every recent campaign, big money has become a contentious issue with plenty of blame to go around for its excesses.

The Journal could have mentioned, too, that the influence of money in Republican ranks was causing outrages like the Jack Abramoff scandal. It didn't.