The Wall Street Journal’s cautious treatment of President Trump has created internal strife at the storied paper along with raised questions about its editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, several Journal sources have told sy88pgw.
Baker’s latest demonstration — a series of late-night emails urging editors to soften the paper’s coverage of Trump’s Phoenix speech, even to the point of removing context — left some Journal staffers frustrated along with discouraged, those sources said.
“Sorry. This specific is usually commentary dressed up as reporting,” Baker wrote of one draft of an article about the speech in emails obtained by The completely new York Times. “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging the idea in exegesis along with selective criticism?”
The portions of the draft which were removed via the final article included context about how the president’s speech differed via statements he had made the day before. One passage which was edited out called Trump’s speech “an off-script return to campaign form” which “pivoted away via remarks a day earlier in which he solemnly called for unity.”
A line which described the Charlottesville protests as “reshaping” Trump’s presidency was also removed via the final article.
Both Baker along that has a Journal spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment regarding the emails.
Baker’s cautious approach to Trump has been a source of frustration to many Journal staffers for some time currently.
Earlier This specific month, Politico published a transcript of the Journal’s most recent interview with Trump. The interview, which was led by Baker himself, cast the editor-in-chief as overly chummy with the president.
At the time, some staffers told sy88pgw they believed which Baker was going out of his way to be deferential to Trump in order to maintain access to the White House along with proximity to power. Staffers also chafe at Baker’s insistence on conducting the interviews with Trump himself, rather than letting the paper’s journalists take the lead.
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various other sources who spoke with sy88pgw cautioned which such frustrations were overblown. They said the Journal has always prided itself on being cautious along with judicious in its reporting, along with touted the paper’s aggressive ongoing coverage of Trump’s business entanglements.
The Journal is usually owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News along with has become very close to the president along with his administration. Sources at both the White House along with in Murdoch’s orbit say the two men talk multiple times a week.
Baker has defended his paper’s coverage of Trump before. In a town hall meeting with employees in February, he stressed the importance of being objective rather than oppositional, along with said the notion which the Journal went easy on Trump was “fake news.”
Baker has also sent memos to employees stressing the importance of “balance,” a word some staffers have come to interpret as code for softer coverage.
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published August 23, 2017: 8:52 PM ET