Thursday, March 15, 2007

Another longtime reader abandons the Economist: Crooked Timer

I abandoned The Economist last year because it seemed to been infected by the WSJ Editorial Page brainworm. It wasn't completely demented, but it was getting there. So this CT post caught my attention. I'd love to know what Fallows thinks of today's Economist. He was writing during their glory years! (Emphases mine)
Crooked Timber: Cringe and whinge

I came across James Fallows’ 1991 piece on The Economist (to which my subscription has just lapsed), The Economics of the Colonial Cringe, and thought it pretty interesting. On the one hand, this seems a little dated:

In functional terms, The Economist is more like the Wall Street Journal than like any other American publication. In each there’s a kind of war going on between the news articles and the editorial pages. The news articles are not overly biased and try to convey the complex reality of, well, the news. Meanwhile, the editorials and “leaders” push a consistent line, often at odds with the facts reported on the news pages of the same issue.

If there’s any marked difference these days between the line touted in the editorial pages line and the perspective of the news articles, I can’t detect it. The WSJ seems to still have a firewall between the two (although in fairness its editorial pages are also far loopier than those of the Economist)...

I agree. The WSJ editorial pages read like meth fueled ravings of brains debauched by mad cow disease, but their news pages are excellent. The Economist editorial pages are only moderately prion infested, but the disease has spread throughout the "newspaper" (their term).

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