I may have written on this subject previously, but just have to update what a wonderful publication the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal is! I subscribe to the newspaper, and over the years have found that the “news” portion and the “op-ed” or opinion sections look as if, and I think it is the case, they are produced by two completely different departments. The news is thorough and independent, without a hint of political bias or leverage, while the opinion and op-ed sections are right down-the-line conservative and nearly unfailingly supportive of President Trump and critical of key Democratic leaders.
As an interesting sideline, three hundred of the news staff members recently signed a letter to the WSJ’s publisher criticizing the Opinion page writers for “lack of fact checking and transparency.” Here's the link:
The opinion section of the newspaper operates separately from the news section. The frustration of playing it loosely with op-eds has rankled the newsroom, which is subject to stringent fact checking, and errors are acknowledged and revised publicly if needed. The same is not the case, generally, for the opinion writers.
But back to the weekend edition of the Journal ... the paper consists of four sections. The front page leads the primary news portion. “Off Duty” seems to focus on current “fun/fluff” areas such as fashions, recipes, home décor, and a wonderful commentary on automobiles … this one is a don’t miss if you’re into old GTOs or high-end European cars -- motorcycles are part of the mix as well. The “Exchange” is a mixture of financial, market data, and other stuff that missed the other portions.
To me however, the crown jewel is the Review portion of the Journal. I end up saving this section and reading it over the weekend and on into the following week. It includes a major essay of some issue to Americans on the front page, then segues into a catch-all of in-depth commentary on international news; last week it concerned how normal citizens of Beirut, Lebanon are dealing with the almost unthinkable disaster of the fertilizer explosion at the harbor along with the civil war in the country. The newspaper goes on into a fascinating history of the enmity between Greece and Turkey stemming from a battle 2,500 years ago, a battle that cemented Greece’s place as the “border bastion” of European Culture against Islamic expansion from the Eastern Mediterranean. If you want a primer on the Aegean Sea, here’s your chance! On it goes into old movies about college football (Rudy, from 1993) and a weekend conversation with some one named Tony Hawk, who apparently created a skateboard culture and a huge business. (It was news to me!). But the piece d ’resistance for me was a book review on a new work featuring Stephen Hawking’s life. Ten million people bought Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. I was one and found it hard to understand the theory of relativity, but probably will take another shot with this new work, especially since it humanizes Hawking’s unique personality and joy for life, even after his severe affliction with a form of ALS. There is more: the usual “five best books” recommended by some luminary about one subject. Other book reviews include look-backs and a current celebrity chef, as well as a final commentary concerning the Magdalena River, “the Mississippi of Colombia," a country torn apart by Cocoa/cocaine and civil war. Additional brief entries concern musical works by Elgar as well as discussions about Roman portrait busts in marble. Whew!
It’s worth going to a news stand and buying only the Saturday-Sunday edition of the Journal, if necessary. But it’s not all that much more expensive to subscribe to the paper and have it delivered six days a week to your door.
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Enjoy life; it's the only one we will get.
J.K. (Jim) George
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