Dirty Tricks at The Wall Street Journal in Europe

In your bleary Wednesday media column: the WSJ's European publisher is forced to resign, paywalls come to college papers, Jennifer Granholm gets a TV show, a money back guarantee for advertisers and "Brother" Bill O'Reilly.

  • Do you know why the Wall Street Journal's European publisher, Andrew Langhoff, abruptly resigned yesterday? Because he was caught improperly interfering in editorial operations, as well as participating in "secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal's true circulation," according to The Guardian! Or as Langhoff said, his activities "could leave the impression that news coverage can be influenced by commercial relationships." Or, as Dow Jones said, they have "zero tolerance for even the appearance of a breach of ethical standards." In this case the appearance appears to reflect the reality. Amazingly dirty stuff for such a highly-positioned executive, if true.
  • Online paywalls are now coming to college newspapers. Not for the college students themselves, but for outside readers. Learning about the painfully doomed finances of the newspaper business is a great lesson, for the kids.
  • Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm is getting her own show on Current TV. If that doesn't bring in the ratings, nothing will!
  • Food-centric site The Daily Meal is offering advertisers a money back guarantee on ads they buy, if those ads don't prove to be statistically effective. The Daily Mail will be copying this idea tomorrow without credit.
  • Fun fact: if you call Bill O'Reilly "Brother Bill," he will fly into a white man rage. Try it some time!
[Photo: Getty]