Wall Street Journal Spins Negative on Law of the Sea


You’d expect it from the editorial page, but not from the WSJ news section.
The otherwise very interesting and solid piece on Alexandre Albuquerque, the Chairman of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, ends on this note:

“The Bush administration sought Senate approval of the treaty this year but that now appears unlikely, a senior U.S. State Department official said.”

One problem: the senior U.S. State Department official interviewed for the article said no such thing.
In an e-mail, the official writes:

“I told the reporter that our official position was that we were very hopeful of getting the treaty through the Senate this year. Then he probed about obstacles in our way, like the election year, the strong lobbying efforts by opponents, the opposition by GOP candidates (there were more than one at the time), etc. His spin on my responses was a lot more negative than I expected.”

My journalist friends remind me constantly how easy it is to take pot shots at reporters despite their good intentions. But if the State Department source is telling the truth — and I have every reason to think s/he is — then the assertion that the s/he believes Senate approval is unlikely has no basis in fact. And knowing this individual and his/her outlook on the Convention’s prospects, I also happen to know that it is wrong. The Convention effort is still moving forward with a full head of steam.
— Scott Paul


2 comments on “Wall Street Journal Spins Negative on Law of the Sea

  1. bellgong says:

    This is just a little lame duck meta spin “insight” layered on a piece due for deadline. Errors and reporting are like crackers and cheese, they just go together.


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