Tesla Problems Poof Gone, PLUS a Shocking Absence of Partisonship

March 6th, 2014 · 1 Comment · journalism

By Arthur Alpert

Kudos to whoever makes decisions on what syndicated columnists the Albuquerque Journal will publish regularly.

Writing here Feb. 21 about the Journal’s latest addition, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, I noted his Establishment credentials, self-awareness and ability to admit failure; specifically, his confession he was wrong to back the disastrous US attack on Iraq.

I contrasted Ignatius with the “unrepentant” Charles Krauthammer and several other “neo-cons … or partisans” who dominate opinion on the Journal’s editorial page

But not until I read his essay on Vladimir Putin in the Tuesday, March 4 edition, did I grasp what a sharp contrast Ignatius would offer.

The differences lie neither in Ignatius’ views nor in his tone, though the polite thoughtfulness is welcome.

No, it’s what was missing from his column – partisanship.

Oh, the shock.

Finding an analysis of foreign affairs in the Journal with not a hint of party politics, I mean.

And as if to remind us what a departure Ignatius represents, there right below it, was George Will’s take on the same situation.

Happily for my thesis but unhappily for those who remember him as a fair-minded conservative, Will doesn’t hide his partisanship.

Of course, the Ukraine story is in its infancy and we’ll probably get to hear from Krauthammer, Cal Thomas, Jonah Goldberg and Victor Davis Hanson who will – I wager – toe a party line.

But they’ve haven’t yet (I’m writing Wednesday, March 5) so the Journal’s narrative on the Ukraine isn’t perfectly clear.

How refreshing.

As a postscript to that Ignatius post, I’d wondered if the newspaper had dropped liberal Eugene Robinson. No, the editors ran his Ukraine analysis today.

Meanwhile, over in the “news” columns, the Journal has braked and reversed course on the subject of Tesla:

The newspaper has run several stories over the past 10 days on the chance Tesla will build a battery factory in New Mexico. And none of them have mentioned Tesla’s technical troubles.

What a U-turn! Up to now our local daily’s approach to Tesla has been to “Report any and all troubles. Omit or bury the triumphs.”

That’s from a post I wrote January 17 documenting how the editors ignored Tesla’s success in building an electric automobile and a business.

So a Journal reader probably would not know, I wrote, that “Tesla received a $465 million loan from Washington a few years ago, that it came from the DOE as part of the Advanced Technology Manufacturing program, signed into law by President George W. Bush or that President Obama awarded Tesla the money.

Nor that “Tesla repaid the loan, with interest, well ahead of schedule…”

None of that made the Journal even as Tesla’s problems with charging adapters and consequent road fires did

And now, since the speculation about Tesla locating here, those technical glitches have vanished into air. Poof!

This is par for the course at the Journal, where political decisions trump news decisions.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Bill Tiwald

    I haven’t read but the headlines about Tesla, I don’t believe they will choose New Mexico. The water is too large an issue here.

    Yes, Krauthammer has shown his ugly head in the journal. It’s March 8th now and our friend Charles is up to his cheap business in our one newspaper town.

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