And to its credit, the Journal piece this morning reports on corporate meddling in the paper’s editorial decisions. The European edition’s former editor Patience Wheatcroft (who, get this, “left The Wall Street Journal Europe in late 2010 to join the U.K. House of Lords”) knew about the pressure put on her reporter by the publisher—because some staffers complained—and ran the story anyway.

Whatever the Journal reporters and editors knew about this when publishing today’s story, their bosses surely knew what The Guardian was about to report. One way or another, the paper looks very bad here.

And News Corporation, of course, looks worse. Its instinct, as we’ve seen time and time again in the hacking scandal, is to cover up misdeeds rather than to be forthright about them, and this one looks to be another huge headache for Rupert Murdoch and the Journal.

Meanwhile, kudos to Davies and the Guardian on another major scoop.

UPDATE: The WSJ denies Davies’s report, calling it “replete with untruths and malign interpretations.”

UPDATE THE SECOND: The Journal has a terrific second-day story that essentially confirms The Guardian’s piece, as I write here.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.