Politico media reporter Keach Hagey also thought this one smelled funny, linking to the Journal story and saying this on Twitter:

Amazing WSJ twofer on allegations of (Sunday) Mirror bribery: argues “everybody did it” and dings Colin Myler

A couple of weeks ago, I defended the Journal from the over-the-top criticism of Joe Nocera.

But this is the kind of thing that gives me pause. As I’ve written, whether serious crimes were committed at non-News Corp. papers is clearly a real story. This one doesn’t get there.

(UPDATE 11:08: I’ve made some copy edits here and a modification to the last couple of graphs that got left out because I screwed up Moveable Type somehow.)

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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. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.