Dan Sabbagh notes that toward the bottom of his column today:

On Tuesday, the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal looked like it was hitting back, with a page 7 report in its European edition which said that in 2000 the Sunday Mirror was involved in paying a police officer £50 in exchange for information about the arrest of Tim Blackstone, a PR professional, who was the brother of a Labour peer. High up, in the third paragraph of the already prominent report, the Journal noted that the editor of the Sunday Mirror at the time was Myler, who was also pictured in the title.

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.)


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.