As Jon Stewart said, as only he can, responding to the droning heads dismissing the Afghanistan story:

Yeah, see, I’m not reacting to the newness of it. I’m reacting to the fucked-up-edness of it.
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This WSJ privacy series, of course, is not anywhere in the ballpark of those stories, importance-wise. Not much is.

But don’t let folks like Jarvis con you into thinking it’s a non-story or even that it’s overhyped (or that it’s part of a possible Murdochian conspiracy against the free Web, as he says while denying he’s saying that). If you wouldn’t write a book about the awesome benefits of talking about your penis on Twitter, you’ll probably agree that this stuff really does matter.

Sometimes the best stories are sitting there in plain sight, as Harvard’s Doc Searls says:

It’s pretty freaking amazing — and amazingly freaky, when you dig down to the business assumptions behind it…

Most people don’t know how much they’re being followed, and I think what the Journal’s doing here really does mark a turning point.

As Searls notes, there’s a whole slew of sidebars accompanying the main WSJ piece, which was itself sort of split between A1 and the Weekend Journal cover. Today’s installment shows Microsoft crippling a planned privacy feature in its latest version of Internet Explorer.

The reason? Ad money.

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.