My Approach to Reading WSJ OpEds

I was reminded today that I have a specific approach to reading Wall Street Journal OpEds. Here it is:

  1. Don’t read them, if at all possible. They are usually awful: partisan, arm-waving, superficial, and silly. And I say that as someone who has written a half-dozen or more WSJ OpEds, years ago. 
  2. If you must go further, check immediately who wrote it and scroll to what their specific bona fides are for writing it. If it’s merely that they write a lot of OpEds, or that they are a well-known name (current or former politician, celebrity, author, etc.) stop reading. 
  3. Even if they have bona fides, see if they have any defensible data. If they don’t, go back to 1). And even then, consider going back to 1), just because there is decent chance they’ll screw up the data, even if it’s their own. 
  4. If you then read it, ask yourself why the WSJ published it. How did it further the goals of the editors of the WSJ editorial page?
  5. When in doubt, go back to 1) and stop reading it.