The Wall Street Journal Puts Its Editorial Page to the Test

The front page of the Wall Street Journal has some excellent reporting. Murdoch wants to limit this. Presumably he likes the editorial page. The following story about how the EPA lied about the asbestos danger after the World Trade Center attack. The editorial page applauded the EPA for downplaying the risks from asbestos, but the staffers staged a near revolt when they were asked to return to their Manhattan offices because of staffers were asked to return to their Manhattan offices, there pollution fears. Here is the story:

“On Sept. 13, just two days after the disaster, Whitman declared, “EPA is greatly relieved to have learned that there appears to be no significant levels [sic] of asbestos dust in the air in New York City.”

Kimberley A. Strassel, a member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, spotted the shift in the EPA’s treatment of hazardous materials, writing on Oct. 19, 2001: “For decades, the EPA has taken the lead in zero-tolerance policies toward any `carcinogenic’ substance unlucky enough to have caught its eye- whether it be pesticides, Hudson River PCBs or asbestos. This draconian approach has served to encourage unfounded health scares, and created an environment in which people no longer make rational decisions about health risks. It has also led to the nightmare of trial lawyers, lawsuits and corporate bankruptcies”.”

“But on Sept. 11, 2001, the EPA’s world changed. Faced with a public health scare that could have sent thousands of Manhattanites fleeing the city or jamming hospitals, the EPA decided to cough up a different story — different from the story being told in Libby — about asbestos. EPA officials bent over backward to get out the message that asbestos was harmful only if breathed at high levels and over sustained periods of time.” (Incidentally, The New York Times later reported that when Journal staffers were asked to return to their Manhattan offices, there was a near-revolt over pollution fears.).”

1 comment so far

  1. liasseHah on

    Sweet blog. I never know what I am going to come across next. I think you should do more posting as you have some pretty intelligent stuff to say.

    I’ll be watching you . 🙂

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