The Chinese Wall at the ‘Journal’

Chatterbox can’t really blame editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal for not reading this column. If some publication elevated Chatterbox to an Indis (i.e., intellectual dishonesty) Hall of Fame, probably Chatterbox would be too mad to read it, too. But one does expect the Journal’s editorial writers to read their own newspaper. In an editorial today about the alleged security breach at Los Alamos, the Journal intones, “According to the New York Times, which broke the story Saturday, stolen information about the U.S.’s most advanced miniature W-88 nuclear warhead from Los Alamos helped the Chinese close a generation gap in the development of its nuclear force.” Actually, as Chatterbox noted a few days ago (“The Post Witholds Credit Where It’s Due”), Carla Anne Robbins reported all this information on page A3 of the Journal way back on Jan. 7. That the Journal editorial page doesn’t know this is especially hilarious in light of its fulminations about the Clinton administration’s slow reaction to the security breach. Chatterbox suspects that outrage is justified, but what about the Journal editorial page’s own slow reaction to news reported in its own newspaper about that security breach? What did editorial page editor Bob Bartley know and when did he know it?

–Timothy Noah