October 7th, 2007
I admit it. I have a special relationship with the Saturday Wall Street Journal. Many of you will recall the brouhaha when Dow Jones launched the Saturday edition in 2006. Do they have enough non-endemic advertising to make it profitable? What will it look like? Will anyone read it? Don’t we have ENOUGH to read?
Well I love the Saturday Wall Street Journal, and I’ll tell you why. For most, Saturday is the only day of the week when one does not have to go to work the very next day. Saturday mornings are full of promise. The streets are (sort of) empty, and I believe that, this time, the weekend really will last forever. Then I joyfully kick back to read what I consider Dow Jones’ own version of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.”
Yes folks, I love the Saturday WSJ because I think it’s the kookiest read around. It takes the WSJ brand in a whole different direction… but I can’t quite figure out what that direction is! I mean, if business can be funny, it is actually funny. I don’t know if the newsroom actually holds back nutty stories (“Hey, it’s only Tuesday: let’s hold that ‘puppy saves Fortune 100 company with magic drool’ story ‘til Saturday!”) but it might as well.
Here are my favorite selections from the Saturday, Oct. 6 Wall Street Journal:
· OK, right out of the box, I’m going to cheat a little. “The Hit List” is where the Saturday WSJ gives a well-known person the opportunity to share his or her favorite music. Today, I have to admit, the column actually made sense, with Barry Manilow choosing his favorite music. The time they thought I’d be interested to know what John Malcovich (best known for dangerous, slimy characters in films such as “Dangerous Liasons” and “In the Line of Fire”) listens to, however, I did wonder what they were thinking. Next up: “Salman Rushdie chooses songs to hide by…”
· This one is too perfect for a superhero lover to pass up. Under the headline “Economan Pleads Guilty” is a story of a guy named Al Parish who took 500 investors for about $90 milion dollars, which he used to buy himself some major bling. To top it off, Parish was apparently known for his flashy appearance and a website that showed him – wait for it – dressed as a superhero with a huge “E” on his chest.
· A great fox guarding the hen house story… We should all be relieved to know that Whole Foods, John Mackey’s own company, has completed an internal investigation of John Mackey, and John Mackey had decided to “reaffirm” his support for John Mackey.
Mackey is the CEO who, while attempting a hostile take-over of Whole Food’s chief competitor, Wild Oats, was simultaneously using an alias to post blog comments badmouthing Wild Oats and implying the target company was unstable and in poor financial health. In addition, “Harobed” (the unbreakable code equaling his wife’s name spelled backwards) liked to praise himself in creepy ways, saying in one post, “I like John Mackey’s haircut. I think he looks cute!”
This. Story. Is. Hilarious! I mean… how are we supposed to take the businessworld seriously? Senior execs knew that Mackey was the mystery blogger back in 2001 but said nothing, violating what many would perceive to be their duty to serve this public company’s shareholders. They all still have their jobs. And you have a CEO clearly trying to influence the purchase price of a target competitor… when not spending his time online saying that he thinks he’s cute!!! Wow. Hey SEC, anyone home?
· Peggy Noonan is best known as an assistant to Reagan and a speechwriter for G.H. Bush. She is the person who gave us “one thousand points of light,” “Read my lips: no new taxes” and the book, The Case Against Hilary Clinton. Since then, she has attempted to appear more moderate, and write about both sides of the political aisle, but it just never… works. She… leaks, here and there.
Thus I thought truly goofy Peggy Noonan’s piece today called “The Trance.” It appears to be about the thoughtful look (?) Obama gets when he’s thinking, which is weird enough, but then she makes a crack about whether or not he actually can think. That Peggy Noonan, I know. Then she whipsaws toward complimenting other Democratic candidates such as Chris Dodd and I’m confused again.
Thankfully, all is made well when it becomes clear that the entire purpose of her approximately 1,200 word article is to slam Hilary Clinton. Well why didn’t you just say that upfront, silly? It would have saved me about 1,100 words…
· And finally, a long riff from Steve Stechlow on his love for Bruce Springsteen. Best part: Stechlow bestows the greatest love of all on his teenage son when he invites the kid to Springsteen’s opening night in Hartford. Long pause. Kid’s response: “Who else is playing?” Stechlow: “It is… a body blow. How could I have failed so miserably as a father?” Funny for the text, and hilarious because… THIS is a WSJ story?!
So the next time you need a refreshing businessworld-relevant giggle, read the Saturday Wall Street Journal. I can promise you as much humor as probably any newpaper, short of The Onion, can muster.
newspaperswall street journalwhole foods“john mackey” and “ceo”
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