WSJ's Concern Trolling: Heritage Foundation 'Becomes a Handful for GOP'

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board is rock-ribbed conservative, but its news pages often feature biased reporting that fits with the rest of the liberal media's narratives about conservatives and the GOP. Take Patrick O'Connor's 20-paragraph July 23 article, "Think Tank Becomes a Handful for GOP."

"For four decades, the Heritage Foundation was a stately think tank that sought to define conservative thinking for Republicans," O'Connor noted, lamenting that "Now, in one of the more significant transformations in the capital's intellectual firmament, it has become an activist political operation trying to alter the course of conservative thinking." In doing so, "[i]t now challenges establishment Republican leaders as much as it informs them, making waves in the process," O'Connor complained, going on to cite Republican congressmen complaining about Heritage's tactics, but failing to find pro-Heritage conservative GOPers to defend the organization.


"We went into battle thinking they were on our side, and we find out they're shooting at us," O'Connor quoted Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), who registered his displeasure with Heritage's political-action arm, Heritage Action for America, for their handling of the farm bill debate. Later in the article, O'Connor quoted from Reps. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) who likewise complained about Heritage's handling of the farm bill debate.

To answer the critics, O'Connor made room for Heritage Action's chief executive Mike Needham, but no Tea Party conservatives in the GOP conference were quoted to bolster Heritage, lending the impression that most every House Republican is annoyed with Heritage's tack on issues on the Hill.

O'Connor's profile fits the larger media narrative of a "broken" GOP and an "inflexible" conservative movement. It is fair to report on tensions between a seminal conservative think tank and the House Republican majority, but it's quite unlikely the the Wall Street Journal or any other publication would take a look at how left-wing think tanks and pressure groups push Democrats to the left in the same way Heritage seeks to hold Republicans' feet to the fire from the right.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters