Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a campaign-finance case that will "test the justices' willingness to buck public opinion," Wall Street Journal Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin noted in his page A4 article about the open of the high court's October 2013 term. Bravin devoted the first several paragraphs of his October 7 story, "Campaign Giving Tops High Court's Docket," to painting the Court as highly unpopular when it comes to campaign finance case law following Citizens United.
It wasn't until the 8th paragraph that Bravin actually explained to readers what the new case before the court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, was all about:
The Wall Street Journal may be best-known for its conservative editorial page, but its ostensibly objective reporters are a far different story. Take Jess Bravin, the Journal's Supreme Court correspondent, and his wildly different takes on the Voting Rights Act case vs. the gay marriage cases.
Although all those cases were 5-4 decisions and although each of them involved overturning or invalidating legislation enacted overwhelmingly on a bipartisan vote in Congress or, in the Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, by the voters of the State of California, Bravin predictably followed the liberal script in how he framed the outcomes.
Most networks skipped over the story of their own corporate advocacy of broadcast profanity last night when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals shredded the FCC’s broadcast decency regulation. (All the major broadcast networks signed on, with Fox in the lead). NBC’s Brian Williams offered 94 words, but erred in claiming "When a curse word has slipped out in the past, the FCC has imposed heavy fines on networks." There were no fines for NBC when Bono said "f—ing brilliant" at the 2004 Golden Globes, nor were their fines for Fox when Cher and Nicole Richie for profanity at (respectively) the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards.
ABC and CBS aired nothing. Fox News had no story in the transcripts offered to Nexis for searching. Fox’s corporate brethren at The Wall Street Journal had a story, but reporters Amy Schatz and Jess Bravin wrote a 727-word article with absolutely zero space for critics of the judges’ decision (including the Brent Bozell-founded Parents Television Council).
The story did make explicit that Fox "led the case against the FCC and that "Fox is a division of News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal."
Other newspapers offered small scraps for anti-profanity groups. The Washington Post’s front-page story by Cecelia Kang offered 50 words out of 771, in paragraph eight: