Shelley Hepworth of the Columbia Journalism Review conducted a Q&A with “respected” veteran Wall Street Journal reporter John Carney, who was recently hired by Breitbart News to oversee a new financial vertical with a focus on “economic nationalism and populism.”
From the Columbia Journalism Review’s Q&A with Carney (CJR’s questions in bold):
How would you characterize Breitbart’s current economic and business coverage?
It hasn’t been a focus for them. They have done some, and they’ve concentrated on their strengths. We’re going to be informed by an optimism about the potential for the American economy and economic nationalism and populism—the idea that the American worker has gotten a raw deal and that we can get a better deal.
Could you explain the term “economic populism”?
A lot of our politics has [come to] focus on petty issues while our economy is actually rotting at the core. Many Americans have not seen their incomes improve in decades and, in fact, a large and important section of America has actually seen their fortunes decline over the years. Economic populism is an economics that sees its vision of success as improving and bettering the prospects of all Americans. It’s not enough to grow if too much of that growth is concentrated at the top, or if the middle classes are deteriorating. Economic populism is both a vision of success and an optimism that it can be done.
Breitbart has a reputation as a breeding ground for racist, sexist, and xenophobic views. Does that aspect of the site concern you?
I did a thorough review of everything at Breitbart, and I don’t think that that reputation is justified. I think it is a site that cares about a very broad swath of Americans. It’s a center-right, populist website, and I’m not going to be doing politics explicitly, but I also don’t think that that reputation is deserved. Very few people really got the rise of Trump as right as [Breitbart] did and I think they deserve a lot of credit for being ahead of the curve on that. We’re going to use that as our model. Perhaps a lot of the reason some of us in mainstream media have been behind the curve is because we bought into too many of the orthodoxies. Breitbart’s ability to look beyond those has really been an asset for them, and it’s one that we’re going to carry on into business, markets, and finance.
Read the rest here.