An investigative reporter and former Dow Jones executive, Francis Dealy has stretched what might have been a substantial magazine article into a sloppy and repetitive book. Of Dealy’s major points — that The Wall Street Journal practices nepotism, fails to monitor its employees’ venality, and was shamefully late in covering the savings-and-loan scandal — only the latter is argued convincingly.
Dealy’s history of the paper in The Power and the Money is engaging, if chronologically confusing, and his portrait of celebrity-hungry editor (now chairman) Peter Kann and his wife, foreign editor (now VP) Karen Elliott House, casts a serious shadow on the Journal’s ethics. But the author’s slippery attention to detail (he refers to the ”Rodney Stone beating”), subjective language, and dramatic reconstructions of conversations he didn’t hear make his overall critique — compelling as it is — difficult to take completely seriously. C