Writers on WSJ blog that published Suzanne Somers post ‘have leeway in expressing their views’

Larry Rout edits The Experts, a blog at The Wall Street Journal that published a now-rather-famous post by Suzanne Somers. I asked to interview its editor after reading a month’s worth of posts on The Experts, including a series on “Google Glasses” (the product’s name is Google Glass) and one with the headline “How China’s Positionining Itself as the Global Energy-Technology Leader.” Yes, “Positionining.”

Rout was too busy to talk Tuesday, a Journal spokesperson told Poynter, but he sent along some answers to questions I posed in an email Monday night.

The Experts, which launched this past February, is part of Journal Report, which “asks a wide range of questions with the aim of showcasing a variety of viewpoints,” Rout writes. The site has seen traffic gains and has a “growing group of elite panelists,” including former governors Bill Ritter of Colorado and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey and former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost of Texas.

These folks largely take on “weighty topics,” Rout writes, citing hedge-fund advertising, information security and education costs. “We do occasionally touch on lifestyle issues, such as how entrepreneurs can best maintain a work-life balance or book recommendations for retirees.”

The site’s editors “review every post, editing them for clarity and sending them back to the authors for rewriting when needed,” Rout writes. “That said, they are considered opinion pieces, and the writers have leeway in expressing their views.” The blog’s writers “are expected to adhere to the Journal’s guidelines, which include fully fact checking every piece,” Rout writes.

Related: Suzanne Somers hates Obamacare, verifying quotations (Poynter) | Somers “is not someone who The Wall Street Journal should be touting as an ‘expert’” (CJR)

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  • sargeh

    Somers wasn’t identified as an expert. Anyway, lack of expertise has never stopped media folk from hyping the political views of left-wing Hollywood non-experts. More than a little hypocrisy with the furor among media types.

  • JTFloore

    the question is: should rank stupidity be used as a guise for “showcasing a wide range of viewpoints”?

  • harryeagar

    I would not have thought it possible that the Journal could make itself look worse than it did after publishing Somers, but Rout proves I was mistaken.