Fight! The Wall Street Journal enjoys newspaper feuds, remember? Which is the only sensible explanation for WSJ editor Robert Thomson's pugnacious statement that just went out regarding David Carr's New York Times column today.

Carr's non-shocking thesis today: Since Rupert Murdoch bought the WSJ, he's turned it into more of a general interest paper, and its Washington coverage leans right, as evidenced by Robert Thomson's hiring of a right-wing deputy managing editor, and also evidenced by the fact that that's what several WSJ staffers tell Carr, and also evidenced by reading the paper. Robert Thomson will not let this observation stand!

From: Thomson, Robert
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 11:06 AM
To: Christie, Robert
Subject: Statement by Robert Thomson on The New York Times

The news column by a Mr David Carr today is yet more evidence that The New York Times is uncomfortable about the rise of an increasingly successful rival while its own circulation and credibility are in retreat. The usual practice of quoting ex-employees was supplemented by a succession of anonymous quotes and unsubstantiated assertions. The attack follows the extraordinary actions of Mr Bill Keller, the Executive Editor, who, among other things, last year wrote personally and at length to a prize committee casting aspersions on Journal journalists and journalism. Whether it be in the quest for prizes or in the disparagement of competitors, principle is but a bystander at The New York Times.

Robert Thomson,

Editor-in-Chief, Dow Jones.

Rather feisty, no? We've emailed both papers to try to get more info and responses to the allegations against Bill Keller. In the meantime, our diagnosis: Rupert Murdoch and his peons are essentially drunk barroom fighters. They love this shit. Keep it coming, plz.
UPDATE: John Koblin gets a strong I-stand-by-the-column from Bill Keller.
UPDATE 2: NYT PR sends us the same statement the NYO got, namely:

Here's a response from Bill Keller:

While David's column clearly got under Mr. Thomson's skin, I don't see anything in this response that casts doubt upon it. The column was scrupulously fair and, if anything, understated, and I have no inclination to help Mr. Thomson change the subject.