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Shhh. Publishing holiday secrets in The Wall Street Journal

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December 20, 2006

Shhh. Publishing holiday secrets in The Wall Street Journal

Stephen Baker

Chicago Cubs pitcher Glendon Rusch, who makes $3 million a year, has a secret. He's going to "surprise" his wife this Christmas with a $122,000 Aston Martin. Since it's a surprise, he told the Wall Street Journal reporter to go ahead and print the news--but please to urge readers not to spill the secret.

This tells you one of two things: Either Rusch doesn't care much about keeping the secret, or--more interesting to me--he's confident that his wife, Kelley, is safely buffered from anyone who might happen to read one of the leading national newspapers. Many people are. I'm sure that a news nugget in the Journal that would send Wall Street into a frenzy would go unread and unnoticed in large swaths of the Bronx, just a few miles north. But how many people in a $3 million household are several degrees separated from Journal readers (not to mention this blog)?

Here's my guess. It's a gold-plated version of The Gift of the Magi. Imagine that Kelley, just like Glendon, plans to surprise her spouse with luxury wheels. The dealer, I'm guessing, has read the Journal. So when Kelley kicks the tires of a $98,000 coupe, he urges her to look for something just a little nicer. Why? she asks. He plays coy for a while, but finally rescues yesterday's Journal from the recycling bin and shows her that unless she spends $122k--or more--the mistletoe will shrivel and her lips go unkissed once Glendon tours the garage and sees that he's been dissed.

08:57 AM


You're foolish to think the Wall Street Journal is just for stockbrokers in Manhattan, not for bowling alley operators in the Bronx.

In the 1960s, in one of the poorest counties of rural Ohio, the high school library used to subscribe to the WSJ - and the paper had been read by many kids before the day was over.

It's a newspaper for dreamers....

Posted by: Paul Ding at December 20, 2006 12:42 PM

I suspect many of America's wealthiest (read actors, rock stars, sports figures, etc.) never touch a Wall Street Journal, unless it's for use on the bottom of a bird cage. These folks are not business people, so the Journal is irrelevant to their lives and their lifestyles.

By the way, I am a business person, far from wealthy, who does read the Journal; I don't think earnings and readership are a 1:1 measure.

Posted by: Lewis Green at December 21, 2006 10:05 AM

Hey, Glendon, anything that gets you to the donut shop faster. Don't forget the big red bow.

Posted by: The Big Cat at December 21, 2006 09:57 PM

Good points.

Paul, to each his own dreams. I associate the Journal with work.

Posted by: steve baker at December 22, 2006 08:55 AM

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