A new midcard storyline between a top White House trade adviser and a respected business publication has unfolded, featuring a US-China heavyweight championship main event. Both parties are no-selling their back-and-forth exchanges, choosing to instead shoot from the hip and vent their opinions on the never-ending program between the world’s two largest economies. Which will go over in this war of words, and which will job out? This no-holds-barred match has no disqualification, no count-outs, and no submissions. So, pass the popcorn.
Peter Navarro vs. WSJ
The Wall Street Journal recently fired the first shot in its contest with Peter Navarro, assistant to President Donald Trump and director of trade and manufacturing policy. In an op-ed, titled “A Navarro Recession,” the WJS Editorial Board sounded the alarm on Trump’s intensifying trade dispute with China and cautioned that it is backfiring. Citing a decline in corporate investment and a reversal in upward hiring trends, the conservative-leaning outlet warned that the administration’s trade posturing is not working.
Rather than blaming President Trump for what is happening – equity volatility, economic slowdowns, and a roller coaster bond market – the newspaper struck a low blow and posited that Navarro has given Trump terrible advice.
“Mr. Trump’s willy-nilly trade offensive could be the mistake that turns a slowdown into the Navarro recession,” the opinion piece stated.
Navarro did not take kindly to the commentary, objecting to being portrayed as the heel.
Appearing on the Fox Business Network’s Mornings With Maria, Navarro told the lovely Maria Bartiromo that The Journal is a communist propaganda outlet, comparable to the People’s Daily:
“The Wall Street Journal will write what it writes. It doesn’t sound a lot different from the People’s Daily in terms of the news that it puts out.
“This economy is solid as a rock. But President Trump doesn’t want a very good economy, he wants a great economy.”
WSJ refused to be buried by Navarro, penning a second tongue-in-cheek rematch, titled “The Navarro Recession, II?” The second editorial cited weak Chinese and German economic data, a plunge in bond markets, and triple-digit losses on the New York Stock Exchange. The newspaper tried to foist a clean finish, opining: “Someone should tell Mr. Trump that incumbent presidents who preside over recessions within two years of an election rarely get a second term.”
Navarro no-sold the jabs and strikes, telling ABC’s This Week that The WSJ has been silent on a whole host of issues for the last ten years. He listed various subjects that had not gotten a lot of press, including the loss of US manufacturing jobs, the Chinese stealing American intellectual property, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) manipulating the yuan, and the central government initiating cyberattacks.
After a few more suplexes, body slams, and kicks to the gut, Navarro finished off with this spot that should get him over in the White House:
“When The Main Street Journal starts attacking this administration, that is when we worry.
“It’s called The Wall Street Journal for a reason. It represents Wall Street. And The Wall Street Journal never saw an American job it didn’t want to offshore.”
Will WSJ kick out at two? Or was this the knockout blow that will deliver Navarro a one-two-three victory over the newspaper? Refill the popcorn bowl and enjoy the Iron Man cage match!
In his latest media rounds, Navarro made several questionable statements. But his highlight reel might have been his Wall Street Journal slobberknocker, whether you are a mark for Navarro or a fan of the publication. But while no one could accuse WSJ of being a progressive apologist for the Democratic Party – it is controlled by Rupert Murdoch via Dow Jones Publications – Trump’s re-election campaign could utilize Navarro’s comments as part of its latest batch of political merch.
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