The Pundit’s father toiled in the produce trade following his father and his father before him plus countless generations back in Europe. Yet, this Pundit’s Poppa fit no stereotypes. He wore a suit every working day of his life and was (and is) an educated and intelligent man.
Among the most priceless gifts given this Pundit was the advantage of growing up in a home filled with newspapers. Maybe more important is that he read them and the one he reached for when he came home after a long day on Hunts Point was The Wall Street Journal.
This son, earlier than is typical, began to read it as well. And the editorial and op-ed pages, where the issues of the day were debated and discussed, were a window to a world in which ideas mattered.
One idea the Pundit has wrestled with for years is how to produce great publications when the short term financial incentives are typically the opposite.
This private concern became a matter of public discussion as the family that has controlled The Wall Street Journal for over a century is now considering selling to Rupert Murdoch.
The Pundit was honored to have an opportunity to contribute to the discussion of what will happen to The Wall Street Journal without the steady hand of the Bancroft family ownership, and how best to sustain the publication’s standard of quality.
The op-ed piece appeared in both the print (page A21) and online versions of the July 10, 2007 edition of The Wall Street Journal and was called The Roots of Editorial ‘Independence.’ For a limited time you will be able to read the article here.
The article’s appearance brought comments from many people. From childhood friends we had lost touch with to well known public personalities. This one, though, from right in the industry, gave us a chuckle:
Bravo for your commentary in The Wall Street Journal! Please don’t go big time on us…the fresh food industry greatly benefits from your pot-stirring.
— Grant Hunt
Grant J. Hunt Company
Many thanks to Grant for his kind note. Grant and the Pundit share a multi-generational heritage in the business, so Grant knows better than most that we were both born to the “big time,” for although there may be industries slicker and higher-profile, we’ve never yet met one that beat with a bigger heart.
It is a little trip to get such a prestigious perch, we acknowledge that, but we do things outside the industry to keep ourselves immersed in the flow of ideas and intellectual capital and then we try and bring it all home.
Our home, of course, is here.
Many thanks to everyone who sent such kind notes.