Dow Jones Lunch Hour On the Day After: Security, Salad, and a Parody

By: Joe Strupp and Jennifer Saba Life around the Dow Jones & Co. headquarters in lower Manhattan has been a whirlwind of emotion since the announcement last night that Rupert Murdoch had bought their venerable institution, including the respected Wall Street Journal.

Many gathered at Moran's, a pub just a few blocks from the company's One World Financial Center home, Tuesday night to ease the impact of the life-changing news with a few tibbles, according to manager Jennifer Lynch.

"They were in here, I don't know if they were celebrating or commiserating," she said in a thick Irish accent. "Normally, we would not have as many as we had."

The fallout continued today as Dow Jones employees returned to work amid speculation and predictions of what Murdoch's stewardship would mean. Few were willing to speak with the various news crews and reporters -- including a pair from E&P -- camped outside of the building along busy West Street, just a stone's throw from Ground Zero. Even Lynch was less than accommodating, asking reporters not to bother her customers at midday.

Back out in front of the Dow Jones building, security guards kept those seeking interviews at a periphery, with many finding few wanted to talk. The most talkative were members of, who had brought piles of mock Wall Street Journals to hand out with headlines (drawn from Fox News) such as "Is The Liberal Media Helping to Fuel Terror?" and "Paris Hilton is a Genius" and "All Out Civil War in Iraq: Could it Be a Good Thing?"

Lunchtime brought a hot sun beating down on the plaza around 200 Liberty St., where media scribes seeking comment had to weed out the Dow Jones employees from others in the towering office building. Typical busy Manhattan workers, most grabbed a slice at a local pizzeria or a salad and soup at the Au bon Pain inside the building, waving away reporters or politely declining to be interviewed.

"Now we are dealing with something that is actually happening, it is hard to explain," said one Barron's employee who declined to be identified as she raced out of the deli with a platter of salad. "It is a wait-and-see of what will happen, rather than wondering if we will be sold."

Jill Howell, a volunteer, said the headlines in the group's mock paper were actually ones used by Fox News. They included "Some Trees Contribute to Global Warming," and "Hunting Accident Controversy: How is VP Cheney Feeling?"

"We want to put Murdoch on notice," she said. "If he does with The Wall Street Journal what he did with Fox News, no one will trust it." Another eager member tried to recruit these two reporters into passing out copies until she realized we were not part of the organization. Just for good measure, MoveOn made sure to explain in the bottom right-hand corner that the paper was a parody.

MoveOn received plenty of press -- AP TV! and several local New York stations -- from reporters stationed out front who had to wait around for bits of Dow Jones news. Folks working at a law firm in the same building were annoyed when asked if they worked for the Journal. ?No!? hissed one peeved lady. ?We work for the law firm with the name above the door.?


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