Business & Tech

Breitbart News hires veteran WSJ reporter to run new finance section

Breitbart News, the right-wing news and opinion website that burst into prominence during the presidential campaign, has been aggressively seeking to capitalize on the victory of Donald Trump that its readers helped to propel.

In recent months, the website has talked of expanding its coverage in Washington and elsewhere in the United States, and of opening bureaus in foreign cities including Paris and Berlin.

In its latest push to extend its appeal and compete more directly with a mainstream media that had largely dismissed it, Breitbart has hired John Carney, an experienced business reporter from The Wall Street Journal, to run a finance and economics section that will focus on news, commentary and analysis.

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The addition of Carney — a former corporate lawyer who has also worked at Dealbreaker, an irreverent Wall Street blog; Business Insider; and CNBC — shows that Breitbart trying to broaden its audience beyond its loyal, hard-right readers.

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Carney, 43, said in an interview Tuesday that joining Breitbart was an opportunity for him to “challenge orthodoxies” and return to online journalism.

“In some ways, I feel like I’m going back to my roots by going there,” he said. “You can do things at Breitbart that won’t necessarily work at The Wall Street Journal.”

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial start-up bit of my DNA,” he added, “and frankly, I missed the atmosphere of working at a small shop and producing things and getting to rewrite the rules about the way journalism can work.”

Carney said he shared Breitbart’s message of populism and economic nationalism.

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“Frankly, that is my point of view, so I don’t have a problem with that,” he said.

In a statement, Larry Solov, chief executive of Breitbart News, said of Carney: “There simply isn’t a better person in media to lead the economics section of an anti-establishment, center-right, global news outlet.”

Carney’s move was reported earlier by Bloomberg.

Breitbart, which embraced Trump during the presidential campaign, has already established a connection to the incoming administration. Stephen K. Bannon, the company’s former chairman, helped run Trump’s campaign and in November was named Trump’s chief White House strategist. Breitbart is also among the news outlets that are part of the pool covering the president-elect’s transition.

Carney said he did not intend to give Trump any special treatment and would hold those in power accountable.

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“My feeling is that to the extent that Trump lives up to the promise that got him elected — the idea that he’s going to look out for America and American workers — we will be cheerleaders for that,” he said. “To the extent that there’s any failure to live up to that, we will be critics.”