By Michael Field
The newspaper editorially attacked top union boss Richard Trumka for a speech in which he denounced business groups involved in the political process.
But it was the opening lines of the editorial which will surprise many in this part of the world.
"When it comes to intimidating opponents before a fight, no one does it better than New Zealand's Haka tribe, whose members, googly-eyed, stomp their feet, stick out their tongues and bark at their opponents," the Journal intoned.
"I know it's a bit pedantic to point out, but it's also telling that, in their rush to associate unions with a group of 'googly-eyed' brown people, the WSJ editors couldn't spare five seconds to fact-check," one comment said.
Another added: "I want to see it: WSJ Editorial staff vs. the All Blacks. Let them see what intimidation really means."
While another comment said: "Normally the WSJ is pretty good with this stuff, but I have to make this correction...there is no such thing as a Haka 'tribe.' A Haka is a Maori war dance. All Maori tribes have their own Hakas. The New Zealand All Blacks, the national rugby team for New Zealand, made the Haka famous by doing their own before all of their rugby games.'
So they've seen non-indigenous rugby players imitate the Maori. This dance looks strange and exotic by Western standards. The writers take what they consider the weirdest element--the so-called "googly eyes"--and apply it to someone they consider equal weird. So union members are wild-eyed savages just like the Maori.
How many people read the Wall Street Journal...a couple million? How many of them know anything about the Maori...a couple thousand? So a couple million readers have learn that the indigenous Maori = violent rugby players = wild-eyed savages = liberal union members. Sooner or later they'll repeat what they've learned: that "indigenous," "savage," and "googly-eyed" are synonyms.
For more on the subject, see Maori Tribe Wants Haka Back and Maori War Chant in Invictus.