WSJ op-ed falsely claims Rasmussen "never worked for any political party" or candidate

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

The Wall Street Journal published a January 14 op-ed by pollsters and Fox News contributors Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen which falsely claimed that pollster Scott Rasmussen "has never worked for any political party" or "consulted with any candidates seeking elective office," and defended Fox News from alleged White House "attempt[s] to silence" it. In fact, according to the Center for Public Integrity, the Republican National Committee and President Bush's re-election campaign were clients of Scott Rasmussen Inc. in 2003 and 2004; moreover, The Wall Street Journal failed to identify Caddell and Schoen as Fox News contributors, despite their defense of the network.

Caddell and Schoen falsely claim Rasmussen "has never worked for any political party" or "consulted with any candidates seeking elective office"

In their op-ed, which stated that Rasmussen "has been the target of increasingly virulent attacks from left-wing bloggers seeking to undermine his credibility, and thus muffle his findings," Caddell and Schoen wrote:

Mr. Rasmussen, who is avowedly not part of the Beltway crowd in Washington, has been willing to take on issues like ethics and corruption in ways no other pollsters have been able to do. He was also one of the first pollsters to stress people's real fear of the growing size of government, the size of the deficit, and the concern about spending at a time when these issues were not really on Washington's radar screen.

The reaction against him has been strident and harsh. He's been called an adjunct of the Republican Party when in fact he has never worked for any political party. Nor has he consulted with any candidates seeking elective office.

Rasmussen reportedly worked for RNC, Bush

Clients reportedly paid Rasmussen $141,000. As ThinkProgress has noted, according to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, Rasmussen received $45,500 from President Bush's re-election campaign in 2004 for "survey research," as well as $95,500 from the Republican National Committee in 2003 and 2004 for "survey cost," "voter data," and "survey."

Wall Street Journal does not disclose Caddell and Schoen's ties to Fox News

Caddell and Schoen claim White House engaged in "unprecedented attempt to silence" Fox News, which is "chilling to the free exercise of democracy." From their January 14 Wall Street Journal op-ed:

The attacks on Rasmussen and Gallup follow an effort by the White House to wage war on Fox News and to brand it, as former White House Director of Communications Anita Dunn did, as "not a real news organization." The move backfired; in time, other news organizations rallied around Fox News. But the message was clear: criticize the White House at your peril.

As pollsters for two Democratic presidents who served before Barack Obama, we view this unprecedented attempt to silence the media and to attack the credibility of unpopular polling as chilling to the free exercise of democracy.

Wall Street Journal does not disclose Caddell and Schoen's ties to Fox News. Both Caddell and Schoen are Fox News contributors and make regular appearances on the network. Despite their defense of Fox News from what they viewed as "chilling" attacks from the White House, The Wall Street Journal identified Caddell as having once been "a pollster for President Jimmy Carter," and Schoen has having served as a "pollster for President Bill Clinton." At no point were either man's ties to Fox News disclosed.

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