Following Criticism, WSJ Identifies Writer Max Boot As A Romney Adviser

Following criticism of its disclosure practices, The Wall Street Journal identified frequent writer Max Boot as an adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign in a recent book review he wrote for the paper. The Journal has published op-eds from 10 writers, including Boot, who weren't disclosed as advising Romney's campaign.

The paper's disclosure follows four op-eds this year in which Boot was not disclosed as a defense policy adviser for Romney even though those pieces criticized President Obama.

The Journal published two book reviews by Boot earlier this year -- on May 31 and June 22 -- in which he was critical of the Obama administration. But in identifying Boot in those pieces, the paper did not note his campaign ties. (Media Matters did not include these pieces in our op-ed study because we did not tally book reviews.)

Editorial page editors from across the country have criticized the Journal for its lack of transparency in its editorial pages, and several media outlets have noted their failure to disclose. Media Matters has also launched a petition urging the Journal to disclose the conflicts. The Journal did not respond to requests for comment on the disclosure of Boot's role as a Romney adviser by posting time.   

The paper's weekend edition published a book review by Boot of The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, From George W. Bush to Barack Obama by Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor.  

Boot wrote that Gordon and Trainor “are highly critical” of the administration's decisions regarding Iraq. Boot added that “Gordon and Trainor show, however, how little interest Mr. Obama had in extending any troop presence past 2011” and offered his own criticism of Obama, writing: “By failing to consolidate the gains won by our troops, the president appears well on his way to seizing defeat from the jaws of a hard-won victory.”

Boot's WSJ identification stated: “Mr. Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an advisor to the Romney campaign. His 'Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare From Ancient Times to the Present' will appear in January.” 

The Journal was also criticized for failing to disclose that weekly columnist Karl Rove is the co-founder of a super PAC, American Crossroads, which raises funds to oppose Democrats. The publication apparently changed that practice, disclosing Rove's super PAC connection in his most recent column

Additional reporting by Joe Strupp.