Wall Street Journal Keeps Backsliding On Disclosure For Romney Advisers

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The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Kevin Hassett attacking statements by President Obama without disclosing that Hassett is an adviser to the Mitt Romney campaign.

The October 24 op-ed identified Hassett only as “director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute,” despite abundant reporting elsewhere of Hassett's position as a Romney adviser.

The Journal has frequently failed to disclose its op-ed writers' ties to the Romney campaign. Earlier this month, a Media Matters review of Journal op-eds found that it had failed to disclose these connections 70 percent of the time.

Following scrutiny of the Journal's disclosure practices -- editorial page editors at top newspapers have called them “inexcusable” and “shameless” -- the paper began disclosing columnist Karl Rove's link to American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, political groups that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help Republicans. The Journal also disclosed the Romney campaign connection of Hoover Institute fellow John Taylor, after having previously failed to do so.

However, last week, the Journal did not disclose Romney foreign policy adviser Seth Cropsey's campaign role in an op-ed criticizing Obama.

In Hassett's op-ed, he and co-writer Aparna Mathur claimed that Obama's campaign speeches have blasted “a caricature of his opponent's economic policies” and repeated the misleading right-wing argument that ownership of appliances somehow mitigates poverty in America.

As Think Progress explained in a response to the op-ed, this argument ignores the fact that appliances have become much cheaper over the past few decades, while important necessities like child care and medical care have grown more expensive.