Wall Street Journal Non-Disclosure Strikes Again

The Wall Street Journal once again failed to disclose the identity of a Mitt Romney adviser, allowing Seth Cropsey to co-author an op-ed criticizing President Obama without informing Journal readers that Cropsey is advising Romney on foreign policy. This is just the latest in a long list of op-ed authors the Journal has failed to disclose as advisers to the Republican presidential candidate.

The Wall Street Journal faced widespread criticism earlier this year for allowing Karl Rove to write columns analyzing the presidential election without disclosing his role with a conservative Super PAC raising money to defeat Democrats and elect Republicans. Under pressure, the Journal eventually disclosed Rove's connection to the Super PAC, American Crossroads.

In an op-ed that ran in the October 19 Wall Street Journal, Cropsey and co-author Douglas J. Feith criticized Obama's foreign policy and its approach to “Islamic extremism.” Feith and Cropsey repeated the debunked myth that Obama did not immediately call the September attack on a U.S. Consulate in Libya a terrorist attack, using that falsehood as evidence that Obama's foreign policy is marked by a “refusal to accept that the terrorism threat is part of a larger problem of Islamic extremism.” The Journal identified the authors as follows:

-- Mr. Feith was undersecretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration. Mr. Cropsey served as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Both writers are Hudson Institute senior fellows.

This identification fails to disclose that Cropsey is not only an adviser to the Romney campaign, but that he has also spoken on behalf of the Romney campaign at a Republican fundraiser in the past month. In September, Cropsey hosted a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Ken Timmerman. The Timmerman campaign's listing for the fundraiser identifies Cropsey as a foreign policy adviser to the Romney campaign:

On September 30 at 3:30pm at the home of Seth and Mihaela Cropsey Ken will be talking with independents, Republicans and disgruntled Democrats from adjoining precincts and Chevy Chase. Also, Seth Cropsey, a foreign policy advisor to Romney campaign and former Dep Secretary of Navy in Reagan Administration, will say a few words on behalf of Romney-Ryan campaign.

In September, Media Matters uncovered at least 10 op-ed writers that The Wall Street Journal had failed to accurately portray as advisers to the Romney campaign. Editorial page writers from newspapers across the U.S. called the lack of disclosure “inexcusable” and “shameless.” The Journal has identified some of those authors as Romney advisers in subsequent pieces for the paper.

Neither the Wall Street Journal nor Seth Cropsey responded to a request for comment.