A top Wall Street Journal editor acknowledged yesterday that WSJ columnist Karl Rove is a “prime mover” in this election through his super PAC American Crossroads. Despite this key role, the Journal has problematically published Rove's columns without disclosing his affiliation with Crossroads and its related group Crossroads GPS, which are both spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help Republicans get elected.
Alan Murray, the deputy managing editor and executive editor for the WSJ online, tackled the subject of Rove and his super PAC during a contentious interview for the Journal's video site. Murray asked Rove: “You've obviously been one of the prime movers there with American Crossroads. I understand why you do it, I know it's legal, but it's a perversion of the process, isn't it?”
Watch the exchange from WSJ Live:
ALAN MURRAY: So, Karl, when the history of this election is written, one of the things that people will focus on is the role of the super PACs, these giant agglomerations of money that aren't under the control of the candidates. You've obviously been one of the prime movers there with American Crossroads. I understand why you do it, I know it's legal, but it's a perversion of the process, isn't it?
The Wall Street Journal's editorial page has regularly failed to note Rove's major conflict of interest in his columns. Indeed, Rove's column today makes no mention of Crossroads even as he dishonestly attacks the Obama administration on a variety of issues. The paper states simply: “Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.”
Media Matters recently reported that several current and former editorial page editors at top newspapers criticized the WSJ for failing to disclose Rove's ties. Former New York Times editorial page editor Howell Raines, for instance, said that Rove's “role at American Crossroads is, if anything, more relevant to this campaign than his Bush ties, given the importance of PAC commercials in this campaign” and added that the Journal's description of Rove fails to provide readers with proper disclosure.
If a top editor at the Journal can acknowledge that Karl Rove is one of the most influential figures in the elections through his super PAC, why can't the Journal editorial page do the same?