The Wall Street Journal finally noted columnist Karl Rove's link to the pro-Republican super PAC American Crossroads in his latest column. The Journal has long failed to disclose that Rove is deeply involved with American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, two political groups that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help Republicans in this election year.
For what appears to be the first time, the bio line at the end of Rove's column states that Rove is “a co-founder of the political action committee American Crossroads.” The column is expected to run in the paper's September 27 edition. The Journal had previously stated only that Rove is “the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.”
By failing to note the columnist's connection, the Journal had allowed Rove to choose for himself when he would disclose in his columns that he is helping to raise massive amounts of money to affect the election. Rove has often failed to provide this disclosure and has regularly treated his Journal column as an extension of his job to get Mitt Romney and other Republicans elected.
Current and former editorial page editors at top newspapers told Media Matters last month that the Journal should disclose Rove's role in every column by changing his bio to include that information, with one calling the paper's failure to do so “negligent.”
In a statement to Media Matters, Trevor Potter, who served as general counsel to McCain's 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns, has likewise criticized Rove and the Journal for failing to make this disclosure. When asked about the Journal's disclosure problem, Potter noted “It seems to me if you're writing about politics and you're head of a major political organization that has a side in the election, you would expect that to be disclosed.”
The Journal has similar disclosure problems with numerous op-ed writers who were not identified as Romney advisers in pieces that criticized Obama or praised Romney.