The Journalistic Ethics Of The WSJ Op-Ed Page

The editors recently ran a piece by one Elizabeth O’Bagy on how moderate the Syrian opposition is. Fair enough. But why was she not properly identified as the political director of the “Syrian Emergency Task Force” – a lobby group directly arguing for war against Syria? You’d think they were trying to hide something, wouldn’t you? This paid lobbyist for the rebels was even touted by secretary of state John Kerry as an objective source.

This really is like Iraq, isn’t it? Paid lobbyists being passed off as independent experts? You just never know who’s trying to spin you. And the WSJ wants to keep it that way. Update from a reader:

Elizabeth O’Bagy wasn’t just on the WSJ page.  She was being touted as a Syria expert by NPR this morning. They cite John McCain in her intro (which should give the astute reader a clue), but they also tied her in to John Kerry as well – not in this interview directly – but by playing this immediately after playing a story on Kerry and his support for the same thing.  I wasn’t paying close attention, as I had just gotten in my car and was trying to make a turn.  And didn’t think about it closely until I saw your post.  But there it is.

In the linked transcript, O’Bagy is only cited as a representative for the Institute for the Study of War think tank – no mention of her lobbying role for the Syrian Emergency Task Force.