Why is the Boston Globe letting former US Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) sell space on its op-ed page? As Eric Hananoki reports for Media Matters, the Globe has once again allowed Sununu to pen a column without disclosing he’s a highly-paid industry lobbyist:
Sununu wrote in his August 17 column that “Obama’s bureaucrats reach ever deeper into the economy, pursuing expensive and unnecessary regulation of the internet.” Sununu and the Globe did not disclose that he is the highly-paid honorary co-chair of Broadband for America, an organization whose members have included major broadband providers and has been heavily funded by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.
Sununu also serves on the board of directors for Time Warner Cable (TWC), which fights Internet regulation. [...] TWC gave Sununu approximately $272,000 in compensation in 2014, according to company documents.
But Sununu’s byline innocuously reads, “John E. Sununu, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire, writes regularly for the Globe.”
Sununu has also used his column to attack President Obama’s Clean Power Plan while serving as “Adjunct Senior Policy Advisor” for Akin Gump, a powerhouse DC lobbying firm that rakes in millions from the coal, oil and fracked gas industries.
The Globe’s excuse? “Reached by phone by Media Matters‘ Joe Strupp, Editorial Page Editor Ellen Clegg said she’s on vacation and hasn’t ‘read this column closely.’” When it comes to Sununu’s incomplete byline, Clegg says ”take a look at it.”
But when Media Matters first pointed out Sununu’s Akin Gump conflicts of interest back in 2012, then-editorial page editor Peter Canellos claimed, “If [Sununu] were in any position to benefit from matters he writes about, we would disclose that fact.” (Canellos is now executive editor of Politico.)
The Globe is failing to live up to its own stated ethical standards. Will Clegg now succeed where Canellos failed?