Professor Wagner Comments on George Will's Apparent Conflict of Interest

September 4, 2014

MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA -- George Will has found himself in financial disclosure trouble several times in the past. So when he appeared at a dinner to kick off the Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream summit, Media Matters was interested in whether he was paid for the appearance by the influential conservative political group backed by the Koch brothers, as well as who paid for his travel and expenses. Venise Wagner, San Francisco State University Journalism professor, commented. “If this isn’t a conflict of interest, the mere appearance of such a conflict should give any journalist pause,” she said. “But Will is a columnist and his conservative views are no secret. Nor are his connections with conservative causes and money. He could make the argument that people know he is a pundit with a strong point of view. But the problem I believe is the average audience member likely is not clear about what Will has to gain by supporting these conservative causes.”