Harold Ford Jr. makes some fine points in this Wall Street Journal op-ed about the merits of more domestic drilling for oil and gas and about what a bad idea it is to either raise taxes on or demonize oil and gas producers, but what's not so sharp is the Journal's identification of him: "Mr. Ford, a former Democratic congressman from Tennessee, is a professor at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service."
The guy is a managing director and senior client relationship manager at Morgan Stanley. And who knows what kind of business he does there with clients in the oil and gas industry? For the Journal to make him out to be some college professor is just silly. I've got nothing against Mr. Ford, Morgan Stanley, NYU, or the Journal for that matter, and, as I said, I agree with most of the points in the op-ed. Maybe Mr. Ford would be making these points even if he didn't work at Morgan Stanley. But it's like when the Journal or the Financial Times run op-ed pieces from Arthur Levitt referring to him as a former SEC chairman without identifying him also as a paid adviser to Goldman Sachs. They aren't giving readers the full story. Why is what the writer used to do — "congressman from Tennessee," SEC chairman — more relevant as an identifier than what the writer is doing now, especially if what the writer is doing now is paying the writer more money than what the writer used to do?
Anyway, it's one of the many services here at FutureOfCapitalism — providing fuller identifications of newspaper op-ed writers than do the newspapers themselves.