Full disclosure, please, Mr. Publisher

The owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com tells readers that his media outlets won’t be making a governor’s race endorsement this year. What Gerry Lenfest fails to disclose is that he gave $250,000 to Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign. One of his journalists writes in an email: “Given Lenfest’s history of Corbett donations and the likelihood that the Inquirer’s … left-leaning editorial board (and certainly the Daily News’) would have endorsed [challenger Tom] Wolf, it looks really, really bad.”

Joel Mathis writes:

By sitting out the election … the Inquirer is probably affecting the outcome as much as it would’ve by making an endorsement. Why go to the trouble?

On the other hand, the non-endorsement is a very big deal indeed: It goes to the heart of how the paper sees itself as an institution, and how it presents itself to the community.

* Philadelphia Inquirer endorses nobody for governor (phillymag.com)
* Philly papers punt on a gubernatorial endorsement (newsworks.org)
* Endorsement evasion is “1) Cowardly 2) Embarrassing 3) Revealing” (@pkerkstra)
* Lenfest is the second-largest individual donor to Corbett (philly.com)