Factcheck.Org Joins The Right Wing Nutjob Brigade

ProudProgressive 2012/07/07 13:05:43
The Right Wing war against reality continues. It's a sad day when a formerly respected, reputable and nonpartisan source of information like Factcheck.org is coopted into the Right Wing propaganda machine. Factcheck was the first site to blow the birthers out of the water, personally confirming the authenticity of the President's short form birth certificate way back in 2008. The birthers, of course, ignored reality and are still around wasting everyone's time and tax dollars. But now it seems that even Factcheck can no longer be trusted after they presented a completely unreliable coverup for Mitt Romney's history as a predator capitalist that is directly contradicted with verified public information.

[Note - the source article here provides numerous links to verifying information.]

Article excerpt follows:

Romney's Desperate Need for Counterspin Captures FactCheck.org
By karoli
July 04, 2012

What happens when factcheckers become tools of a Presidential campaign? They step into the place of actual journalism, even when that step puts them squarely at odds with investigative reporters who actually report facts sometimes.

The Washington Post's recent article on Bain Capital and Mitt Romney's role in outsourcing jobs to India and elsewhere confirmed what the Obama campaign had been attacking all along -- Bain Capital was in the business of making money, not creating jobs, rendering Mitt Romney's claim that he knows how to create jobs bogus. Despite the pearl-clutching Democrats who whined about attacks on Bain, there's no question that ads like the one at the top of this post are effective in critical swing states.

Those ads aren't effective because they tell lies. They're effective because they ring true, and the people most affected by Bain moneymaking ventures actually live in those states.

The attacks have so upset the Romney campaign that they actually sat down with the Washington Post in order to strong-arm them into changing their story so that all of the Bain decisions impacting workers happened after Romney left as an active Bain partner. That story stood in direct contradiction to the claim of Washington Post factchecker Glenn Kessler, leaving Romney with the sole option of using factcheckers to dispute the Obama campaign's claims.

Brooks Jackson of Factcheck.org was happy to comply with the Romney desire to change that story to one more favorable to Romney last week. After being challenged by the Obama camp, Jackson followed up a subjective hissy fit, Jackson calls the Obama campaign's claims "all wet."

Jackson's claims hinge on an assumption that just doesn't pass the smell test. In order to accept that Factcheck.org's facts are actually facts, one must accept this: Events occurring after Romney mounted his dressage horse to save the Olympics are completely disconnected and unrelated to the time when Romney was firmly in control of the reins at Bain Capital.

That just isn't how the corporate world operates. Not even close. Here's an example, where Factcheck claims that Romney had nothing to do with outsourcing jobs while at Bain:

Two electronic outsource manufacturing services companies controlled by Bain Capital closed plants in the U.S. and moved work to Mexico. But Romney had left Bain more than a year before the plants closed at both companies.
A picture frame company with operations in the Far East, including in China, closed a plant in South Carolina. The Obama campaign cites the plant closing, but those workers were manufacturing photo albums for professionals — a line of work that the company discontinued because it was such a small part of the business.

In the first case, Factcheck claims that the cite of a June, 2000 Bloomberg news brief as an announcement proves that the jobs were shipped out to Mexico after Romney had left Bain's daily operations in late 1999. They cite the date of the report compared to the date Romney's dive into the Olympics as their fact-based evidence that he had nothing to do with that.

Did they actually look at board resolutions? Minutes of management meetings? These decisions are made long before they're announced publicly. It's not unusual for public announcements to be made as long as a year after the actual decision is made. There are documents to sign, disclosures to be made, side deals that might make a difference, financing to be secured, and so on.

This was a pattern and a goal at Bain Capital, after all. The whole reason for Bain's existence was to turn a big profit for investors, using assets of businesses they rode in to "streamline".

Finally, FactCheck avers that Romney was so preoccupied with the Olympics rescue that he wasn't involved in the day-to-day affairs or decision-making at Bain Capital. This directly contradicts the facts which one might expect factcheck.org to actually verify. The biggest fact they overlooked in this supposed factcheck? Mitt Romney was CEO of Bain Capital and had 100 percent control as late as 2001. This isn't a secret. It's by Romney's own admission.

In August, 2001, Biz Journals reported:

Romney, 54, is giving up his 100 percent control of Bain Capital to 26 managing directors. The firm has made 170 venture and buyout investments in companies like pizza delivery chain Domino's Pizza Inc., brokerage Datek Online Holdings Corp. and retailers Staples Inc. and the Sports Authority Inc.,

Nay, nay, says Jackson, because the Olympics were eating up all of his time and attention, leaving him no time to sign off on all those outsourced jobs:

Similarly, the Obama campaign cites a Washington Post story from 2007 that quotes a Romney lawyer, R. Bradford Malt, as saying that he "finally resigned and reduced his role at the company to that of a passive investor in 2001." That's true, but we read that to mean only that Romney went from being an absentee owner to being a passive investor. Nowhere was Malt quoted as saying Romney took any active role in managing Bain after leaving to run the Olympics.

Never mind those W. Mitt Romney signatures on documents between 1999 and 2001, right?

If we accept Factcheck's conclusions, then we should also accept that Mitt Romney signed off on plant closures and offshoring jobs without knowing what he was signing because he was so busy with the Olympics.

Or we can simply accept that he did know what was happening and didn't care or pay enough attention to it to care.

Either way, it doesn't change the underlying claim. Bain Capital, while under Mitt Romney's leadership, closed plants and sent jobs to Mexico, China, India and elsewhere. Whether or not Romney was active or passive is irrelevant -- his name was on the door.

Consider their argument in the context of a sitting United States President. Are we supposed to believe Mitt Romney would not be responsible for some official government act because he was paying attention to some other government thing and so the failure of that government thing that affected real people was simply not his fault because the other government thing succeeded?

We all know the answer to that. Think of it in terms of Dubya's Katrina response. Sure, it wasn't his administration's fault that New Orleans drowned without any assistance from the administration because it was really Brownie at the helm, and he did a heckuva job, right?

Jackson walks through this entire kerfuffle with the mind of a Talmudic scholar less concerned with practical reality than a theoretical and legalistic interpretation with the sole aim of rehabilitating Romney and giving him some talking points to rebut Obama.

The real scandal here isn't what Romney did or didn't do at Bain or how the Obama campaign framed that in ads. The real scandal is that the Romney campaign shopped around and finally was able to co-opt someone at factcheck.org into spinning it his way, proving what we should already know: Facts don't matter. They certainly ought to, but they don't.

But hey, Romney gets some lukewarm talking points out of it, even if he did have to squeeze the facts until they screamed. Good luck trying to sell that to actual workers who suffered the actual impact of the Bain Capital Profit Model.

Read More: http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/romneys-desperate...

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Top Opinion

  • CAROLYN NTARWNJBS 2012/07/07 21:19:07
    Yes,I got a mouthful on Romney/Bain outsourcing on another poll. I hope Obama's political campaign continues to push this issue with real people that were effected by Romney/Bain outsourcing.

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  • Glfer65 2012/07/08 01:58:20
    I guess if you give a company enough money they will side with anyone whether good or bad. Factcheck used to be a reliable source of information and it still can if it can step away from this disaster.

    Those who have mad claims of Obama's citizenship, associations with known terrorist and many other crazy attempts to discredit him have all been debunked by both factcheck and snopes numerous times.

    Mitt thinks he can run away and hide all his fortunes that have decimated the US will see in November how he should have listened to the working class people a little bit more. In the end the working class is a lot smarter than the right thinks.
  • CAROLYN NTARWNJBS 2012/07/07 21:19:07
    Yes,I got a mouthful on Romney/Bain outsourcing on another poll. I hope Obama's political campaign continues to push this issue with real people that were effected by Romney/Bain outsourcing.
  • ProudPr... CAROLYN... 2012/07/07 21:21:33
    I think people are starting to pay attention (thank God). And it's not just the outsourcing, it's also the pension funds that families depended on that were mortgaged away with Mitt making a nice profit and these families left with empty promises, the businesses that good people invested their time and their sweat into that were turned into ledger entries in a Caymans account, and the overall Gordon Gekko attitude about real people's lives.
  • CAROLYN... ProudPr... 2012/07/07 21:29:53
    Thank you Proud and I hope Obama pounds these facts out continuously.
  • freethinker 2012/07/07 13:40:32
    Hell Good Luck to We the People who Are Suffering from The Traitor/Treasonist commie puppet boy of Daddy Soros!! That Hussein should be tried and hung for Treason!! lol..
  • ProudPr... freethi... 2012/07/07 14:01:17
    George Soros has no connection to Factcheck.org. It is run by the Annenberg Foundation.
  • freethi... ProudPr... 2012/07/07 14:39:27
    Like Justice Roberts said, STUPID who the hell you think is behind the scenes!! sheesh, get off the f'n Koolaid!!! lol....
  • Glfer65 freethi... 2012/07/08 02:02:38
    So explain how Soros is connected to the Annenburg Foundation???? Koolaid smile on your face is a dead giveaway.
  • Glfer65 freethi... 2012/07/08 02:01:36
    "freethinker" for such a conservative attitude???? Soros may be a lot of things but definitely not aligned with factcheck as Proud stated. Also, I guess all you do on these threads is just stir up sh&t and have no real subjective opinion about this.

    If have no good reason or comments to add to this maybe it would be better if you go and sit at the kiddies table.
  • ken 2012/07/07 13:18:12
    Factcheck is only right when it agrees with the left.
  • ProudPr... ken 2012/07/07 13:29:24
    Factcheck is always right when they rely on facts. Everyone is right when they rely on facts. If you review this story, you'll find that they didn't this time.
  • ken ProudPr... 2012/07/07 13:32:48
    They don't agree with your assessment one time and they become part of the RWNJ Brigade? We get a daily dose of Factcheck in our local liberal rag. They're no RWNJ Brigade, that's for sure.
  • ProudPr... ken 2012/07/07 13:40:14
    It's not a question of an "assessment", it's a question of fact. Documents filed with the SEC, which presumably are publicly available, not to mention numerous contemporary news articles, PROVE that Romney was actively involved in Bain's day to day operations until at least 2001, directly contradicting his campaign's claim that he left in early 1999. That's a fact which Factcheck ignored.

    I am hopeful that this was simply an aberration by one of their writers, and not an indication that the entire site has been subverted. I'll be interested to see if the writer is still employed a month from now.
  • Glfer65 ken 2012/07/08 02:04:49
    No matter who you are aligned with FACTS are the key and means that it has been documented in some form. When verifying information to be true or someone claims it to be true don't you see if it is or has been recorded or talked about on any major news source?
  • ken Glfer65 2012/07/08 14:02:03
    What the heck are you babbling about?
  • Glfer65 Glfer65 2012/07/09 02:27:33
    When someone comes out with a news flash they "heard" about I check and see if it has been on the news or papers. If not I check other sources to see if it verifiable that it happened or exist.

    The many claims of Obama's this or that has made many believe as it was told so many times people think it is true. Verify before believing.
  • JoeBtfsplk 2012/07/07 13:13:59
    I seriously doubt your assumption about Factcheck.

    But what the heck? If Soros can do it why not the other side too?
  • ProudPr... JoeBtfsplk 2012/07/07 13:29:42
    George Soros has no involvement with Factcheck.org.
  • JoeBtfsplk ProudPr... 2012/07/07 13:40:35

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