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 with a subjective hissy fit, calling 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.