Accuracy in Media

On CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday, Candy Crowley grilled Obama campaign adviser and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on the campaign’s recent ad calling Mitt Romney an “outsourcing pioneer.”

Crowley asked Gibbs about the ad, noting that The Washington Post rated it false and gave it four Pinocchios, while FactCheck.org said “..we could find no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital – shipped American jobs overseas.”

Gibbs responded by suggesting that FactCheck.org should read The Washington Post article that the Obama ad is based on.

I would say that FactCheck.org has to read The Washington Post, which is the one that came up with the report that said looking at SEC filing, that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital were pioneers in outsourcing. They shift jobs all over the world that could and should have been.

Crowley shot back, telling Gibbs that the article’s point was that, in fact, Mitt Romney was not running Bain and had cut his ties and moved on:

Gibbs wasn’t deterred by the facts and told Crowley that wasn’t true and that Romney was the head and sole owner of Bain far longer than he has acknowledged. He said that Romney is also offshoring his bank accounts and hinted that there may be something illegal in Romney’s actions.

To her credit, Crowley didn’t buy that argument and tried again to press Gibbs on the false claims in the ad. She pointed out that not only were they rated false by fact checking organizations, but that fellow Democrats wanted the campaign to move away from the attacks on Bain as well. She cited polling showing that they were hurting the Obama campaign in some battleground states.

Gibbs doubled down by stating that everyone should read The Washington Post article on Romney and Bain Capital, ignoring the fact that the Post’s own fact checker, Glenn Kessler, said last week that the Obama campaign had misinterpreted the article and that there was “little in the article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin.”

And that’s from a liberal paper!

Crowley may not have gotten Gibbs to admit that they are running an ad that is inaccurate, but she deserves credit for raising the question on national television, which is more than can be said of most of her colleagues in the mainstream media.





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