Accuracy in Media

The Democratic National Committee, which apparently thought it had the mainstream media entirely on its side, was taken aback when ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper critiqued its new attack ad on Mitt Romney as not being entirely accurate.

Tapper said the ad, which accuses Romney of being a flip-flopper on a series of issues, labels  most of the hits as clean and some “nuanced and arguable.”

But he called the claim that Romney flip-flopped on Obama’s stimulus bill “just plain false.”

Tapper then referred to a January 4, 2009 CNN interview in which Romney said he thought there was a “need for economic stimulus” but didn’t specifically endorse Obama’s stimulus package. No such package existed at the time since Obama hadn’t even been sworn in yet as president, though there was a suggestion of the size of a package that Obama was planning to support.

I guess the DNC believe they are capable of reading Romney’s mind.

To help back up his claim that the ad isn’t totally accurate, Tapper turned to Politifact which rated the stimulus claim as “Mostly False.”

When asked by Tapper how they could justify using this quote, a DNC official told him that “Mitt Romney supported a stimulus approach nearly identical in size and scope to what President Obama eventually passed and now he’s lead primary voters to believe he never supported any stimulus at all.”

More mind reading from the DNC.

Tapper concluded his blog post by saying that the DNC got greedy with the use of that quote, and that it was deceptive and false.

That didn’t sit well with the DNC, which according to Ben Smith of Politico shot back with a letter from DNC National Press Secretary Melanie Roussell:

If you had only done your due diligence, you might have learned that Mitt Romney expressed his support for the Recovery Act on more than the one occasion. In fact, one week after the President-elect released his plan, Mitt Romney had the following to say on Morning Joe:

“The president’s plan for economic recovery, including a stimulus bill which includes a very healthy dose of tax reductions, is something which I think showed a willingness to actually listen to some of his own economic advisers that have pointed out in their research that tax reductions have a bigger economic stimulus impact than spending money on infrastructure does. That’s encouraging.”

We know you are always in such a hurry to hit “post” that you rarely have time to finish your fact checking, but this is not even a close call. Jake, if you really believe that Mitt Romney hasn’t been trying to mislead voters on this and other issues—well, you just haven’t been paying attention.

Maybe I missed something, but exactly where does Romney say that he endorses Obama’s stimulus package?

It turns out that Roussell may have been the one in a hurry to hit “post” as she accused Tapper of not finishing his fact-checking. Smith reports that the above letter has now been removed from the DNC website as if it never existed.

Tapper 1 DNC 0

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