When Fact Checkers Don’t Fact Check

Red State posted an article today on some of the ‘fact checking’ done on the speeches at the Republican Convention. I will post some of the details, but the bottom line is simple–Don’t believe anything you hear until you have a chance to look into the facts for yourself.

The article at Red State cites a few examples:

Democrats are energetically attempting to create the perception that Republicans — specifically, Paul Ryan — are running around Tampa making stuff up about Barack Obama (as if that’s necessary). And when I say Democrats, as regrettably cliché as it may sound, I also mean the mainstream media.

The following assertions, for instance, are true:

  • Obama did cut over $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare.
  • The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare and cronyism.
  • The Janesville, General Motors plant was closed down under Obama (though Ryan made a more nuanced assertion that we’ll cover below)
  • Obama did blow off the bipartisan debt commission.
  • Obama’s waivers do allow for the relaxing of work requirements in welfare reform.

Unfortunately, if you read the fact checkers, you wouldn’t know that those things are true. It is really sad that in a republic where the citizens are asked to vote for their leaders, the press cannot be trusted to provide the information the voters need.

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The Fact-checker Must Have Been On Vacation That Day

On Friday, Newsbusters posted a fact-check on a Washington Post article that claimed that Mitt Romney got rich by sending jobs overseas while he was at Bain Capital. The story in the Washington Post was a good political story–it just wasn’t true.

These are the actual facts from Newsbusters:

 (Example 1) … What CSI (Computer Software Inc.) actually did was provide U.S. software developers with technical support and sales. Example: It provided domestic outsourcing — which is different than overseas offshoring — for call centers and help desks. As far as its international business goes, CSI was reseller of U.S. software in European markets. In other words, they helped distribute U.S. software around the world.

(Example 2) … overseas call centers in the WaPo story (relating to Stream International Inc.) were based in Europe and Japan, and serviced international customers of U.S. companies in their local languages.

(Example 3) … what Modus Media did was help companies like Microsoft and IBM sell their products internationally. Products destined for American consumers were manufactured here at home.

(Example 4) … GT Bicycles had overseas suppliers before Bain invested in the company.

(Example 5) … (printed circuit board manufacturer) SMTC wasn’t even acquired until months after Romney left Bain Capital. Is Romney running for president or is Bain?

(Example 6) … (computer chipmaker and tester) Chippac was purchased in March 1999, a month after Romney left Bain Capital. Prior owner was Hyundai, a South Korean company that already had factories in Asia at the time of sale. So buying a company with foreign factories is the same, apparently, as “shipping jobs overseas,” according to the Washington Post.

Pay attention–we are definitely in the midst of the silly season.



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