-By Warner Todd Huston
Only others should be held accountable, not the Washington Post. I suppose that is the stance of Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler if I read correctly his somewhat confusing July 2 article answering to the measurably false story the Post published claiming Romney out sourced jobs when he worked for Bain Capital. Fact checking is only to be applied to others because, as Kessler says, the Washington Post Fact Checker won’t fact check any facts published by the Washington Post.
Kessler announced in his article that he won’t be awarding any “Pinocchios” to the whole controversy over the Post’s claims that Romney outsourced jobs during his Bain days which, I suppose, makes Post writers sigh a sigh of relief. But look out everyone else. Your words better be truthful or the Fact Checker will be on your case.
We’ve been discussing the original Post story and other coverage on the Bain jobs out sourcing issue. John Nolte talked about some of the stories on July 3 and as he notes, no out sourcing of jobs occurred while Romney was at Bain Capital. That is just a fact.
For his part, Romney has demanded that the Washington Post retract its deceptive June 21 story but the Post refuses to do so, standing behind its reporting.
So, what of Mr. WaPo Fact Checker? Will he clear up the issue for us?
“The Fact Checker does not check the facts in the reporting of Washington Post writers or columnists,” Kessler writes. “We generally confine ourselves to checking the rhetoric used by politicians and interest groups.”
After all… everything in his paper is the truth, right?
Still Kessler does take a few furtive stabs at addressing the whole controversy. Unfortunately, the Fact Checker essentially ends up saying the Post was right, Obama is wrong — but that’s not bad because maybe the Post’s story is open to interpretation after all — and Romney and others trying to get the Post to report facts, not spin, should just like it or lump it.
That’s the Facts, Jack.
Still, we should note that, even as Kessler refuses to fully fact check his own paper, he does say that Barack Obama is misleading people on what the Post’s story says. As Kessler wrote, “there is little in the Post article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin.”
That seems to me to be central to this issue. If Kessler can say Obama is misleading people over the claim that Romney was the one responsible for the Bain out sourcing that occurred in the years after Mitt left the company, if that is false then so is the Post article!