Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter 6 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/14/12

The Romney "Fact-Checking" Scandal

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   6 comments
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 1553
Message Robert Parry
Become a Fan
  (84 fans)
This article cross-posted from Consortium News

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking to voters. (Photo credit:

Self-styled "independent fact-checkers" at the Annenberg Center and the neoconservative-dominated Washington Post have positioned themselves as ardent defenders of Mitt Romney's claims that his Bain Capital tenure ended in 1999 despite questions raised by contradictory information submitted by Romney himself.

Indeed, the behavior of these "fact-checkers" is rapidly becoming the journalism scandal of Campaign 2012 as the likes of Brooks Jackson at Annenberg's and the Post's Glenn Kessler act more as querulous lawyers protecting Romney than as journalists seeking the actual facts surrounding Romney's curious business narrative.

Much as the Post's Ceci Connolly and the New York Times' Katharine Seeyle engaged in aggressive -- and dishonest -- journalism to portray Vice President Al Gore as a serial liar during Campaign 2000, Jackson and Kessler are performing a similar role in portraying President Barack Obama and his campaign officials as liars now. [For the history, see's "Al Gore v. the Media" or Neck Deep.]

Yet, despite the pro-Romney protectiveness from Jackson and Kessler, the questions raised by the Obama campaign and a number of journalists about Romney's dubious claims -- that he completely divorced himself from his venture capital firm when he rushed off in February 1999 to head the Winter Olympics -- are clearly legitimate. They stem, in large part, from dozens of public disclosures that Bain Capital filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For instance, one summary of Bain investments via Bain Capital Fund VI, dated Feb. 13, 2001, lists Romney as "the sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain Capital and thus is the controlling person of Bain Capital."

Yet, in his presidential campaign disclosure form in 2011, Romney declared that he "has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way" after leaving Boston for Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Olympics job on Feb. 11, 1999. Jackson and Kessler treat Romney's bald assertion as fact despite the conflicting evidence.

There are also logical questions that any journalist worth his or her salt would ask: "Mr. Romney, does your claim mean you had no contact with your former Bain associates by telephone, e-mail or in person in that time frame? Did you really build a Chinese Wall between yourself and your company?"

Common sense would tell you that Romney did have conversations with his long-time subordinates. There was no legal reason not to, and he was involved enough to sign some of the SEC forms listing him as the person in charge. (Only later, after it became clear that Bain-related plant closings and job outsourcing after February 1999 were a political liability, did Romney start insisting that his separation had been total.)

If Romney now confirms that he had some contacts with Bain executives, the next questions would be when, what, why and with whom. Are there e-mail messages or memos that could be examined? So, instead of offering those kinds of details, he cites the work of these "independent fact-checkers" to shield him from the inquiries.

TV Excuses

It was a startling aspect of Romney's brief round-robin interviews with five TV networks on Friday that he was allowed to skate away with squirrelly responses to these questions.

For instance, in the NBC interview, correspondent Peter Alexander asked, "after February 1999 you never attended a single meeting for Bain, a business meeting, even by phone, attending a meeting regarding Bain or Bain-controlled entities?"

Calm and collected with a patronizing smile on his face, Romney responded: "You've got quite a few questions there, so let's go through them. I didn't involve myself in any way with Bain Capital's enterprise after February 1999."

Alexander followed up: "Not participating in a single meeting either in person or by phone?"

Romney answered: "I can't recall a single meeting or a single participation in an investment decision by Bain or personnel decision."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Must Read 4   Valuable 4   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Parry Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The CIA/Likud Sinking of Jimmy Carter

What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?

Ron Paul's Appalling World View

Ronald Reagan: Worst President Ever?

The Disappearance of Keith Olbermann

A Perjurer on the US Supreme Court

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: