In case you missed me banging on about this on Twitter, here's an example of how not even Hurricane Sandy's fury can completely blow away "the stupid." If you've been following the news today -- from a safe place, hopefully -- you'd know that the Mitt Romney campaign has released an awfully desperate-minded advertisement in Ohio containing a bunch of false claims about the auto bailout. Our own Sam Stein tackled this earlier today, and the ad is essentially a tapestry of deception that culminates with some easily disprovable lies:
Finally, the ad accuses Obama of selling "Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China." Again, this is technically true, but only according to a narrow reading of the language. Fiat, the Italian company that now owns Chrysler, is building Jeeps in China. But the company is not moving jobs from America to do it. Instead, Fiat is expanding current production in China for the purposes of catering to a growing Chinese market.
Where the ad goes from misleading to something more nefarious is in the text it shows. At one point, it displays a line from a Bloomberg story stating that Chrysler "plans to return Jeep output to China," the implication being that the company is moving operations there as opposed to expanding operations that are already there. Romney has cited this report on several occasions while campaigning and has been summarily criticized for doing so. Chrysler has denied the report, and multiple news outlets have called out the Romney campaign for using it in on the stump.
Over at Politico, whoever assigns stories to and writes headlines for poor Katie Glueck has opted to put a bit of a wuss spin on this story, suggesting that the dispute over Romney's ad is one that's solely playing out in the liberal blogosphere, and the story works hard to pretend that the objectively untrue things going on in Romney's ad are still subject for debate:
The ad, which has aired in Ohio, paints Romney as a champion of the auto industry, and suggests — misleadingly, the blogs argue — that as a result of Obama’s policies, more Jeeps are being made in China, as opposed to in the United States.
“The truth? Mitt Romney has a plan to help the auto industry,” the ad says in part. “He’s supported by Lee Iacocca and the Detroit News. Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.”
But liberal blogs and publications dismissed the ad as a pandering piece rife with inaccurate statements.
Those liberal blogs are correct to do so, as the ad literally and explicitly is "a pandering piece rife with inaccurate statements." Glueck includes mentions of Stein's story and a fact check from the Detroit Free Press, but her piece is dressed up as if this was an ongoing, partisan-tinged dispute instead of a settled matter and so, her journalism suffers.
The only reason you'd try to make it appear that blogs like ThinkProgress and Crooks And Liars were the only ones making counter-claims to Romney's misleading ad is to suggest that the waters were in some way muddied, or that the truth is ambiguous. Neither is true, Romney's ad is a wall-to-wall lie, full stop, the end. This sort of thing doesn't stump Politico's Ben White, even a little bit, so I'm at a loss to understand why this article was published in lieu of a "this Romney ad is a load of horseshit" article of Politico's own that would follow White's example as an it-getter.
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