Friday, December 9, 2011

Washington Post Fact Checker Just About Makes It Official – The Post is Backing Mitt Romney for President

It’s Their Next Step in Currying Favor with the Republican Party

The major reason why the Washington Post is held is less regard than the Wall Street Journal is this.  The WSJ is open and forthright about their role in politics, which is to support the Conservative program and Republican candidates.  The Washington Post has the same position, but are more nefarious than the WSJ because (a) they do not admit it and (b) they allow the paper to be suborned to this goal.  And so a once great investigative journal is now reduced to hiring hacks that support Mitt Romney and having the supposedly objective parts of the paper like their Fact Checker echo that support.

The current subject of the WaPo’s Fact Checker is a Democratic ad that contrasts Mr. Romney’s past positions with his current positions.  The Fact Checker does find some of the allegations true, but claims the ad lies in a number of areas.  Here is what he says and here is what a real fact checker would conclude.

On the Stimulus:

The transcript of the 2009 interview (on CNN) clearly shows that Romney is talking about economic stimulus in general. In fact, he says that he wished a stimulus bill was passed before George W. Bush (then still the president) left office. 

That’s different from saying he would support what emerged as Obama’s stimulus plan. Romney told CNN that “it has to be something which relieves pressure on middle-income families. I think a tax cut is necessary for them as well as for businesses that are growing. We’ll be investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies.”

The Fact Check for the WaPo gives this three Pinocchios, but read what Mr. Romney said he would support which is tax cuts, investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies.  This is exactly what the Obama Stimulus did among other things. 

On Health Care:

In the first clip used by the DNC,  which was drawn from a CBS interview, Romney was critical of Obama’s possibly including a public insurance option in the emerging national plan. As far we can tell, he never indicated support for Obama’s legislation.

The Fact Checker also gives this three Pinocchios, ignoring that Mr. Romney revised the paperback edition of his book to exclude the support for making his health insurance model a national mode.

On Tarp: 

 Romney makes it clear that while “TARP was bad politics,” it was the right thing to do in 2008 in order to stabilize the financial system. In other words, it is a historical comment.

 In the 2009 quote, he is complaining that TARP had outlived its purpose and that “we've got hundreds of billions of dollars there that is being used as a slush fund” by the Obama administration.  That is a different matter entirely.

This gets four Pinocchios, but the different matter is clearly that Mr. Romney favored Tarp under President Bush, opposed it under President Obama.

The pattern is clear here, while supporting some of the Democratic ad, the Fact Checker takes his job to explain away the contradictory positions of Mr. Romney.  The reason is that Washington is a company town, and the company is politics.  The Republicans and Conservatives have the most money, they are the most active in social life and they generously fund Conservative think tanks that parrot the position of Conservatives.  In order to be accepted into the society one must support their causes.  And at the Washington Post that is the decision they appear to have made.
They will fail, of course, because occasionally the Post still does real investigative reporting and it still employees some non Conservative columnists.  Conservatives are not forgiving of that, no matter how many times the Post tries to take their side.  As for the Fact Checker, The Dismal Political Economist awards his column four Pinocchios.  Use them in good health Mr. Fact Checker, you earned them.

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