Mud on the Wall: MSM, liberal blogs, Team Obama collude to paint Romney as a “felon”

Dirty Politics from Team Obama & Allies, Take 2187:

Mitt Romney’s campaign manager called Thursday for President Obama to apologize for his campaign staff’s “out of control behavior,” but the Obama campaign says there’s no apology coming.

“No,” Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt said in response to a question from POLITICO about whether the president would apologize.

“Romney has said he had no authority or responsibility for managing Bain since February 1999, but that has been proven false,” LaBolt continued. “He remained CEO, President, Chairman, sole owner and sole shareholder through 2001. Governor Romney either misled the American people about when he left Bain or misled the SEC. Which one is it? The Romney campaign still won’t say.”

Matt Rhoades, who leads the Romney campaign, said in a statement earlier Thursday that “President Obama ought to apologize for the out-of-control behavior of his staff, which demeans the office he holds.”

In a conference call with reporters, deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter suggested that Romney had either lied to the American people about his work experience at Bain Capital or had committed a felony. Rhoades responded: “Campaigns are supposed to be hard fought, but statements like those made by Stephanie Cutter belittle the process and the candidate on whose behalf she works.”

Unfortunately for Cutter, LaBolt, the Obama legal team and Obama himself, the smear tactic they no doubt helped the Boston Globe plant (with a LOT Of help from lefty bloggers, natch) falls flat in the face of the facts (say that 3 times fast!) – via Fortune:

Mitt Romney did not manage Bain Capital’s investments after leaving to run the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, according to confidential firm documents obtained by Fortune.

The timing of Romney’s departure from Bain became a lightning rod earlier today, when The Boston Globepublished an article suggesting that Romney remained actively involved with the firm longer than he and his campaign have claimed. The sourcing is largely SEC documents that list Romney as Bain Capital’s CEO and sole shareholder through 2002 — or three years after Romney officially left to run the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.


Now Fortune has obtained new evidence that supports Romney’s version of events.

Bain Capital began circulating offering documents for its seventh private equity fund in June 2000. Those documents include several pages specifying fund management. The section begins:

Set forth below is information regarding the background of the senior private equity investment professionals of Bain Capital. Also listed are certain investment professionals responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Brookside and Sankaty funds, which are affiliated funds of Fund VII.

It then goes on to list 18 managers of the private equity fund. Mitt Romney is not among them. Same goes for an affiliated co-investment fund, whose private placement memorandum is dated September 2000.

Then there is Bain Capital Venture Fund — the firm’s first dedicated venture capital effort — whose private placement memorandum is dated January 2001. Romney also isn’t listed among its “key investment professionals,” or as part of its day-to-day operations or investment committee.

All of this could prove problematic for the Obama campaign, which has spent they day crowing over the Globe story (going so far as to hold a media call about it).

Sadly, not only are the lying demagogues of the Obama campaign not taking anything they’ve said back, neither is the Boston Globe – whose editor said they will not be issuing a retraction/correction:

Dear Ms. [Romney Communications Director Gail] Gitcho:

We received your request late this afternoon for a correction regarding this morning’s Globe story. Having carefully reviewed that request, we see no basis for publishing a correction. The Globe story was entirely accurate.

The Globe story was based on government documents filed by Bain Capital itself. Those described Governor Romney as remaining at the helm of Bain Capital as its “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” until 2002. The story also cited state financial disclosure forms filed by Romney that showed he earned income as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.

The Globe story accurately described the contents of those documents.

The Globe story also gave a full account of the Romney campaign’s position that, notwithstanding several years of regulatory filings, Mitt Romney “retired from Bain Capital in 1999 … (and) has had no involvement in the management or investment activities of Bain Capital, or with any of its portfolio companies, since that time.” In your correction request, you reiterate points that are fully detailed in the Globe story.


Martin Baron
Editor, The Boston Globe

Let me break this down for you just to show you how, once again, the mainstream mediots collude with left wing bloggers to “break” old news. Better yet, let me just allow the Globe to explain it to you in their own words:

Clarification: This story has been updated to note previous reporting by the publications Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo on Romney’s involvement with Bain.

Jeffrey Mayer at Newsbusters pegs the ‘journalistic partnership’ between the Globe and liberal blogs accurately, plus gives background on how this “new news” has already been previously reported.  And debunked:

It’s notable that the Globe was forced to issue an apology on the same day the article was published for failing to give appropriate credit to ultra-liberal Mother Jones magazine Washington bureau chief David Corn.  The fact that the Boston Globe would crib a story from the left-wing Mother Jones and run it as a revealing exclusive is the first sign that the story was designed to smear Mitt Romney. and the Washington Post have repeatedly discredited the claims that Romney was an active part of Bain Capital from 1999-2002 claiming there is nothing new in the Globe’s story.  The Post went so far as to say, “To accept some of the claims [by the Boston Globe], one would have to believe that Romney, with the advice of his lawyers, lied on government documents and committed a federal offense.”

As a major metropolitan newspaper, the Globe should hold itself to a higher standard than peddling a discredited story hatched by a left-wing magazine.  Sadly the Globe has just emerged as another arm of the Obama reelection message machine.

I wrote last year about instances where the mainstream media had taken “facts” reported by popular left wing blogs and reported them as if they were accurate – even though they weren’t.  The issue that prompted me to write about it was the lie pushed by Think Progress, the Washington Post, and ABC News that Rep. Michele Bachmann, then a GOP candidate for President, had signed a pledge to “ban all porn”:

Note the referencing of not only the Soros-funded Think Progress as a legitimate source, but also the reference of a (popular?) left-wing “comedian” whose opinion we should care about why?  Discerning readers will note the uncritical acceptance of Think Progress as a source in the reporting in this piece.  Also of note:  As of this writing, a related Baratunde tweet referencing the “ban on porn” has received 94 retweets and is listed as a “top tweet” on Twitter right now.

Not only did the Washington Post uncritically accept the claim that Bachmann signed a pledge to “ban porn”  – so has ABC News writer Russell Goldman, who does not post a link at all in his “Note” piece talking about the issue.  Headline:

Bachmann Signs Pledge for Ban on Porn and Same-Sex Marriage

Only problem is, both these news outlets engaged in lazy reporting got it wrong – and once again it was up to the blogosphere to set the record straight, because in actuality, the pledge Bachmann signed had nothing to do with “banning pornography” – as Colby Hall at the liberal Mediaite, not exactly a Bachmann-friendly site, pointed out:


I know there are people who have issues with Michele Bachmann, primarily due to her stance on social issues like gay marriage and abortion.  I understand that and can respect those disagreements.  But what I will NOT respect nor tolerate is when mainstream media outlets accept without question the bogus “reporting” done by prominent liberal blogs and websites, which is clearly what has happened here.    As a result, their lack of reading the actual document itself and instead relying on a liberal blog whose reputation is questionable at best has poisoned the information stream that Average Joes who do NOT follow politics like you and I do rely on to help them form opinions on both issues and candidates.

This is unacceptable.

I have asked the Washington PostLiz FlockABC News, and Russell Goldman to issue correctionsbut at this point, even if they were gracious enough to do so, the damage has already been done.  The “porn ban pledge” lie has seeped into the pop culture and this is the gross misinformation we get as a result. Mission Accomplished?   You betcha.

Let’s not forget that just a few weeks ago, the USA Today and Politico did the same thing with respect to the comments Sarah Palin made about Paul Revere’s famous ride.  They used Think Progress’ interpretation of the remarks, in part, as a springboard for their own opinons about what Palin asserted – and ever since then a corrections war has been waged between Palin supporters and those who view both Palin and Bachmann as country bumpkin freaks who shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Fast Forward to now and something almost identical  happened here with Mother Jones, Talking Points Memo, and then the Boston Globe – and don’t think for one second the Obama campaign didn’t have a hand in pushing this behind the scenes, either.  It is a well-established fact that various members of Team Obama have had “lunch meetings” with liberal writers numerous times over the course of this administration – including Talking Points Memo. The Globe, the liberal newspaper of “record” in Massachusetts, saw a potentially explosive story about Mitt Romney on the pages of popular liberal websites and ran with it without question – and initially did NOT give either of the sites the credit (of course – why would they want to make such an admission?) but they eventually had to after others pointed out who had “investigated” this issue “first.”  The liberal writers set the narrative, and the Boston Globe took the bait without bothering to do as Fortune did to find out if there were documents out there which contradicted the claims of Corn and Talking Points Memo.

At this point, even if the Globe and Team Obama issued “retractions” or apologized (which we know won’t happen), the damage has been done.    The idea is classic “mud on the wall” gutter politics.  See what all smears you can throw against a wall and make stick.  Not everyone will believe this story, but the Obama campaign are  hoping just enough people will to put them over the top in November. It’s not whether the charge itself is true or not that matters at this point to them, it’s the “seriousness of the charge” (as the old saying goes).

Maybe, just maybe this will be the final straw for the Romney campaign, who so far has hit the Obama campaign aggressively in campaign ads but are still nevertheless “playing nice.” It’s time for hardball (not lies, but hard-hitting truths).   You can’t beat back a tidal wave with a wet noodle.  The Romney campaign needs to fully and finally come to terms with this and act. NOW.  If they don’t, then they don’t deserve to win in November.

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