How refreshing when a member of the traditional media slices through the gobblydegook and states the conclusion bluntly and succinctly. In this case "He lied" would be even more blunt and more succinct and certainly no less accurate. But that's a quibble.
The lie comes from a man who has already proved himself quite adept at lying this election season, Mitt Romney. Perhaps "adept" is the wrong word since he keeps getting caught, even if not usually called on it in the tradmed. Maybe "prolific" would be a better choice.
Whichever word fits best, Jake Tapper nailed Romney for the claim during his speech at the failed solar power company Solyndra Thursday that “an independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family, to campaign contributors.” The lie is repeated in a television ad focusing on Solyndra.
The inspector general in question is Gregory Friedman. He works at the U.S. Department of Energy. He testified about his investigations before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Committee on Energy and Commerce in March 2011. He said no such thing about having shown that money had been steered to "friends" and "family." What he said was:
“We currently have 64 open investigations associated with the Recovery Act, nearly 25 percent of our current case load. Schemes under investigation include the submission of false information in applications for funding, fraudulent claims for rebates, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, the directing of contracts and grants to friends and family, weatherization fraud to include mischarging, and other attempts to fraudulently obtain Recovery Act funds.”So the IG's office is looking into many cases. Good. That's its job.
A spokeswoman for the Inspector General’s office told ABC News: “However, none of the cases that resulted in convictions for recovery act fraud were related to the directing of contracts or grants to family or friends.”Claiming otherwise is a lie. But that never stops Team Romney. Too bad this pattern of behavior so rarely gets the heave-ho treatment. When it does it is worth expending a few pixels to make special note of it.