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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney addresses supporters during his Wisconsin and Maryland primary night rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 3, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Hauck (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
"Thank goodness for water-carrying fact-checkers." (Darren Hauck/Reuters)
The Washington Post's major story about Mitt Romney's Bain Capital investments in companies that specialized in sending jobs overseas went online Thursday night. Thursday morning, Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's fact-check columnist, gave the Obama campaign four Pinocchios for an ad saying that "Running for governor, Mitt Romney campaigned as a job creator. But as a corporate raider, he shipped jobs to China and Mexico. As governor, he did the same thing: Outsourcing state jobs to India."

When Kessler told the Obama campaign he'd be calling their ad false, the campaign actually provided him with some of the exact same material that the Post was putting on its front page: Bain investing in companies that were opening up overseas call centers and in other ways promoting and profiting from offshore outsourcing. Kessler specifically mentions Stream International and Modus Media, companies that provided outsourcing help to other companies, concluding that "Some of this business predated Romney’s departure from Bain, but thus far it seems a slim case for this particular ad."

But according to the Post's own research, Bain had money in Stream's predecessor, CSI, starting in 1993, long before Romney left Bain. Modus Media, originally a subsidiary of Stream, became an independent company in early 1998 with Bain as the largest shareholder. Romney left Bain in 1999.

Kessler's logic appears to be that, yes, Bain acquired stakes in these companies under Romney and, yes, he continued to profit from the deals after he stopped actively running Bain, but because he wasn't personally involved in every single decision Bain subsequently made about Stream and Modus, it's a lie to say that he shipped jobs overseas. Or something. Maybe he's just pissed that the ad used the term "corporate raider" in a way he doesn't like and is extending his pissiness outward. But whatever it is, once again, we have an alleged fact-checker looking at hard facts and twisting himself into knots to say that it's somehow a lie to use the facts in a way he doesn't like.

Here's the question: Would Kessler hit his employer's front-page story with four Pinocchios? If not, what's the difference between the Obama ad's claims about Romney's history of outsourcing and the Post's story, besides that one is a political ad? If so, can I please be a fly on the wall during that conversation with the paper's editors?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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