“Though that is not the case”

Jill Lawrence, an objective reporter, objectively calls out a campaign falsehood.

Update ABC, too!

Misleading Romney Ad on Jeeps Draws Obama Retort

A misleading TV ad from Republican nominee Mitt Romney has prompted spirited objections from independent fact-checkers and Democrats for suggesting incorrectly, just days before the election, that automaker Chrysler is moving Jeep production out of Ohio to China.

Note how much work one word – “incorrectly” – can do, in the right place.

* * * * * * * * *

All praise to Jill Lawrence and her editors at National Journal for demonstrating the difference between true objectivity and mere “even-handedness” in handling a story where a candidate tells an untruth:

Romney Ad Wrongly Implies Chrysler is Sending U.S. Jobs to China

The Jeep ad comes after the GOP nominee misinterprets a story about possible new Jeep production in China for Chinese customers.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney is running a new TV ad that implies Chrysler is planning to move U.S. auto jobs to China, though that is not the case.


First you recite the objective fact that the candidate made the claim, and in the same sentence you recite the equally objective fact that the claim is false. No value judgement, no editorializing. Just the facts, ma’am.

But wait! It gets better:

With this ad, Romney is going right at Obama’s major strength in Ohio: his 2009 bailout of the auto industry that is responsible for some 800,000 jobs in the state.

The ad is correct in saying that Obama took Chrysler and GM into bankruptcy (narration that’s illustrated with footage of cars being crushed). What the ad doesn’t say is that Obama helped the car companies through the process by providing government loans, which Romney opposed.

Romney, in his famous “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” op-ed in The New York Times in 2008, said the companies should be required to rely on private capital until after the bankruptcy. But most analysts agree there was none available in the depths of the recession, and without the bailout the two companies would have likely died –possibly taking down with them the supply chain, and Ford.

Again, mere fact. And boy oh boy, does it sting!

If all reporters and editors had this much nerve, lying would be a losing strategy, and candidates would stop doing it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

7 thoughts on ““Though that is not the case””

  1. Governor Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt (his editorial, not mine).

    Mr Romney wanted to let home foreclosures hit bottom (his words, not mine).

    He says we can’t afford FEMA and we should turn it over to the states. (his words, not mine)……..

    The Governor is a very dangerous man. Certainly the wrong type of leader for these precarious times.

  2. Romney sees the dust pan of history looming larger in his rear view mirror. That can make a desperado desperate or it can make a cunning sonofabitch more cunning…
    For all the reasons Romney is unfit to lead add yet another: A wiser man would have manufactured a more crafty lie.

    Ohio is too closely watched, and its too late in the game for this sort of rank jiggery-pokery.
    This is the sort of crap you spring early in the election cycle and let steep and stew.
    That should have been obvious before this was even attempted.

    It’s one bad thing to let the opposition see you perspire…
    But to let everyone in Ohio see you sweat lies? That’s pure amateurism.
    That’s “blinking” and “standing down” and “pissing your pants” in public…

    And the dust bin I mentioned?
    It looms ever larger….

    1. When was the book “Beijing Jeep” published – 1996? Chrysler was one of the _first_ western manufacturers to try to get a foothold in the PRC.


  3. If all reporters and editors had this much nerve, lying would be a losing strategy, and candidates would stop doing it.

    It’s a sweet sentiment, but I think Koreyel got it right. Politicians stop lying? Do pigs fly these days? Nah, the best we can hope for are more crafty lies.

  4. well, are the low-info voters in Ohio (the ones that the voter suppression and outright election-machine fraud will allow to vote) aware of these high-end refutations and criticisms? or does the Big Lie work anyway because those folks aren’t listening to the fact-checkers?

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