The Washington Post is trying to be fair and balanced. Today, it tried so hard to balance that it fell off the journalistic high wire.
It assigned reporter Glenn Kessler to operate a fact-checking column. Many readers have noted that fact checks get so convoluted in chasing down facts that the facts get buried under long, confusing, and sententious explanation that does not really determine if a statement is factual or not.
Kessler took on an ad put out by the Obama campaign. It gave Obama and his campaign four Pinocchios for saying, among other things, that the ad accused Romney's Bain Capital company of outsourcing American jobs. That is Kessler's device for saying Obama is a liar. Actually, it's his way of saying he's a fucking liar.
The Obama campaign fails to make its case. On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of “corporate raider” to its examples of alleged outsourcing. Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct.
Then later today another headline appeared in the Post that stated:
Under Romney, Bain invested in companies that sent jobs abroad
The story is by reporter Tom Hamburger, and its lede is:
Now that we've got that straight....Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.
During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.