ABC News: Romney might be a felon


ABC News is running hard with an unsubstantiated accusation that Mitt Romney might be a felon.  At the time of this post, it’s square and center on their homepage.

Earlier in the day, a less virulent form of the story parlayed–seemingly from out of nowhere–factcheck.org’s smackdown of Team Obama’s outsourcing charge into a suggestion of Romney’s culpability:

But, as fact checkers note, Team Obama does not provide any specific evidence to back up claims that Romney was actively managing Bain between 1999 and 2002.

If they had, Romney could be liable for felony charges in court for lying in sworn statements.

The follow-up story by Matt Negrin makes clear reference to a Boston Globe report and White House campaign fodder suggesting a possible crime.  Yet, Devin Dwyer’s earlier report, deficient in these references, ends up looking like a random mulling of counterfactuals.  If more mainstream journalists followed Dwyer’s pattern, we might see some other hypotheses regularly floated as objective reporting:

If the unemployment rate were two percent lower today, President Obama’s campaign would not be in such rough shape.”

If President Obama attended church regularly, fewer people would be confused about his religion.”

If President Obama had chosen a Fat Tire instead of a Bud Light for the Beer Summit, he might have locked up the LGBT vote.”

Dwyer’s report can be consigned to a bin of recent, poorly written pieces, among which we can include Virginia Heffernan’s universally indecipherable response to Ann Marie Slaughter’s work-life balance essay.  If nothing else, it shows just how eager mainstream reporters are to associate Republicans with criminality.

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About cogitating duck
I study Christian apologetics at Biola University and occasionally write on ethics, truth, science and politics.

4 Responses to ABC News: Romney might be a felon

  1. Grady says:

    It’s sad that so much of our “journalism” these days is focused on shaping perceptions instead of reporting facts. It’s only natural that when journalists begin feeling as though it’s their job to interpret the facts and influence opinion, they’d eventually do so based on an agenda instead of facts.

    But this is one area where, moving forward, conservative politicians must assume that the media will run false stories about them knowing that if they get caught, they can run a brief retraction that most of their audience will not notice, and they’re off the hook while still pushing public opinion. They’ve been doing this for years! They ran articles accusing Karl Rove of treason and accusing Newt Gingrich of cheating on his (still living) wife while she was on her death bed over a decade ago even while his family members who acknowledged other indiscressions denied it. We could go on and on with all kinds of bogus stories. If the Republicans were half as brazen in their accusations, they’d already be running stories of Obama’s guilt in intentionally smuggling guns to the drug cartels to kill innocent civilians to help his cause in passing more stringent gun control.

    The upside is that the RNC at least appears to be catching on and running ads to point out the baseless claims (which, by the way, were already refuted by the Boston Globe’s own reporting in a 2002 article).

  2. Grady says:

    For a bit of previous reporting on the subject…

    “Is it accurate? Romney’s investment firm, Bain Capital, bought a majority stake in GS Technologies in 1993… But Romney was not at Bain when the decision to close the plant was made: He left in 1999 to help organize the Olympics, though he was still signing official SEC documents as the company’s president and CEO. Romney has taken responsibility for making the initial investment but has said he could not be blamed for management decisions at the company.” (Boston Globe, 2002)

    “Romney, 54, announced Monday that he won’t return to Bain Capital, the company he co-founded in 1984… Romney, who held 100% of the voting stock, said he transferred it to the 26 managing directors who have run the firm day-to-day since he took over the then-troubled Salt Lake City Games on Feb. 11, 1999. He will continue to hold investments in the firm.” (USA Today, August 21, 2001)

    So even the news organization that is pushing this story now (ABC gives credit to Boston Globe in the linked stories) pointed out a decade ago that Romney took a leave of absense to run the Olympics, and he did not return. During that leave, he still retained his titles and ownership of the company so that he could return if he wanted, but he was obviously not running the company.

  3. Grady, excellent analysis. Use their own articles against them!

    I say if Romney should be a felon for allegedly not providing proof that he was managing the company, then let’s see the birth certificate…

    • Grady says:

      I don’t care so much about the birth certificate. At this point, the damage is done, so even if you had complete proof that Obama is not eligible for the office, what would that get us? A president Biden? I shudder to think of it.

      I want complete transparency on the Fast and Furious documents. There is undoubtedly very little information in there that poses a national security risk, so why is so much being kept secret, and why did they redact so much of what was turned over?

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