Thursday, July 12, 2012

An immunity to cognitive dissonance now seems to be the sole requirement for a journalism position

First consider this from Politico (via Chait)

"The Obama complaint claims we erred in saying Mitt Romney gave up active management of Bain Capital in early 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, insisting we were then wrong in saying Romney was not responsible for shipping U.S. jobs overseas," FactCheck's Brooks Jackson and Robert Farley wrote in a response to the Obama campaign, which had complained about an earlier article by the authors.

"In fact, if the Obama campaign were correct, Romney would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999."
This would seem to be a convincing argument. Romney is too smart and too much of a professional to casually misrepresent himself on a federal filing. The only trouble is that, according to recent reports, at least some of those forms seem to tell a different story.
Romney said he left any managerial role at Bain Capital behind in February 1999, delegating all voting shares of stock to 26 managing directors and leaving day-to-day operations to focus on running the Olympics. But subsequent SEC filings list him as “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.” A 2001 SEC filing first reported by TPM lists his “principal occupation” as “Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.” and theBoston Globe reviewed additional filings containing similar claims.
I don't know enough about the law to say where the line is here but I'm pretty sure that there are legal connotations to these terms and that listing yourself as chairman, CEO, president and managing director of a firm you have no managerial role in has got to put you in a legally gray area. I doubt that's a risk Romney would take. 

Which takes us back to Factcheck which reacted as follows:
"We see little new in the Globe piece. So far, nobody has shown that Romney was actually managing Bain — even part-time — during his time at the Olympics, or that he was anything but a passive, absentee owner during that time, as both Romney and Bain have long said," Brooks Jackson, a co-author of the FactCheck piece, told POLITICO today.

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