Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are playing fast and loose with auto industry facts as they play hardball for votes in Ohio and Michigan before the Nov. 6 election.
But Michigan’s partisan media is only reporting Mitt Romney’s distortions.
In a heated exchange in the final presidential debate, President Obama falsely accused Romney of wanting GM and Chrysler to go out of business. When Romney protested, Obama shot back, “People will look it up.” People did and Obama was wrong – as the record plainly records (in interviews with this reporter, The Detroit News, a New York Times op-ed, etc.) that Romney favored government support to help the Detroit companies through bankruptcy.
And just to poison the waters with a little xenophobia, Obama also smeared: “If we had taken your advice, Gov. Romney, about our auto industry, we’d be buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China.”
Michigan’s major media was virtually silent.
For example, the Detroit Free Press – which has routinely policed Romney on its front page for opposing the UAW bailout – ignored Obama’s distortions. Sam Donaldson repeated Obama’s lie on WJR-AM, and an MLive.com endorsement of Obama also falsely accused Romney of wanting the industry to disappear.
What a difference a candidate makes. This weekend, after the Romney campaign hit Obama hard with similarly misleading claims that Chrysler’s “Italian” owners would ship all Jeep production to China, the Freep & Co. exploded in outrage.
“One of the great manufacturers of this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China,” slimed Romney. Not true, barked the Freep watchdog: “Not only was the story wrong, Romney took criticism for not knowing better and repeating it without questioning it.” True enough – but then the Freep went on to repeat Obama’s lie that Romney’s 2008 New York Times op-ed advocated that Detroit automakers should go out of business
Michigan’s partisan media watchdog is barking – and biting- on behalf of the Obama campaign.