August 30, 2012

WHY PEOPLE DON’T TRUST BIG-MEDIA “FACT-CHECKERS:” Meet MSNBC’s fact-checker: Ezra Klein?!? Update: Klein’s blog falsely claims that Janesville auto plant closed in 2008.

UPDATE: More here.

Also: Janesville: Ryan vs. Obama.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Robert Simmons writes: “As much as it pains me, the closing of the plant did happen under Bush. The decision to close the plant was made in 2008. While I think Obamanomics has been nothing short of disastrous, it’s a stretch to pin that particular point of failure on Barry.” It’s not whether the failure is his fault — it’s that he basically promised to keep it open for 100 years.

MORE: Reader Rick Licari writes:

I wrote about this on a message board a bit earlier, but I think this is a case of the chattering class so busily getting caught up in the details of a speech (when did the plant close?!?) that they’re missing the message…and the fact that Ryan never says the plant closed under Obama.

This is what Ryan said:

“Especially in Janesville where we were about to lose a major factory. A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that G.M. plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.”

That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.”

Obama spoke at Janesville in February of 2008, the plant was closed down in December of 2008 (though not shuttered until June 2009).

Three things stand out about this, first, why a private company (the largest in its field, too) needs government support. Second, Ryan is right it did shut down within a year of Obama speaking. Third, GM started requesting aid from the government in 2006 for various reasons, finally getting some cash to hold off their inevitable bankruptcy in December 2008. So, what Ryan is saying isn’t “Obama failed GM at Janesville.” But “it is ludicrous to plan your success around the whims of government, you will get screwed.”

I think they’re just trying to throw out enough chaff to obscure that point.