The Boston Globe’s report today on the true length of Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain is making waves this morning — but as Globe editor Martin Baron acknowledged today, it failed to credit organizations that had previously reported on the story.
“Pieces of this story were reported by other news organizations. We believe the Globe advanced the story with a more comprehensive and complete look that broke significant news and included additional documents,” Baron said in a statement to POLITICO. “However, our policy is to give credit to other news organizations for their work. In the editing and shortening process, I have learned, passages giving credit were removed. That was a mistake, and we are now adding appropriate credit back to the online version.”
On July 2 and again on July 3, Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn reported that SEC filings indicated Romney had played a role in Bain investments “until at least the end of 1999” and that a May 10, 2001, document described Romney as a member of the “management committee” of Bain funds.
On July 10, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall uncovered two more SEC filings from July 2000 and February 2001 in which Romney listed his “principal occupation” as “Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.”
The original Globe article, which cites the previously reported SEC filings, did not mention Mother Jones or TPM, and did not link to those stories online.
So the Globe is ripping off clownish conspiracy-monger Josh Marshall and Mother Jones?
Josh Marshall is notorious for having supported the Iraq war right up until the shooting started, then switched sides to oppose it, all to enhance his standing as a leftist who could support US military intervention but just reluctantly couldn’t support this one. His soulless, breathtaking cynicism powered him as he built Talking Points Memo into an influential left wing publication, while Marshall himself remained a hard leftist pushing whispery hints at dark conspiracies during the Bush years, and then failing to deliver anything worthwhile because he had nothing beyond his own fantasies. Sort of like his current fantasy that he has something on Romney and Bain, when he clearly doesn’t. That the Globe relied on his shady, unreliable reporting says quite a bit about what that paper views as credible.
The Globe’s source bias isn’t limited to Marshall, by the way. Going back to the original story, it quotes a Roberta S. Karmel saying that the SEC docs prove Romney is being shady about when he left Bain.
Who is Roberta S. Karmel? A Jimmy Carter appointee and lifelong Democrat. So the Boston Globe reports as news the fact that a Democrat is critical of a Republican in an election year.
Stop the presses, right?
Today, the Boston Globe has destroyed its own credibility.
Update: Bain explains —
Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to run the Olympics and has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies since the day of his departure. Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney’s departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period.”
I doubt the liberals looking at this story understand any of what they have just read.
Update: Fortune magazine has taken a look at the relevant documents. Chances are, their writers are better acquainted with financial forms than Josh Marshall and those who plagiarize him. Fortune finds that Romney’s take is correct.
Bain Capital began circulating offering documents for its seventh private equity fund in June 2000. Those documents include several pages specifying fund management. The section begins:
Set forth below is information regarding the background of the senior private equity investment professionals of Bain Capital. Also listed are certain investment professionals responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the Brookside and Sankaty funds, which are affiliated funds of Fund VII.
It then goes on to list 18 managers of the private equity fund. Mitt Romney is not among them. Same goes for an affiliated co-investment fund, whose private placement memorandum is dated September 2000.
Then there is Bain Capital Venture Fund — the firm’s first dedicated venture capital effort — whose private placement memorandum is dated January 2001. Romney also isn’t listed among its “key investment professionals,” or as part of its day-to-day operations or investment committee.
All of this could prove problematic for the Obama campaign, which has spent they day crowing over the Globe story (going so far as to hold a media call about it).
And so forth. Stephanie Cutter may break a leg climbing down from this one. The Obama campaign looks like desperate, clueless fools.