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Posted by on Jun 27, 2012 in Media, Politics | 0 comments

Washington Post Refuses Team Romney’s Request for Retracting Bain Outsourcing Story

The Washington Post has turned down the Romney’s campaign’s request that it retract its Bain Capital outsourcing story, a story many pundits believe has the possibility of causing some long term damage to the presumptive Republican nominee:

The Washington Post is standing by its reporting on Bain Capital’s outsourcing under Mitt Romney, and will not retract a recent story despite complaints from the Romney campaign.

“We are very confident in our reporting,” Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti told TPM, adding that meetings with people concerned about coverage are common.

Romney campaign officials on Wednesday met with top editors at the Post to request the paper retract the story. According to Politico’s Dylan Byers, who broke the news of the meeting, Romney staffers intended to argue that the article’s charges were incomplete or inaccurate. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul declined to give any details of the meeting. “The meeting was off the record, so I don’t have anything to share on it,” she told TPM.

The Washington Post is standing by its reporting on Bain Capital’s outsourcing under Mitt Romney, and will not retract a recent story despite complaints from the Romney campaign.

“We are very confident in our reporting,” Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti told TPM, adding that meetings with people concerned about coverage are common.

Romney campaign officials on Wednesday met with top editors at the Post to request the paper retract the story. According to Politico’s Dylan Byers, who broke the news of the meeting, Romney staffers intended to argue that the article’s charges were incomplete or inaccurate. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul declined to give any details of the meeting. “The meeting was off the record, so I don’t have anything to share on it,” she told TPM.

The Obama campaign picked up the Post’s report as evidence that the campaign’s point about Romney has been made. David Axelrod told reporters last week that “[p]eople really have a fundamental choice in this election. The question is, do they want an outsourcer-in-chief in the Oval Office or do they want a president who’s going to fight for American jobs and American manufacturing and the American middle class.”

The Romney campaign insists that the Post doesn’t make the distinction between “outsourcing” and “off-shoring” — the latter being when American firms are replaced by workers in off-shore locations. The Post reported that, according to SEC filings, Bain Capital under Romney owned companies that were “pioneers” in shipping jobs oversees.

Anyone who works in or who has worked in the mainstream news media can tell you this:
1. Newspapers do retractions all the time.
2. But a newspaper must have evidence that it has made a demonstrable error of fact in reporting before it will run a retraction.
3. Sometimes newspapers will do retractions if they feel there is an error and they can be sued — and lose in court. Again, this boils down to whether the newspaper feels a reporter and/or the editors who read the reporters’ copy made a mistake.
4. Unlike most blogs where people get codes and post and most posts go up, and which generally do commenting on stories written by others and are NOT rereported by blogs that cut and paste and comment, mainstream media news organizations generally have layers of editors who look at a story first and will question a reporter if they see holes or a possible error. There are layers of people on papers whose job it is to read something before it goes in the paper.
5. If the Post felt it had an error it would do a retraction — forget partisans who’ll throw out red meat and say (without any evidence on their part) that the reporting was all wrong or inaccurate.
6. If it comes down to semantics then question becomes whether campaigns can be allowed to force newspapers to use the spin they use for damage control.
7. This will be played out in coming months: if that story is inaccurate, it will come out via some other news outlet. If it is accurate you’ll see other news outlets perhaps looking more into this issue (if it remains one) and perhaps expanding on the Post’s allegations.

Dem

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