January 19, 2013

JEEPers, PolitiFact's Lie of the Year Turns Out to Be True

Monique Chartier

Thanks to John Loughlin for bringing this to my attention.

The original statement by the Romney campaign that was politifact-"checked":

[Mitt Romney] Says Barack Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" at the cost of American jobs.

And a headline from Reuters on Thursday.

Fiat sees at least 100,000 Jeeps made in China in 2014

To paraphrase commenter Dan on another thread: but, but, but ... they have the Truth-O-Meter!!! How could PolitiFact have gotten it wrong???

So in the end, PolitiFact's beef with the Romney ad was an entirely argumentative disagreement about what course of action Jeep should take, not a factual objection to Romney's true statement that Jeep was going to start building cars in China. However, disagreeing about the implications of manufacturing Jeeps in China doesn't justify calling Romney a liar for accurately stating Jeeps would be manufactured in China. PolitiFact didn't even dispute that, and even conceded the "Lie of the Year" was built on a "grain of truth."

Ah. A "grain" of truth". PolitiFact is acknowledging that which has been pretty plain about many, many of their ratings: too often, the "Truth"-O-Meter starts with a grain of truth which it spins into a rating that doesn't have much at all to do with that quality. (Anchor Rising posts demonstrating this about some PolitiFact ratings can be reviewed here.)

I am a big supporter of news outlets, including specifically traditional newspapers, who employ honest, talented, hard-working reporters and put them on a beat. (That latter is so important - the context that is provided by institutional knowledge is a vital component of good reporting.) PolitiFact might have started out as an admirable concept. Regrettably, however, the way that it has been far too often executed has been a major disappointment and, accordingly, a poor reflection on the hosting newspaper.

[Monique is Deputy Editor of the RISC-Y Business Newsletter.]

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I have little faith in Politifact, so I am not much interested. Of course, I am troubled that others may have more faith.

A little historical background. Prior to WWII Buicks were built/assembled in Belgium, New Zealand and Australia, so far as I know that troubled no one. All through WWII, Ford of Germany was reporting its profits to Detroit. Last year, Buick sold more cars in China than it did in the U.S. New model Cadillac production is being moved to China.

Still, they are American companies. FIAT is an Italian company that was practically given Chrysler. Profits on Chrysler products are now supporting the suffering FIAT production in Italy.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 19, 2013 1:04 PM


“JEEPers, PolitiFact's Lie of the Year Turns Out to Be True” actually it is still a lie no matter how much spin is put on it as even ABC news found Romney campaign ads inaccurate.

After reading everyone’s spin on this Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact and subsequent “Lie of the Year “, and now the “Lie of the Year is really true”, I had to go back and read the actual original write up, the Bloomberg News about Fiat’s discussions and a ABC Business news release about Chrysler actually already manufacturing Jeeps in China.

Of note are the following written statements by Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact reporters;

“Romney had been working off an article from Bloomberg News about Fiat’s discussions to start making Jeeps again in China. The old Chrysler had assembly plants in China, but they had been idle since 2009.”

"I'm astonished that more people aren't thrilled by the fact that an American company on the brink of literal oblivion has come back strong enough to now once again be making and selling its products in the hottest auto market in the world," Bragman said. "It is a phenomenal success story, quite frankly, and one that has sadly been bizarrely twisted out of shape for political expediency."

“Our ruling

The Romney campaign ad says Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" at the cost of American jobs. The ad leaves the clear impression that Jeeps built in China come at the expense of American workers.

The ad miscasts the government’s role in Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler, and it misrepresents the outcome. Chrysler’s owners had been trying to sell to Italy-based Fiat before Obama took office. The ad ignores the return of American jobs to Chrysler Jeep plants in the United States, and it presents the manufacture of Jeeps in China as a threat, rather than an opportunity to sell cars made in China to Chinese consumers. It strings together facts in a way that presents an wholly inaccurate picture.

We rate the statement Pants on Fire!”

From ABC News Business by Paul A. Eisenstein: ://www.nbcnews.com/business/chrysler-ceo-calls-out-romney-over-inaccurate-jeep-ads-1C6764547

“Ironically, it was American Motors, the company once headed by Romney’s father George, that began building Jeeps in China in the early 1980s. Chrysler took over the venture in 1987 when it acquired AMC.

After Chrysler’s 1998 merger with Daimler-Benz, what was the Beijing Jeep venture became the center for the launch of production of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in China.

After Daimler sold Chrysler to Cerberus in 2007, the German automaker retained its ownership of the Beijing Jeep venture, which effectively shut Chrysler out of the China, which is now the largest automotive market in the world.

There has so far been no word from the Romney campaign as to whether they will correct or otherwise stop using the inaccurate information about Chrysler’s plans for Jeep.”

Posted by: KenW at January 19, 2013 6:10 PM

"Chrysler’s owners had been trying to sell to Italy-based Fiat before Obama took office."

IIRC, FIAT paid $1.00 for 40% share of the stock (which means they accepted the liabilities, as opposed to just buying the assets). Some would call that "a sale", others would call that "making it legal".

For what it is worth, the Chinese have been producing outdated models of Mercedes and Audi for years. They weren't allowed to call them Mercedes, or Audi. Sort of the way Packard sold Russia outdated tooling in the 1950's, they were built as Zils.

So, those of you with "outdated" Mercedes, or Audis, call China.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 19, 2013 7:26 PM

When will the fair and balanced politifact personnel apply the truth meter to president obamas assertion that the "affordable care act" will lower insurance costs (see recent GAO report) Then again, perhaps he wasn't speaking to the taxpayers...

Posted by: Mike at January 19, 2013 7:46 PM

Biased for the left as Politifact is,even they had to call out Seth Yurdin and the other seven scumbags on the Providence City Council who tried to lie their way into violating the rights of law abiding citizens to defend themselves effectively.Yurdin is a former(and maybe current)cohort of David Segala local radical troublemaker and previously a state rep and city councilman.Brown University and the liberal element on the East Side surely craps on common sense in this state.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 20, 2013 1:23 AM

"When will the fair and balanced politifact personnel apply the truth meter to president obamas assertion that the "affordable care act" will lower insurance costs (see recent GAO report"

Great question. And the starting point/base line for comparing whether costs and premiums rose has to be the moment ObamaCare passed Congress, not the moment, still to come, when ObamaCare fully kicks in. Many insurance companies raised their premiums in advance and IN ANTICIPATION of the burden of ObamaCare mandates.

Posted by: Monique at January 20, 2013 9:34 AM

I just watched the Mitt Scissorhands RomneyCare video, from the Univision interview for Hispanic TV. Scissorhands is normally white as a ghost,but in the video he had a beautiful orangey spray-on tan that John Bohner wears so well

Not to worry, once Scissorhands goes back to outsourcing jobs to Asia and pocketing other people's pension funds he'll be his old self again.

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at January 20, 2013 2:42 PM

"Scissorhands is normally white as a ghost"

Sammy, are we saopposed to nderstand that there is some embaraasment in being white? My response to that is what it always is. Walk around whatever room you are in and attempt to put your hand on something (furniture not included)that wasn't invented by a white male.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 20, 2013 6:19 PM

Biggest Lie Of The Year: There is still a press.

Every so-called journalist is just another Democrat with a byline. Not too honest but the pay and job security is good.

Posted by: dave at January 21, 2013 8:12 AM

"GM calls latest Romney auto ad 'politics at its cynical worst'"

But, hey, that's close enough for AR!

Posted by: Russ at January 22, 2013 2:20 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.