PolitiFact orders Asbestos pants

Posted on January 18, 2013


PolitiFact just saw its ‘PolitiFact Lie of the Year 2012’ go down in flames and now their pants are on fire. True or False? True.

I happened across a story today, which was for me an ‘aha!’ moment.  It was especially that, because I had written posts on two of the players in the story, Fiat – Chrysler and PolitiFact.  The one column that I wrote on Fiat-Chrysler, was entitled ‘The Amphibious Jeep Wrangler’  and the other post called ‘Bouncing Fact Checks Left and Right’, not only was a warning about the epidemic of ‘Fact Checking’ in general, but also referenced one of the key players, PolitiFact. There was a brouhaha over conservative and Romney campaign reporting that Fiat – Chrysler planned to expand production of the Jeep to China.

In at least one of the media reports at the time, Bloomberg News published a statement from a key Fiat executive that quite possibly all of the production would be shifted to China. When the publicity got hot and heavy, another Chrysler executive outright lied to the press and maintained that no such statement had been made and no such plans were anticipated.  I updated my post with the following rejoinder to the Democrat Party, the so-called ‘Fact Checking’ sites and to the weasels at Fiat – Chrysler.  This is what I wrote in rebuttal:

UPDATE:  Because the story behind this post originated on Bloomberg News, based on some quotes given their reporter, by the above named company executives – there has been a significant public relations blowback against Chrysler and Fiat SPA.  Incredible, isn’t it?  Who would have ever expected that to happen?

As a result, Chrysler / Fiat’s Gualtiero Rainieri (Chrysler’s Senior VP-Corporate Communications) is hastily issuing a blanket denial of those quotes in the Bloomberg report.  Not only is he denying the obvious meaning of the story, but he is ridiculing the blogosphere for inferring something in the story that didn’t exist.  Here are his comments:

There are times when the reading of a news wire report generates storms originated by a biased or predisposed approach.

“On October 22, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. ET, the Bloomberg News report ‘Fiat Says Jeep Output May Return to China as Demand Rises’ stated “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley (President and CEO of the Jeep brand) referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

“Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is  a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.

Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” 

Nice try, Gualtiero – but not good enough.  We’ve reviewed the original report on Bloomberg, sir – and you are wrong, lying,  or in denial mode.  Here is the actual statement from the Bloomberg story:

Fiat SpA (F), majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers’ operations in the region.

“The volume opportunity for us is very significant,” Manley, who is also president of the Jeep brand, said in an interview at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters. “We’re reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity” as well as “should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio.”

So, Gualtiero – typical of corporate public relations spokesholes worldwide, you have attempted to effect damage control by placing the blame for the controversy on writers in the media including the alternative media, when it is clear that your company let slip its intentions and now wishes to retract them.

I have no intentions of correcting or retracting the content of this post.  It is and was based on ‘a careful and unbiased reading of the ‘Bloomberg take’.  It’s one thing for Mr. Ranieri to walk back a statement of company executives.  It’s quite another to make a liar and a scoundrel out of himself in the process.

So, you can imagine my thoughts when Reuters this week, reported that:

Fiat (FIA.MI) and its U.S. unit Chrysler expect to roll out at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in 2014 as they seek to catch up with rivals in the world’s biggest car market. …

“We expect production of around 100,000 Jeeps per year which is expandable to 200,000,” [Chrysler CEO Sergio] Marchionne, who is also CEO of Chrysler, said on the sidelines of a conference, adding production could start in 18 months.

How many Jeeps?  100,000!  What makes this even sweeter for me, is that the supposed ‘debunking’ of Romney’s campaign’s assertion and the reports from conservative bloggers such as myself, was the crown jewel of PolitiFact’s accomplishments (dubious as they were) of the year 2012.  PolitiFacts’ original ‘fact check’ stated:

“It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China.  It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood.  Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it.  Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.  And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.”

I don’t know about you, but this is LMBSO (Laugh My Back Side Off) type stuff.  They were so adamant about the significance of this particular ‘fact check’ that they dubbed it ‘PolitiFact Lie of the Year 2012’.  NewsMax ran an article detailing the liberal Left / Democrat bonafides of the host organism of PolitiFact, the Tampa Bay Times.  The Tampa Bay Times is a progressive fish wrap.  They employ the PolitiFact ‘fact checks’ as a device with which to tarnish conservative views and statements.  Evidently, they were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their ‘Abu Ghraib’ methods of torturing truth and mutating reality into contrived Democrat talking points.  So much for the value of Pulitzer Prizes these days.  They’re apparently  about as legit and hard earned as Nobel Peace Prizes, I suppose.

Now that their best attempt at twisting truth into a lie has been officially exposed, I will again warn you and your gullible ‘sheeple’ friends who lazily punched the ballot for Barack Hussein Obama, the fraud and counterfeit of the Century – you need to handle these authoritative looking pseudo ‘fact checkers’ with the same reluctance and apprehension that you would a frayed high tension wire dangling on the ground.