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FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 10-16

This week, readers sent us both positive and negative reviews of the website.

In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.


From a Former Subscriber

On Monday, I unsubscribed from your email list. FactCheck is no longer a fair or credible source of information.

I have been disturbed by your exaggerating insignificant differences (often matters of opinion, not fact) in statements by the Obama campaign while excusing outright lies by the Romney campaign. This gives the appearance of objectivity, but it rewards naked dishonesty while punishing attempts to convey factual information that you deem insufficiently perfect. It’s not possible to give precisely nuanced statements in a political campaign, but it is possible to avoid gross untruths.

What pushed me over the edge was your [director], Brooks Jackson, appearing on NPR Monday morning characterizing the question as “how much active involvement did [Romney] really have while he was out in Salt Lake spending an average of 12 hours a day, six days a week, running the Olympics?” [“Obama’s ‘Outsourcer’ Overreach,” June 29.] That’s what Romney says he did. The Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission made that statement based on Romney’s testimony, but there doesn’t appear to be any other support for it.

As the CEO of a small business, I work hard. I might even say I work 12 hours a day, six days a week. Yet, somehow, I find time to monitor my investments, sleep and do a variety of other things.

The question isn’t how many hours Romney spent implementing decisions to invest in outsourcing companies. The question is whether he was responsible for those decisions being made. He filed statements with the [Securities and Exchange Commission] saying that he was the sole shareholder, managing director, CEO, and president of Bain from 1999 to 2002. A shareholder does not directly control the business. (A sole shareholder, however, controls the people who do.) But the CEO, the president, and the managing director do have direct control. Even if Romney made one five-minute phone call a week to check up on his underlings, he was responsible for the decisions they made. And there’s no indication that he ever disagreed with those decisions. As the sole shareholder, he was the beneficiary of Bain’s actions during those years.

There is a need for an organization that objectively and fairly checks facts. It’s too bad that FactCheck has decided not to be that organization.

Matt Flamm
Palatine, Ill.


Thank You!

I am so grateful for your website. Without your website, I would never know the truth. I think that is all most of us want. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Beth Flanagan
San Diego, Calif.