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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
NewsBusters Falsely Smears Maddow As 'Baghdad Bob' to Defend Romney
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 29 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman unleashes a torrent of hate against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, under the headline "It's Official: Rachel Maddow Completes Conversion to Baghdad Bob":

"The Rachel Maddow Show" really shouldn't air weeknights on MSNBC. It is much better suited for Saturday mornings, you know, along with the other cartoons.

Maddow is so deep in the tank for the Obama administration at this point that she no longer cares how ludicrous she appears in her melodramatic inveighing against the staggering mendacity of one Willard Mitt Romney, a man who clearly haunts her fitful dreams and restless nights.

What did Maddow do that made Coleman so mad? She caught Romney in a lie -- his statement that "I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China." In fact, as Maddow pointed out, Chrysler is adding workers at U.S. plants that make Jeeps, and that production in China would be to serve that market, not shift production out of the U.S. Romney apparently got a right-wing blog's distorted view of a Bloomberg story stating that Chrysler owner Fiat "may eventually make all of its models" in China. Coleman then writes:

Still unclear to me where Romney lied about this. Chrysler is majority-owned by Fiat and hence it is within Fiat's power to move Jeep production wherever it wants. Since the company "may eventually" make all its Jeeps in China, as Bloomberg reported, citing a company executive as its source, one can only conclude that Romney's lying about this, as far as Maddow is concerned, stems from him not actually reading a story about it as he claimed, but getting his information elsewhere.

But Coleman overlooks a statement in the Bloomberg story, made by Mike Manley, chief operating officer of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia: "Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China."

Meanwhile, Chrysler itself has stated:

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.

In other words, Maddow is correct to say that Fiat "wants to build Jeeps for China -- in China," and Romney is wrong.

So who's Baghdad Bob now? Hint: It's not Maddow.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EDT

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