Bald-faced Gene Robinson
From his column:
The whopper with which those pesky fact-checkers are having a field day is Ryan's attempt to blame President Obama for the shutdown of a huge General Motors plant in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wis. Ryan's point of reference was a visit Obama made to the plant during the 2008 campaign.
"A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant," Ryan said. "Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you ... this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that's how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight."
In other words, Obama promised to help those workers by keeping the plant open but failed to deliver. This is a bald-faced lie.
As Glenn Kessler, author of The Washington Post's Fact-Checker column, has noted, Obama visited the Janesville plant in February of 2008. GM announced the plant's shutdown in June 2008 -- five months before Obama was elected and seven months before he took office. Ryan should be blaming George W. Bush, not Barack Obama.But Robinson and Kessler and wrong. The plant wasn't shut down in 2008. It was shut down in April of 2009, after Obama took office. In any case, there is nothing incorrect about what Ryan said. Nothing at all. Ryan did not lie. He didn't even get the facts wrong.
He reasonably and fairly associated the shuttering of the Janesville plant - one that with "government support" Obama said should be around "for another 100 years" - with the lack of an economic recovery that Obama clearly promised but was unable to deliver.
It's Kessler and Robinson who are misleading their readers by unfairly and incorrectly calling Ryan a liar. Obama gave false hopes to those workers and workers across the country and its Ryan who Robinson and Kessler accuse lying.
No wonder so many people have lost faith in the mainstream press to be fair and get things right.
UPDATE: More here about fact-challenged fact checkers. And here and here.