The downside here is that virtually no one saw this report as it aired. The positive angle is that CNN did its homework and got the story right:
Most of the information disseminated in this thorough fact-check isn't news to Townhall readers; we covered the story in great detail yesterday. But correspondent Brianna Keilar did manage to mine a few additional and worthwhile nuggets: First, we learned that Mrs. Soptic maintained her own health insurance for several years after her husband's plant was shut down (two years after Romney left Bain), rendering the ad's implied timeline even less honest than originally thought. Every key detail in this damn thing is a lie or an intentional distortion. Unreal. Also, keep in mind that GST would have gone belly-up many years earlier if Mitt Romney's company hadn't intervened and invested millions to try to save it. The steel company deal ended up being one of the few unsuccessful investments Romney executed during his sterling private-sector career. Second, we discovered that Bill Burton -- who runs Obama's SuperPAC -- is actually trying to claim that the ad does not attempt to link Romney to this woman's death. Did he offer that answer with a straight face? If you find Burton's level of deliberate misinformation galling, you might want to skip this next clip, in which Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki refuses to repudiate the ad on three separate occasions:
Wolf Blitzer repeatedly calls the spot "outrageous," correctly asserts that it is "full of falsehoods," and even tries to shame Psaki into labeling it "repulsive," independent of whether the campaign is directly responsible for its production. She doesn't budge, grinning throughout the segment and pretending that Obama has nothing to do with any of it. (Her obviously rehearsed, yet still mangled, "Michael Phelps" line is exceedingly lame). Never mind that Obama cabinet members are involved in fundraising for this SuperPAC. Never mind that the organization is run by a man who held Psaki's position during the 2008 campaign, and later became a deputy White House press secretary. Can't the Obama campaign at least rhetorically reject an ad that inaccurately ties Mitt Romney to a woman's cancer-related death? Apparently not. This once again obliterates Obama's good guy, above-the-fray image he cultivated to bamboozle credulous voters in 2008. After all, they've already used Mr. Soptic in a misleading ad of their own this year (wouldn't want to dent his credibility, would we?) -- and the spot makes Romney look like a monster, which is straight out of Chicago's playbook. Besides, Team Obama has displayed zero commitment to accuracy and truth during this campaign, so why would anyone expect them to hold their allies to a higher standard? Finally, let's take this opportunity to recall that Democrats demanded that Mitt Romney explicitly repudiate a potential SuperPAC ad featuring Jeremiah Wright back in May, even though (a) it hadn't even been developed yet, and (b) it wasn't Romney's SuperPAC. He complied. Barack Obama's campaign and the White House were both given multiple opportunities to distance themselves from this odious commercial yesterday, after it had been produced on behalf of their boss and rolled out to the public. They evaded and declined. When one has no shame or honor to lose, one is liberated to do or say absolutely anything. Classy operation you have there, Democrats. The $64,000 question is whether this crap hurts Romney among low-information voters, or if the president is sullying his own image more than he can afford. I return to the dilemma I raised over the weekend. How should the GOP handle these beyond-the-pale lies? If they bitterly object, they're called whiners. If they answer in kind with equally dirty tricks, they're crucified. If they take the high road, the insidious falsehoods are essentially allowed to stand. If they merely state the facts and respond, they're constantly at the mercy of the Democrats' next distractionary lie and are unable to drive their own narratives. It's maddening.
UPDATE - I also want to briefly deal with Psaki's willfully ignorant statements about the supposed ongoing "questions" regarding the length of Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital. The Obama campaign wants to continue to blow smoke about Romney's departure date in order to justify a battery of false ads they've run about his fictional "outsourcing." The facts are actually quite clear on this, having been established by multiple independent fact-checkers and media organizations, including CNN:
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography