Kornacki’s claim seems untrue: Tomorrow, we’ll be looking at the recent wave of feigned confusion regarding Romney’s tenure at Bain.
However you judge it, the story just isn't all that confusing. That said, feigned confusion has been the life blood of our failing "journalistic" culture for the past thirty years.
At any rate, some things are worse than feigned confusion. In this new piece at Salon, Steve Kornacki makes a claim about Romney’s that seems to be simply untrue.
In his report, Kornacki is assuring us rubes that Romney really was active at Bain when he says he wasn’t. This is one example:
KORNACKI (7/16/12): A 2002 Globe story quoted Marc Wolpow, a Bain employee, saying that “I reported directly to Mitt Romney” while Romney was in Utah and that “You can’t be CEO of Bain Capital and say, ‘I really don’t know what my guys were doing.’”Somehow, that sounded unlikely to us. And so, we looked it up.
Kornacki seems to misrepresent what Wolpow told the Globe. Wolpow was quoted by columnist Joan Vennochi (no link available)—and he didn’t seem to be talking about Romney’s tenure in Utah, which started in 1999.
In her column, Vennochi discussed the Ampad matter, the pivotal episode in the Kennedy-Romney Senate race of 1994. Rather plainly, Wolpow seems to say he “reported directly to Romney” during the 1994 leave of absence when Romney ran for the Senate:
VENNOCHI (10/24/02): Is Ampad relevant in 2002? Yes, according to Marc B. Wolpow, a former Bain Capital executive. Wolpow and another Bain partner sat on Ampad's board of directors and carried out the brutal downsizing that cost hundreds of workers their full-time jobs and benefits.The deletion belongs to Vennochi.
"Mitt's employees executed that transaction. We carried out the business plan. He was CEO of the firm," says Wolpow, a registered independent voter who now runs a private equity firm, Audax Group.
In 1994, Romney tried to distance himself from the Ampad controversy, since he was on a leave of absence during the initial downsizing. But Wolpow, who came to Bain in 1990 from Drexel Burnham, the infamous junk bond company, says: "I reported directly to Mitt Romney . . . You can't be CEO of Bain Capital and say, 'I really don't know what my guys were doing.' "
And what were Romney's guys doing? "My job was to maximize the profits to Bain Capital's partners from the Ampad transaction," says Wolpow, who left Bain in 1999 when Romney left for the Olympics.
To maximize profits at Ampad, Wolpow says, "we implemented an aggressive plant closing and cost-cutting program."
Rather plainly, Wolpow seems to be discussing “the initial downsizing” at Ampad, the downsizing which became a crucial topic in 1994. Wolpow seems to be saying that he was reporting to Romney during that earlier leave of absence, when Romney ran for the Senate.
Wolpow “left Bain in 1999 when Romney left for the Olympics,” Vennochi wrote. If so, he didn’t report to Romney “while Romney was in Utah.”
Did Wolpow report to Romney in Utah during the period now in dispute? In context, that doesn’t seem to be what he told Vennochi.
Lizard brains all over the land are trying to make the Bain story perfect. Young scribes are eager to tell the story the way we liberals want it.
If you care about true as opposed to false—and admittedly, some people don’t—we advise you to be very careful.
Kornacki’s claim struck us as odd. It looks to us like the fiery scribe misread what Wolpow said.
Maybe he's spending too much time swapping quips with S. E. Cupp! Those quips are well-compensated, it's true. But sometimes, the work product suffers!