Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Romney-Nice Campaign: Misrepresenting Business as Charity

This week all the broadcast media have run "feel good" articles on Mormons, and now on the eve of the GOP convention, they have turned their "feel goodery" on Mitt Romney.  Apparently, this free publicity is all part of the campaign's strategy to handle the "negatives" of Romney seeming aloof and distant.  Thus, in my weekend edition of the  Chicago Tribune, the front page title article is by a propagandist (pretend journalist) from the Tribune-owned L.A. Times named Maeve Reston who tried to sell the idea of a privately generous and caring Romney.  The evidence of this generosity? When Staples hired an executive from a competitor, and that company wanted him to repay the loan they gave him for a house, Romney wrote him a check - as a loan, demanding he sell the house to repay Romney.  It apparently never occurred to Reston that this would have been something the exec worked out in his compensation package in moving to Staples, that Romney probably did not use his personal money to pay it but Bain's, that either way Staples picked up the ultimate tab, that Romney no doubt charged interest on the money loaned, and that the guy had to sell the house to repay Romney so he had to move from his home anyway.  Romney didn't know the man, and this was a business transaction with an already privileged individual whose previous employer had bought him a $250,000 house.  She also didn't discuss the ethics of poaching talent from the competition, and using Romney as an intermediary to prevent Staples itself from appearing to do it.  In short, the reporter mistook a business deal for a charitable contribution.

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