I have a new column up at CJR on how fact-checkers can't resolve the controversy over Mitt Romney's involvement at Bain Capital during the 1999-2002 period. Here's how it begins:
Fact-checkers have played a key role in the controversy over Mitt Romney’s role in outsourcing at Bain Capital, but the way the debate has played out reveals the limitations of the genre.
First, fact-checks sometimes help create controversies that paradoxically increase the attention paid to misleading charges. For this reason, political consultants will sometimes intentionally make misleading claims in order to increase the amount of “earned media” their ads will attract. While we can’t know the intentions of the President or his campaign team, their ads charging Romney with outsourcing at Bain Capital have been shown to be misleading by Factcheck.org and The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, but the debate over the issue has come to dominate the presidential race.
Read the whole thing for more.