In fairness, Romney’s use of that line was new, and the article was no doubt filed on deadline. But the Post article also let a statement by Colorado AFL-CIO Director Mike Cerbo—that Romney put “personal profit over other people’s lives as evidenced by his extreme outsourcing of American jobs during his time at Bain Capital”—stand unchallenged, even though factcheckers had by then shown Romney’s wasn’t directly involved with shipping jobs overseas.
In contrast, Shaun Boyd, political reporter for CBS Channel 4 in Denver, filed an in-depth “Reality Check” on Obama’s ads on the same day Romney spoke in Grand Junction. Boyd’s report stated clearly that many of the president’s claims were misleading.
The story shifted somewhat after that point, of course, with new information coming to light and the debate moving from Romney’s personal involvement—which the Obama camp had initially focused on—to his ultimate responsibility for Bain’s actions.
Given the story’s evolving character, I was hoping to see a complete account over the weekend in the Post, the state’s flagship paper, that fleshed out its earlier deadline story and helped readers make sense of what had been reported elsewhere. Those hopes were disappointed. But we’ll keep in mind Stokols’s point about not evaluating coverage in isolation, and expect to see a fuller discussion of this central message war—and the facts that lie beneath the claims—as the campaign unfolds.