As most liberals know, the claim that the mainstream media has a liberal bias is a myth. There’s probably no greater proof of that than CNN, a cable network that was at one time arguably balanced, but has since become another tool of corporate America.
There was probably no clearer evidence of their corporate connection than a defense of Romney and Bain Capital that began on Friday with CNN anchor, John King. He wrote an article saying that the accusation that Romney has lied about his tenure at Bain Capital has little merit. In the article, King cites four former Bain sources who claimed that Romney did in fact leave Bain in 1999, despite SEC filings that state otherwise. Only one of his sources went on the record, Bain Managing Director Steve Pagliuca, who said,
“Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to run the Olympics and has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies since the day of his departure.”
Then he went on to explain the SEC declaration saying that Romney was still CEO, President and sole shareholder of Bain by saying, “Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney’s departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period.”
Regardless of Pagliuca’s statement, and the three other anonymous CNN sources, there is evidence that Romney was active with Bain during the years in question.
King mentioned a couple of times that Pagliuca is a Democrat, a point that is completely irrelevant. Even the most partisan of people put friends and employers above party.
So who are these anonymous sources? It’s possible that one is King’s own coworker, David Gergen, who wrote this OpEd, also defending Romney. Gergen started the OpEd by admitting this (emphasis added):
Let me acknowledge upfront what I have said several times on CNN: I have a past relationship with the top partners at Bain that is both personal and financial. I have worked with them in support of nonprofit organizations such as City Year. I have given a couple of paid speeches for Bain dinners, as I have for many other groups. I was on the board of a for-profit child care company, Bright Horizons, that was purchased by Bain Capital. It was a transaction with financial benefits for all board members and shareholders, including me.
So, yes, I have a bias. But let me also add how that bias plays out: I have come to admire and like the leaders of Bain Capital because I have learned firsthand that in a private equity industry, where there are obviously some predatory companies, Bain stands out for the respect in which it is generally held and for the generous philanthropy of some of its partners. Nothing I have seen so far has shaken that view.
To be fair, Gergen did call for Romney to provide all necessary paperwork to clear up any questions along with his tax returns.
My impression of the years in question is that they might boil down to semantics. Given what we know, I’d imagine that he did have an ancillary relationship with Bain in 2000 and 2001. However, his positions in the company at the time, regardless of his activities, would lead pretty much anyone to believe that the buck stopped at him, period. Mitt Romney should not only come clean with the paperwork, he should take responsibility for the company that he was CEO, President and Sole Shareholder of. It’s his refusal to take responsibility that serves as an omen of what a Romney presidency might look like. And as for CNN, perhaps they should remove David Gergen from the Bain/Romney story.