Oh, no he didn’t.

Of course, he did.

Last night Ezra Klein’s blog posted a flat-out lie last night about the timing of the Janesville, Wisc., GM auto plant closure.

Here is what was posted on his blog last night by Klein’s colleague Dylan Matthews:

The plant shut down in June 2008, when George W. Bush is (sic) president.

Here’s the screencap, in case Klein tries to whitewash the error:

That is not only really bad grammar, but it is also factually incorrect. The plant began to wind down operations in December 2008. It shut down in the spring of 2009. You may recall that the president at the time was Barack Obama, not George W. Bush.

Matthews linked to a New York Times article that  flatly contradicts the claim that the plant shut down in June 2008. The article, written in October 2008, said the Janesville plant “is a shadow of its former self” but still had 1,200 employees. Yes, the plant was still operational in October 2008. Which means it hadn’t yet shut down. How, then, could the plant have closed in June 2008, as Klein’s blog stated?

Rather than correct the mistake, MSNBC’s newest “fact checker” doubled down, standing by the incorrect assertion.

But Klein insists there was no error, this time linking to a PolitiFact article to prove his point. The PolitiFact article asserts that the plant was “effectively” shut down on December 23, 2008 but acknowledges that he plant did not actually close until four months later.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel — perhaps a more neutral observer — says the plant closed in 2009:

The Janesville plant stopped production of SUVs in 2008 and was idled in 2009 after it completed production of medium-duty trucks.

People who live in Janesville say the plant closed in 2009:

Wikipedia — not known for right-wing bias — says the plant closed in 2009:

The plant … employed around 7,000 workers at its peak in 1970, but was down to about 1,200 at its closing in 2009.

Even if one chooses to use PolitiFact’s dubious “effective” shut down date of December 23, 2008, the June 2008 date posted on Klein’s blog is incorrect.

This is not the first time Ezra Klein, who lied about his left-wing JournoList,  has played fast and loose with facts.

Back in April 2006, he falsely stated that U.C. Santa Cruz protesters “frantically called on [Twitchy CEO Michelle] Malkin to remove their [phone] numbers” from a blog post she had published. As Malkin pointed out to Klein via email at the time, this was false. None of the students whose numbers Malkin posted ever contacted Malkin. Klein never retracted the false statement, which remains on the American Prospect website to this day.

Related:

Obama lied about Janesville GM auto plant, not Ryan

Meet MSNBC’s fact-checker: Ezra Klein?!? Update: Klein’s blog falsely claims that Janesville auto plant closed in June 2008

  • Jefferson Tea Party

    UAW statement to workers re: Janesville https://twitter.com/Ggoblue/status/241178421298876416/photo/1

    • John Millett

      That memo was dated after the plant closed.

  • Jefferson Tea Party

    UAW statement to workers re: Janesville https://twitter.com/Ggoblue/status/241178421298876416/photo/1

  • SunnyJS

    Arroganct narcisstics from east coast telling Paul Ryan about GM in WI? Duh, GM WAS Janesville. Ryan has close date burned on soul like everyone else. The round robin fact checker liars, using each other as sources of fact when no one has the facts has been exposed. The vetting is on! Breitbart lives.

  • SunnyJS

    Arroganct narcisstics from east coast telling Paul Ryan about GM in WI? Duh, GM WAS Janesville. Ryan has close date burned on soul like everyone else. The round robin fact checker liars, using each other as sources of fact when no one has the facts has been exposed. The vetting is on! Breitbart lives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.sumner.52 Joshua Sumner

    Ezra… You must yell lies louder for them to come true…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.sumner.52 Joshua Sumner

    Ezra… You must yell lies louder for them to come true…

  • http://twitter.com/mnfe2 Lisa

    June 2008 is when GM announced the plant would be shutting down, with the SUV line stopping production in December 2008 and the light trucks continuing into 2009. Not when they stopped production or closed the doors. I don’t see how anyone (sideeye at Ezra) can claim it is the same thing.

    (edited for clarity)

    • nickshaw

      So, after June 2008 Zero stepped in and “saved” GM (Well not so much GM as the union but, I won’t quibble). What? Did he just not get around to Janesville? What’s your point? The plant was closed in 2009. Period. Is Ryan lying?
      Ask the folks of Janesville.

      • http://twitter.com/mnfe2 Lisa

        My point is that Ezra Klein is a moron if he thinks that closing the plant is the same thing as announcing the plant closure.

        • nickshaw

          Sorry, Lisa. We agree then. Klein is a moron. 😉

    • Lindamae1

      When did the President promise to save them?

      • nickshaw

        When did Ryan say he did?

  • http://twitter.com/mnfe2 Lisa

    June 2008 is when GM announced the plant would be shutting down, with the SUV line stopping production in December 2008 and the light trucks continuing into 2009. Not when they stopped production or closed the doors. I don’t see how anyone (sideeye at Ezra) can claim it is the same thing.

    (edited for clarity)

  • James Atkins

    I think it’s sad that there are people on the left and right are reducing the misery and suffering of people losing jobs to who was or wasn’t the POTUS. Does it really matter? Just fix the damn thing..

    • weRbroke

      It is indeed sad, but conservatives are trying to argue the principal of the matter. Dems, including BO, used their shoulders as a plank to stand on with no real ability or intentions of doing anything about it. Reference the War on Poverty. Its a plank built by the Dems, maintained by the Dems, and reinforced by adding more DEM SHOULDERS to stand on.

    • Kay Williams

      Does TRUTH matter? Duh?

      • James Atkins

        Of course it matters, but do you think those that lost their jobs really care who the POTUS was? Look, I’m a conservative, but arguing over who was POTUS is just silly. To me, it’s sort of like when Carter was saying that we were technically in a recession and not a depression like the definition mattered to those suffering the misery.

        • GalactusPrime

          Please, you either are NOT a conservative, you don’t understand conservatism or you be dense

          • http://www.facebook.com/rrashty Richard Rashty

            I think James has a point in looking thru the terminated employees POV. They certainly may not be thinking of who was in office at that time as they are suffering now..but for certain obama’s anti-colonial policies will impact the decisions people make for this election

          • James Atkins

            Yes, that is exactly my point. Are we more or less compassionate if people lose jobs under a Republican or Democrat President? My compassion is equal opportunity. I feel bad for anyone that has lost his/her job in past economies and this economy. It sucks.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rrashty Richard Rashty

            I think James has a point in looking thru the terminated employees POV. They certainly may not be thinking of who was in office at that time as they are suffering now..but for certain obama’s anti-colonial policies will impact the decisions people make for this election

        • http://www.facebook.com/rrashty Richard Rashty

          I think here the context of President obama being at the plant is critical to the point. Obama was highlighting his central planning perspective, that if you walk with him (obama), plants like this will be around for another 100yrs.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rrashty Richard Rashty

          I think here the context of President obama being at the plant is critical to the point. Obama was highlighting his central planning perspective, that if you walk with him (obama), plants like this will be around for another 100yrs.

  • elevenhundred

    What is the difference between a liberal and a conservative journalist?

    The conservative will talk about the issues that are most important to conservatives at the expense of other issues that are less important to them.

    The liberal will make things up to allow them to address the nonexistent issues they think are important!

  • marcellucci

    Ezra….you should hold your breath until your lie becomes fact……..
    Get back to me…..

  • Ned Sweeney

    Guess it depends on what your definition of is is!

  • genghisjon

    CNN’s Borger and King could hardly contain themselves repeating this lie as a “fact check” done online IMMEDIATELY after Ryan was done talking (they must not vet this stuff either), and I was skeptical – anyone else see the utter disgust on Borger’s face?!

  • http://twitter.com/joelapp Joel Appenzeller

    If you remember, 6/1/09 was the day GM went bankrupt and closed several plants at the same time. They sent out their reps and gathered us all together to tell us the bad news. I was at the GM plant in Wilmington De that was closed immediately on 6/1/09 just like Janesville. We often thought that as long as we didn’t get the firm notice that we were done there was hope. It was always possible that a plant could be given a new product right up to the announcement it was going to close. Wilmington had been threatened with closure several times before they finally pulled the trigger. Janesville was not closed UNITL it was announced. It is not accurate to say that it was ramping down in December of 08. That is not how GM plants work. They string you along right up to the end. Production at Wilmington was abysmally slow (we had a little convertible) for quite some time before June of 2009. We thought having Biden in office that the DE plant would remain open. No such luck.

    • Jefferson Tea Party

      :( We hope you’ve found new employment!

    • nickshaw

      It would have been great if Fisker had have kept your plant open but, we know how that turned out, don’t we?
      Sorry Joel. I hope things are better for you now.

  • weRbroke

    Right on cue…the hounds of DC are barking like mad, once again the car drove by and they HAVE to bark, it’s what anklebitters do.

  • http://quadgmoto.myopenid.com/ QuadGMoto

    Liar, liar, pants on fire.

    Eventually, it will be more than just his pants:

    “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
    — Revelation 21:8</blockquote

  • http://www.norbitpeters.blogspot.com/ Norbit Peters

    AOL is regurgitating the same “fact-check” SMEARS, claiming opinion as “fact” and/or applying selective references, extrapolations and applications of each “fact” they discern.

    It’s called sophistry, and grade-school level at that!

  • tbia

    SIgn on my Chick-Fil-A says they are going to close at 11. But I can still get a chicken sandwich and the workers are still working their asses off at 9:30.

  • Allan Smith

    Even if you accept the left’s dates and premise, you miss the point of what Ryan was saying. Ryan wasn’t saying that Obama promised that particular plant that he would personally save it if elected, then allowed it to be closed during his Presidency in violation of his promise. His point was that Obama went to that plant and stated, in a generality, that if you elect him and his policies of governmental intervention, then plants like that would stay open for 100 years…..due to governmental intervention. However, that plant did close, either under Bush or Obama. It doesn’t matter when because that had nothing to do with Ryan’s point. However, all the stimulus and diverted TARP money and govt intervention that did happen under Obama did not stop the closure or allow the auto industry to reopen the plant since the closing. So Ryan’s point, that anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty could see, was that Obama’s ideology that the economy and industry can be saved through governmental intervention and by just having enough taxpayer money thrown at problems simply doesn’t work. Short version: Ryan said Obama promised everyone that government would be the answer to everyone’s problems under him. The past few years have proven that ideology to be wrong. Ryan is not lying. No facts to even check. He was highlighting the failures of Obama’s policies by using an example from his hometown. The end.

  • Woodrow D Woodpecker

    The Democrats lied/? I don’t believe it. You must be mistaken.

  • Woodrow D Woodpecker

    The Democrats lied/? I don’t believe it. You must be mistaken.

  • John Lee

    Ezra, does your Mommy know you’re telling lies?

  • $26338561

    Oh my God!…..A Liberal lied….How in the world did THAT happen?….Oh! wait…I’m sorry, haven’t had my coffee yet…He’s a Liberal… never mind, carry on.

  • Rick2340

    I’m not sure why people think Ezra Klein is some young intellectual. He is a liberal hack like 99% of the MSM. The idea that anyone would say that Ryan lied about that GM plant is absurd and illustrates they are ignoring basic facts.

  • http://batman-news.com MonkeyTricks

    This liberal WH talking point jerk cant get his lisp in check let alone the facts………….

  • http://www.isights.org/ Michael Long

    GM made the decision to close the Janesville plant in question in June 2008 due to waning SUV demand.

    GM announced that the plant would be largely idled December 23, 2008 when production of SUVs would end and the vast majority of its workers (over 1,100 of the existing 1,200) would be laid off.

    According to a statement by GM, 57 production employees continued assembly work at the Janesville Assembly until April 2009, completing a prior contractual order placed by Isuzu, and then an additional 40 to 50 “skilled trade employees” worked to decommission the plant.

    Though I suppose a skilled blogger like yourself could translate losing over 95% of your workforce into “winding down”.

    • Marie Herr

      Kindergarten 101: Opposites

      The opposite of Closed is… Open. If something is closed it is not open. If it’s open a little bit, it’s still NOT CLOSED.

      If “57 production employees CONTINUED assembly WORK” the plant could not possibly have been CLOSED.

      GM News
      2009-06-26

      “Two other GM assembly plants in Spring Hill, Tenn. and Janesville, Wis.
      were also under consideration to build the future small car….. . Janesville was placed on standby capacity in May 2009 and will
      remain in that status. “

    • Ohio Historian

      What do you define as “losing workforce”? You mean laying off people in a time when they weren’t finding other jobs is “losing workforce”? I have seen plants closed briefly, then reopened many times. I used to watch the staffing at the GM plant in Toledo go up and down. But I guess that what you don’t understand is that Obama promised that these plants were going to flourish under his Presidency, and then he ignored them. Was he lying in 2008, or was he not fulfilling promises in 2009? These are the only two choices on this statement. To twist and turn the statement is not allowed. Which choice is yours?

  • http://www.isights.org/ Michael Long

    Incidentally, Wikipedia (your source) now states, “The plant covers 4,800,000 ft³ (446,000 m³). It employed around 7,000 workers at its peak in 1970, but was down to about 1,200 when it was idled in December 2008, with only 57 employees left when it completely ceased production in April 2009.”

    • Ohio Historian

      That means that there were still 1,200 employees there in January, 2009? What was Obama doing after inauguration? If you remember, his apology tour took precedence over a measly little 1,200 “good jobs”. Part of the reason that this country shed so many jobs in the first half of 2009; Obama was doing nothing other than letting the legislation of 2006-2008 go into effect and running around the world bowing to kings and princes, being a friend to dictators, and the like.

  • Ohio Historian

    I remember the Office of the President-elect running around with his own stupid lectern and sign making pronouncements. What did he even do from his “bully pulpit” for Janesville? Nothing. He had won, and Janesville could go pound sand in his opinion. He had bigger fish to fry, from his apology tour to giving 18% of GM to the UAW and shutting out the existing holders of stakes in GM. If he was intent on his promise, Janesville was actually open when he proposed the bankruptcy “deal” where the Federal government bought out GM, and he could have mandated Janesville be kept open. He didn’t, because this is where the big-framed stuff is made for GM (e.g. SUVs).

    This is the President who has replaced the fine art of half-truths with outright lies. He makes Bill Clinton look truthful by comparison.