Today, Fox News joined the parade of right wing media who claim that Barack Obama is targeting Republican car dealerships for closure, so I think that it is time that we look at some facts to debunk this right wing myth.
It all started in the Examiner with, “Evidence appears to be mounting that the Obama administration has systematically targeted for closing Chrysler dealers who contributed to Repubicans. What started earlier this week as mainly a rumbling on the Right side of the Blogosphere has gathered some steam today with revelations that among the dealers being shut down are a GOP congressman and closing of competitors to a dealership chain partly owned by former Clinton White House chief of staff Mack McLarty.”
Wait a minute, evidence appears to be mounting? This is different from saying that evidence is mounting. Here is what they call evidence, “The basic issue raised here is this: How do we account for the fact millions of dollars were contributed to GOP candidates by Chrysler who are being closed by the government, but only one has been found so far that is being closed that contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008?”
This led Major Garrett of Fox News to report, “There is some concern in the blogosphere that of the of the Chrysler dealerships being closed, a disproportionate number appear to be in which the operators contributed to Republicans. And hardly which contributed to democrats have been closed down. I’m not saying the White House knows anything about this but would you be concerned about any taint of politics in any of the decisions.”
Once again, there is no evidence to back up his claim. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the latest GOP conspiracy theory today, by saying that dealership closures are Chrysler’s decision. Here is the video:
Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight.com points out, “There is just one problem with this theory. Nobody has bothered to look up data for the control group: the list of dealerships which aren’t being closed. It turns out that all car dealers are, in fact, overwhelmingly more likely to donate to Republicans than to Democrats — not just those who are having their doors closed.”
Silver crunched the numbers, and found that 88% of auto dealers identified themselves as Republicans. Doug Ross came up with 92% as the number of car dealers who donated to Republicans. Could it be that more Republican dealerships are being closed because dealers are much more likely to be Republicans?
Obviously, this couldn’t be the answer because it is logical and makes sense. Instead the right wing media would prefer to believe a conspiracy theory that has no evidence supporting it. This bit of right wing paranoia has been debunked.