The Blaze’s Amy Holmes and David Shuster of Al Gore’s Current TV were on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday. When host Howard Kurtz turned the conversation to the ongoing media examination of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital, Shuster became increasingly “curious” about the coverage of the subject at GBTV as mentioned by Holmes.
“From what I was reading, it was just the political he said/she said or he said/he said,” Holmes said in regards to the general coverage of attacks from other candidates on Romney’s record at Bain.
“At GBTV we actually dug down into what is Bain Capital, what is venture capitalism, what do private equity firms do, because so much of the coverage did not actually inform the reader about what exactly this firm would do, and therefore, are these charges fair.”
Newsbuster’s Noel Sheppard:
This was a great point, for with few exceptions, the press coverage of Romney and Bain largely misrepresented what VC and PE firms do whilst completely ignoring their real function which is to invest money in either startups or struggling companies to improve their profitability. The net effect quite often is that such companies become much stronger as a result and end up being some of the nation’s most successful as well as major employers.
What has been disturbingly absent in discussions about Bain is that since the ’90s, some of America’s top companies were nurtured by VCs; tech giants Google and Cisco come to mind.
“Amy, I’m curious, at GBTV, did you dig down to the fact that Bain Capital, they actually pay fifteen percent carried interest rate as opposed to the rest of Americans who pay 25, 28, or 33 or 35?” asked Shuster.
Actually, Shuster wasn’t being totally accurate. It’s not that VCs and PEs like Bain Capital pay a “fifteen percent carried interest rate.” Instead, their investment gains are typically considered “carried interest” and therefore are only taxed at fifteen percent.
“Well, why not?” interjected Shuster. “Because that was a key part of Bain Capital and that’s a key argument here? And the other thing is, at GBTV, did you get into the fact that Mitt Romney essentially–“
“I’m not going to make this a debate between Current TV and GBTV and your boss and my boss,” said a calm Holmes. “However, the question that Howie asked was did the mainstream media look at what does Bain Capital do, and I would say for the most part, it didn’t, and I think you’d probably agree.”
“Why don’t we talk about that since that was Howard’s question. Bain Capital engaged in public-private partnerships, for example, the ad that Mitt Romney just ran in South Carolina featuring a steel mill. That steel mill got $37 million from the state of Indiana and subsidies,” said Shuster.
“We did talk about that actually as a matter of fact,” said Holmes. “And we talked about that there were conservative arguments to be made against Bain Capital.”
For more of the transcript and Noel Sheppard’s analysis — click here!