CBS Incorrectly Hints Romney Responsible for U.S. Olympic Uniforms' Outsourcing in 2002

In an online article on Tuesday, CBS's Lucy Madison all but pointed the finger at Mitt Romney for the decision to produce the uniforms of the 2002 U.S. Winter Olympic team in Burma. Madison cited left-wing website The Huffington Post as a main source: "In 2002, when Romney was at the helm of the Salt Lake City Olympics, the outfits were produced in Burma, as the Huffington Post pointed out last night."

However, the network's own reporting on the 2012 uniform controversy noted how the U.S. Olympic Committee makes the decision on the uniforms. Romney didn't lead the USOC over a decade ago, but rather the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the games. The president of the USOC at that time was Sandra "Sandy" Baldwin, who was forced to resign later in 2002, according to a CNN report.

The CBSNews.com political reporter led her misleadingly titled report, "At Romney-helmed games, Olympic uniforms outsourced to Burma," by highlighting that "amid uproar over news that this year's U.S. Olympic opening ceremony uniforms were made in China, Mitt Romney remained noticeably mum on the issue." After quoting from the former Massachusetts governor, who declined to comment on the current uniform controversy, Madison outlined how Ralph Lauren outsourced the production of the 2008 and 2010 U.S. Olympic uniforms before making her Huffington Post reference.

The journalist then cited two more left-leaning sources as she noted the controversy at the time over the Burmese-produced uniforms:

This fact was a source of some protest in 2002, particularly given the Burmese government's history of dictatorship and long track record of human rights violations. A 2002 story from the Los Angeles Times reported on groups protesting the uniforms, made by Marker Outerwear, "because of the uniform maker's alleged ties to inhumane working conditions in Myanmar."

In a Sunday story, the Guardian UK quoted Susan Bonfield, a torch carrier for the 2002 games, remembering her outrage at seeing the 2002 uniform labels. (The Daily Kos, a liberal website, posted a picture of what appears to be the uniform and its label, which reads "Made in Burma (Myanmar)".)

Near the end of her piece, Madison made her liberal slant clear when she claimed that "the decade-old controversy has particular resonance at the moment, not only because of the kerfuffle over the 2012 uniforms, but also due to questions surrounding Romney's history at Bain Capital and whether or not he was involved with controversial company decisions, some of which resulted in outsourced labor."


One detail that the CBSNews.com journalist didn't mention is that a company based in Canada, Roots, produced the 2002 and 2006 U.S. Winter Olympic uniforms. So the USOC, led by Baldwin, outsourced over the northern border, and the Canadian producer itself outsourced to Burma.

Earlier in 2012, Madison bizarrely labeled Vice President Joe Biden one of the Obama campaign's "most popular surrogates," even though the former Delaware senator's approval rating lags far behind First Lady Michelle Obama.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center