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As we celebrated President Barack Obama's second inauguration, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer had a sad:

BILL HEMMER: It is remarkable. The unemployment rate four years ago on this day was 7.8 percent. And four years later, the unemployment rate, as reported, is 7.8 percent. Byron.

BYRON YORK: That's a great point. [...] Unemployment is still very high. As you said, same rate it was, and we're going to have to see what the president says about that.

Man, these Fox guys are falling down on the job. Yeah, the unemployment rate "as reported" (I guess they say "as reported" because, you know, Obama could be lying) for December 2012 was the same as it was for January 2009. But there's a comparison they could have picked that would have made Obummer look even worser, and even better, it would have been apples-to-apples!

In January 2009, you see, the unemployment rate it was 7.8 percent, the same as it is today—but in December 2008 it was 7.3 percent, a full half-point lower. In other words, the talking point Fox should have used is that the unemployment rate has skyrocketed since Obama's last inauguration! Voila—Obama sucks, only even more than Fox's original statistic.

Of course, no matter which numbers you use, the real story is that you'd be insane to trade the economy that we have today for the economy that President Obama inherited. When Obama took office, the unemployment rate was growing a half-percent each month. Today, it's dropping. We're still not where we want to be, but we're heading in the right direction—unless, of course, you happen to be one of those who watch Fox.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:52 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.


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Comment Preferences

  •  They're dim, Jed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, Tinfoil Hat, Ky DEM

    Actually they probably suck the light out of a room like they suck the intellect out of their viewership.

    Every word broadcast on FOX detracts from the sum total of decency and reality in the world.

    The Aggressively Ignorant Caucus is getting aggressively ignorant again.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:27:50 AM PST

  •  Also remember: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, Ky DEM

    I believe the final revisions to the Q4 2008 unemployment numbers showed an increase of 600,000 more jobs lost than the initial estimates.

    The only true comparison is the 7.8% versus the 10.2% in October 2009 when the President's agenda was enacted and the $$ flowing into the economy long enough to start reversing the job loss trend.  A decline of 2.4%, and a return of unemployment back to the Day 1 level.

    Let's take Reagan: even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and blame the rise in unemployment to 10.8% all on Carter (not fair, this took 2 full years, not just 9 months, and was well after Reagan's policies were in place, but for argument's sake), it was 7.3% at the end of 1984, still a full point higher than it was on Day 1 for Reagan.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:35:31 AM PST

  •  Also, it was really cold yesterday here in MS ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, TomP, xxdr zombiexx, shoeless, DuzT

    I know for a fact it wasn't as cold four years ago.

    Because Obama.

  •  Why do you care what Fox News says? (0+ / 0-)

    It's just fascist propaganda.  

    Pour yourself into the future.

    by Troubadour on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:13:20 AM PST

    •  Because 30-40% of the country take it as gospel? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, shoeless, DuzT

      Add another ~15% of the people who know it's garbage but hate Obama anyway, sprinkle in some gerrymandering, and presto you have a House controlled by Republicans.

      •  And now that you've enlightened them otherwise (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dannyboy1, shoeless, DuzT

        those 30-40% will spontaneously develop critical thinking skills, because such people are known for assiduously reading Daily Kos.

        Fox News is gibberish.  All you need to know is that it says whatever the Republican Party tells it to, and the Republican Party says whatever is the exact opposite of reality and/or morality.  Voila - you now know 90% of their content in advance in perpetuity.  

        If someone attempts to portray Fox News as a source of information in a conversation, just interrupt and say "Fox News is propaganda, and I can't take your opinions seriously if you base anything on its claims."  Dead stop.  

        Pour yourself into the future.

        by Troubadour on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:34:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Is it that high? (0+ / 0-)

        That would imply a weekly cumulative viewership on the order of 100 million people, and I'm skeptical that Fox News has that many viewers.

        Yes, Fox News frequently wins prime time viewership against cable news competitors, but that's because of the large amount of time spent with the network by it's viewers, not because it has an especially large audience base.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:45:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They profit with high unemployment.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, shoeless, DuzT

    it drives down the cost of labor, and when the markets for their goods are overseas to governments, there is no personal downside for these asshats. Especially for the ones whose incomes is entirely investment.. er.. gambling.. income.

    Their happiest world would be a 50 percent unemployment rate and each nation at each others throats, spending infinitely on military hardware.

    These guys are not idiots, they know exactly what they want. They are merely evil.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:13:35 AM PST

  •  Fox preaches to the choir (0+ / 0-)

    No sane person watches Fox anymore. They have an audience of hardcore conservatives and the moderate voter just doesn't watch cable or they watch CNN or MSNBC.
    The election is proof that Fox didn't reach mainstream voters.
    I guess badmouthing Obama makes them feel better about themselves.

  •  Of Course You Have To Remember (0+ / 0-)

    The ignorance of the people who actually give a shit what they say.

    Abolish The Filibuster Now!

    by Ky DEM on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:14:33 AM PST

  •  Fighting Obama's Ideologically Driven Mad Tyranny (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greenfinches, shoeless

    that was pretty much the theme yesterday

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:18:17 AM PST

  •  The country was drowning then (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, shoeless, DuzT

    ...we're treading water now.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:20:30 AM PST

  •  My wife and I switched to Fox occasionally for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, shoeless, DuzT

    some laughs at the contrast. It was hilarious.

    At one point while Barack and Michelle were dancing, we glanced at Fox to see if they were carrying it and Karl Rove was on blasting the President. The contrast between this pig and his Fox cohorts and the first couple was stark and telling.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:21:09 AM PST

  •  They're still puzzling over Obama's victory. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, shoeless, DuzT

    Cracks me up.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:26:39 AM PST

  •  Unemployment rate (0+ / 0-)

    will always go down as you run out of people to freshly unemploy. The labor participation rate, while also imperfect, is a much better indicator of economic health, or lack thereof. And that rate has done nothing but worsen since 2006. Pointing to the unemployment rate as a measure of hope right now is merely whistling past the graveyard.

    •  I hope to be a non participant in another 8 years. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As long as I can get health insurance.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:29:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is nonsense... (0+ / 0-)

      ...because the unemployment rate is not based on how recently you were laid off, whether you're eligible for unemployment benefits, or any other such criteria.  For that matter, the labor participation rate doesn't take into account why people are no longer in the labor pool -- ie, whether it is involuntary or not.

      Probably a better measure is U6, which includes the discouraged unemployed (people who would take a job if available, but have given up on actively looking) and the underemployed (working part time, but want full time work).  And while this measure is high, it has trended downward by several percentage points from the peak.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 11:49:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  U6—fine (0+ / 0-)

        U6 is also a better indicator than the plain-vanilla unemployment rate. By that measure, unemployment is somewhere around a merely godawful 14.5%, down from disastrous. I'll stand with my original reservation against thinking of the unemployment rate of the diary as any kind of useful news.

  •  Insane? Might depend on who you are. (0+ / 0-)

    If you are one of the people working a decent full-time job, you're probably pretty happy with things right now.

    You probably don't want to look behind that 7.8% U3 rate to get a real picture of unemployment in this country and you sure as hell don't want to hear about millions of people who have been languishing on the sidelines as the economy passes them by.

    It is not an unreasonable position, based on the record to date, to believe that the current administration has decided that millions of former productive workers and their families constitute acceptable collateral damage.

    Doesn't make the Bush economy any better, but it's not insane to wistfully remember a time when you were working at a time when people don't seem to think it's important that you're not.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:27:51 AM PST

  •  Ah yes, them good old Bush economy days (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, MaikeH, shoeless, DuzT

    Yo Fox, four years ago I was sleeping in my fucking car.

    "It's too LATE to stop now!" - John Lee Hooker

    by Rolfyboy6 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:27:55 AM PST

  •  I heard the same nonsense on CBS and it took.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, Bush Bites, MaikeH, shoeless, DuzT

    David Axelrod to add a little context.

    The announcer stated the "it was 7.8% four years ago and it is 7.8% today" and Axelrod reminded him that it had climbed to 10.2% before coming back down to 7.8%

    I would have preferred him to also mention that in Jan 2009 800,000 jobs a month were being lost and in Jan 2012 140,000 jobs a month were being created, but you can't have everything.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:29:08 AM PST

  •  Yes, lets just ignore (6+ / 0-)

    the direction of it. As in 700,000 a month lost as opposed to 140,000 a month created.

    Or we could say, Bush came into office with a 5.3% rate and left with a 7.8%. Or imagine if inauguration day was April 21st as it was in the past, then Bush would have left with it at 9.4%

    But then we can talk about what it would have been with a McCain president, and GM was allowed to fold. 12,13, maybe 15%?

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:29:35 AM PST

    •  Exactly. Notice how the right wing totally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ignores the momentum aspect of this.  Also, I thought Republicans put more weight on Wall Street numbers instead of employment numbers.  But oops, the DOW was like 8000 when President Obama took office, while today it is closing in on 14000.  So there goes that talking point for them.  Republicans have probably fared better financially during the Obama recovery than any other segment of the population, yet they are unable to give him one iota of credit for that.

  •  Dickheads have no freewill (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, DuzT, flavor411

    They are doomed to be dickheads who say and do dickheaded things.

    And part of this dickheadedness stems from being........stupid.

    I, for one, am unsurprised these dickheads do dickheaded shit.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:31:45 AM PST

  •  Wait till Obama's THIRD TERM (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, shoeless


    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:34:03 AM PST

  •  the unemployment rate is the same, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, DuzT

    the economy is not the same, and only a Fakes News viewer would be confused about the difference

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:34:31 AM PST

  •  Fox is parsing, as usual (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But Obama and Congressional Dems need to get serious, promptly, about some real and quick job creation.  

    The longer the economy putters along towards recovery (at the current rate, it won't recover until 2020 or later), the longer it will take to get to full employment.

    Until then, the WH and Congressional Dems are sitting targets for this kind of GOP nonsense.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:40:45 AM PST

  •  I'm sick of Fox. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, DuzT, mchestnutjr

    Could we just have a separate section called 'the zoo' and put them over there.  These folks are part of the problem and

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. -Einstein
    we should just channel Einstein's message and think of solutions instead of listening to guys whose only job is to think up new ways to say "Obama sucks".
  •  What Fox actually misses (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, mchestnutjr

    What Fox actually misses is the good old Bush days when they had many people buffaloed into believing they were big, powerful, and had a helluva an audience.  

    you'd be insane to trade the economy that we have today for the economy that President Obama inherited.
    You'd be insane to treat Fox as anything more than a punchline in a bad joke on the GOP.  

    We're laughing at them, not with them.  

  •  Fox reminiscenses about the "good old days" of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bush the Lesser:

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:42:00 AM PST

  •  How many rocks does Fox "News" typically (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have to turn over to find one of their on-air personalities?

  •  They have their unemployment numbers propaganda (0+ / 0-)

    We have ours. Maybe if we started using  honest measures that actually counted everyone out of work or underemployed, we would have some recognition of the scope of the problem we really face. And make no mistake THIS problem directly affects the amount of revenue we can collect through taxes, as the wealthy and corporations have proven that we CANNOT rely on them to provide either jobs, or their fair share of tax revenue.

    Maybe if we honestly acknowledged the scope of this problem, and focused on it for a couple of months, it would be to glaring an issue to ignore, and a basis for more progressive changes. As an unemployed person who no longer "counts",  I would be happy to have a job with a higher than normal tax rate than the private sector in order to support myself, and to have dreams and options as an adult in this society.

    I recognize that this diary is only responding to what Fox said, but I honestly don't recall the issue being brought up on the front page much, so I am glad for the momentary notice Fox has provided us.

  •  The official rates are meaningless, (0+ / 0-)

    and that's for just about anything. Objective numbers count more.

    Take unemployment rate reporting: if you've not been receiving unemployment for a year, and you have no job, you are officially neither employed nor unemployed. You simply don't count. Last I heard that's well over ten million people.

    Same thing if you've left school and never had a job. You aren't there in the figures. Millions of kids.

    Same thing if you managed to get disability when you couldn't find any real work. More millions.

    Figure like we did in the Great Depression, and we are in the same neighborhood. Have been for years, will be for years more, absent something actually useful happening in DC.

    I mention this because the fact is the economy still sucks hugely and every counting stat: food stamps, homelessness, users of food banks, foreclosed, homes under water, pay rates, etc has been going the wrong direction all along.

    And to this moment there's no Fiery Urgency of Jobs as the number one issue, the only meaningful domestic issue, in DC.

    So this diary and many like it are all well and good in the truncated view of Democratic/Republican spins and all, but is pretty meaningless outside the Braindead Beltway.

    PS: Fox sucks. But we knew that.

    Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

    by Jim P on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 09:52:13 AM PST

  •  How To Lie With Statistics (0+ / 0-)

    They are being dishonest and know it.

  •  who needs facts when you've got fox noise? (0+ / 0-)

    me & mr. bluezen were channel surfing for fun yesterday, interested as to whether fox noise was covering the inauguration festivities or not, & sure enuf, they had a small box in the upper-lefthand corner of the screeen with the sound muted, while neil cavuto & some other hack were droning on & on about how "dangerous" king obama's anti-gun agenda was & he was determined to ram it thru congress like he did in his 1st term, blah, blah, blah.

    we changed the channel after we'd seen as much as we could take (less than a minute) & mr. b remarked that it was funny how the r's used to claim obama was unable to do anything & therefore he shouldn't be relected, & now they're saying he got everything he wanted & congress was powerless to stop him -- !!

  •  Not bad (0+ / 0-)

    7.8 is a start, I am out of work for 6 months, with no unemployment available disinterest working for 19+ years for the Same company.  I have a wife and 2 kids plus a mortgage ad day care, but I am happy for these who have found work and know that I too will find work within the next few months,  I hope.

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