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.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!
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.
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.