I know it's Media Matters, but nobody else caught this misleading graphic that Fox N Friends put on the air -- Fox News is now planning on airing a correction tomorrow based on the research Media Matters did
So I understand MM's bias, but its presentation was so unassailable this time around that Fox News themselves will be issuing a correction.
Today In Dishonest Fox News Graphics
9 hours and 15 minutes ago
Fox used a dishonest comparison of two different measures of unemployment to suggest the unemployment rate has nearly doubled since President Obama took office.
During a segment criticizing the Obama administration for its messaging on the economy, a Fox & Friends graphic claimed that the "real unemployment rate" had increased from 7.8% in 2009 to 14.7% now:
But in order to make the claim that unemployment had increased from 7.8% to 14.7% during Obama's time in office, Fox had to conflate two different statistics and completely distort Obama's jobs record.
The 7.8 percent figure is the official unemployment rate from January 2009
. This statistic reports
on people who are unemployed and actively looking for a job. But as of the latest report, the official unemployment rate
is 8.1 percent (0.3 percent higher than it was in January 2009), not 14.7 percent.
The 14.7 percent figure is a completely different measurement of the unemployed, which in addition to those who are actively looking for work, also counts people who are unemployed and discouraged from looking for a new job, part-time workers who prefer full-time employment, and more. This alternative measure of unemployment
, which conservatives often call the "real" unemployment rate, was 14.2 percent in January 2009
-- 0.5 percentage points lower than it is today
Indeed an accurate chart of this statistic would show that the rate has declined in recent years:
After being presented with the Fox graphic, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said: "Other than Fox News, where are you really seeing those statistics?"
Where, indeed? Fox has quite the history when it comes to presenting misleading unemployment data to its viewers:
- Last December, Fox News presented a distorted chart detailing the monthly unemployment rates during 2011, which had the November unemployment rate of 8.6 percent plotted on the same line as the previous month's 9 percent, and higher than the 8.8 percent rate from March 2011.
- Earlier in December, Fox aired a misleading graphic announcing the unemployment rate dropping from 9 percent to 8.6 percent by... showing the old 9 percent rate with a red arrow pointing down, without a mention of the then-current rate of 8.6 percent.
- In June 2010, Fox aired a misleading chart which purported to show "job loss by quarter," but really just picked random months and completely distorted the scale of its chart.