Archive for the ‘department of labor’ tag
Using the following silly straight line to show continued job losses by quarter from Dec. 2007-June 2010, FOX News on June 28 “reported” that the nation has been shedding jobs like wildfire:
“By quarter” means the number of jobs lost in each quarter, not cumulatively.
But, never the news organization to let mere facts get in the way of some tried and true frenzy-raising, FOX never seems to consult the official word on unemployment, the U.S. Department of Labor, which reported that job losses stopped near the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 and have risen since. From the Department of Labor, here is that graph:
We, indeed, had about 15 million unemployed in Jun 2010, but the data by no means increases on the scale that FOX says it does. According to Media Matters:
Lest you doubt that Fox News deliberately manipulated its chart to distort the facts, we created our own chart demonstrating that Fox also screwed with the scale of their chart in order to generate that straight red line.
Notice on Fox’s chart that the first interval on the horizontal axis, from December ’07 to September ’08 represents 9 months. The second interval, between September ’08 and March ’09, represents 6 months. And the third interval, from March ’09 to June ’10, represents 15 months, almost all of Obama’s term so far. So the third interval should be two-and-a-half times as long as the second. But in Fox’s chart, it’s shorter!
The effect of this is to flatten out the steep rise in the number of unemployed between September ’08 and March ’09 (before Obama’s policies started taking effect) and to suggest that the increases in unemployment later during Obama’s term were more dramatic than they actually were. To get the line straight, Fox also manipulated the scale of the vertical axis.
Even if you accept Fox’s four random data points –which entirely obscure what has happened since the end of 2009 — if your scale is accurate, you’d actually get something like this: