Fox News’ Labor Statistics LIE

The Lie?
On December 12th, Fox News furnished more proof why seven polls have found that Fox News viewers are the most misinformed. In segment highlighting the current unemployment rate, a Fox News graphic clearly showed the current national unemployment rate of 8.6% is HIGHER than 8.8%, and equal to 9.0%.
The Truth
The actual Bureau of Labor Statistics chart shows a completely different unemployment picture. (sources: mediamatters.org/ and ThinkProgress.com )
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7 Responses to “Fox News’ Labor Statistics LIE”

  1. -_- says:

    Someone explain how these charts are different ? They show the exact same information except the original chart makes the drop look more dramatic, otherwise it seems to be the same to me.

    • freedoms66 says:

      Unless you think that 8.6% is equal to 9.0%, then the charts don’t represent the same numbers. There’s a big difference.

      • littlemike says:

        OK, so Fox “lies,” but a line chart whose entire vertical axis range is barely more than one-half of one percentage point is somehow not misleading? So when the rate takes a “precipitous plunge” from 9 to 8.6, the slope is like falling off a cliff. Not TOO sneaky! Pffft! You people are hilarious!

        By the way, Fox should replace their graphic artist with someone who can chart numbers correctly, but their numbers are absolutely correct and the same as the ones supplied by the BLS.

        • ScottSays says:

          As any Statistics 101 course would confirm, you can mislead with statistics by providing a chart (televsion, being a visual medium, loves charts), rather than a simple presentation of numbers. By providing a very short range in either the vertical or horizontal axis, you can “push” your numbers to visually hype or hide the facts.

          In this regard, both charts are misleading as they provide a 100-percent horizontal range but only a 2 percent (the Fox chart) or a 6/10th of one percent (BLS chart) range.

          But only one chart, the Fox chart, lies. Though it provides a larger vertical range, their chart isn’t just misleading, it’s inaccurate. A quick glance at their chart would lead the viewer to believe that the unemployment rate is no better in November of 2011 than it was in January of 2011. In fact, the November unemployment rate was BELOW the rate of 10 months earlier. Their chart does not support that fact and therefore their chart lies.

          Bottom line: unemployment has dropped. The BLS graph may overstate that drop but it doesn’t lie. The FOX graph patently lies. (And please, that their chart presents accurate numbers but an inaccurate graph does not lessen the lie).

  2. The Mad Zak says:

    This is a tactic commonly used by Fox News Network. People often have the TV on as they are getting ready for work. They do not have time to concentrate on the TV; they just catch the major points.

    I have seen Fox post shocking graphics time and time again. If you were just walking by the TV you may see “Were Iraq’s WMD shipped to Syria?” when Syria was at war with Israel in 2007. (I actually saw this myself.) The commenters stated they didn’t believe it was the case, but they did not outright dismiss it. This seems odd since the official US investigation into Iraq published its findings in 2005 stating that Iraq had no WMD or WMD programs since the first Iraq war.

    If you just had a cursory glance at the TV screen you now have a seed planted in your head that the reason we didn’t find WMD is because they went to Syria.

    The unemployment graph is the same thing. If you look closely at the numbers you will see they are accurate. However, if you just glance at the graph it seems the unemployment rate has remained steady instead of taking a significant drop in the month of November.

  3. freedoms66 says:

    Mad Zak, I completely agree with your points. Unfortunately, and all too frequently, many of their viewers seize upon the implications, but they don’t bother to pay closer attention to the details.

  4. Milord says:

    Fox News (Lord! It hurts to even WRITE that!) consistently and deliberately misinforms its viewers. They repeatedly manipulate graphs and charts. They repeatedly incorrectly attach a “D” to the name of politicians getting negative coverage. Their supposed “straight news” personnel constantly editorialize. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that their “news” stories are verbatim readings of RNC talking points memos. Hannity and O’Reilly just bully all their guests, call names and shout them down. Megyn Kelly, overaged mean girl, can’t keep the sneer off her face when she discusses President Obama, any democrat, or anyone who doesn’t agree with her self-righteous view of the world. You Fox defenders are either delusional or of subhuman intellect.

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