Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writer Joseph Vazquez has a highly biased approach to writing about the economy under President Biden -- mainly a lot of emphasis on hyping bad ndews and censoring good news. We've demonstrated one example of this: promoting less-than-good monthly employment numbers while censoring any mention of the good ones.
Vazquez kicked off another round of hyping one bad month of employment numbers in an Oct. 8 post:
Here we go again! The ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows protected President Joe Biden by censoring another horrible report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS reported at 8:30 a.m. today that the U.S. economy added only 194,000 jobs in the month of September. The BLS figure completely dismantled predictions by economists surveyed by Refinitiv who were expecting a 500,000 increase. That means predictions were off by a whopping 306,000 jobs.
CATO Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards told the MRC in response to the BLS report that “[l]arge and small businesses are surely worried about the large tax increases planned by the Democrats in Washington.”
Edwards is one of Vazquez's go-to right-wing economists when he needs a reliably biased, anti-Biden take on the economy.
Vazquez added: "News Nation Now, however, reported on the massive miss as a “major disappointment.” Perhaps the Big Three morning news shows should take notes." He didn't mention that News Nation is run by former Fox News executive and Trump White House staffer Bill Shine, who was never known for being fair and balanced.
On Oct. 12, Vazquez bashed a New York Times reporter for offering context on the numbers that he didn't like:
New York Times senior economics correspondent Neil Irwin bent himself into a pretzel spinning the atrocious Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing the economy only added 194,000 jobs in September.
Following the release of the abysmal job growth report on Friday, Irwin had the nutty spin: “The New Jobs Numbers Are Pretty Good, Actually.” Irwin had a much different reaction earlier on Twitter that undercut the gaslighting in his article. He tweeted immediately at 8:30 a.m. ET, after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report dropped: “+194k on payrolls, a big miss. But unemployment rate way down to 4.8%.” He tweeted one minute later (8:31 a.m.) in his instant coverage of the BLS data: “Debating how many ‘o’s should be added to the word ‘oof’ in this circumstance.” He wrote in the lede paragraph of his article: “It’s not as bad as it looks.” That’s an interesting way of characterizing the “Slowest [Job Growth] Pace of [the] Year.”
Irwin celebrated that the economy was in a “steady expansion that is more rapid than other recent recoveries. It is being held back by supply constraints and, in September at least, the emergence of the Delta variant. But the direction is clear, consistent and positive.” He falsely stated that the unemployment rate “fell for good reasons, not bad — the number of people unemployed dropped by a whopping 710,000 while the number of people working rose by a robust 526,000.” The Wall Street Journal reported that “[m]any workers gave up the job search and exited from the labor force last month, the data showed.” It continued: “The smaller pool of labor meant that despite the slowdown in hiring, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% last month from 5.2% in August.”
Vazquez never explained exactly why Irwin's statement that the unemployment rate "fell for good reasons" was "false," despite later asserting that "The unemployment rate did fall for 'bad' reasons, despite Irwin's gaslighting to the contrary."
Vazquez got an assist from MRC writer Curtis Houck, who touted how a reporter "twice called out the administration’s absurd spin about the putrid jobs numbers" at a White House press briefing.
However, Vazquez failed to mention that the disappointing numbers blew a hole in one of his right-wing narratives: that unemployment benefits disincentivizes people from finding jobs. He cheered that narrative when Fox Business host (and credibly accused sexual assaulter) Charles Payne pushed it, and he wrote a July post declaring that "A new poll blew apart the media’s year-long gaslighting that extended unemployment benefits weren’t discouraging work," which claimed to find that "benefits reduced the number of accepted job offers by an estimated 1.84 million over the course of the pandemic." Never mind of course, that numerous studies have shown that unemployment benefits do not keep people from seeking work; he went on to rant that non-right-wing media outlets have "hoodwinked America on the effects of extended unemployment benefits" and "numerous left-wing outlets pounded the same gaslighting drum.
But pandemic-related unemployment benefits ended on Sept. 6, which theoretrically meant -- if the right-wing lazy-grifter theory was true -- that all those lazy people grifting off employment benefits would be forced into the workplace in September. But as the numbers showed, that didn't happen. Vazquez has been completely silent about that development. Instead, he gushed in an Oct. 19 postabout how "The Wall Street Journal editorial board didn’t hesitate to pin the labor shortage blame on the proper culprit: “Bidenomics," which included "pandemic enhanced unemployment benefits, which ended in early September" and "$300 monthly allowance per child, food stamps and rental assistance." Again, Vazquez didn't explain why the ending of pandemic benefits didn't create a surge of job-seekers.
The following month, Vazquez once again showed that good news for the country is bad news for the MRC if it happens when a Democrat is president. In October, not only did employment increase by 531,000 jobs, thenunmbers for September were revised from a increase of 194,000 to a 312,000 increase.
Vazquez censored this information from his readers. Instead, he wrote a Nov. 8 post attacking that same New York Times reporter again, insisting that the economy is "poor" and only fleetingly acknowledged the "decreasing unemployment rate" and then -- like his co-workers at CNSNwws.com do when the numbers are too good under a Democratic president -- hyped "the dismal labor force participation rate."
But the following month, Vazquez went back to his old tricks.When the employment numbers failed to meet expectations for November, he was quick to crank out a Dec. 3 post declaring that "the economy only added 210,000 jobs, 340,000 fewer than expected" and criticized CNN for reporting the projected numbers before the real ones came out. He also complained that CNN reported that many people are leaving jobs for better-paying ones, which inVazquez's revisionism meand that "CNN still tried to twist itself into a pretzel to make it seem like the struggle to find workers was actually a good thing."