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Monday, February 21, 2022
The Pattern Continues: MRC Hypes Bad Biden Job Numbers, Buries The Good Ones
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Joseph Vazquez has a biased tradition of bashing President Biden when employment numbers don't look so good, then staying silent when jobs numbers improve the following month. He's determined to keep that tradition going.

When December's job numbers came in below expectations, Vazquez was quick to post a Jan. 7 item attacking CNN for allegedly spinning things:

CNN just can’t catch a break in its crusade to spin President Joe Biden’s atrocious economy in a way that benefits his image.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released an awful jobs report showing that the economy only added a “dismal” 199,000 jobs against a 422,000 projection by economists. That’s a miss of 223,000. The labor force participation rate remained stagnant from November at a low 61.9 percent. CNN scrambled to spin the news in it’s write-up headlined, “Jobs disappoint in December, but unemployment falls to 3.9%.” After conceding that the “fewest jobs added in any month of 2021” was a “major disappointment,” CNN put asinine spin on the news: “Even so, 2021 will go down in history as a year of record-breaking jobs growth: America added 6.4 million jobs last year, the most since records started in 1939. Every single month brought jobs gains.” Ironically, CNN included a graph in its article that undercut its entire argument. [Emphasis added.]

The graph tracked the trend of the recovery of the jobs market following the February 2020 freefall. However, the caption for the graphic read, “The United States lost a total of 22 million jobs in March and April of 2020. By December 2021, the number of jobs were 3.6 million shy of February 2020 levels.” CNN is saying the quiet part out loud. No, the jobs market is not experiencing “growth” because it hasn’t even fully recovered the jobs it lost in 2020. In fact, Biden’s disastrous economic policies may be why the jobs market still hasn’t been able to fully recover.

Vazquez's evidence that Biden's economic policies are "disastrous" and suppressing job growth is a less-than-biased editorial from the right-wing New York Post. Also, it is undeniably true that 6.4 million jobs were added last year -- not that Vazquez will concede that. Indeed, on Jan. 17 Vazquez found someone to push the right-wing media's preferred narrative that those jobs somehow don't count because they weren't additions to pre-COVID Trump-era numbers:

A top economist at the ADP Research Institute slapped down the asinine leftist narrative that the United States is experiencing explosive jobs growth. ADP Chief Economist joined CNBC Squawk Box following the shocking news Jan.12 that inflation had spiked a whopping 7 percent year-over-year in December, the highest level since 1982.

After noting that real wage earnings, “which are  negative,” Richardson said whatever wage increases the media has been propping up as a bellwether for a peachy economy was driven by “labor shortages.” Richardson then dropped the hammer: “The economy — and this is an important point — hasn’t added one single job from the 2019 high watermark. Not one. All the jobs that we have seen gained are recovered jobs that were lost.” She continued: “We are not yet producing new jobs. In fact, we’re still about nearly four million jobs short. So these wage gains are coming on top of a shrinking workforce.” 

So much for CNN’s recent whitewash of poor December jobs numbers. “Even so,2021 will go down in history as a year of record-breaking jobs growth: America added 6.4 million jobs last year, the most since records started in 1939. Every single month brought jobs gains,” CNN wrote earlier this month. Yikes. [Emphasis added.]

Vazquez curiously didn't mention who was president in 1982 when inflation was so high.

Needless to say, when a whopping 467,000 jobs were added in January, Vazquez followed his extablished pattern and stayed silent -- it's against MRC policy to say anything nice about a Democrat if doing so doesn't advance right-wing talking points.It took a few days for Vazquez to figure something to attack, andhe found it for a Feb. 9 post:

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board threw a big wrench into the media machine celebrating President Joe Biden’s so-called win on the better-than-expected January jobs report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a Feb. 4 report showing the economy added 467,000 jobs, which blew past estimates. The media swallowed the news whole. CNBC’s headline was: “Payrolls show surprisingly powerful gain of 467,000 in January despite omicron surge.”

ABC News salivated: “US economy defies omicron and adds 467,000 jobs in January.” But The Journal had a surprisingly different take, and it was an eye-opener: “Who knows what to make of Friday’s report on January jobs? The employer survey showed a blowout of 467,000 net new jobs for the month, but the numbers were skewed by major Labor Department revisions for the U.S. population and civilian employment.”[Emphasis added.]

Here was The Journal’s bombshell conclusion: “Without those changes, the jobs number would have declined.” It continued: “Add the complexities of adjusting for winter weather and Covid’s Omicron variant, and no one should make too much of this one monthly report.” [Emphasis added.]

Of course, none of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows thought The Journal’s narrative-shattering context was worth mentioning when they touted the jobs numbers on their Feb. 4 evening broadcasts.

Actually, the only person swallowing things whole is Vazquez. The Journal editorial in which those assertions were made provided no evidence to back up the claim. In the absence of such evidence, that makes this an opinion, not fact.

Meanwhile, MRC colleague Kathleen Krumhansl was playing whataboutism to distract from those numvbers. in a Feb. 9 post, she grumbled that in a Univision report on the January numbers, "not a word was said about how many of the new “over 460,000 jobs” were actually for Hispanics- their actual audience." Then it was Trump whataboutism time:

Let's take a look back to the Trump jobs miracle. As MRC Latino noted in 2018, the lowest ever Hispanic unemployment rate was IGNORED by the Spanish-speaking media. Never mind that at the moment, the 4.6% unemployment rate among Hispanic in the United States had reached its lowest level in the 45 years since the agency first started keeping records on the statistic, back in 1973.

One would think that such a historic achievement would be heralded over the nation’s leading Spanish-language television news programs, but that was not the case despite Hispanic unemployment dropping to around 3 percent, with a booming economy and record numbers of Hispanics entering the workforce. In fact, Latino-interest media didn't focus on a Trump jobs report until the Covid-induced employment collapse of April 2020.

The MRC just can't let Trump go, it seems.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EST

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