Fox News Flubs Statistics To Make Obama’s Economic Record Look Horrible

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September 11, 2012 11:22 a.m.

Fox News compares apples to rotten oranges to make it appear as if Barack Obama has presided over a near-doubling of the ranks of the unemployed.

Media Matters first spotted the inconsistency. Simply put, Fox & Friends juxtaposed unemployment in January 2009 — calculated to measure the number of unemployed people actively looking for work — with a different measure of unemployment in August 2012, calculated to include disaffected and marginally attached workers.

A direct comparison is less misleading, but also less eye-popping.The standard measure of unemployment (U-3) when Obama took office was 7.9 percent. Now it’s 8.1 percent.

The broader measure of unemployment (U-6) when Obama took office was 14.2 percent. Now it’s 14.7 percent.

Here’s how Fox mixed and matched the figures:

Using January 2009 figures of any kind papers over the fact that the economy (and thus the unemployment rate) was in free fall when Obama took office. An email to a Fox spokesperson was not immediately returned.

UPDATE: Fox & Friends issued a correction Wednesday morning. Video below, via Mediaite:

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