In a turn of events that will shock no one, “fair and balanced” news source, Fox News, was discovered to be using incorrect data on a graphic during one of its regular news shows. The image in question reported that unemployment in 2009 was 7.8% and that in 2012 it was now 14.7%. It’s a shocking change in numbers, particularly because it’s false.
Media Matters called Fox out on the deception by pulling up the old national employment rate (7.8% in January 2009) and the current national unemployment rate, which is 8.1%. So where did the other number come from? As Media Matters reports,
“The 14.7 percent figure is a completely different measurement of the unemployed, which in addition to those who are actively looking for work, also counts people who are unemployed and discouraged from looking for a new job, part-time workers who prefer full-time employment, and more. This alternative measure of unemployment, which conservatives often call the “real” unemployment rate, was 14.2 percent in January 2009 — 0.5 percentage points lower than it is today.”
It’s one thing to have a typo. It’s another to mix together two different sets of numbers to create a misleading statistic. That’s not reporting the news, it’s lying. And Fox has fudged the numbers on employment numerous times before. A day later, Fox and Friends issued a correction for the graphic. If they are serious about making amends, they should stop their pattern of spreading misinformation and trying to pass it off as the truth.