Communications arm? Fox & Friends recites misleading GOP press release on stimulus

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Fox & Friends hosts Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlson parroted a House Republican press release and repeated its claim that the stimulus impact is "6 million jobs shy of what the administration promised us" since the administration stated "that 3.5 million jobs would be created. And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan." However, the administration estimated that by 2011 -- not September 2009, when the 2.7 million job losses since February were recorded -- 3.5 million jobs would be created or saved by the stimulus compared to the number of jobs that would have existed at the end of 2010 had the government not passed the legislation.

Fox & Friends forwards GOP's specious claims about job impact of stimulus

Kilmeade: "[N]ew report shows results are coming up short -- about 6 million jobs short." Teasing the segment on a Republican press release, Kilmeade stated that the "Obama administration keeps praising the stimulus plan, but a new report shows results are coming up short -- about 6 million jobs short." Kilmeade later added that "when you promise a hard number like 3.5 million jobs and say this thing has to get passed right away or else, and you lose 2.7, that's a problem."

Carlson: Obama promised "that 3.5 million jobs would be created. And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan." Referring to the table included in the Republican press release, Carlson stated, "This is a startling table, to actually look at it in its entirety and realize that that many states have not gained jobs. The promise from the Obama administration from the first stimulus plan was that 3.5 million jobs would be created. And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan."

Doocy: "[S]tates have actually lost jobs. We were told they would gain jobs. Six million jobs shy of what the administration promised us." During an interview with right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin, Doocy stated, "Interestingly enough, after the stimulus, there's a new report out by the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee -- 49 of the 50 states have actually lost jobs. We were told they would gain jobs. Six million jobs shy of what the administration promised us." Earlier in the show, Doocy asserted that only "one [state] ... has been impacted positively, and that is North Dakota," since North Dakota experienced an increase in jobs from February to September.

Fox & Friends: "Stimulus generates unemployment." During the discussion of the Republican press release, the following graphic appeared on screen:

Carlson_stimulus

However, Obama administration estimated 3.5 million jobs created or saved by 2011

GOP press release shows its comparison is flawed. The press release states, "The table below compares the White House's February 2009 projection of the number of jobs that would be created by the 2009 stimulus law (through the end of 2010) with the actual change in state payroll employment through September 2009 (the latest figures available)" [emphasis added].

Jan. 10 Obama advisers' job estimate: "We look at the effects in 2010Q4, which is the end of the two-year period that is the focus of the recovery plan." The report on which the numbers in the GOP press release are based is "The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan," published before President Obama's inauguration by economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein. The report stated, "A package in the range that the President-Elect has discussed is expected to create between three and four million jobs by the end of 2010." Romer and Bernstein further stated that in their analysis, "[W]e look at the effects in 2010Q4, which is the end of the two-year period that is the focus of the recovery plan." The GOP release misleadingly compared this two-year estimate with the change in jobs over nine months.

Obama advisers' job estimate: "[W]e expect the jobs created" by stimulus direct spending "to be concentrated in 2010 and 2011." The January report by Romer and Bernstein stated, "Because it takes time to carry out new spending programs authorized by legislation, we expect the jobs created by spending on infrastructure, education, health, and energy to be concentrated in 2010 and 2011."

GOP press release and Fox News distort Obama's estimates of job impact

GOP press release falsely claims Obama predicted 3.5 million positive "change" in jobs from stimulus. The press release ignores that the Obama administration predicted the stimulus would create or save 3.5 million jobs by 2011 and falsely asserts that 3.5 million jobs is the "Estimated Change in Jobs Through December 2010." A section of the press release, repeated by the hosts of Fox & Friends, states that "[w]hile President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million -- a difference of 6.2 million jobs":

The press release displayed a table comparing the "Actual Change in Jobs Through September 2009" with "Estimated Change in Jobs Through December 2010":

Stim_Chart_1

[...]

Stim_Chart_2

In fact, Obama's team estimated that by the end of 2010, the stimulus will have created or saved 3.5 million more jobs than would have existed in absence of stimulus. Contrary to the claims made in the GOP press release and by the Fox & Friends hosts, the Obama administration did not state that the stimulus would increase the number of total jobs by 3.5 million over the number of jobs that existed when the legislation was passed, or that the number of total jobs would not decrease following the passage of the bill. Rather, as a May 2009 Obama administration estimate of the job impact of the stimulus states, the estimate reflects the job impact "relative to the no-stimulus baseline" at the end of 2010:

The results of this analysis show the effects on employment, relative to the no-stimulus baseline, in each quarter of the current and next several years. The Administration has summarized the results by looking at the number of jobs (relative to the baseline) as of 2010Q4. Our finding was that the ARRA would increase employment relative to the baseline in this quarter by approximately 3.5 million.

Fox News routinely amplifies GOP materials

Fox & Friends spends segment reading from RNC press release, touting GOP plan "looking out for the health of" seniors. On August 25, Fox & Friends' Carlson read from the Republican National Committee's press release calling for a seniors' "Health Care Bill Of Rights." Fox & Friends also aired on-screen text summarizing the press release.

Fox News' Hemmer "keeping track of the stimulus money" -- by lifting research from GOP website. On April 23, America's Newsroom co-host Bill Hemmer repeatedly suggested information about four "interesting" projects reportedly funded by the recovery act was obtained through Fox News' own research, even though nearly all of the information Hemmer mentioned, as well as that included in on-screen text and graphics, first appeared on Rep. Eric Cantor's Republican Whip website.

Cut and paste: "FOXfact[s]" about GOP budget nearly identical to GOP Rep. Ryan's op-ed. While interviewing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on April 1, Fox News' Happening Now aired "FOXfact[s]" purporting to describe facts about the House Republican budget. However, all of the seven on-screen "FOXfact[s]" were nearly identical to portions of an op-ed Ryan published in that day's Wall Street Journal. The "FOXfact[s]" were aired again later that day.

Fox passes off GOP press release as its own research -- typo and all. In purporting to "take a look back" at how the economic recovery plan "grew, and grew, and grew," on February 10 Fox News' Jon Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods -- all of which came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release. A Fox News on-screen graphic even reproduced a typo contained in the Republican press release.

Transcript

From the October 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: Straight ahead, the Obama administration keeps praising the stimulus plan, but a new report shows results are coming up short -- about 6 million jobs short.

DOOCY: Yeah.

KILMEADE: We're gonna go over those numbers.

[...]

DOOCY: We were told that as soon as that stimulus kicks in, millions of jobs would be saved. And there's a document that's come out by the Republican House Ways and Means Committee, and it shows -- it's got some good news -- and let's take a look at the big board over there. The states impacted by the stimulus -- there's one that has been impacted positively, and that is North Dakota. North Dakota has added 1,800 jobs. That's the good news. The bad news is 49 states and the District of Colombia have actually lost jobs.

CARLSON: This is a startling table, to actually look at it in its entirety and realize that that many states have not gained jobs. The promise from the Obama administration from the first stimulus plan was that 3.5 million jobs would be created.

DOOCY: Yeah.

CARLSON: And, in fact, the United States has lost 2.7 million since the stimulus plan. But North Dakota has somehow found a way to add jobs there. Maybe some cities have added jobs. We spoke to Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania yesterday, and he claimed that construction jobs in the state of Pennsylvania were up as a result of the stimulus plan. But overall it appears jobs continue to go down.

KILMEADE: And the states hardest hit: California lost 336,000 jobs plus, Tennessee 225,000 jobs, in New York a hundred -- this is since the stimulus package grew or, excuse me, passed -- New York has lost 111,000 jobs, Illinois 148,000, and Michigan 136,000 jobs. So he's going to have trouble living up to that. How much is in his control? We're not sure. But when you promise a hard number like 3.5 million jobs and say this thing has to get passed right away or else, and you lose 2.7, that's a problem.

[...]

DOOCY: Interestingly enough, after the stimulus, there's a new report out by the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee -- 49 of the 50 states have actually lost jobs. We were told they would gain jobs. Six million jobs shy of what the administration promised us. What do you think about that real quickly?

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
Person
Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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