On anniversary of bill's passage, Fox & Friends repeatedly attacked and misinformed about stimulus

››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

On the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Fox & Friends purported to analyze the results of the bill and repeatedly shed doubt on the impact of the stimulus on the employment situation. But Fox & Friends ignored independent analyses of the stimulus, including those conducted by Moody's Economy.com and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, that said the measure raised employment by 1 to 2.4 million jobs by the end of 2009.

Fox & Friends repeatedly attacked stimulus and misled on stimulus job impact

Shively quotes Boehner: "More people believe Elvis is alive than believe the stimulus created jobs." On the February 17 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, correspondent Caroline Shively reported that "the White House is talking up the measure this morning, while Republicans are slamming it." Shively added, "the quote of the day, however, has to go to House Republican Leader John Boehner who says more people believe Elvis is alive than believe the stimulus created jobs." Shively presented a graphic based on a USA Today article showing how much of the stimulus money has yet to be spent.

Doocy says the White House has "created the [jobs] created part." After guest host Clayton Morris said he was "confused" by that "created or saved number," Steve Doocy replied "they have created the created part, the Bureau of Labor Statistics simply does not have a metric to figure out how many jobs have been saved. They know how many jobs have been created."

Carlson claims Obama administration officials offered varied job creation figures "on purpose" to "confuse" the American people "even more." Fox & Friends aired a video montage of Obama advisers Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs giving different estimates of stimulus job creation and Carlson said she thought "that was on purpose to have those advisers go out at the end of January and say all those different numbers, because the American public's so confused about this whole process that why not confuse them just a little bit more?" Doocy replied, "Mission accomplished!" Carlson also called the job estimates "funny numbers."

Fox & Friends hosts Brent Bozell to discuss media coverage of the stimulus. Carlson promoted a report stating that the stimulus had received excessively favorable coverage by ABC, CBS and NBC, and hosted Media Research Center president Brent Bozell to discuss the report. Bozell called coverage of the stimulus "pom-pom waving time," and criticized the package itself, claiming, "Two things are true here, number one, this bill bombed. Number two, what happened to the $787 billion?" Bozell held up two signs showing the current unemployment rate of 9.7 percent and the 7.7percent unemployment rate at the time of the stimulus passage.

Morris quotes from Wash. Times to criticize the stimulus. Morris quoted from a Washington Times article that Morris said took "the administration to task this morning. They said that the stimulus has failed in three key areas. It cost more than was proposed, it failed to keep the unemployment rate down, Steve, as you were talking about, as you were tossing to Caroline there, below that ten percent metric, below the eight percent because it even peaked over ten percent. And it failed to change -- stop some of this waste and fraud that was involved in some of these spending programs."

Fox & Friends hosts Michael Steele to criticize the stimulus. Following a segment on a meeting between Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele and Tea Party activists, Steve Doocy said that "the government doled out at least $787 billion in stimulus money last year," and asked Steele what the Republican reaction to the stimulus was on the one-year anniversary. Steele replied, "Oh, there's just so much joy out there to celebrate, all right? I mean people are getting jobs done, and businesses are growing, that has been the fiction here. The other fiction we need to just dispense with is this saved and created nonsense. I don't know what that is. I don't know what that looks like. If I can't put my fingers on it, if I can't touch it, and if I can't get up at six o'clock in the morning and go to work there, then it's not happening."

Carlson: "Some people are scratching their heads, saying wow, billions of bucks, but we don't have any more jobs." During an interview with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, Carlson stated that "some people are scratching their heads and saying wow, billions of bucks, but we don't have any more jobs." When Kaine stated that job losses have slowed and GDP has grown in the last year, Carlson said, "But here's the problem, Governor, you need to have a math major to understand this whole concept of saved jobs, created jobs." Carlson added, "[N]obody can figure out the numbers and that leads people to believe the numbers are being fudged. A recent poll shows that only six percent of Americans believe that jobs are being created from the stimulus plan."

White House and independent analysts agree that the stimulus has raised employment by over 1 million jobs

White House economic advisers: "the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by 1½ to 2 million." In a quarterly report issued January 13, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimated: "As of the fourth quarter of 2009, the CEA estimates that the ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] has raised employment relative to the baseline by between 1½ and 2 million. The CEA estimates for both the effects on GDP and employment are similar to those of respected private forecasters and government agencies." The report also stated, "For the third quarter of 2009, we now have direct reports on jobs created or saved from a subset of recipients of ARRA funds. These reports identify 640,000 jobs that would not have existed but for the Recovery Act."

CEA: Our estimates are within the range of other independent economic research firms' projections, including Moody's, IHS/Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers, and CBO. Discussing its projection, CEA noted, "[O]ur estimates are within the range of other projections, though somewhat above the median." In its quarterly report, CEA cited figures from independent research firms' Moody's Economy.com, HIS/Global Insight and Macroeconomic Advisers, as well as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as evidence that its "estimates are within" the range of other economists':

Table of Estimates of the Effects of ARRA on Employment

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