A Fox Nation "report card" evaluating President Obama's first 1,000 days in office bears a striking similarity to an RNC "research briefing" issued one day earlier. In a Fox News segment today on the “report card,” host Megyn Kelly said the statistics came from “our brain room” and listed them on screen as “Fox Facts.”
Fox News, of course, has a history of passing off Republican research as its own, typos and all. What exactly happened here, we can't be sure, but what is clear is that Fox and the Republican Party are pushing the same message at the same time.
Below are some key excerpts from the RNC research document, published October 11, and the Fox Nation “report card,” published October 12:
RNC says: "$4.2 Trillion: Added To The National Debt Since Obama Took Office. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/6/11)"
Fox says: "DEBT: Total Public Debt Outstanding has increased by $4.2 trillion [source: Treasury Dept]"
RNC says: "40.5: Number Of Weeks That It Takes To Find A Job. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 10/7/11)"
Fox says: "AVERAGE WEEKS UNEMPLOYED: Unemployed out of work for an average of 40.5 weeks - that's more than double since Jan 2009 [source: BLS]"
RNC says: "2.2 Million: Jobs Lost Since Obama Took Office. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 10/7/11)"
Fox says: "JOBS: 2.22 million jobs lost [source: BLS]"
RNC says: "15.1%: Americans Living In Poverty. (U.S. Census Bureau, 9/13/11)"
Fox says: "POVERTY: Nearly 3 million more Americans in poverty--poverty rate has gone from 13.2% to 15.1% [source: Census]"
RNC says: "$1.17 Trillion: American Debt Held By China. (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 10/6/11)"
Fox says: "CHINA: Owns $1.17 trillion of our debt (as of July) - a 58% increase from January 2009 [source: Treasury Dept]"
RNC says: "45,696: Pages Of New Rules Added To The Federal Register During Obama's First Two Years In Office. (Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2011)"
Fox says: "REGULATIONS - FEDERAL REGISTER: 45,696 pages of new regulatory rules were added to the Federal Register [source: National Archives and Records Administration, Office of the Federal Register, various years]"
RNC says: "818,000: Manufacturing Jobs Lost Since Obama Took Office. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 10/7/11)"
Fox says: "MANUFACTURING: 818,000 manufacturing jobs lost
a -6.5% drop since Jan. 2009 [source: BLS]"
Zachary Pleat contributed research to this report.