A funny thing happened upon release of the monthly unemployment statistics today.
A few journalists in the mainstream media began to wake up.
While there are still plenty of headlines floating around today that are some variation on “Unemployment Down Despite Lack of Jobs, Obama Yay,” a few journalists appear to have noticed the oxymoron inherent in the story pushed by the Obama Labor Department.
You’d be excused if your initial reaction is “it’s about time.”
Reuters and a few news outlets got it right this time. Instead of following the lead of the Associated Press, which published a story earlier this week predicting unemployment below 8 percent by election time, Reuters’ headline reported “US hiring slows, spells trouble for economy, Obama.”
While the unemployment rate technically fell from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April, only about 115,000 jobs were added, not enough to account for the statistical improvement of jobless figures.
The secret number that’s being buried this month is the increasing number of people who are just giving up and leaving the labor force altogether. About half a million unemployed people who were counted as being in the labor force in March were removed from the April figures, drastically shrinking the number of people considered unemployed, without increasing jobs.
The Associated Press report predicting sub-8 percent unemployment ran this week before the release of the new labor figures. The prediction titled “Steady Job Gains To Sustain US Recovery” was based on interviews with obviously pro-Obama economists, included some outright boosterism:
“Falling unemployment would boost President Barack Obama’s prospects in November. Going back to 1956, no president has lost re-election when the unemployment rate dropped in the two years before the election.”
The AP’s spin on today’s unemployment figures was “Jobs Lost to Recession Trickle Back.”
The Associated Press’ chairman is William Dean Singleton, who last month slobbered all over himself while introducing President Obama at a luncheon. Singleton also owns hundreds of newspapers across the country and is probably singlehandedly responsible for running more newspapers into the ground than any human being in the last century.
Under Singleton’s leadership, those newspapers that haven’t closed outright have whittled their staffs down to near nothing, virtually eliminated local and original reporting, and ultimately just become print versions of the Associated Press and New York Time wire service, with local banners and ads.
As the Associated Press has swung Left under Singleton, a substantial portion of America’s newspapers have blindly followed.
Reuters, owned by the Thomson Corporation of Canada, operates in somewhat different circles than the AP leadership. One story doesn’t mean any media outlet is changing its tune, but it would be nice if professional reporters started leaving the rose-colored glasses at home when covering the Obama Administration.