I realize that's a big claim. But for your "post-truth" chronicles, check this out, a "data-based" graphic from a Fox & Friends program today.
It is worth checking out the analyses from Zachary Pleat at Media Matters and Steve Benen at Maddow Blog, but here is the heart of the deception:
To make it look as if the unemployment rate now is nearly twice as bad as it was four years ago -- 14.7 percent versus 7.8 percent -- the chart compares two different ways of measuring unemployment as if they were the same.
- The "2009" version is the "official" unemployment rate, people actively looking for work who can't find it.
- The "now" version is the "real" unemployment rate, which includes the official level and also: people who have given up looking for work, people working part-time who wish they were working full-time, and some others.
If this was an innocent though embarrassing error, a real news organization would immediately correct it and apologize.
If it were an honest comparison, here is how the figures would look:
- Official unemployment: 7.8 percent in January 2009, 8.1 percent now (worse by .3 percent, not 6.9 percent)
- "Real" unemployment: 14.2 percent in January 2009, 14.7 percent now (worse by .5 percent, not 6.9 percent)
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