Here we go again, as Media Matters for America (MMfA) attacks the Fox News morning program “Fox & Friends.” This time the problem is a graphic that appeared on this morning’s edition:


Media Matters makes the case “Fox & Friends” comparison of “real”* unemployment rates — shorthand for a more comprehensive measurement than the traditionally cited official unemployment rate---is off the mark. The change from 2009 to 2012, it notes, isn’t 7.8% to 14.7%, as indicated in the on-air graphic. It is 14.2% to 14.7%.

The rap against “Fox & Friends” here is that it used a smaller rate for the 2009 figure — that is, the official unemployment rate — and compared it against the 2012 “real” unemployment rate, with the result that the Obama administration looks as if it has presided over a doubling of worklessness in the country. Implicit in Media Matters’ critique is an expectation that “Fox & Friends” compare apples to apples in the interest of fairness and intelligent dialogue. Which is asking way too much of these people.


*Here’s an explanation of this “real” rate, in the words of this site:

The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment ..., but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by [the official unemployment rate] could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over.