Fox News' flagship news program Special Report today debunked one of the many conspiracy theories that Eric Bolling has trafficked in. Bolling made the bogus suggestion that the Obama administration's Labor Department is understating the weekly first-time unemployment insurance claimants that it reports because those numbers have been consistently revised upwards in subsequent months.
In a clip played on Special Report, Bolling said of the unemployment figures: "Forty-seven for forty-seven at the plate would be a pretty darned good batting average. It's uncanny how they're all revised in the direction that would be favorable to the administration."
That's a bizarre conspiracy theory. If the Obama administration was cooking the books on unemployment numbers, wouldn't those numbers look better than they do?
And Special Report made it clear that Bolling's conspiracy theory was totally baseless. Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen showed a clip of Bush administration Labor Secretary Elaine Chao noting that the initial numbers are based on only "60 to 80 percent" of the required data. Chao added: "[A]gain I'm not surprised that it is being adjusted upward, because they are getting more information."
Rosen also observed that during the first term of the Bush administration, the DOL had revised initial jobless claims upwards in 40 out of 47 weeks.