Fox News attempted to negatively spin a January jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by complaining about a lack of manufacturing jobs being created. Unfortunately for Fox, the report actually revealed robust job creation in manufacturing, which put total employment in that industry at a seven-year high.
On February 5, the BLS released its monthly "Employment Situation" summary for January 2016. The data showed that the economy created 151,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell marginally to 4.9 percent -- its lowest point since February 2008. Economists and experts generally agreed that the report was "very encouraging."
On the February 5 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto and Fox Business host Gerri Willis complained that the report did not show enough evidence of job creation in well-paid industries like manufacturing (emphasis added):
GERRI WILLIS: A jobless rate of 4.9 percent, that is an eight-year low, looks so good. Lucious, right? Maybe not ... The number of jobs created in the month, you're showing it right now: 151,000. A disappointment compared to what we expected: 200,000.
Now, good news on the wages front, up over the last 12 months 2.5 percent. You can see that there, $25.39 an hour. So that seems to be good news. Dig further though, Neil, what do we see? Here's what we see, the jobs created are disappointing. 58,000 retail jobs, we're talking about clerks, cashiers, people who walk through the Walmart, those are the kinds of jobs created. And also, restaurant and bars, so waitresses, waiters, bartenders, 47,000 jobs created.
We know from experience that these aren't the kind of jobs that can really fuel family growth, fuel family wealth. This isn't what the middle class needs right now, and that's what's so disappointing about this jobs report, today. We're not seeing the kinds of big-time manufacturing jobs being created in this economy, and that's what Americans really need.
Unfortunately for Fox News, the jobs report Cavuto and Willis discussed actually showed robust job creation in manufacturing (+29,000). MarketWatch columnist Rex Nutting noted that those 29,000 new workers pushed total manufacturing employment to 12.4 million, a seven-year high (emphasis added):
Apparently, no one told American manufacturers that their business is collapsing, because they kept on hiring more workers in January.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that manufacturing companies added 29,000 workers in January to reach a seven-year high of 12.4 million. After a soft patch in the middle of last year, it was the fourth month in a row that manufacturing payrolls had increased.
Not only were factories hiring, they were working their employees longer shifts. Average weekly hours rose a tick to 40.7 hours in January, which is significant because the manufacturing workweek is considered to be one of the best leading indicators for the health of the economy as a whole. Despite the strong dollar, the drop in export orders and the decrease in capital spending, average hours in manufacturing have been roughly unchanged since April.
With Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton facing a barrage of criticisms over the tone of her voice during a recent speech, Media Matters looks back at the rampant sexism she faced from the media during her 2008 presidential bid.
Fox News host Megyn Kelly invited Republican pollster Frank Luntz on her show to attack a negative ad targeting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) without disclosing his financial ties to the presidential candidate.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly brought Luntz on the February 2 edition of The Kelly File to discuss Rubio's third place finish in the Iowa caucus. Luntz offered glowing praise for the candidate, arguing that "Rubio is in perfect position" to do well in upcoming primaries. When asked about a negative ad targeting Rubio created by a pro-Jeb Bush Super PAC, Luntz called it "crap," saying that "all of these ads have failed" and "that money has been wasted":
FRANK LUNTZ: Jeb Bush will spend when this is all over one hundred million dollars. Unprecedented for a Super PAC. And that money has been wasted. If I was a donor, if I was one of these people who contributed half a million, I would demand my money back with interest. ;All of these ads have failed. They've got another one with Marco's boots and it's done to Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking." It's crap. I don't know any other way. It's not persuasive. It doesn't turn voters. I cleaned up my language for you. I do not want to get thrown off the air. But when I play these ads to these focus groups they use the actual word to describe their reaction. It's a waste of money and it actually helps Rubio and it hurts Bush at the same time.
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): Oh really? So it has the reverse effect of that intended?
LUNTZ: Because it makes people angry. They're angry at the person who hosts the ads. You heard the end of that. It says Jeb Bush is a leader. What people hear is Jeb Bush is running a negative ad against his friend, Marco Rubio, and they hate it.
The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2012 that Luntz was hired by Rubio to assist in writing his "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future," which Luntz and host Megyn Kelly failed to disclose.
Fox News and Megyn Kelly have failed to divulge Luntz's ties with Rubio while inviting him to provide political commentary on several other occasions. During a January 28 appearance on The Kelly File, Luntz lauded Rubio's performance in a GOP debate without any financial disclosure, touting "how well he did on immigration." Similarly, during a January 7 appearance on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Luntz praised Rubio without disclosure, calling him "the most optimistic, the most focused on the American dream of any of the candidates" and "what the public needs right now."
Media figures are erroneously attributing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses to her wins in coin tosses held at several precincts to determine the apportionment of unassigned delegates. Media figures claiming that coin tosses could have flipped the outcome misunderstand the caucus process by wrongly conflating county-level delegates -- which the coin tosses assign -- and state delegate equivalents (SDEs). As The Des Moines Register explained, the coin flips "had an extremely small effect on the overall outcome."
Student loan debt in America has reached a staggering $1.3 trillion, surpassing even credit card debt. But right-wing media figures have criticized efforts to combat student loan debt by pushing misinformation and blaming students for pursuing higher education.
Conservative media have labeled higher education as a "privilege" and suggested students ought to choose fictional cheaper colleges. Some outlets have even defended schools that take advantage of students and leave them with significant debt. But research shows college matters now more than ever, and the cost to attend is rising across the board. The student debt crisis is especially damaging for poor students and students of color, who more frequently attend cheaper open-access and community colleges and are still forced to borrow in higher numbers to pay for their education.
Blaming students for the student loan debt crisis ignores the facts and distracts from finding real solutions to America's skyrocketing student debt burden.
From the January 26 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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On Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Iowa State University professor Dr. Steffen Schmidt pointed out that GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has received a massive amount of free advertising from the media stating "nobody has spent as much money as Donald Trump has gotten in free media." Donald Trump has attributed his free advertising to media outlets like CNN and Fox, admitting "I've spent zero on advertising because you and Fox and all the others." In fact, an analysis of candidate appearances on Fox News in 2015 found that Trump received 22 hours and 46 minutes of airtime on Fox News -- more than twice as much as any other candidate during the period studied. Trump's appearances on Fox News amounted to nearly $30 million in free airtime on the network. From the January 19 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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From the January 15 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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From the January 14 edition of Al Jazeera America's Inside Story:
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Fox News host Neil Cavuto invited Republican pollster Frank Luntz on his show to offer praise for GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) without disclosing Luntz' past ties to Rubio.
During a January 7, appearance on Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto discussed recent turmoil in the stock market and asked Luntz to respond to how he believed the economy could affect the presidential race. Luntz responded that Marco Rubio would be the best political candidate for the economy claiming that he "is the most optimistic, the most focused on the American dream of any of the candidates" and "what the public needs right now":
FRANK LUNTZ: Marco Rubio is the most optimistic, the most focused on the American dream of any of the candidates, and Rubio's intense passion about making America great again, to use Trump's slogan, it really applies to Marco Rubio because he is the one who talks about how his father and mother came from Cuba with very limited means and now look at what's happened to him. The guy is a United States senator, leading presidential candidate.
Rubio's message is the most optimistic, the most forward thinking of them all and that's what the public needs right now when they have the greatest concern, the greatest anxiety, based on what's happening on the Wall Street and the markets across the globe.
A January 2012 Wall Street Journal article reported that Rubio hired Luntz to assist in writing his "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future," which Cavuto failed to disclose.
This is not the first time news networks have failed to disclose Luntz' ties with Republican politicians when asking him on for political commentary. In June 2014, CBS came under fire from veteran ethicists and observers for failing to disclose Luntz had received more than $15,000 in consulting fees from Rep. Eric Cantor's (R-VA) congressional campaign. In March 2013 on Fox's Fox & Friends Luntz praised his former clients Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) without disclosing his past work for the politicians, and during an October 2015 appearance on CBS in which Luntz pushed Ryan for the role of Speaker of the House, Luntz and CBS failed to disclose the $100,000 he had received from Ryan since 2012.
Right-wing media figures immediately attacked President Obama and Hillary Clinton, following North Korea's announcement that they conducted a nuclear test. Right-wing media pundits blamed Obama, Bill, and Hillary Clinton for North Korea's Nuclear proliferation, ignoring that North Korea's first successful nuclear test occurred under the George W. Bush's administration in 2006.
On January 9, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will host a presidential candidate forum in Columbia, South Carolina focused on poverty. As media outlets prepare to cover the event, will they remember that despite Ryan's gentler language, he has a history of promoting budget and fiscal policies that would harm Americans struggling with poverty?
From Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change, to the establishment of the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants, to a landmark international climate agreement, 2015 has been full of major landmarks in national and global efforts to address global warming. Yet you wouldn't know it if you inhabited the parallel universe of the conservative media, where media figures went to ridiculous and outrageous lengths to dismiss or deny climate science, attack the pope, scientists, and anyone else concerned with climate change, and defend polluting fossil fuel companies. Here are the 15 most ridiculous things conservative media said about climate change in 2015.
A Fox News segment on Your World with Neil Cavuto attacked a new rule giving the IRS power to revoke the passports of Americans with delinquent tax bills as government overreach by the Obama administration, ignoring that the rule came from a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.
During the December 22 edition of Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Cavuto spoke with Republican strategist Lisa Boothe about the IRS rule which allows the agency to revoke passports from those who owe $50,000 or more in overdue federal income taxes. Cavuto said he had "serious issues" with the rule and criticized the IRS for "ignoring ... terror issues" while "going with far greater zeal after Americans who may be in the rears on their taxes for perfectly legitimate reasons." Boothe agreed, blaming the Obama administration for the rule, and calling the IRS, "way too big, way too corrupt, and wields entirely too much power":
NEIL CAVUTO (HOST): You owe, you're out. The IRS is revoking passports for those delinquent on their taxes to the tone of $50,000 or more. But what if you're fighting the IRS and you have a legitimate beef and you don't think you will end up owing $50,000 or anything? Well be that as it may, that rule is going into effect. But it got us thinking. It happens sometimes. Why not the same deal going after terrorists or those with terror ties because when it comes to that sort of thing, the IRS is all hands off and that worries Lisa Boothe.
I couldn't believe this, first of all, the IRS thing, because I have serious issues with that. People legitimately fight the IRS on claims. But this is a whole other thing. You're going after citizens in this country. You're just bypassing those who might wish ill to this country. Weird. What's going on?
LISA BOOTHE: Weill Neil the juxtaposition is mind-boggling because this is an administration who has actively fought against the idea of revoking passports for American citizens who are fighting alongside with ISIS. The administration has even said on the grounds of the Americans have a right to freely travel. So it's a little mind-boggling how the IRS clearly has no problem with that. And not to mention just that angle, Neil. It's also really upsetting, considering the fact that just the size and scope of the IRS alone. The IRS is already way too big, way too corrupt, and wields entirely too much power.
CAVUTO: And now we have the IRS ignoring such terror issues and ties here and going with far greater zeal after Americans who might be in arrears on their taxes for perfectly legitimate reasons. That, that's weird.
BOOTHE: It is weird. And Neil I think it speaks to the reason why almost 60 percent of Americans disapprove of President Obama's handling of ISIS and you've got 70 percent of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track because of the ridiculousness of the federal government, the ridiculousness of the Obama administration in particular. And Neil we're also talking about an organization who in seemingly intentionally went after conservatives with various ideologies --
BOOTHE: -- based off of ideology. And Neil an organization that is so dumb, an organization that has sent out the wrong forms to 800,000 Obamacare employees who completely lost tens of millions of dollars of an Obamacare slush fund. It just went missing. So we're talking about an incredibly incompetent agency as it is.
Both Cavuto and Boothe neglected to mention that the IRS provision was approved overwhelmingly by the GOP-controlled Congress. The IRS rule was a provision of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled Congress this December, getting more than 80 percent approval in the Senate and House.