Obama’s war on women: True but false!

posted at 2:41 pm on April 10, 2012 by Karl

It took Rathergate for the NYT to coin the phrase “Fake But Accurate,” but WaPo “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler nearly matches it with his rarest of ratings today:

“For far too long women have been left behind in Obama’s job market. Of the 740,000 jobs lost since Obama took office, 683,000 of them were held by women. That is truly unsustainable.”

— Statement by Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, April 6, 2012

In an effort to fight back against Democratic claims of a Republican “war on women,” the Republican National Committee has rolled out a new and startling fact—that under Obama, women have lost seven times as many jobs as men.

We found this statistic surprising because we had been under the impression that men had fared worse than women in the recession. So do the RNC’s numbers add up?

It turns out they do, but Kessler throws a penalty flag anyway:

We cannot fault the RNC’s math, as the numbers add up. But at this point this figure doesn’t mean very much. It may simply a function of a coincidence of timing — a brief blip that could have little to do with “Obama’s job market.”

If trends hold up over the next few months, then the RNC might have a better case. But at this point we will give this statistic our rarely used label:

TRUE BUT FALSE

As fundraiser/consultant Nathan Wurtzel quipped: “Fair, but biased.” That the WaPo shuttered its Ministry of Truth while Democrats controlled the elected branches of the federal government was sort of a general tip off. In this particular case, Kessler’s analysis is based on measuring Obama’s jobs record from the end of the recession (which favors Obama) rather than from the date of his inauguration (which Kessler admits is a common political and journalistic metric). Aside from the fairness issue in changing metrics, I would argue that policy lag should warrant not measuring from Day One (although not necessarily from the end of the recession (which artifically assumes a connection between the policy and the recovery). Yet Kessler concedes that even by his own metric, more than 2.2 million gross jobs have been added under Obama, but the gain for women was just 284,000. If we are going into the progressive narrative of identity politics, even Kessler’s narrative is ugly for women.

Worse, Kessler does a half-baked analysis of why his narrative is ugly for women:

Now that the economy is growing again, men are recovering jobs at a faster pace than women. In fact, the latest employment report shows that male participation in the work force was up 14,000 while female participation fell 177,000, in part because women tend to work in retail or government jobs, which have been cut in recent months.

Is this a function of Obama’s policies? It’s unclear at this point, but it certainly is an under-reported phenomenon that the RNC, in its use of this statistic, is trying to highlight.

Contra Kessler, this is not unclear. Women far outnumber men on state and local government payrolls (especially in public schools), which were propped up by Obama’s stimulus money. In fact, there is general agreement that the jobs “saved” by the stimulus were primarily in government, and education (which is mostly government). That money was spent. State and local governments then had to at least nod in the direction of rationalizing their spending, as the private sector already had. The result was unemployment for hundreds of thousands of women starting in 2010. Of course, this does not show that Obama is waging a war on women now so much as that he entered office waging a war for government at every level.

Bias and sloppy analysis aside, my biggest complaint with establishment media “fact-checking” is the condescension and arrogance involved in pretending political debates are much simpler questions of fact. The Orwellian — or Pythonesque — “True But False” rating is just the poster child for the problems inherent in the effort.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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I now have to view everything coming from the Washington Post as misleading but lying.

rbj on April 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I think he meant to say True, but we don’t care, we’ll call it False anyway so it fits with our narative.

talkingpoints on April 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM

“Fair, but biased.”

Stories are so much easier to write when you start with the headline and then make it all up as you go along.

Happy Nomad on April 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM

LameStreamMedia: Yeah, it’s true, but who will know because WE say it’s false!

wildcat72 on April 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM

True but inconvenient.

aunursa on April 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Be sure to read the WaPo Comments. Those are the “voters” we’re up against.

Del Dolemonte on April 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM

“Fair, but biased.”

……………”Fair, but bullsh!t.”

KOOLAID2 on April 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

It may simply a function of a coincidence of timing — a brief blip that could have little to do with

Reads like settled science.

MNHawk on April 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

We’ll all be “rich but poor” (or is it “poor but rich”?) if we re-elect Obama.

zmdavid on April 10, 2012 at 2:52 PM

White but black….kinda like Zero…

PatriotRider on April 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

In Utopia, all information dispersed by the media must first pass muster in the Ministry of Disinformative Truth.

Or, as per Orwell, the Ministry of DisTruth.

Isn’t Utopia a wonderful thing?

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2012 at 2:58 PM

WITCH!!

Tim_CA on April 10, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Hispanic but White

/NBC

mankai on April 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Liberal but conservative…

PatriotRider on April 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Half full but half empty…

PatriotRider on April 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM

It’s not working for them. My voting precinct is predominantly black. Over the years my church has also become predominantly black. Our pastor ended his Easter sermon with a tie to the media’s desperate attempt to divide us via the Trayvon Martin case and specifically called out NBC and CNN. I heard no dissension within the sanctuary.

DanMan on April 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM

pretending political debates are much simpler questions of fact.

Exactly, which is the heart of all this. Any unemployment metric that “blames” President Obama for job losses that took place before any of his policies were in effect is absolutely meaningless.

I think Kessler’s reasoning in the article itself is sounder than Karl does, but Karl is right that this is a political argument, not a factual one.

Drew Lowell on April 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Freedom Through Slavery – that is the epitome of Obama and his ilk.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

True but I don’t like that it’s true. (MSM)

buckeyerich on April 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM

I read this WaPo article when it was in the Headlines. All I could hear when I was done, was MP’s “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

uncommon sense on April 10, 2012 at 3:07 PM

We cannot fault the RNC’s math, as the numbers add up. But at this point this figure doesn’t mean very much. It may simply a function of a coincidence of timing — a brief blip that could have little to do with “Obama’s job market.”

That’s not fact checking. It’s opinion making as to the facts themselves.

RadClown on April 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

I’m not a registered Democrat, I don’t particularly like Democrats, I don’t think you’ll see me on this board defending the Democratic party anywhere.
 
libfreeordie on January 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

rogerb on April 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Corrupt but pathetic.

Jim Treacher on April 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

stout77 on April 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Freedom Through Slavery – that is the epitome of Obama and his ilk.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Nailed it.

Turtle317 on April 10, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Freedom Through Slavery – that is the epitome of Obama and his ilk.

pretty close to that work shall make you free line from one of the Marx brothers isn’t it? I don’t think he mentioned anything about pay either.

DanMan on April 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

This is why I call the Media, The Fifth Column Treason Media. When faced with incontrovertible facts, The Fifth Column Treasonous Media will admit that the facts are real, and then double down on dishonesty and propaganda by claiming that they are also false. Obama’s war on Women is left in the dust by his war on the United States Constitution.

The US Constitution destroyed right before our very eyes, and we did nothing.

SWalker on April 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Kessler: Incompetent but overpaid.

CapnObvious on April 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

As I said in the headline thread: The WaPo is Truly False.

theCork on April 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Mr. Kessler, how do you know this statistic is a witch?

“Well it turned me into a newt…”

Moose Drool on April 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I would have figured it was the duck.

Bmore on April 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Monty Python invented the word for this. “Splunge.”

Doug Piranha on April 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

great. half wit emotionally hysterical jacques derridas with a severely constricted vocabularies and no reasoning skills are now in charge of barry’s Ministry of Propaganda.

true but false. hispanic but white. pizza but on sterling silver plates. depression but recovery.

mittens on April 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I would prefer to see the side by side numbers of government jobs created vs private sector jobs created. I don’t consider the creation of a government job as a positive sign that the economy is recovering.

OccamsRazor on April 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

True….

but we hate the truth when it hurts Obama..

so we’ll call it a lie.. just to screw Romney, the republican party and the United States of America.

WAPO,.. damn you to Hell.. is left wing victory so friggin important, you blatantly lie, your readers and yourselves?

All Hail our new Glorious Peoples Republic of Amerika.. brought to you by those benders of fact and manipulators of truth otherwise known as American journalists.

The “free press” America once had, is trully dead now.. not murdered, it was a suicide to cover for the left. The saddest part of all, is they simply don’t care.. One of our proudest achievements was a free and open press, if not totally unbiased, at least it tried to be fair.

no longer, not a referee, but an active player for the other side.

screw you WAPO.. The NYT’s… was it worth it?

mark81150 on April 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

pretty close to that work shall make you free line from one of the Marx brothers isn’t it? I don’t think he mentioned anything about pay either.

DanMan on April 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

The phrase goes, “Arbeit macht frei”, meaning “Work will set you free.

And it wasn’t the Marx brothers. It was on the gate at the death camps at Auschwitz and Dachau, among others.

UltimateBob on April 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I recommend using January 29, 2009 as the starting point. That’s when Obama signed the “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.”

Heywood U. Reedmore on April 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Way too much complaining about this. “True but false” is just a shortened form of the real rating, which is:

“True but [we don't like it, so] false.

tom on April 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

We cannot fault the RNC’s math, as the numbers add up (math is hard). But at this point this figure doesn’t mean very much (to us liberals in the ‘medja’). (We are hoping) It may simply a function of a coincidence of timing — a brief blip that could have little to do with “Obama’s job market (our lapdog gig).”

FIFY

ghostwalker1 on April 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

……………”Fair, but Just bullsh!t.”

KOOLAID2 on April 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

FIFY

BigAlSouth on April 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Thanks to WaPo’s Deceptive but Traitorous reporting of this, another fascist got their boots.
-

RalphyBoy on April 10, 2012 at 7:51 PM

“For far too long women have been left behind in Obama’s job market. Of the 740,000 jobs lost since Obama took office, 683,000 of them were held by women. That is truly unsustainable.”

What a load of crap. Check out the employment services and count the men lining up. It’s thirty to one male.

Not to mention – 740,000 jobs lost? Who pulled that number out of their butt? Maybe this year we’ve lost that many. This is the same idiocy that says we’re out of ‘the great recession’.

Squiggy on April 10, 2012 at 8:03 PM

While it is true that Obama is a successful failure, it is also true that he is a president without precedent.It is false to say this is not true.

Ken James on April 10, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Come and see the problems inherent in the effort. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!

Gr8seezersghost on April 10, 2012 at 9:48 PM

At the bottom of the piece is an “About our rating scale” link. Does anyone find a “True but False” rating there?

Of course not. Kessler just made it up.

Pablo on April 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Kessler goes tri-state — i.e. disconnected. Well that much was obvious.

Kenosha Kid on April 10, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Depending on what the political need of the moment is we are dealing with the belief that if the temp goes up a few degrees above normal we are entering the Global Warming Stage; and if it goes down a little, we are entering the Global Freezing Stage. Just go with the explanation that supports the center of your belief system. In this case that is Obama’s philosophy that it’s all Bush’s fault anyway. lol

dahni on April 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I get it … Kessler is a ‘Fact Check’ journalist?
Don’t recall any journalist in any math classes.
They are, as a group, perhaps the most mathematically challenged people on the planet. (They wouldn’t know Cramers Rule if they sat on it.) So I suppose WaPo weasle words will remain in fashion. Too bad that so many folks can’t think logically. I just hope it falls below 50% of the actual voters come November.

Missilengr on April 11, 2012 at 5:12 PM