You’re going to be seeing a shift in the way the media covers the news in the coming years with the change in management at the White House. Even though the inauguration is still quite a few weeks away, that process has already begun. Just to take one of the more glaring examples which you can reliably track each and every month, let’s take a look at the Washington Post’s coverage of the jobs reports which come out every month.
When the September jobs report came out we were still in the period where everyone needed to be “thanking Obama” for the robust economy and looking forward to Hillary Clinton extending the same policies after she inevitably won the election. How did the Washington Post describe the jobs report at that point? (All emphasis below added)
Now, the good news is that we got a little bit closer with the 156,000 jobs the economy added in September. But the even better news is that we’re a little bit further than we might have thought with the unemployment rate ticking up from 4.9 to 5.0 percent. That’s because it did so for the happy reason that so many more people had either found a job or were looking for one — another 444,000, to be exact.
Fast forward one month to the eve of the election. Popular opinion had solidified around the idea that Hillary had it locked up. The new jobs report came out yet again. This time it showed essentially the same results with 161K jobs added and the unemployment rate dropping back to where it had been two months earlier at 4.9%. How did the WaPo cover it?
The U.S. labor market continues to show signs of gradual strengthening, with newly released government data showing the economy added 161,000 jobs last month. Annual wage growth surged to levels not seen since the financial crisis, while the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent in October from 5 percent the previous month…
The final piece of economic data released before the presidential election Tuesday, the jobs report showed an economy that is steadily emerging from the shadow of the Great Recession, though it is still below its pre-2008 strength.
Well, the election didn’t quite work out the way most of the liberal news outlets hoped. The month of November came and went with the specter of the coming Trump presidency looming over the newsroom. Then the next jobs report came out. We added 178,000 jobs. That’s still less than anyone would like to see, but it was more than in either September or October. The unemployment rate (which is sort of falsely reported every month anyway, but at least the metrics used are consistent) fell three tenths of a point, as opposed to the one tenth fluctuation in the previous two reporting periods. What does the Washington Post have to say now?
Most metrics suggest the U.S. economy has snapped back substantially since the recession. In November, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, a level not seen since August 2007. The economy has created an average of 180,000 jobs a month so far this year, far above what’s necessary to keep the unemployment rate stable.
But it’s often the quality, not the quantity, of the jobs that is in question.
Many Americans are still cobbling together a living with one or several part-time jobs. Overall, the number of people working part-time has risen 9.1 percent from 2002 to 2016, and now totals 26.4 million, according to government data cited by Golden.
Anyone using social media to comment on this trend is welcome to use the #HeadDesk hashtag at no charge.
I would point out that what the Washington Post is saying here is absolutely true. But it’s tossed out there without noting that conservatives have been screaming about this all through the so called “Obama Recovery” with nary a mention of it in the major newspapers. It was all rah-rah, Thanks Obama when the listed unemployment rate fell, but wages were stagnant at best and good manufacturing jobs were continuing to evaporate while more and more people had “McJobs.”
It wouldn’t be so bad if the WaPo and other, similar outlets had just been consistent, but right now you are seeing a harbinger of what’s to come. With Obama in office all of the news was good… or at least spun to look as positive as possible. For the next four years at least you can expect to see headlines like the one linked above. Everything is terrible and there is nothing good upon the land as long as Trump is in charge.