PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor's selective interest in unemployment rates

PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor has become a progressive media darling for her resistance journalism at the White House. Today she interrupted a bill signing to shout a question at the president about the unemployment rate. Here’s the clip:

Alcindor put out two tweets about this, one of which has more than 50k likes:

How is this a victory? Well, let’s let prominent journalist Yamiche Alcindor explain that. Here are some of her previous tweets about the unemployment rate (in reverse chronological order):

“My goodness.”

So, unemployment has been spiking and Alcindor has been expressing concern about that for months. She’s clearly aware there was concern the rate could go as high as 20 percent. In fact, many people thought that’s what would happen today. The Washington Post had some egg on its face earlier because someone scheduled a tweet in advance about the likelihood of reaching the “grim milestone” of 20% unemployment today. The tweet went out even after the good news about the unexpected drop.

Oops! The Post has since tried to recover:

So, to answer Alcindor’s question, today’s numbers are a victory because instead of reaching a grim milestone, unemployment went down sharply. As for black unemployment specifically, that also could have spiked today by several percent and, thankfully, it barely budged. That’s good news.

All of this should be self-explanatory to any national reporter, especially one given an assignment at the White House. But the problem here isn’t that Yamiche Alcindor doesn’t know this. The problem is that she’s a partisan looking to create a gotcha moment. She’s doing this for all the people who don’t know or don’t care why this was a silly and misleading question. And it worked because PBS is promoting the clip and she got a lot of likes and retweets.

As you can see above, Alcindor has devoted a bunch of tweets to the unemployment rate going up. Where was she when it was going down? Here’s what I found. Back in 2018 when black unemployment rates hit record lows, Alcindor tweeted about it once. She included a caveat:

She also tweeted about Trump talking about it earlier this year.

But if you go way back to the Obama years, she tweeted about drops in unemployment several times without any caveats. Back then it was just good news:

I’m using Twitter search to find these. I’m not including all of them and maybe I’m not seeing some tweets at all, but it looks to me like there’s a pattern here. Alcindor has been trumpeting the bad news about the unemployment rate for weeks but had a pretty tepid reaction (at best) to the good news between 2018 and the pandemic. Her question today was nonsensical because today’s outcome was good news given prior expectations.

None of this will matter in the least of Alcindor’s fans because, as we all know, there’s a big market out there for resistance journalism. And the rest of the media, like this CBS News reporter, will just play along with the game.