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Hullabaloo


Friday, October 05, 2012

 
Damn lies and statistics

by digby

Oh fergawdsakes, they can't be serious. After making utter fools of themselves insisting the polls are all skewed in favor of Obama, today they're insisting that the jobs numbers are corrupted too.


Some are even saying it's a conspiracy of democratic voters all lying and saying they have jobs when they don't. Seriously. And as we all know, the vote is in the process of being stolen as well. The left wing conspiracy is so massive at this point, including so many different people across the nation, that I'm afraid these people are going to have no choice but descend on Galt's Gulch and form a big tent city on the outskirts of town. (No worries about handouts, for these folks, though. They'll all be starting businesses just as soon as they cash their Social Security checks.)

This is yet another bit of proof that the right is incapable of believing that anything that doesn't adhere to their worldview can possibly be legitimate. And frankly, I think it's gotten worse with the right wing propaganda machine so closely mirroring itself in all media. From Jack Welch to Honey Boo Boos daddy, they're all watching Fox and listening to Rush.

But that's not the only problem. Check out how NPR reports the story:

Former GE CEO Jack Welch, for instance, through a tweet, questioned the timing of the September jobless rate falling to 7.8 percent:

"Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers."

The "Chicago guys" would be Obama and his campaign team, which is based in the nation's third largest city.

Coming to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' defense was Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank.

"It is simply outrageous to make such a claim, and echoes the worrying general distrust of facts that seems to have swept segments of our nation. ... BLS is a highly professional agency with dozens of people involved in the tabulation and analysis of these data. The idea that the data are manipulated is just completely implausible."

It was just the latest example of statistics being seen through a partisan lens.

Actually, no it isn't. The statistic were accepted by all these same Republicans when they were down, and used as evidence that the economy was depressed and Obama should be ousted. The progressives weren't claiming at the time that the numbers were wrong and that the economy was doing much better. Can we all see the difference there?

So, basically what we have in the media today are right wing outlets living in an alternate universe and mainstream outlets simply saying that there's no way of knowing the truth.

It's very fashionable to claim that nothing anyone says in politics has any affect that everyone is voting on some sub-conscious rationale based upon their personal economic status but I just have a sneaking suspicion that this disconnect from the truth is unhealthy for a democracy anyway. But what do I know?

Mishel's full analysis is here in case you are wondering about those pesky old facts.
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