Monday, December 12, 2011

Today In Dishonest Fox News Charts

by Zachary Pleat/Media Matters

It looks like Fox is trying to mislead its viewers on the unemployment rate. Again.
On Monday, Fox News displayed a chart illustrating changes to the unemployment rate during 2011:
Note how the 8.6 percent unemployment rate in November looks higher than March's 8.8 percent rate, and about the same as the 9 percent unemployment rate in October.
Here's how an honest chart of changes to the unemployment rate during 2011 looks:
The pattern of dishonesty is alarming. 
A few weeks ago, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics first reported that the unemployment rate had dropped to 8.6 percent in November -- the lowest rate in more than 2 years --  a Fox News graphic rounded up to 9 percent. In 2010, Fox News aired a staggeringly misleading chart suggesting that 15 million jobs were lost in three months. Three months.
In 2009, Fox reportedly sent an email to staff announcing "zero tolerance for on-screen errors." The memo hasn't stuck.
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