by Melody Johnson/Media Matters
Fox & Friends is shielding Mitt Romney from scrutiny after the GOP presidential candidate suggestedthat we don't need "more firemen, more policemen, more teachers," selectively editing an interview with Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod to excise out his criticism of what Romney said. In doing so, Fox avoided a discussion of the merits of Romney's comments: that we should not address or rectify thesevere and unusual loss of public sector jobs or a conversation about how public sector job losses arehurting the overall economy.
Romney's controversial attack on public sector workers came during a Friday press conference where he criticized President Obama's call to rehire hundreds of thousands of cops, firefighters, and teachers, and his observation that the private sector was doing fine in comparison to the public sector. Romney responded: "He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people." Axelrod criticized Romney's comments Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
Even conservative Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rejected Romney's comments. But you wouldn't know that by watching Fox & Friends.
Instead, Fox fixated on Axelrod's explanation that private sector job growth is doing better than public sector job growth, along with Axelrod explaining that one way to accelerate job creation would be by "putting teachers and firefighters and police back to work." That was a direct rebuttal to what Romney said on Friday. Yet, through selectively edited snippets from Axelrod's interview, Fox completely avoided the criticism of Romney's comments.
Axelrod went on to correctly detail the fact that teachers had lost their jobs, which has hurt the economy and threatened recovery. Indeed, as The Wall Street Journal has reported, without a government jobs cut, unemployment would be at 7.1 percent, a full percentage point lower than it now. Economist Mark Zandi has said that state and local government job losses are "the most serious weight on the job market." And the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has reported that government job losses hurt those who don't work in government.
Furthermore, proposals to prevent job losses in the public sector have been blocked by Republicans in Congress as The New York Times has noted.
Here is Axelrod addressing these realities during his June 10 appearance on CNN's State of the Union.
CROWLEY: I just want to know whether the administration, whether you believe that the private sector is doing fine. Is it doing better?
AXELROD: I believe -- it's certainly doing better than the public sector, 4.3 million jobs created in the last 27 months. We need to accelerate that, Candy, and we all agree on that. The question is how we do it.
Governor Romney's response was to light on the notion that we should hire -- that we should help state and local governments keep teachers and firefighters and police on the job. He said we don't need any more teachers.
We don't need any more teachers? Two hundred and fifty thousand teachers have lost their jobs in the last couple of years. That is a dramatically bad news for the country. It's certainly not good news for our future.
What planet is he living on where he thinks that we can take this kind of hits in our education system and progress as a country?
Fox has been avoiding the Romney attack on hiring of public workers since it happened. Disappearing the misbegotten policies of GOP favorites while promoting a dishonest attack on Obama is just true to form for Fox & Friends.