Tag: fox friends
'Fox & Friends' Just Couldn't Handle That Huge February Jobs Report

'Fox & Friends' Just Couldn't Handle That Huge February Jobs Report

A strong monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) beat expectations last week, but Fox & Friends struggled to characterize it, absurdly claiming that the numbers reported by the government had missed expectations while arguing with no evidence that the data were unreliable.

On March 4, the BLS released its initial jobs report for February 2022, which showed the economy creating 678,000 jobs last month as the national unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8 percent. The report also included substantial positive revisions to the jobs estimates for December 2021 and January 2022, showing job creation over that period to be “92,000 higher than previously reported.” The topline job creation number for February easily exceeded expectations reported by MarketWatch and Reuters, which forecast 400,000-440,000 jobs created last month.

None of these facts were good enough for the team at Fox News, which honestly seemed almost unprepared to discuss the breaking news. The Fox & Friends studio at first struggled with audio issues when returning from commercial break, and then flashed a red upward arrow on screen seeming to indicate that the unemployment rate had climbed last month (the rate actually fell 0.1 points). After correspondent Carley Shimkus finished reporting the numbers, noting twice that the monthly jobs report beat expert expectations, all three co-hosts — Pete Hegseth, Brian Kilmeade, and Ainsley Earhardt — fumbled their transition to discussing the jobs report with Fox Business host Charles Payne.

The absurdity continued during Payne’s supposedly expert commentary, as he claimed without any evidence or reasoning that he “thought it was going to be a higher number,” saying the report was “really weird.” When pressed by co-host Pete Hegseth about the fact that the report actually beat expectations, Payne doubled down, falsely claiming “everyone thought it was going to be higher.” As Payne listed off made-up expectations and unnamed sources who thought the economy would add 770,000 or more jobs last month, a graphic again flashed on-screen demonstrating that the 678,000 jobs added last month were more than the 400,000 “predicted” by economists.

PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Charles Payne is here, host of Making Money on Fox Business, who is going to help us break down these numbers. Your reaction, Charles?

CHARLES PAYNE (FOX BUSINESS HOST): I thought it was going to be a higher number, I really did. Now, this is not unusual that they missed, and this is really weird. Let me just explain to the audience.

HEGSETH: Okay now, higher number – this is a higher number than expected?

PAYNE: Than consensus, right. But, everyone thought it was going to be higher. I saw some folks on Wall Street at 770, and some even higher than that. Just so you understand how this consensus things [sic] works. Last month, it was 300,000 better, but the month before that they missed it by 200,000, the month before that they missed it by 340,000. In August of last year, they missed it by 515,000. Forget about it, go back to April 2020, and they missed it by 2.2 million. You know, so, the consensus thing, let's look past that for a moment.

We’ve got almost 11 million job openings, we’re still not at the participation rate we were at just before the pandemic. So, this is a good number, but it could have been even better than this. For me, what’s more important is participation, I don’t know what that is just yet, because we want people coming back to the labor force, right. Also, wages. Now, wages were expected to go up 5.8 percent. Normally that’s good, but we’re going to find out next week that inflation, during this same time period, probably up more than 8 percent. So that means any raise you got was evaporated.

Throughout Payne’s commentary, he seemed confused about how the BLS reporting process works, and he ignored a key component of the entire process by which numbers are revised over time. For example, Payne said that the previous jobs report for August 2021 had missed its expectations by 515,000 jobs, totally ignoring the fact that subsequent revisions had made up for half that gap.

Payne also struggled to explain how economic forecasters form “consensus” expectations, and complained about low labor force participation rates, even though the report he held in his hand showed an increase in that rate from month-to-month.

Eventually, the Fox & Friends team got their footing and returned to the bread and butter misinformation we’ve come to expect from Fox News. Unable to coherently describe the economic data in front of their eyes, the team pivoted to complaining about President Joe Biden’s energy policies and mocking teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg for somehow contributing to both increased gas prices and Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Fox’s almost comical hot takes on the routine data release stand as a reminder that the Fox News propaganda machine will never miss an opportunity to cast the economy in a negative light, so long as it reflects poorly on Democrats.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

‘Local Parent’ On Fox News Is Professional GOP And Trump Flack

‘Local Parent’ On Fox News Is Professional GOP And Trump Flack

Fox News has avidly promoted former Trump administration officials as seemingly being just concerned local parents in the network's coverage of the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election. And in the case of one guest who has frequently appeared or been cited by the network's hosts, his political connections go far and wide through both political campaigns and even Fox News itself.

Ian Prior is one of many Republican activists, political staffers, and Trump administration alumni who have appeared on Fox News as part of its campaign against "critical race theory." The network has used the term as a "catch-all" phrase for any right-wing culture war grievances, especially over racial diversity and civil rights, in an effort to mobilize Republican voters for this year's Virginia elections and the midterms next year.

Prior now leads Fight for Schools, a political action committee launched this year to support "common sense candidates" who oppose "critical race theory." In addition to his many years in communications for Republican campaigns, he has his own political communications consulting firm and political newsletter. He also worked in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2018, as deputy director of public affairs at the Justice Department under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

And the world of both conservative media and Republican political operatives is a small one indeed. During Prior's time as deputy director of the DOJ's Office of Public Affairs under Sessions, his coworkers in public affairs included media affairs coordinator Devin O'Malley — who is now the campaign spokesman for Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin. In addition, two other colleagues were media affairs specialist Kerri Kupec, who this year became Fox News' Washington, D.C., editor after serving the rest of former President Donald Trump's term at DOJ under both Sessions and his successor, Bill Barr; and press assistant Kelly Laco, who is now a news and politics editor for Fox News digital content — and who has quoted Prior in at least one article. (The article noted Prior's DOJ experience, but not the fact that he and Laco were former colleagues.)

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On Wednesday's edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy read a statement from Prior, responding to former President Barack Obama's recent campaign rally for former Virginia governor and current Democratic nominee Terry McAullife — while presenting Prior as simply a concerned local parent who has come to prominence recently.

"Ian Prior, who's been on this program, he's one of the parents who's very concerned about what's going on out in Loudoun County," Doocy said, before reading a statement that concluded with the accusation: "It is clear that all the star power coming in for Terry McAuliffe is reading off the same deceptive page of sheet music with talking points designed to deceive people as to what's really happening in Virginia public schools."

Co-host Brian Kilmeade then added: "This is real, this is organic, this is not scripted. These are people standing up, Democrats and Republicans standing up for what's happening in their schools."

Prior also appeared last Thursday with Fox News host Sean Hannity, during which his background as a Trump administration staffer was also not disclosed. By contrast, Prior had also appeared twice this month on The Story with Martha MacCallum, during which both MacCallum and guest anchor Trace Gallagher cited his experience in the Trump administration. (Though earlier this year, MacCallum had also failed to disclose Prior's background.)

So it appears that as the Virginia election gets closer, Prior has become less and less of a former Trump DOJ official and more of being just a concerned local parent whose attacks on Democrats are "organic" and "not scripted."

Flattened By Vote, Recall Activists Wanly Claim 'Success'

Flattened By Vote, Recall Activists Wanly Claim 'Success'

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Wednesday, after the GOP effort to recall California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom officially came to an end in a resounding loss, Fox News hosted a roundtable of anti-Newsom activists who claimed they had achieved "success."

The recall results were not close. The ballot against recalling Newsom received 64 percent of the vote and held a lead of over 2.5 million votes, with 70 percent of the total counted.

However, Fox & Friends invited several guests who were a part of the recall movement to react to the results of the election, and many of them declared successes.

"I do think this was a huge success because a small group of people did put some fear into the governor to the point that he actually had to fly out the vice president and the president," Erica Kious, the former owner of a San Francisco hair salon, said, after saying she was "devastated" by the recall results.

In September 2020, Kious had released a video of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting her salon despite COVID restrictions.

"It was a huge grassroots effort," guest Aaron Bergh said. "It was great to see this revolution of small business owners and dissatisfied parents and just ordinary Californians to put their foot down and say we need change here."

The GOP effort to oust Newsom lost despite national support and fundraising campaigns.

While Newsom outraised his opponents, there were millions raised in favor of the recall campaign. The Los Angeles Timesreported that pro-recall efforts received over $45.2 million in donations.

The recall campaign also had the support of the national Republican Party and the California Republican Party.

"Gavin Newsom has had three years to solve California's problems. He has only made them worse. His time in office is up," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in an op-ed column on FoxNews.com on Tuesday.

Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party, wrote a few hours before the election, "@CAGOP has grown to 72,000 volunteers and made 18 million voter contacts to #RecallGavinNewsom - the excitement and enthusiasm is there, Californians are hungry for change."

And then there was Fox News. As polling began showing a likely Newsom win, Fox began to promote baseless conspiracy theories alleging that the election would be stolen.

"The only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud," Fox host Tomi Lahren claimed on the September 7 edition of the program Outnumbered.

On August 22, Fox contributor Newt Gingrich similarly alleged that "this is going to be an election where they go all-out to steal the referendum."

And on August 25, Fox host Tucker Carlson claimed that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigning for Newsom was a threat to democracy: "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now set to campaign against the recall — 'No more democracy for you!' You've got to wonder, will the state survive this? Will there be a free and fair election?"

Despite the efforts of the state and national Republicans and their allies at Fox, the leading Republican candidate in the recall, Larry Elder, conceded on Tuesday night.

"Let's be gracious in defeat. By the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war," Elder said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

As Major Defeat Loomed, McCarthy Said Recall Is ‘Pretty Big Victory’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday claimed that even if the Republican-led campaign to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in California fails, it will still be a "pretty big victory" for his party. McCarthy represents California's 23rd Congressional District in Congress.

In an appearance on Fox News' Fox and Friends, he was asked what his expectations were for the outcome of the recall attempt, with polls set to close in California at 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

"Gavin Newsom has all the money, we just have the issues on our side," said McCarthy, adding, "Just getting it to a recall is a pretty big victory in itself."

California has some of the most lenient laws in the country as far as recalling a governor or other statewide official. The state requires that a petition collect signatures amounting to 12 percent of the votes cast in the last election for the office, the smallest percentage of signatures needed of all states. And due to the pandemic, recall hopefuls were granted an additional 120 days to gather signatures.

In spite of these advantages favoring the Republican-backed recall, polling has consistently shown opposition to the effort. In FiveThirtyEight's average of recall polls, 57.8 percent of respondents support keeping Newsom in office, while support for removal is at 41.5 percent.

The 12 most recent polls listed on the FiveThirtyEight site show the option to retain Newsom with a double-digit lead, ranging from 10 to 19 points.

From the September 14 edition of Fox & Friends:

AINSLEY EARHARDT, Fox News: What do you expect in California today, your state, with this recall?

KEVIN MCCARTHY: It's going to be interesting. Because here we are in California, Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, but you're going to have to really watch what turns out today.

If Republicans are – independents are voting to remove Gavin Newsom, because think about it for one moment, if you travel California, there's homelessness in every place of it. Crime rising. There's not one national park in California open because there's mismanagement of forest that comes every single year. And do you want to reward that?

He's been in Sacramento for more than a decade and he has no plan to turn it around. All he does is bring in Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and others to say, "Keep me, otherwise a Republican will win."

This is an opportunity to change the course. If we have a deficit going into election day, of a million or less, there's an opportunity that we can be successful here. But, you know, Gavin Newsom has all the money, we just have the issues on our side. Just getting it to a recall is a pretty big victory in itself.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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