MSNBC: Obama's Job Loss Blamed on Natural Disasters, Bush's Job Growth 'False' Because of... Natural Disasters?

-By Warner Todd Huston

From the “figures lie, but liars figure” department we find that left-leaning cable newser MSNBC reported that the main reason Obama’s job stats are tumbling and unemployment is so high is because of the harsh tornado season and other natural disasters we have been experiencing over the first half of 2011. Yet, hypocritically, if we take a peak back to the unemployment rates reported by MSNBC in 2004, during Bush’s era, his jump in hiring was called false because of — you guessed it — hurricanes and other natural disasters.

That’s right, folks, MSNBC is using natural disasters to explain away Obama’s high unemployment rates when they used the very same excuse, natural disasters, to say that Bush’s rise in employment was false.

Talk about tailoring the “news” to fit the ideological objective that MSNBC wants to push, eh? Rusty Weiss has a lot of details from Monday, but I want to focus on two examples.

On Monday, MSNBC contributor Eve Tahmincioglu lamented that, “Disasters wipe out jobs along with lives .” In her piece, Tahmincioglu blamed job loss directly on the tornadoes and floods that have bedeviled the central US.

The hardest-hit states already are seeing claims pour in for unemployment benefits. Since a deadly wave of tornadoes swept through Tuscaloosa, Ala., and other Southeast towns in late April, more than 6,000 people have applied for disaster-related jobless benefits, said Tom Surtees, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. Typically about 24,000 people file for jobless benefits each month in the state, where the jobless rate is 9.3 percent, a bit above the national average.

Might make sense, of course. If your towns have been wiped out by natural disasters, well, it might stand to reason that jobs would be wiped out, too. This might help explain the sad jobs picture during this, the Obama administration. MSNBC would love if it were that simple, love to have something other than Obama to blame for the high unemployment figures, certainly.

But, wait. Back in 2004 when Bush saw jobs being created “unexpectedly” MSNBC scoffed that it was anything that Bush was doing right. So what did these lefty “news” folks blame on the false high that explained, in their opinion, the Bush hiring jump? Why, what else but natural disasters?

After reporting that the 2004 job stats had increased “at the fastest pace in seven months,” the big brains at MSNBC explained that it was just a false high.

Some analysts were skeptical about the latest surge of hiring, pointing out that much of the unusually large jump in October stemmed from cleanup and rebuilding in Florida and other states that were ravaged by four hurricanes in August and September, the Labor Department said.

This is a plain example of a slanted media establishment tailoring the news to fit a previously determined ideological conclusion. Natural disasters hurt jobs when Obama is bleeding jobs like a sieve, but when Bush was gaining jobs it was false because of the same sort of natural disasters.

How can they have it both ways? Only when they want to save Obama’s bacon.

What could be more plain?

Check out Rusty’s post for even more examples.


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  • Wow. Do you do any research when you write a story? If you take just a quick look at who Tahmincioglu is, you will see that she is a reporter who has worked for lots of established news outlets and has most recently been writing about labor issues. That is -- reporting about issues that people who work to make money may find helpful. I'm not sure how you find a reporter who is trying to present useful information to working folks a shill for anybody. All you need to do is google her name, Eve Tahmincioglu, and you will find her web site,, along with a bunch of pieces that she has written for large news organizations. She is a freelance reporter, the type of single business owner that this country loves.

    As for the other store that you reference, a story that is written by an employee of MSNBC, if you follow your link and read it you find that it is about how well things were going at the time that it was written -- 2004. The slug was "Jobless rate edges up, but report is best in 7 months". That's considered a favorable summary no matter what side of the political range you find your self and no matter what party is in charge at the time. It took me two read throughs to find the two out of eighteen paragraphs that you plucked out to quote that are less than positive.

    Some news outlets would call that reporting 'ballanced' -- trying to present as many angles and opinions that they find.

    I guess that's where you get a free pass. You posted your story on a 'blog.' It's not a story that has been vetted by a desk editor, then a rim copy editor, and then another until it finally makes it to print. But it looks like that, doesn't it?! Your 'blog post' is simply what ever you pounded out on your keyboard one day and then passed on through, with no one in between you and the readers. Unfiltered, non-considered, zero-vetted. Just simple opinion. Your opinion. Nothing else, no reporting.

    Take a look at Maybe you will find it interesting, engaging, or just entertaining. But at the very least, do her the professional curtesy of reading it before you spew on about her, and your feelings about how she hurts your sensibility with her reporting simply because it was published by a competitor outlet that you want to disparage.

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