This morning brought two new signs that the economy is improving: a four-year low in weekly unemployment claims and record profits at GM, which was nearly left for dead just a few years ago until intervention by the Obama administration saved it. But where most see good news, some conservative see danger — and a secret media plot.
Appearing on Fox News this morning, Sarah Palin said she doesn’t believe the good job numbers:
PALIN: The media is reeling these numbers, that I do not believe are accurate, when it comes to jobs. I still think it is a jobless recovery that is affecting America right now. … So that 8.3 percent unemployment number is an indicator to President Obama and to his allies in the media to make it look like things are getting better.
Meanwhile, displaying characteristic cognitive dissonance, the cast of Fox and Friends — which previously wondered if the Labor Department was “cooking the books” on jobs data — tried their hardest to find the dark lining in the silver cloud. Co-host Steve Doocy discredited GM’s success because it helped unions, while co-host Eric Bolling questioned the means of saving GM: “We usurped the constitution, we usurped free-market capitalism” to do so. As for claims that the bailout saved jobs by saving GM, Bolling offered a ridiculous counter-factual to explain why Obama deserves no credit:
BOLLING: I don’t buy the argument that we saved jobs cause those jobs weren’t going to go overseas anyway. There was just going to be another company, maybe not called GM, it may have been called Ford, who did not take a dollar in bailout money.
As The Economist, which was initially opposed to the bailout, points out today, even Ford worried the entire auto industry would implode if GM were allowed to fail, so it’s unclear why Bolling is so convinced that every person employed at GM today would still have a job without the bailout.
But Doocy really gave away the game a moment later when he said, “We just have done two business stories that are good for the president of the United States…Now here’s some bad news for president of the Untied States,” turning to high gas prices, just as Palin did.
The suggestion that falling unemployment and that the revival of a major American auto-maker is good for Obama, and not, say, the country as a whole, and that rising gas prices are bad for Obama, and not, say, every driver in America, illuminates the Fox News world view which politicizes everything from jobs to Christmas in a nihilist effort to tear down the president.
Good news is bad news for the conservative echo chamber, as it undermines the narrative they’ve doggedly constructed of the past three years that president Obama is bad for the economy.
Perhaps it’s just that, as Comedy Central host Steven Colbert noted, facts have a “liberal bias.”