A correspondent of Fox News‘ “Fox & Friends” praised the recently released January jobs report on Friday, Jan. 3, mistakenly crediting President Donald Trump for successful job creation that actually occurred under former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Heather Nauert lauded the January report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that 227,000 new jobs were created in that month. Nauert wrongly referred to the data as “the first jobs report under President Trump,” adding that the number of new jobs was “a lot more than expected.”
“This is some fantastic news,” she exclaimed during her segment, which included no mention of former President Obama.
Political experts like Austan Goldsbee, a former chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, blasted the network’s pro-Trump narrative by pointing out that the data featured in the jobs report reflected the progress made under the former POTUS’ administration, not Trump’s. He noted that the latest job creation data was actually collected through Jan. 12, meaning that the report preceded Trump’s time in office.
The Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler also highlighted the fact that Obama was still the president for much of January, so there was no way the latest jobs report could have reflected progress made under the Trump administration.
Re today's jobs report: The data was collected on or about the 12th of January. So this still reflects the Obama administration.
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) February 3, 2017
As reported by news site Media Matters, Fox News‘ suddenly positive coverage of the jobs report is a complete about-face from their common practice of depicting effective job progress in a negative light during Obama’s time in office. For instance, the right-wing network in January 2016 claimed that the creation of 292,000 additional jobs was “modest by historical standards” even though it was well above this year’s total of 227,000. Media Matters also pointed out Fox & Friends’ false claims that the steady jobs report for October 2016 were underwhelming, spinning their narrative to bolster support for then-presidential candidate Trump.
“Fox’s spin on the jobs report this morning follows a consistent, deliberate and predictable strategy of playing the role of Republican cheerleader and ‘propaganda machine,’ ” the news site wrote.