Here's a fantastic example of how Fox News Channel operates. The Department of Labor released the January jobs numbers, showing a slight uptick in unemployment from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent; 257,000 jobs were added, topping estimates; and wages increased a notch. The overall takeaway is this: job creation showed "the biggest gain in 17 years." That last part is quoted from the Obama-lovers at Fox Business Channel.
It all sounds like great news, unless you're one of the three cartoon couch tumors on Fox & Friends. During a brief segment Friday morning, Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and head injury victim Brian Kilmeade tossed to Fox Business Channel's Nicole Petallides to discuss the Labor report, because talking about numbers without using hand-gestures to show "this many!" is just too hard for the hosts, especially for Kilmeade who recently ate his very first meal without a protective cork on his fork.
That said, Hasselbeck made sure to emphasize that there's "an increase in the unemployment rate." Sounds bad, doesn't it? While the Fox & Friends host attempted to spin the report as if it's grim, here are some of the words Petallides used to describe the report:
1) The uptick in the unemployment rate is "okay."
2) The uptick is due to Americans "getting back into the workforce..."
3) ...which is "great news."
4) Non-farm payroll jobs are "more than the estimates."
5) "The three months together have capped the best gain..."
6) "...the biggest gain we've seen in 17 years."
7) "The other part of this report that's some good news here..."
8) "...hourly wages rose point-five percent."
9) "That's the most we've seen since 2008!"
10) "Americans getting back into the workforce." (Again)
11) The participation rate is "a good sign."
12) "A boost in hiring."
13) "We've had a great week on Wall Street."
14) "The Dow's up over four percent this week."
15) "Oil has gained and that certainly has helped."
16) "Twitter and Linkdin gaining."
17) "And we're waiting for those beautiful Sports Illustrated beauties..."
Oh fuck. We're all doomed.
Obviously, there wasn't a single drop of bad news in any of that. It was an unequivocally upbeat and spectacular report, and the fact that it was delivered on Fox News Channel via Fox Business Channel ought to galvanize the strength of the report (no "liberal media bias" skewing it in favor of Obama).
So, what was Doocy's reaction in the face of information like "the biggest gain in 17 years?"
Doocy said, "So, the headline is the unemployment rates ticks up to 5.7. Wow."
That's how Fox News Channel treats actual news, even when it's reported on Fox News by a correspondent from its sister network. Never mind what you just heard, here's what we heard and the news is terrible. And the world is seriously rising up against Brian Williams of all people? The news media, all of it, is irrevocably broken.