Where reporting of employment statistics is concerned, two principles are pretty well established among Wisconsin’s mainstream media: First, Governor Walker must be punished severely for announcing his intention to see a quarter-million new jobs created during his first term in office. Second, the waning rate of job creation nationwide must always be treated as a surprise no matter how long it persists, and the President’s name shall not be connected with it in any way.
Not that you need convincing, but the Appleton Post-Crescent, regarded by some as Wisconsin’s stupidest daily newspaper, provided a nice illustration in two installments over the past week. First came an editorial disparaging Wisconsin’s addition of roughly 84,000 new jobs in the midst of a national “recovery,” even though it’s being experienced by many as a continuing recession, and insisting that Walker be held accountable.
Then, five days later, a recycled USA Today story about the “disappointing” federal report showing only 169,000 new jobs nationwide in August.
That dismal number was, in fact, an improvement on the 148,000 three-month average. Even so, the national unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 7.3 solely because 312,000 Americans gave up on searching for employment. Almost twice as many as those who found a job quit looking for one.
The same day, the Post-Crescent served up an Associated Press story reporting the dismal national employment picture and possibly spinning it toward the bright side by referring to it as a “lukewarm job market.”
Curiously, nowhere in either story could we find any reference to the name of the elected official overseeing this pathetic performance.
Oh, and so far there’s been no editorial about holding anyone accountable. The template is firmly in place.