Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
When I posted about the September jobs report on Friday, I noted in passing that "The right-wing lives in a closed-loop alternate reality in which facts cannot penetrate their insular bubble. I am sure we will be hearing conspiracy theories this morning -- that's what the right-wing thrives on for cognitive dissonance."
All I can say is... Wow! I never imagined how deeply ingrained "Obama Derangement Syndrome" has become in the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine. This is anecdotal evidence to support my political science theory that 42% of the public is batshit crazy at any given moment, believing in things that are demonstrably and provably false.
I agree with Jared Bernstein who took former GE CEO Jack Welch to task for his defamation of the economists at the Bureau of Labor Statisitcs (BLS), for which Welch publicly admits that his conspiracy theory is without any basis in fact.
Bernstein wrote, "Jack Welch should be ashamed of himself. The BLS is an institution with tremendous integrity, and with very deep procedures and methods to ensure the most accurate, unbiased, and and confidential collection, analysis, and reporting of data known to this or any other country." Jared Bernstein: Jack Welch should be ashamed of himself.
BLS economists are consumate professionals who take their work seriously, unlike any of the political hacks who work for the GOPropaganda right-wing noise machine. There is a solid case for defamation here, even under the strict New York Times v. Sullivan standard for the "media," and I use that term loosely.
Only the uninformed who are unfamiliar with how the BLS functions would dare to make such a defamatory statement. There are many layers of protections BLS builds into their data, analysis, and reporting systems:
A March report from The Washington Post details how the jobs reports are made, describing the analysis process as "an eight-day security lockdown" during which confidentiality agreements are signed each morning and computers are encrypted and data locked into a safe every time one of the analysts goes even to the bathroom (itals mine).
Confidentiality agreements…data in a safe every time you go to the bathroom...layers of data security…decades of a perfect track record on data integrity.
Ezra Klein adds his own Debunking the jobs report conspiracy theories:
We’ve hit that moment in the election when people begin to lose their minds. Case in point, within minutes of the jobs report, Twitter filled with Republicans claiming the books were somehow cooked, the numbers aren’t real, etc.
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The controversy, if it’s worth using that word, is over the unemployment rate, which dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent. That’s three-tenths of one percent. That’s what all the fuss is about.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: The data was not, as Jack Welch suggested in a now-infamous tweet, manipulated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is set up to ensure the White House has no ability to influence it. As labor economist Betsey Stevenson wrote, “anyone who thinks that political folks can manipulate the unemployment data are completely ignorant of how the BLS works and how the data are compiled.” Plus, if the White House somehow was manipulating the data, don’t you think they would have made the payroll number look a bit better than 114,000? No one would have batted an eye at 160,000.
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The number could, of course, be wrong. The household survey is, well, a survey, which means it’s open to error. But the internals back it up. The number saying they had jobs increased by about 800,000. That seems high, but it’s counting 582,000 who say they got part-time jobs.
There’s precedent for this. As Daniel Indiviglio notes, part-time jobs increased by 579,000 in September 2010 and by 483,000 in September 2011. It might simply be seasonal hiring. You don’t need to resort to ridiculous theories like Democrats across the country suddenly deciding to lie to surveytakers in order to help Obama.
Jobs reports are estimates based upon surveys, not hard numbers. The numbers may be adjusted up or down as additional data is reviewed. But there has never been any controversy over manipulation of BLS data. Oh sure, Richard Nixon once tried to claim that the data was manipulated, but Tricky Dick also made his conspiracy theory claim without any basis in fact. This is just how the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine rolls.