Romney Hit on Obama Seen as Accurate But False by NYT, But 'Fake But Accurate' Good Enough for Bush Smears

When it came to defending CBS's "60 Minutes" using phony memos to lie about George W. Bush's Vietnam War record, the media standard was "Fake But Accurate," at least according to a suggestion preserved in a September 15, 2004 New York Times headline, "Memos on Bush Are Fake But Accurate, Typist Says." But when it comes to accurate accusations made by Mitt Romney against Obama's economic record, the Times' standard is more like "Accurate But False."

Economics reporter Catherine Rampell authored Thursday's "Check Point," an occasional "reality check" feature for the Times: "Claim About Jobs Doesn't Tell Full Story." (The last five paragraphs of the print edition don't appear in the online version.) Rampell, taking the lead of the Democratic-slanted "fact-check" group Politifact, claimed Romney's "assertion is technically accurate but misses several important pieces of context." 

In campaign events on Tuesday and Wednesday, Mitt Romney made the claim that 92.3 percent of the net total of jobs lost since President Obama took office belonged to women.

The assertion is technically accurate but misses several important pieces of context.

PolitiFact, a nonpartisan organization that judges political claims, rated Mr. Romney’s statement “mostly false” on Tuesday. “We found that though the numbers are accurate, their reading of them isn’t,” PolitiFact wrote.

The Romney campaign disputed the finding. Lanhee J. Chen, the policy director of the campaign, said in a detailed statement that there were “obvious problems with rating an accurate statement mostly false,” including inconsistent standards, and that it showed an “Obama-for-America spin.”

The net number of jobs held by women has fallen by 683,000 since Mr. Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, according to a monthly survey of employers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Male employment has fallen by only 57,000.

But men started out in a much worse position than women in January 2009, because men had already borne the brunt of the layoffs from the recession that began more than a year earlier

From December 2007, when the downturn officially started, to the Obama inauguration, men lost 3,264,000 jobs, while women lost 1,157,000 jobs. For this reason, this recession has also been nicknamed the “mancession.”

In a July 10, 2011 story (before Occupy Wall Street) Rampell wondered where the rioters were: "...where, if anywhere, is the outrage?...Unlike the hard-pressed in, say, Greece or Spain, the jobless in America seem, well, subdued. The old fire has gone out....It wasn't always so. During the Great Depression, riots erupted on the bread lines. Even in the 1980s and 1990s,angry workers descended on Washington by the busload."

ABC News' David Muir also used the slanted to attack Romney's accurate statistic as "mostly false," in what my MRC colleague Brent Baker called "pathetic" and "shoddy reporting."