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MSNBC host’s complaint about media coverage of Biden, Trump jobs reports missing important context: Analysts

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MSNBC’s Ari Melber was accused of omitting important context Monday after comparing the Associated Press’ coverage of two similar jobs reports — one presented under President Biden this week and the other under former President Trump in 2018.

“While the AP reported ‘stagnant’ jobs report under President Biden, they described a similar number under the Trump administration as ‘strong,'” Millber wrote Monday with an accompanying graphic.

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“This is one of the most shocking illustrations of MSM’s unfairness to POTUS,” said Jill Wayne Banks, MSNBC analyst, agreeing with Melber’s opinion.

FILE PHOTO: Signs for a job fair are seen on Fifth Avenue after the release of a jobs report in Manhattan, New York City, US, September 3, 2021.
(Reuters/Andrew Kelly/File Photo)

US employment falters in November as economy adds just 210,000 new jobs

However, as some analysts have noted, Miller failed to point out that the 2018 jobs report, presented in a booming economy before the coronavirus pandemic, beat economists’ expectations at the time of 180,000 jobs. Wages also rose at the fastest rate in eight years, leaving the Associated Press to conclude that Americans enjoy a “healthy labor market.” By contrast, this month, with the economy recovering, more than 500,000 new jobs were expected.

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Josh Jordan tweeted: “What this tweet intentionally left out was that the January 2018 jobs report was forecasting 180,000 jobs being overtaken by 200,000 jobs added.” “This month they expected 500,000 jobs but only added 210k. I’ve seen this reposted by big accounts and it’s misleading at best.”

President Joe Biden's remarks on the June jobs report.

President Joe Biden’s remarks on the June jobs report.
(White House)

Biden backs away from reporters, declines to answer questions after remarks on illegal jobs report

Jobs reports under the Biden administration have often fallen short of expectations in the latter half of the year. Biden addressed the dismal September jobs report in a speech at the White House in October, but left without answering questions.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the South Courtroom on the White House campus, Tuesday, November 23, 2021, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the South Courtroom on the White House campus, Tuesday, November 23, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


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Melber was not the first to accuse the media of being unfairly negative when reporting on Biden’s agenda. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has written an AI-based column alleging that Biden has received worse media treatment than Trump in the past four months.

“What’s actually interesting is that you think there would be a similar effect, the left-wing media would be more favorable to Biden. But it doesn’t actually happen,” Milbank said of his CNN report. “The left-wing media is tough on him. He’s too progressive. He’s not progressive enough.”

Milbank was weighed down by skeptical readers and also admitted that he was “somewhat” confident in the study’s findings. Pollster Nate Silver criticized the study’s methodology on Monday, calling it “complete crap” because it made weak connections between certain words and whether stories were positive or negative about Biden. He noted that some of the stories in the study were also unrelated to Biden.

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