Factual Whoppers On Jobs By Illinois Reporter and Michelle Obama (Update: A Correction Fail)

November 2nd, 2014 11:52 PM

Doug Schorpp at the Quad City Times had a really bad day yesterday. The sad thing is that he still probably doesn't even know it.

His report (HT Gateway Pundit) on Michelle Obama's visit to Moline, Illinois had two whoppers. One of them was spoken by Mrs. Obama, while the other error was completely unforced. They have been present at the paper's web site since Saturday at 6 p.m., humiliating everyone associated with that publication.

The Time apparently didn't have the background knowledge to recognize how laughable the following claim Mrs. Obama made is:

"And we are here to keep this state in the right direction," she said to thunderous applause. "And this state is leading the nation in job creation."

As seen here (Table C at link), Illinois had a strong September for job growth, picking up 19,300 seasonally adjusted jobs. Setting aside the very real possibility of stat cooking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics to try to save that state's Democratic Party regime, that figure is not the largest on the list, either on an absolute basis (Texas added more jobs) or on a percentage basis (12 of the 17 states listed at that table added a higher percentage to their employment in September).

Looking at a longer period, Illinois, pending possible revisions to September's single-month result, was 37th in the nation in job growth during the past 12 months.

Looking at an even longer period, as columnist George Will pointed out roughly a month ago:

Illinois has 300,000 fewer jobs than it had in 2008. For the last four years in the state of Illinois, the number of new food stamp recipients has increased twice as fast as the number of new job recipients.

As embarrassing as Michelle Obama's misstatement is, readers, to coin a phrase and quote a song, ain't seen nothin' yet.

Here's what Schorpp claimed Mrs. Obama also said about job growth in Illinois:

Obama said 10 million new jobs have been created in Illinois in recent years.

Fortunately for Mrs. Obama, who has embarrassed herself enough already, the White House transcript of the event has her saying the following:

You’re here because you know that under the leadership of our elected officials that things are starting to get better. You’ve heard the numbers: Our businesses have created more than 10 million new jobs since 2010. This is the longest uninterrupted run of private sector job growth in our nation’s history. (Applause.) And you’re here because you want to keep this state heading in the right direction.

Everyone present, apparently with the exception of reporter Doug Schorpp, should have understood that Mrs. Obama was referring to nationwide job growth and not just employment growth in Illinois. Just a little context, Doug: Illinois has a total population of almost 13 million, of whom almost 5.9 million are employed.

One hopes that no one at the Quad City Times bothered to review Doug Schorpp's work before it went up at the paper's web site. The alternative — that there is actually at least one more person employed there who is as ignorant as the reporter — is really too much to bear.

Then again, maybe everyone at the Times is that ignorant, given that we're at over 30 hours and counting that Mrs. Obama's unchallenged error and Schorpp's massive blunder have remained without correction.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

UPDATE, NOV. 4: The Times has revised the "10 million jobs" claim to read "Obama said 10 million new jobs have been created in the nation in recent years." In a basic journalistic fail, there is no indication that it made a correction to its original report. 

The Times's revised statement is STILL not true. Mrs. Obama said "our businesses" have added over 10 million jobs. That refers only to the private sector, where the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a seasonally adjusted 10.347 million jobs have been added since February 2010. Total nonfarm payrolls have only increased by a seasonally adjusted 9.880 million.