The media is more likely to define a presidential administration as a “job killer” if it’s Democratic, according to an independent study released this week, and in 91.6 percent of the stories alleging that a government policy was a “job killer,” the news media failed to cite any evidence for this claim.
“Job Killers” in the News: Allegations without Verification, by Professors Peter Dreier of Occidental College and Christopher Martin of the
University of Northern Iowa, found that the majority of the sources of stories using the phrase “job killer” were business spokemen (18.6 percent) and Republican Party officials (41.7 percent). The term was used to attack policies to safeguard consumers, protect the environment, raise wages, expand health insurance coverage, increase taxes on the wealthy and make workplaces safer.
“By failing to seek to verify allegations made about government policies and proposals, the news media typically act more like a transmission belt for business, Republican and conservative sources than an objective seeker of truth when it comes to the term ‘job killer,’” Dreier and
According to the study, media stories with the phrase “job killer” spiked dramatically after Barack Obama was elected president, increasing by 1,156 percent between the first three years of the George W. Bush administration (16 “job killer” stories) and the first three years of the Obama administration (201 “job killer” stories). This despite the fact that in Bush’s last year in office, the number of jobless workers skyrocketed by 4.1 million and the unemployment rate worsened by 2.7 percent. Rather,
“job killer” allegations correspond much more closely with political cycles.
Pair this study up with the ongoing denial of economic reality by the extremists like Rush Limbaugh and those at Fox News—whom Media
Matters points out this week continue to deny the nation’s growing income inequality—and it’s clear the American public is being served oversized portions of corporate propaganda.