The last thing the right wing wants anyone to hear is that things really are better today than they were four years ago, even if it's the truth. This is why they, with Mediaite's cooperation, managed to create a firestorm of nonsense over an out-of-context statement Michelle Obama made during a radio interview today. You can hear the full exchange at about the 6:00 minute mark.
Here, for your edification, is what she said:
MRS. OBAMA: Well, and it’s also because people are listening. They’re starting to see -- really see up close the differences. I mean, we’re seeing right now that we’re in the midst of a huge recovery, right, because of what this President has done -- pulled this economy from the brink of collapse, where we were losing 800,000 jobs a month; now we’re gaining every -- throughout most of his presidency we’ve been adding jobs to this economy because of what he’s been doing. The stock market has doubled. Housing prices are rising. Foreclosure rates are lowering.
But in the face of that, you still have people trying to convince us that things aren’t better, and that just doesn’t make sense. Now, Barack of all people, knows that we still have a long way to go to completely rebuild the economy, but we’re headed in the right direction.
Do you see Michelle Obama saying that everything is coming up roses and our unicorns will be passed out on November 7th? No? Me either.
But Mediaite tossed her reference to a "huge recovery" into their headline, and away Fox Nation went, along with CNS News and TownHall.com. All of the wingers were quick to pull out their handy statistics and quote statistics to ridicule her and basically say she was full of it, flooding Twitter and Facebook with their phony meme intended to try and say she was lying.
Memo to winger meme-makers: She actually has to say it in context, you know? Like Eric Fehrnstrom did with the "Etch-a-Sketch" remark. No one took him out of context, but you seem to love to take others out of context.
Strangely absent: any acknowledgment that any slowdown they might like to claim can be laid at the doorstep of the Congress, who has steadfastly refused to do anything but pass a lot of bills telling women they're second-class citizens without any right to control their own bodies.
Worse, they completely ignored context. As I said, it wasn't as though the unicorns were singing in the background as she spoke. Yet they ignorde the part where she very clearly states that the president is keenly aware that there is much more work to do, because you know, they couldn't ridicule her if they actually paid attention to the barest contextual frames.
They do this constantly, and they do it for a couple of reasons. First, because it gives Fox & Friends a great opportunity to ridicule her on the air. Count on that tomorrow morning. It becomes the theme of the day, and what a terrific theme just ahead of the next presidential debate. The other reason they do it is to work the refs, in order to shame media outlets into ignoring the recovery altogether if they possibly can.
That second reason is the one more insidious than the first, and the media so far has complied. Imagine that a Republican had pulled the country back from the brink of another Great Depression. I know, it's a stretch, but just try for a minute. Don't you think Fox News would have us thinking it was as though Jesus himself had walked on the troubled waters of our economy to bring us a Republican savior who not only should be re-elected, but should be deified?
Of course they would. But the guy who did it and turned the ship of economic ruin around wasn't a Republican, nor did was the Recovery Act supported by Republicans. So they've boxed themselves into having to sell the falsehood that the stimulus didn't work and nothing is better now than it was four years ago.
My 401k plan, what's left of it after the Great Healthcare Raid of 2009, thinks we're better off. In this month of 2012, my spouse is employed and we're not relying on unemployment benefits like we did in 2008. Many, many people I know can make similar claims.
Does that mean it's done? No. I know others who haven't recovered, and who are just now beginning to see signs of hope. Just like the First Lady said, recovery has been happening, but there is a long way to go.
I dare Fox News to admit that. And Mediaite, who thought they should put an out-of-context quote in their headline without highlighting the offsetting disclaimer; that is, there's still a long way to go.
Next time, I hope the First Lady just comes out and says she thinks it would have been a huge recovery if Republicans hadn't decided the uterus was stronger than the job market.