We talked earlier about the spike in initial unemployment claims, directly attributable to Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed job sites, closed offices, and caused widespread power outages. This shouldn’t lend itself to conservative conspiracy theories, but Fox News found a way.
Pat Garofolo flagged these gems:
* FOX NEWS’ ERIC BOLLING: “The Department of Labor is getting sketchier and sketchier with each one of these numbers.”
* FOX NEWS’ GRETCHEN CARLSON: “A lot of people are going to be raising some eyebrows pretty high today that, after the election, we go up to this whopping number of 439,000.”
* GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI): “Well, real concerns about the numbers. Certainly, some will question the timing.”
In case you’re having trouble with the underlying point here, the new conspiracy theory is that jobless claims were already rising, but those rascals in the Obama administration deliberately skewed the data before the election. Now that the election is over, we see the higher, unskewed figures.
In other words, the right has a choice as to what to believe. Either (a) Hurricane Sandy temporarily interfered with the job market on the East Coast; or (b) the Obama White House and the Department of Labor engaged in an elaborate conspiracy to manipulate jobs data from the states immediately before the election, twisting a metric that most of the public has never heard of.
Honestly, if the last several months have taught us anything, it’s that the right really needs to put their feet back on the ground, stop believing in unhinged nonsense, and start evaluating objective reality in a sane way.
As of this morning, conservatives appear to be off to a rough start.