Thursday, October 29, 2009

Forget About Fox - White House Fires Back at AP

The White House is pushing reporters to up their game. If they're going to criticize the White House, they better have solid reporting to back it up. It all began with Fox News because its the sloppiest, mostly because of its straight-up bias.
The White House fired back Wednesday night at an AP story questioning administration claims on job creation spurred by the Recovery Act.

In a story titled "Stimulus jobs overstated by thousands," AP highlighted discrepancies between reported job creation and actual hiring, pointing in one instance to a company that reported adding 4,231 jobs through stimulus spending that actually only hired 1,000 people.

Ed DeSeve, a senior adviser to the president for Recovery Act implementation, said in a statement that nearly all the errors AP identified had already been spotted and fixed by the administration.
"This story draws misleading conclusions from a handful of examples. It looks at only a small portion of the data – an initial upload of data representing just two percent of Recovery Act spending – that was made publicly available before a full review of its accuracy could be done. Virtually all of the errors found by the AP had already been found by our review, and were already corrected in an update to be loaded onto this week," DeSeve said.
The AP story:
The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

For example:

_ A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced.

_ A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending.

_ A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees.

There's no evidence the White House sought to inflate job numbers in the report. But administration officials seized on the 30,000 figure as evidence that the stimulus program was on its way toward fulfilling the president's promise of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year. AP