Friday, August 10, 2018


(The Donald Trump Jr. Instagram post cited below has been deleted. I've replaced it with a copy of the image Junior posted.)

Donald Trump Jr. got caught cooking the books a couple of days ago:
Donald Trump Jr. posted a fake graphic to Instagram on Wednesday to misrepresent his father’s approval rating.

It was unclear who made the fake graphic that the president’s eldest son shared in an Instagram post that has not yet been deleted, but in it his father’s 40 percent approval rating is clearly visible below a photoshopped 50%....

The fakery was called on out the Instagram post and on Twitter.
The Instagram post has since been removed, but here's the image:

Why did Junior want to post this at all? The answer is obvious: The rest of the Trump numbers are much better than Obama's numbers. They're so good that right-wingers are memifying the screenshot even without the edit:

So why are the numbers for Trump so much better? Well, as CNN's John King explained when this appeared on the air, he was comparing Trump's numbers now to Obama's at the same point in his presidency. On the air, King made clear several times that Obama had taken office at the depths of a recession, while Trump took office during a recovery.

From the transcript:
KING: ... President Trump says he deserves bragging rights for his record, especially if you compare it to his predecessor, sharing this one tweet that looks at him and President Obama.

Here's the tweet. "Presidential approval numbers, very good, strong economy, military and just about everything else, better numbers than Obama at this point by far. We are winning on just about every front, and for that reason, there will not be a blue wave, but there might be a red wave." [12:55:08] That's what the President says on Twitter.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of some of the numbers at the same point in their presidency and guess what? President Trump is right, especially on the economics.

Remember the times. President Trump took office at a time the economy was booming. President Obama took office in a recession, after a financial crisis when the economy was tanking. But look, job approval, if you look at the margin of error in the [Gallup poll] President Obama was a little above, but they're roughly the same. Roughly the same, President Trump a little below.

The unemployment rate, President Trump does deserve bragging rights. Again, consider the times though. Jobs added versus jobs lost, we were still deep in the recession when President Obama took over. The deficit, a lot of Republicans don't like the deficits under President Trump but again, higher under Obama at that point.

And the Obama administration in economic growth, certainly, again, we were just trying to crawl out of the recession there. President Trump has ever[y] right to be happy about 4.1% GDP in the last quarter.

That is why when the President is on the campaign trail, even though Republican are so pessimistic, he says look at the numbers.
What King said gave the full story, more or less. But it's 2018. King and CNN should have known that a graphic like this will inevitably be used by pro-Trump partisans, who, of course, won't provide the context. Broadcasting the chart without a visual explanation of the context was a mistake.

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