Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's The Kelly File, Thursday 9:10pm ET/PT

Nets See 'Mixed Picture,' 'Mixed Bag' and 'Silver Lining' in Rising Unemployment Rate

The Labor Department announced the unemployment rate rose a tenth of a point, to 9.6 percent in August so, as the AP noted, it "has exceeded 9 percent for 16 straight months," while the economy lost 54,000 jobs. Yet, without avoiding the dire numbers, ABC, CBS and NBC managed to find a "mixed picture," "mixed bag" or even a "silver lining" for President Obama and Democrats two months before election day.

"It's a mixed picture here, but it's giving some encouragement to those who are out there looking, some who are hanging onto their jobs and their businesses by a thread," Brian Williams insisted on Friday's NBC Nightly News. On the CBS Evening News, fill-on anchor Erica Hill saw "a bit of a mixed bag" before Anthony Mason asserted that "weak as the job numbers were, they were better than Wall Street expected" and he touted: "With American businesses creating 67,000 jobs in August, the private sector has now added jobs for eight straight months."

Over on ABC, fill-in anchor David Muir elevated Obama's spin, teasing World News: "More jobs lost and the President, just today, taking the Republicans on. Are they standing in the way?" He introduced the subsequent story: "This country lost another 54,000 jobs in August, and the President today took on the Republicans, saying they're the ones blocking help for small business."

In a lengthy set up leading into a report from Jake Tapper, Muir trumpeted:

But some economists say there is still a silver lining in these new numbers, because if you take away the 115,000 temporary government jobs - those Census jobs we knew were going away - a slightly different picture emerges. The crucial private sector actually adding 67,000 workers in August, health care and construction leading the way. And that comes after the private sector added 107,000 in July, 61,000 in June...

Nice that Muir realizes the private sector is "crucial"!

Earlier today, from Julia Seymour of the MRC's Business & Media Institute: "CNN's 'Glass One-Quarter Full' Spin: Emphasize Private Job Gains"

David Muir, on the Friday, September 3 ABC World News:

We do turn now to the political storm brewing in Washington over the new jobs numbers out today. This country lost another 54,000 jobs in August, and the President today took on the Republicans, saying they're the ones blocking help for small business. That, in a moment, but first, the numbers.

Word that the nation's employers cut another 54,000 jobs in August, marks the third month in a row that this country has seen a net loss of jobs. But some economists say there is still a silver lining in these new numbers, because if you take away the 115,000 temporary government jobs - those Census jobs we knew were going away - a slightly different picture emerges. The crucial private sector actually adding 67,000 workers in August, health care and construction leading the way. And that comes after the private sector added 107,000 in July, 61,000 in June. It's growth, but still not the number of private sector jobs needed to keep one the nearly 15 million Americans still looking for work.

And as I mentioned, the President was quick today to frame the numbers his way and so lets turn right now to Jake Tapper.

CBS Evening News:

ERICA HILL: Back home, a new sign the economic recovery will be a long, slow journey. Today the Labor Department reported private businesses added 67,000 jobs in August, but overall the economy lost jobs as the Census Bureau laid off more temporary workers. And the unemployment rate inched up to a tenth of a point, a tenth of a point, rather, to 9.6 percent. Wall Street was encouraged by the news that businesses are hiring, though. The Dow jumped 128 points today for its first positive close week in a month. Anthony Mason is our senior business correspondent. So overall, Anthony, it's a bit of a mixed bag?

ANTHONY MASON: Yeah Erica, weak as the job numbers were, they were better than Wall Street expected and seemed to give investors confidence the economy can avoid a double-dip recession. With American businesses creating 67,000 jobs in August, the private sector has now added jobs for eight straight months...

Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News:

Turning to the U.S. economy and the latest reading on the job market for August. Employers cut 54,000 workers from their payrolls, less than what analysts had predicted. The unemployment rate ticked up a notch: 9.6 percent now as discouraged workers restarted their job search. It's a mixed picture here, but it's giving some encouragement to those who are out there looking, some who are hanging onto their jobs and their businesses by a thread...

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.