MSNBC's Martin Bashir spent a good part of his on air time Monday calling Republicans liars as he foolishly confused two extraordinarily simple pieces of economic data thereby making it he that was commiting a falsehood.
After calling Tea Party Express founder Judson Phillips a liar on his 3PM program, Bashir said the same thing about Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on The Ed Show roughly five hours later while in both instances wrongly claiming there were more food stamp recipients when George W. Bush was president than there are now (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MARTIN BASHIR: Gingrich lies repeatedly. First of all, we know today that more people were collecting food stamps under George W. Bush than are under President Obama. So, that’s the first, something like a difference of about a half a million people.
What's amazing here is Bashir made exactly the same mistake as he did about five hours earlier.
As previously reported, the number of food stamp recipients is currently at an all-time high having grown 44 percent since Obama was inaugurated.
Unfortunately, much like his colleague Al Sharpton did on Saturday, Bashir is confusing two pieces of data and seems incapable of getting it right even with five hours to do so.
As USA Today reported Wednesday:
Newt Gingrich claims that "more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history." He's wrong. More were added under Bush than under Obama, according to the most recent figures.
That's correct. Although we only have numbers through last October, food stamp recipients have grown by 14.2 million under Obama. During Bush's two terms the increase was 14.7 million.
This is what Bashir was referring to when he said "something like a difference of about a half a million people."
But, much as he did earlier, Bashir confused the two pieces of data saying "we know today that more people were collecting food stamps under George W. Bush than are under President Obama."
Not true. What "we know today" is that as of October 2011, there were 46.2 million people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as compared to only 32 million when Obama was inaugurated.
We also know that 500,000 more folks joined SNAP during Bush's eight years than in Obama's first 32 months.
Unfortunately, the overbearingly smug and condescending Bashir seems incapable of differentiating these two pieces of data and properly reporting them to his albeit tiny audience.
As Scarlett O'Hara said at the end of Gone With the Wind, tomorrow is another day.
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