NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno made a joke Monday about President Obama and the economy that would be funny if it didn't hit so close to home.
Talking about how the unemployment rate only fell last month because of the number of people that dropped out of the labor force, Leno quipped that the President is "encouraging more Americans to give up looking for work so the numbers will come down a little bit" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JAY LENO: Well, according to the Labor Department, unemployment fell from 8.3 to 8.1 percent last month. But that was because only, that's because, rather, 368,000 Americans gave up looking for work. And today, President Obama said that's a step in the right direction, and he is encouraging more Americans to give up looking for work so the numbers will come down a little bit.
In reality, most of the drop in the unemployment rate since its 2009 peak is due to a decline in the labor force.
In fact, according to Zero Hedge, the real unemployment rate is currently 11.7 percent.
As such, if the media did a better job reporting the truth about the jobs numbers, one quite imagines Obama wouldn't be doing nearly as well in the polls.
Leno's joke is actually a welcome departure from the norm. Since he appeared on the national scene and became the president, Barack Obama has been the focus of flattery instead of punch lines from the nation's comics.
Particularly egregious has been CBS's David Letterman who repeatedly gushed over Obama during an hour-long interview in 2009 and proclaimed “I can't tell you how satisfying it is to watch you work.” Obama is in New York City taping yet another appearance on the liberal comedian's show, having turned down a request to meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.