Early Tuesday morning, on the heels of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 89th birthday, President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that "unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest ever recorded. Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubled. Thank you, and it will get even (much) better!
Unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest ever recorded. Trump approval ratings with Black Americans has doubl… https://t.co/T5tmchLiz8— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1516113000.0
Unfortunately for Trump, this is simply not true. As indicated in the tweet, the president's information came from none other than Fox News.
During a segment on Fox & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade said, "believe it or not, through all this negative coverage, they did a survey of 600,000 people about how black America views this president. His numbers have actually doubled.”
Study: 90% of Trump media coverage in 2017 was negative https://t.co/vbrwup4Drg— FOX & friends (@FOX & friends) 1516110902.0
It turns out, Kilmeade is making stuff up. Survey Monkey, an online polling company, has surveyed 602,134 people since Trump's inauguration in 2017, not just "black America," as claimed by Kilmeade. In fact, the survey Kilmeade references polled 19,000 black men and 31,000 black women.
"Survey Monkey’s results, provided to The New York Times, show that Mr. Trump’s approval ratings among black Americans actually declined from 20 percent in February 2017, his first full month in office, to 15 percent in December. (This is consistent with polling from the Pew Research Center and Reuters.)," reported the New York Times. In the survey, the details of which were discussed in the Atlantic, 23 percent of black men and 11 percent black women support the President.
On Sunday, Breitbart News also misrepresented the survey. In a piece entitled "Donald Trump’s Support Among Blacks Has Doubled Since 2016, Amid Racism Claims," Breitbart compares exit polls from the 2016 election to the Survey Monkey results. This is a false equivalency, because exit polls target people who have just voted; Survey Monkey included people that were either registered or not registered to vote. Breitbart also averaged each gender without factoring in how many people were surveyed, which is a no-no in scientific polling analyses.
And while the Bureau of Labor and Statistics places black unemployment at 6.8 percent, it has been declining steadily since 2011. Between August 2011 and January 2017, unemployment among black Americans fell from 16.4 to 7.8 percent. Trump did not take office until January 2017.
Of course, Twitter wasn't buying it. A parody account for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov poked fun at the president: "Executive Time, working hard."
@realDonaldTrump @FoxNews Executive Time, working hard https://t.co/9ca6BWEGzh— Soviet Sergey (@Soviet Sergey) 1516113006.0
Other users were not so jovial in their assessment: "No, you are not seeing things... President Trump just made a tweet bragging about his 17% African American Approval, saying it doubled since 2016... FYI: Barack Obama's Approval among African Americans when he left office was 92%!!!"
When are the fake news awards again? We may have some new contestants.