Political Animal


September 10, 2011 9:25 AM Dick Morris can’t read

By Steve Benen

I generally prefer to pretend that Dick Morris doesn’t exist, but reader S.H. noticed an interesting claim in the sleazy conservative’s latest print column.

Morris, of course, was trying to make the argument that President Obama’s policies have been “disastrous,” and points to the latest job numbers to bolster his case.

Buried within the data [published last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics] is a micro-statistic symptomatic of what is happening in all sectors of the economy. In August, the economy lost 30,000 healthcare jobs, a drop from its recent monthly increments of 10,000 to 15,000 and well down from historical norms of 30,000 new healthcare jobs each month.

Why should healthcare jobs be down? … It is simply because the industry is traumatized and terrified by the impact of ObamaCare.

Now, even on face value, this argument is just foolish. Drawing sweeping conclusions about a law based on one month’s job numbers is lazy thinking, especially since full implementation of the law is still a few years away.

And if this were the only flaw in Morris’ argument, it would hardly be worth mentioning. But there’s an even more hilarious problem with Morris’ piece: he can’t read.

Here’s the latest jobs report from the Labor Department, which Morris used as the basis for his entire column.

Health care employment rose by 30,000 in August. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added 18,000 and 8,000 jobs, respectively. Over the past 12 months, health care employment has grown by 306,000. [emphasis added]

That’s right, Dick Morris wrote an entire column based on the belief that the health care industry lost 30,000 jobs in August. The report he relied on actually said the health care industry gained 30,000 jobs in August. Morris’ case isn’t just lazy and unserious; it’s backwards.

Morris argues that the only logical conclusion to draw is that the Affordable Care Act is a disaster because the industry isn’t adding 30,000 jobs a month. But it is. It says right there in the black-and-white text: “Health care employment rose by 30,000 in August.” The very report Morris uses as evidence to prove his point is the same report that makes his own column look like a ridiculous lie.

Remember, Morris’ observation, which was the opposite of the truth, was the basis for his entire condemnation of the Obama administration. By his own reasoning, the Affordable Care Act would necessarily have to be deemed a great success, since the health care industry is one of the fastest growing industries for job creation in the nation.

Don’t go away mad, Dick. Just go away.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • Dick Morriss on September 10, 2011 9:31 AM:

    Oh Yeah !

    Well ...

    Shutup !

  • montana on September 10, 2011 9:33 AM:

    It's not that they can't read. It's that they assume their own readers _won't_ read or fact check. This is propaganda at its worst. Just make up your own facts and enrage voters.

  • FRP on September 10, 2011 9:36 AM:

    I suppose you're slyly implying that Saint Rush Bo has on occasion slipped a Dicky Morris into his facts ?


    I say it just won't do . Now cut it out .

  • walt on September 10, 2011 9:36 AM:

    In some ways, it's even worse than Steve portrays it. The health-care industry is heavily dependent on government spending. That's why it's still growing. And what do conservatives want? To cut "entitlement" spending, which would result in job losses in that sector, too. "Obamacare", btw, will deliver 30 million new consumers to the health-care industrial complex. Does anyone seriously the buccaneers of for-profit health care are upset by this prospect?

    We have an economy that hasn't imploded completely for one reason: the government is running huge deficits. Yes, over the long run these deficits are unsustainable. But if it wasn't for those current deficits, we'd be in a Depression, and not a Lesser one either.

    Dick Morris is an idiot and a right-winger, but I repeat myself.

  • c u n d gulag on September 10, 2011 9:41 AM:

    You ever notice how many people named "Dick" actually turn into one?

    I'll make an allowance for Mr. Clark, who seemed nice - but I'm pretty sure I could find some people in the music business who'll tell me different.

    And Dick Morris is a nothing more than a syphillitic postule on a bridge trolls ass.
    And the troll is better looking...

  • berttheclock on September 10, 2011 9:42 AM:

    Interestingly, only one commenter to that 9/6 "The Hill" article, even noticed that huge mistake by Morris and his name was Steve. So, Mr Benen, were you that Steve? However, I notice, Morris never corrected his mistake, while other RepuGs spewed their nonsense, as well.

  • pinko on September 10, 2011 9:46 AM:

    That wasn't intended to be a factual statement.

  • Dick Morriss on September 10, 2011 9:50 AM:

    It was intended however as a

    Shutup Statement

    Yours forever XOXOXO , Dicky

    PS does it jinx the Captcha to ruminate upon it ?

  • Josef K on September 10, 2011 9:51 AM:

    I generally prefer to pretend that Dick Morris doesn’t exist

    If he didn't, the Washingtonians would have invented him. They're funny like that.


  • DJ on September 10, 2011 9:54 AM:

    There must be a reasonable explanation for Morris's crass mistake -- perhaps he was distracted by having his toes sucked by a whore.

  • Dick Morris on September 10, 2011 10:03 AM:


    Can someone please find me a giant tube of Preparation H so I can apply it to myself ... yes, I am nothing more than a giant hemorrhoid waiting to pop ...... so please someone, anyone, get me that tube of Preparation H .........

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 10, 2011 10:04 AM:

    It doesn't matter. Wingnuts who read Morris will say 30,000 jobs were lost in August.

    If someone on Fox said Obama, while giving the speech Thursday, turned around and killed Boehner by shooting him in the head, there would be wingnuts listening and watching Boehner when he next spoke in public lamenting he was killed by Obama. We're so far down the rabbit hole, it's frightening.

  • Brenna on September 10, 2011 10:13 AM:

    What montana on September 10, 2011 9:33 AM: said is the truth. Dick Morris and is ilk will blatantly lie, but it's their followers who WANT to believe their lies. And they'll repeat the lies to others.

  • kevo on September 10, 2011 10:20 AM:

    Let's be frank Mr. Benen! If what you report is accurate, Dick Morris' print claim is simply dishonest, and he should be called a liar by the town crier - but alas, some village idiot (Ailes?, Kochs?, Murdoch?) keeps paying him to spew sleaze and deceit.

    Why the today's popularity of the zombie genre?

    Just look around at the info-zombies among us who mindlessly devour the stinking info-flesh of what the likes of Dick Morris hands to them! -Kevo

  • Marc in Denver on September 10, 2011 10:21 AM:

    What does it say about The Hill that a column that cited a fact & got it that wrong got published??

  • berttheclock on September 10, 2011 10:27 AM:

    Now, that many on the left realize the sleaze of Morris, what does it say for the "Triangulation" employed by Bill?

  • Gov't Mule on September 10, 2011 10:38 AM:

    Dick Morris has no credibility whatsoever. Everything he says is a personal vendetta against the Clinton's and the Democratic Party, as if they were responsible for his toe-sucking of prostitute's fetish.

  • Dan Rowan on September 10, 2011 10:42 AM:

    Say goodnight, Dick.

  • Dick Martin on September 10, 2011 10:44 AM:

    Goodnight, Dick.

  • Swift Loris on September 10, 2011 10:46 AM:

    Just for the heck of it, I emailed The Hill's editorial department calling their attention to the error. Let's see if a correction will be forthcoming.

  • FRP on September 10, 2011 11:03 AM:

    berttheclock , it is to be hoped this is not another b b but Clinton moment . Eight years twere enow .
    There may be many things you can say about Clinton that looking away from the virulent phagocytes of the Republican virus make for a unbalanced and ugly picture . Once we include the gourd shooting every day Republican witless relativity , the hounded appear more victims of a relentless one brain cell contagion than the Right Wing image of an infallible calculating mastermind .
    Sincerely , Minister of Overreaction , FRP

  • chopin on September 10, 2011 12:04 PM:

    Sometimes a dick is just a dick.

  • nemisten on September 10, 2011 1:16 PM:

    Funny, if any 'liberal' reporter were to make such an 'error', the right-wingnuts would be positively apoplectic, calling for congressional investigations, resignations, lynchings, etc.

    Anyone remember Dan Rather?

  • Wizard Gynoid on September 10, 2011 1:32 PM:

    They need to add another character to http://teapartyzombiesmustdie.com

  • ohhenery on September 10, 2011 3:44 PM:

    The smokestack hack from outback proffers for your misconsideration...

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 10, 2011 4:10 PM:

    Tell The Hill what you think. Here's the editorial contact e-address:


  • pj in jesusland on September 10, 2011 6:08 PM:

    When Dick presents his writing portfolio to Fox News when he applies for a full-time commentator's job this blatant health care error could be what tips the hiring decision in his favor.

  • Anonymous on September 10, 2011 7:04 PM:

    It is Mr. Morris's Emily Litella moment...

    "Never mind!"

  • Gingerpye on September 10, 2011 7:17 PM:

    Sent an email to The Hill. Told them it wasn't a surprise that the sleezy Morris would write something like this but that I thought that they would want to protect their reputation by issuing a retraction, explanation, and/or apology.

  • flubber on September 10, 2011 11:12 PM:

    Morris doesn't believe a word of anything he says. His bread is just currently being buttered by the angry, ignorant white guys (or, rather, the men that manipulate them for profit).

    Historically, there are occasionally repercussions for those who demagogue and divide to conquer. Morris and his brand of sleazy rabble rousers just cash their checks and assume the mob will never turn on them. We can wish though.

    Wiki sez his latest book was called "Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want To Kill Talk Radio, The Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, And Washington Lobbyists For Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us...And What To Do About It". But I can't believe that.

  • Anonymous on September 10, 2011 11:24 PM:

    Thanks to Steve for the correction. I suppose it was redundant, but I added yet another correction on The Hill. The trolls are considerably quiet on that story. :)

  • Nancy Irving on September 11, 2011 3:06 AM:

    Will The Hill print a correction?

    I don't know. But what I do know is that even if they do, the conservative noise machine will repeat the lie, over and over and over and over...

  • Roger Ailes on September 11, 2011 5:33 PM:

    I'd say Dick Morris put his foot in his mouth, but that's a whore's foot in his mouth.

  • toowearyforoutrage on September 12, 2011 12:38 PM:


    From the desk of Chair Wasserman Schultz

    Dear Dick,

    As always, thanks for your hard work. I'm just a little troubled by the latest publication.
    Don't you think that last one was a little obvious? I'm concerned you may blow your cover if we risk introducing such clear cut evidence of Democratic success into the memes.

    I'll trust you, of course, but sometimes this mole work means walking a very fine tightrope.