Fast And Furious: Fox News Tells One Lie Every 14 Seconds In Segment On Seattle Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

During a recent segment titled Minimum Wage Hike Killing Jobs In Seattle, Fox probably didn’t break any of its previous records on the number of lies told, or the speed at which the network tells them, but they sure gave it a good try. In just under 100 seconds, the segment manages to work in seven lies, telling an average of one lie every 14 seconds.

Using an extremely flawed study conducted by a right-wing think tank called The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Fox News host Stewart Varney let the bullshit fly. As pointed out by many experts, the AEI study that Fox refers to purposely confuses the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with the city of Seattle.

The study supposedly looks at how a minimum wage increase, which took effect in April in the city of Seattle, Washington is “killing jobs in Seattle.” The problem is that in order to reach the conclusion conservatives wanted, the AEI had to expand the study area to well outside the city of Seattle, incorporating the entire MSA.

To understand the depth of the deception, it’s important to understand that Seattle accounts for just 18 percent of the MSA. In fact, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue MSA is one of the largest in the United States, including Auburn, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Lakewood, Redmond, Renton, Seattle, and Tacoma, along with dozens of smaller towns and villages, which make up the statistical area. All told, the population of the MSA includes more than 3.6 million people, while the population of Seattle itself includes only about 650,000.

Aside from Seatac, Seattle is the only municipality in the MSA that has raised the minimum wage.

The AEI study reports to show a loss of 1,000 food service jobs in Seattle in May. The problem is that the 1,000 lost restaurant jobs aren’t in the city of Seattle, as the Fox News segment leads people to believe. Instead they’re across the entire statistical area, which includes an overwhelming number of cities, towns and villages which have not raised the minimum wage at all.

The title of the Fox segment, Minimum Wage Hike Killing Jobs In Seattle is completely false. Even if you look at the same area that the AEI report covers, unemployment fell from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent in May, so that hardly indicates that there is any “job killing” going on in the MSA region.

Even more damning is all of the information we have at this time about employment in the food service industry, in the city of Seattle itself. Since Varney’s segment claims that the minimum wage hike has caused a loss of jobs in the food service industry in Seattle, anyone trying to dispute that claim would try to isolate Seattle data from the rest of the MSA region.

While specific employment information won’t be released for some time, Evan Soltas has been keeping an eye on food service industry licensing in the city. If the food service industry were experiencing a huge decline in employment, as the right wing claims, we would expect to see a decline in the number of licenses issued. While Soltas notes that there has been a slight decline in the number of fast food restaurants being licensed in Seattle, he also notes that there has also been an increase in the number of full-service restaurants. Even more telling, over the past year, the total number of food service business has risen, not declined as the propaganda artists at Fox would have you believe.

Here’s the segment, which was published on YouTube by Letisha Stanley.

For a running count of the lies promoted by Fox in the segment above, check out this piece by Paul Constant at

*Featured image credit: Elf Sternberg via Flckr, creative commons license 2.0