Beck Repeats Shoddy Stats on Obama Cabinet

Claim that only 10% of cabinet had private sector cred debunked
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2009 10:25 AM CST
Beck Repeats Shoddy Stats on Obama Cabinet
In this May 5, 2009 file photo, commentator Glenn Beck attends the Time 100 Gala, a celebration of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, FILE)

Glenn Beck’s claim that “under 10%” of Barack Obama’s cabinet appointees have “any experience in the private sector” turns out to be a bad statistic pulled from the internet. The tidbit originated in a study from JPMorgan Private Bank CIO Michael Cembalest, PolitiFact reports. Cembalest looked at nine posts he thought likely to contain execs and concluded that less than 10% of Obama’s appointees were. A chart accompanying the report has gone viral in conservative circles online.

But Politifact found that, in reality, a full third of those secretaries have significant corporate or business experience, and three others had legal experience in the private sector. Expand the discussion beyond those nine posts, and the administration’s numbers improve more. Cemblast says it’s “frightening” that the chart—from which the Fox host’s numbers probably come—has spread without context, and calls his study “100% subjective.” (Read more Glenn Beck stories.)

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