Interesting to watch the birth of a conspiracy theory. Following the latest US release of jobs figures, well-known American CEO Jack Welch tweeted “Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything can’t debate…so change numbers.”
Ali started out with saying “Jack Welch needs to be out there helping this country get back on track. There are CEO’s and all sorts of people retweeting what he said. I think he’s right, there are questions to be asked about the methodology; that household survey that comes up with the unemployment number—I have said throughout my whole career that people should pay less attention to it. Pay attention to the payroll survey…hours worked and wages and income…”
At this point, Welch, who had initially shown distinct signs of nervousness, thought Ali was in support of his tweet and that he was off the hook. He nodded sagely in agreement. As Ali continued with “…but to say something like this is like Donald Trump saying that the President is not an American. Without any proof…” he was amused. Then Ali delivered his “calm before the storm” line. “You are Jack Welch,” he said. Welch liked that. His face split into a boyish grin.
Ali went in for the kill. “Jack you gotta take this opportunity, while everybody is watching you, to actually say ‘yes Anderson, I’m taking that tweet back. I’m going to send a new tweet to say I was exaggerating’…to actually throw out an accusation like that is like saying to the government how often do you beat your wife.” Very strong, very stern. Nothing humorous about it. Welch’s face turned angry and sour.
The man does not like being hauled over the coals. His response? “I should have added a question mark…” And thus a conspiracy theory was born.
But Ali wasn’t done. “…there are two very powerful things you can say here: a) let’s take a look at how the BLS and the Department of Labor measures unemployment statistics and maybe you think Barack Obama is not doing a good job and b) you think Mitt Romney should be replacing him. But to honestly suggest that there’s corruption, that the Obama campaign may have had something to do with cooking these books – why do you need to do that now, at a time when trust for government institutions is at an all time low? That is not good for society.”
You said it, Ali.