Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Obama Vacation Myth

Just as every December comes with the annual Fox News War on Christmas, there is a right-wing ritual that engages whenever President Obama and his family take a vacation. The wingnut whine factory ratchets up its outrage at the deplorable notion of a presidential holiday, particularly if the president isn’t a Republican whose vacations are always proper and well deserved.

Fox Nation

The latest hissy fit being thrown by the right comes from the Fox News community website Fox Nation (whose many documented lies can be found in the acclaimed ebook Fox Nation vs. Reality). The article sports a shocking headline that asserts that President Obama has taken more vacation time than private sector workers – as if that comparison had any relevance to anything. After all, how many private sector workers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even while they are on vacation?

But even the obvious inaptness of the example doesn’t come close to the dishonesty proffered by the Fox Nationalists. Their source is CNSNews, a division of Brent Bozell’s uber-rightist Media Research Center. CNSNews in turn cites as its source the rabidly right-wing Government Accountability Institute (GAI), which was founded and run by the same pseudo-journalistic charlatans who bring you Breibart News.

GAI’s report takes data from the Bureau of Labor Management and spins it into an unrecognizable slop of fraudulent PR. They state that Obama’s average vacation days per year (21.5) exceeds that of private sector workers who have been at their jobs for five years, which GAI reports as 19 days. However, a quick glance at the actual BLM data (pdf) shows that the 19 day figure is a mean average that is brought down by the 20% of workers who get less than 15 days of vacation, and some as little as two days. In fact, the number of employees who get 15-19 days off is only about 20%. The majority of private sector workers (60%) get greater than 20 days of vacation. So the truth that GAI and Fox is concealing is that most private sector workers get more vacation than President Obama. That, of course, is the complete opposite of what their headline and article assert.

And just to add some context, these conservative dissemblers also fail to note that Obama has taken far fewer days off than his predecessor, George W. Bush. Obama’s average of 21.5 vacation days per year makes him look like a workaholic compared to Bush’s 110 day average per year – more than five times Obama’s. But if you’re a rich white Republican you can’t be accused of being lazy or shiftless when you are enjoying some leisure time at your ranch in Crawford or on your yacht in Kennebunkport.


13 thoughts on “Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Obama Vacation Myth

  1. This goes to a larger right wing belief that President Bush, as a wealthy white Republican, was entitled to unlimited vacations while any minority that gets time off must be shiftless and lazy.

    • Exactly. Articles like this are intended to play into the Fox Nation reader’s preconceived notions. Only an idiot would think otherwise…

  2. Bush, who we were told by his apologists had not been on the job long enough to bear any responsibility for the 9-11 attacks and therefor it was Clinton’s fault, took the whole month of August 2001 off, the month before the attacks. According to them he was not in office long enough to bear any responsibility for the attacks yet was there long enough to take 30 days vacation. I’m sure Daryl Issa will start an investigation of the President’s vacation as soon as the House is back in session from their long Christmas vacation. A much longer Christmas holiday than 99.5% of working Americans I’m sure.

    • And, of course, the Republican Congress will be equally understanding if Obama should happen to take a full month of vacation time and then a major disaster took place soon afterwards. Right. Our government is a disgrace.

  3. President is certainly entitled to his 21 days of vacation considering how much pressure he has endured from the Republicans since taking office. He is ways on call 24/7. Bush took over 100 days off. How much time does Congress take off ? This Obama bashing is getting ridiculous. !

  4. Fox news does not report that Obama’s Fed Reserve is making the Republican ‘rich’ richer. Majority of Democrat Liberal Press is also uncritical about this policy. Go figure.

  5. As opposed to Bush, whose whole presidency was a vacation.

    • wow what a sadsack bunch of lefty whiners – your presdient represents you to a T

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