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Fact-Checking Governor Parson | Conspiracy Theories

Profile shot of Missouri Governor Mike Parson from the chest up standing in front of a microphone wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and red tie.
Charlie Riedel
In ending Missouri's participation in federal pandemic unemployment benefits, Governor Mike Parson said, "it's time to get back to work."

A 2020 study refutes Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's claim regarding federal unemployment payments. Plus, how conspiracy theories became a political tool of misinformation.

Segment 1, beginning at 1:00: In his announcement ending the federal payments, Gov. Parson stated, "It's time that we end these programs that have ultimately incentivized people to stay out of the workforce."

Republican governors in a number of states are making the same claim that people in their states are not looking for employment because of the additional funds from the federal government. The co-author of a 2020 study reveals that the data refutes those claims when it comes to unemployment payments and job seeking.

  • Jason Faberman, Senior Economist and Economic Advisor. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, co-author of “How Do Unemployment Benefits Relate to Job Search Behavior?”

Segment 2, beginning at 28:16: How what once existed on the fringe of popular culture has become a tool for the political mainstream.

Just a few decades ago, conspiracy theories meant aliens visiting our planet or Bigfoot sightings in the Northwest. Today it could mean fake news scandals accelerated by social media and championed by commentators like Alex Jones or groups like QAnon resulting in politically motivated action.

  • Geoff Dancy, associate professor of political science, Tulane University
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@kcur.org.