Ignoring Biden’s Historic Economic Progress is Media Malfeasance
Last week, another stunning jobs report confirmed the U.S. economy added an additional 431,000 new jobs.
No administration in American history has had this level of success in only 14 months.
Not even Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs were as successful.
Donald Trump, by contrast, for four years wouldn’t stop boasting about the “greatest economy in the history of the world” despite it hemorrhaging three million jobs — the worst record since Herbert Hoover’s republican Great Depression.
Yet turn to the major news outlets — even the so-called “liberal” ones — and we see the following headlines:
* “ Why a Great Jobs Report Can’t Save Joe Biden” (CNN)
* “ Unemployment Hits Pandemic Low in March, But Uncertainty Looms Ahead” ( Washington Post)
* “ Biden Gets a Strong Jobs Report, But a Sour Mood Still Prevails” ( Washington Post)
What is it about economic progress that causes the media to assume the worst?
Most Americans don’t follow government policies or the economy in granular detail.
They’re just trying to keep gas in their cars, food on their tables, their bills paid, and not get sick.
What the major news outlets tell them is what they will wake up each morning having to contend with.
While it’s true prices for just about everything are rising due to myriad factors, like the global market shock of Russia’s relentless assault on Ukraine, the strain of the pandemic, student loan debt, and a tax code that disproportionately coddles the wealthy, the least the media can do is be honest when there is cause for optimism.
Instead, it’s creating an economic narrative that could prove unfairly fatal to Democrats in November, which would spell disaster the two subsequent years leading up to the presidential election.
So the “liberal” media seems to be an unwitting asset to republicans always complaining about a “fake news media” supposedly tacking toward Democrats.
We shouldn’t be surprised then when the corporate media trains its attention on any tidbit of negative news coming out of the current White House, particularly economic, ignoring the plethora of accomplishments the Biden administration has achieved in just one year.
And there are a lot.
Here is some of the damage the myopic coverage is causing.
Despite gaining seven million jobs, 37 percent of Americans think the economy lost them last year.
Only 28 percent know employment increased.
The Washington Post placed the glowing March jobs report 87th on its website.
Center for Economic and Policy Research senior economist Dean Baker explained:
“CNN’s coverage of the report quickly turned to inflation. In its more general coverage of the economy, the jobs report-which tells us about the employment and earnings situation for more than 160 million people-was barely a blip.”
Nary a mention about Biden’s historic economic gains.
The late Eric Boehlert, in his Press Run piece “Why is the press rooting against Biden?” wrote:
“Virtually all the Beltway coverage today agrees on this central point: When it comes to the economy, Biden’s approval rating is taking a hit because Americans are freaked out by inflation. But maybe it’s taking a hit because Americans are under the false impression that jobs are disappearing. Voters don’t know what they don’t know because the press isn’t interested in telling them about record job success and an economy that’s years ahead of where experts thought it would be coming out of a global pandemic.”
For four years, the media became numb to Donald Trump’s relentless gaffes, assaults, and fallacies, giving him a pass at every turn.
But when President Biden went off script during his speech in Poland two weeks ago to express the truth that Vladimir Putin is unfit to lead Russia, the Washington press corps assailed him with no fewer than 14 questions about his “gaffe” suggesting a possible Russian regime change.
And where is all the coverage of Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who exchanged text messages with Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about strategies for how to pull off the January 6, 2021 attempted coup against our government?
Do most people even know about that?
Do most people even know what happened that dark day or about the commission charged with investigating it?
Do they know Brittany Griner is a political prisoner currently being held in Russia?
They’ll probably have something to say about Hunter Biden’s laptop, though.
The common misconception mainstream media outlets have an overt bias toward Democrats started in the late 1970s with “pioneer of conservative talk radio” Bob Grant, who paved the way in the post- Fairness Doctrine 1980s for right-wing hate media personalities like Rush Limbaugh.
After President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, media mogul Rupert Murdoch found the field ripe for extending his cancerous empire, fulfilling Roger Ailes’s dream of creating the 100-percent 24/7 “fair and balanced” cable television channel originally supposed to be called “GOP TV” but came to be known as Fox News.
Joining it today are cable channels One America News (OAN), Sinclair Media-owned stations, Murdoch-owned newspaper The New York Post, and scores of internet sites, like Breitbart; The Epoch Times; The Blaze; The Daily Caller; The Washington Times; The Washington Examiner; and Meta, the social media site formerly known as Facebook.
These right-wing outlets have done such a successful job hammering home the lie that any other mainstream outlet not them is de facto “liberal” that the presumably “liberal” outlets tack further to the right to avoid being accused of it.
This is journalistic malfeasance, and it’s dangerous.
But what can we expect from a for-profit media obsessed with horse races and ratings?