His crumbling public approval rating must be troubling to President Joe Biden. But can it possibly compare to learning that the liberal mainstream media is turning on him as well?
On Tuesday, the New York Times sent an email to its morning update subscribers with the headline: “Who’s to blame for inflation?”
“It is dragging down President Biden’s approval ratings and fueling discontent among Americans,” writes senior economics correspondent Neil Irwin. “How did we get here? Who is to blame?”
We fully expected the Times to make excuses for Biden. And at first, it looks as though that is what Irwin is going to do, writing that “presidents have less control over the economy than headlines might suggest.” But then he adds that “the current situation is an exception to the rule.”
And even more remarkable is what comes next. Irwin writes:
You can draw a direct line from a specific policy decision that Biden and congressional Democrats made this past winter to some of the inflation happening now.
In designing the stimulus that Congress passed in March, Biden’s administration went big, with $1.9 trillion in pandemic relief — on top of a separate $900 billion package that passed three months earlier. Put the two together, and $2.8 trillion in federal money has been coursing through the economy this year while economic activity has trended only a few hundred billion dollars a year short of what mainstream analysts would consider full health.
The fact that the Times, along with others in the mainstream media, admits that inflation is a problem is in itself a noteworthy development, since for months it insisted that it was just a data anomaly – one that Republicans were trying to exploit for political gain.
Now, with prices for many common household goods having gone up by double digits over the past few months and no end in sight for the trend, the inflation story is impossible to ignore.
But the fact that any one of these “news” outlets is willing to blame Biden for the inflation spiral is a truly stunning development, given they’d spent months blasting out “fact checks” that aggressively slapped down any such claim.
In April, for example, a USA Today “fact check” told readers that COVID-19 was “to blame for spike in lumber prices, not Biden.” In June, it ran another saying that “Rising gas prices due to high demand and low supply, not Biden’s policies.”
The next month, AP declared that “House GOP falsely blames Biden for gas prices.”
When Republican Sen. Rick Scott stated in July that “Thanks to the insane tax-and-spending spree of President Joe Biden and Democrats in Washington, we are seeing six straight months of raging inflation,” the “fact checking” site PolitiFact labeled it “Mostly False.”
In August, CNN approvingly quoted the Democrats’ all-time favorite economist, Mark Zandi, as saying that “the jump in inflation has nothing to do with tax and spending policies.”
As is so often the case, the public was way ahead of the mainstream press on this one. A poll in June found that twice as many people blamed Biden as President Donald Trump for rising inflation.
It’s worth noting that the Times admission of Biden’s fault regarding inflation comes after CNN ran a piece exposing the growing antagonism between Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Which raises questions such as:
Why didn’t the New York Times editors “correct” Irwin’s story before it went out? Is it suddenly OK to run hit pieces on Biden, even if it risks helping Republicans? If so, what’s changed in the corporate newsrooms to allow such an infamia?
Now, bear in mind that we are not saying that the media has suddenly decided to do its job and cover the facts. As we pointed out yesterday, the mainstream press has racked up such an incredibly long list of false and misleading stories, all designed to help drive a leftist narrative, that it has pretty much lost all credibility outside crossword puzzles and TV listings.
But that makes this recent development at the New York Times even more astonishing. If the mainstream media lose faith in Biden, who will be left to defend him? Jimmy Carter?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board