One way you can tell journalists are worried about Biden in 2024

One way you can tell journalists are worried about Biden in 2024


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One way you can tell that journalists are a panicked pack of partisans who earnestly feel President Joe Biden’s pain is how they’re currently reporting on the economy.

They don’t question whether the news is good. They question when will Biden receive credit for all the alleged great economic improvements since he took office. 

On ABC’s “This Week” on Christmas Eve, guest host Pierre Thomas complained, “The economy does seem to be doing better, but for the life of him, Joe Biden can’t seem, the president can’t seem to get any credit?”

On NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Dec. 27, they aired a segment with the online headline “Biden doesn’t seem to be benefiting politically from [a] relatively strong economy.” 

White House correspondent Asma Khalid was guest-hosting. She reported the economy has “shown some strong signs as of late — receding inflation, low unemployment, better-than-expected job growth, and people are even spending record amounts of money this holiday season. But President Biden does not seem to be benefiting politically. So what is going on here?”

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NPR political analyst Domenico Montanaro said the “fundamentals are strong,” but that really isn’t filtering down. “Polls have found that just 1 in 5 people rate the economy as at least good. And they say that they don’t like how Biden is handling it.” He concluded: “the bottom line is I just don’t think people look at this in a macroeconomics kind of way.” 

People know what they can afford, and cannot afford. Montanaro acknowledged the inflation rate has declined, but prices remain high. Paying $8 for a bottle of Tums is depressing. Mortgage rates are ridiculous for first-time home buyers. 

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That doesn’t stop the media from engaging in happy talk. On the Dec. 27 “NPR Politics Podcast,” economics reporter Scott Horsley cranked up the Biden hype: “His jobs record is unparalleled.” Taxpayer-funded radio wants you to know Biden’s an economic ubermensch!

Horsley did admit the job growth is “coming back from a deep hole coming out of the pandemic.” Yes, that’s a pretty big asterisk. Jobs lost under the COVID lockdowns coming back — is that a “new job created”? But overall, Horsley insisted “by almost any objective measure, this is a good economy.” 

NPR can’t compete with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who fiercely shook the pompoms in print: “From an economic point of view, 2023 will go down in the record books as one of the best years ever — a year in which inflation came down amazingly fast at no visible cost, defying the predictions of many economists that disinflation would require years of high unemployment.”

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This is the same shameless partisan who turned out to be massively incorrect when he pouted after Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 that the financial markets would never recover and “we are very probably looking at a global recession with no end in sight.” This makes it hilarious that Krugman’s new column carried the headline “Beware Economists Who Won’t Admit They Were Wrong.” I can’t find his retraction on the “endless recession” claims.

Predictions are a dicey business, and so is the method of awarding politicians credit for job creation. When the economy is bad, liberals often complain it’s out of Biden’s control, like they complained it was out of Jimmy Carter’s control.

Regardless, journalists expressing the opinion that Biden should be more popular betrays a tilt toward Biden’s reelection. It might be subtler than suggesting Trump will viciously end American democracy, but it’s still obvious. 

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