Ignoring Biden’s Historic Economic Progress is Media Malfeasance

The for-profit corporate media is at it again.

Last week, another stunning jobs report confirmed the U.S. economy added an additional 431,000 new jobs.

To put that into perspective, that’s more than half a million jobs each month over the past three months, totaling 7.9 million since President Biden took office last year.

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:

• “America’s Job Market Is On Fire. Here’s Why It Doesn’t Feel Like It” (CNN)

• “Booming Job Growth Is a Double-Edged Sword For Joe Biden” (CNN)

• “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  trains its attention on any tidbit of  coming out of the current White House, particularly economic,  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.”

One recent Meet the Press round table discussion featured two segments concerned with how immigration and Trump might cause problems for Democrats in the midterms.

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 ?

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” , who paved the way in the post-  1980s for right-wing hate media personalities like Rush Limbaugh.

After President Bill Clinton signed the , media mogul  found the field ripe for extending his  empire, fulfilling  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, -owned stations, Murdoch-owned newspaper and , like Breitbart; The Epoch Times; The Blaze; ; The Washington Times; ; and Meta, the  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 obsession with  their more truculent competitors has led and others to adopt a more .

This is journalistic malfeasance, and it’s dangerous.

But what can we expect from a for-profit media obsessed with horse races and ratings?

Image credit: Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.