When Donald Trump was president, he was at war, often, with the media. He characterized them as the “enemy of the American people.”
It was at least partly because media personalities repeatedly tried to set him up with “gotcha” questions, posed their queries on the assumption that he always was doing something wrong, baited him, openly called him a liar, and more.
And after all, the vast majority of journalists are Democrats, and openly had supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign, even making the assumption she would win the White House, resenting the newcomer who beat her.
So when Joe Biden took over the Oval Office, media outlets fawned over him.
He was Democrat, their own party, and he was confronted with such hard-hitting questions like his favorite flavor of ice cream.
It seemed a honeymoon.
But now, it appears, something has gone wrong.
It’s now Joe Biden who is attacking the news media, just as the campaigns for the 2022 midterm elections are heating up.
The Washington Examiner said Biden has begun “griping” at the media as he fights multiple negative news cycles.
“Biden campaigned, in part, to normalize press relations after his predecessor, Trump, slammed the news media as ‘the enemy of the people,’” the report said. “But public officials have the tendency to ‘lash out’ at journalists and reporters when they encounter ‘political turbulence,’ according to former Republican staffer-turned-Claremont McKenna College politics professor John Pitney.”
He told the Examiner, “In most cases, the bad coverage is a symptom of their woes, not the cause.”
And Rutgers journalism professor David Greenberg told the publication that negative coverage “is usually a sign that something else is not going right.”
“When an administration – or anyone – says it has a ‘communications problem,’ it usually means it’s not looking hard enough at the real problems,” he explained.
Pitney said Biden appears frustrated that reporters don’t single out “promising” news, such as a low unemployment rate.
But Biden has made unrealistic claims, such as his boast that he’s cut the U.S. deficit by more than ever before. That only happened because his spending exploded by trillions of dollars last year, so this year’s spending is lower by comparison.
Pitney told the Examiner the public is reacting to news like the newest inflation rate warning – it’s at 8.6%, including 49% for gasoline and 12% for food.
“Real disposable income per capita has dropped in the past year. When that happens, the party in power will take a hit in the polls,” he said.
Biden’s approval, in some polls, now is below 40%, worse than President Trump’s at the same point in his term. Only 22% of Americans believe Biden is taking the country the right direction.
Biden also has kept himself away from interviews, granting one with comedian Jimmy Kimmel this week. But it had been months before that since his last sit-down type engagement.
Biden explained what he thinks is the problem when meeting with Kimmel.
“Even the really good reporters, they have to get a number of clicks on the nightly news,” he said. “So instead of asking a question … Anyway, it just … Everything gets sensationalized.”
He appeared to be conflating web traffic, where clicks count, to news shows television ratings.
A newsletter, Politico West Wing, recently reported Biden spent much of a trip criticizing reporters for “the quality and tenor of press coverage of his administration.”
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