Liberal media bemoans Biden's poor approval rating despite 'achievements'

Media top headlines November 29

In media news today, a ‘Good Morning America’ guest worries omicron variant could hurt Biden’s economic ‘progress,’ CNN gets roasted for a tweet about the Waukesha parade attack, and a New York Times columnist says he has a ‘high tolerance’ for inflation.

President Biden’s approval ratings have nosedived in the past few months following inflation and supply chain crises, but the liberal media have offered different suggestions and excuses that have largely put the blame on the American people.

Multiple pundits and guests on left-leaning CNN and MSNBC have suggested that one reason why Biden isn’t faring well in the polls is because Americans aren’t engaged enough in politics. CNN’s “Reliable Sources” unpacked that idea on Sunday.

Host Brian Stelter asked one of his guests, writer and photographer Chris Arnade, “what’s going on” with Biden’s agenda and approval ratings, suggested the numbers don’t add up. Arnade answered by comparing Americans’ interest in politics to those who are only interested in football when the Super Bowl comes around.

“I mean, I think the way we talk about politics and the way most people talk about politics – I mean, it’s entirely different,” Arnade said. “We’re like, you know, we’re like – it’s like the NFL and most people treat politics like they’ll tune in to the Super Bowl once every few years and that’s about it. That’s how they view politics as something, you know, they’re not a player in it, they’re just a watcher. They support teams. They support a side. But they don’t feel like – it’s a distance thing that really that doesn’t – doesn’t – they don’t have a say in that much. And so, how politics affects them is very experiential.” 

“It’s not about, you know, connecting what’s going on to policy and connecting policy to what’s going on,” he continued. “It’s just not something people do. That’s what we do, but that’s not how people perceive things. And quite honestly, you know, as I’ve written, what people see right now and I’ve been, as you said, walking across America. I go into cities and I walk 20 miles across America and just spend time hanging out talking to people.”

Stelter said it was an example of people employing “feelings” over “facts.”

FILE PHOTO: Gas prices grow along with inflation as this sign at a gas station shows in San Diego, California, U.S. November, 9, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle sounded confused Monday as to why voters were souring on Biden at a time when he got his infrastructure bill through and when the economy recovery was “very good.” She asked her guests to offer an explanation as her show displayed a chyron that read, “Biden approval rating under water despite achievements.”

Robert Gibbs said he thinks people “aren’t looking at their economic health through a jobs report” and are instead focusing on hardships in their lives that are currently front and center.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“I think they’re seeing gas prices go up,” Gibbs said. “I think they’re seeing their turkey dinners on Thanksgiving being more expensive.”

“People wanted to feel a sense of normalcy going into this holiday season … Unfortunately that hasn’t materialized,” he continued, later saying, “I think that while a lot of the president’s agenda is popular, I don’t think the American people know much about it.”

Containers line a Port of Oakland shipping terminal on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Oakland, Calif. Intense demand for products has led to a backlog of container ships outside the nation’s two largest ports along the Southern California coast.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“The process of this has overwhelmed the of specifics of the substance,” he later added, urging Biden and the Democrats to do a better job talking to Americans about Build Back Better, etc.

Magdi Semrau, a columnist for The Editorial Board, echoed another popular argument on “Reliable Sources”: The media isn’t doing a good enough job reporting on Biden’s agenda.

“I wrote about the disconnect between Biden’s approval rating–which appears to be slumping–& approval for his agenda–which remains high. This isn’t just a problem for Democrats. It’s a problem for democracy. The media has a role to play,” she added on Twitter, with a link to her piece on the subject entitled, “Biden’s policies are more popular than he is. For the first time in the modern era, the link between president and agenda is broken.” 

“Is the Media to Blame for Biden’s Bad Poll Numbers?” New York Magazine similarly asked.

Bloomberg Opinion writer Jonathan Bernstein suggested the media’s bias on the economy is showing.

Other pundits like MSNBC’s Joy Reid have used the approval numbers to lecture Americans for not being more grateful for the efforts of the Biden administration.

“There are also a lot of Americans who despite having gotten the shots and checks are still telling pollsters that he’s accomplished nothing or almost nothing, which I find amazing. I guess they spent the whole $2,000 and now they’re not happy anymore,” Reid said earlier this month. “Does this matter? Should we think about this in terms of those polling numbers?”

Biden had a 36% approval rating in October, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll.

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