One of President Biden’s many fights right now is a fight against perceptions: Of economic peril, a never-ending pandemic, and his own political weakness. In recent speeches, he is issuing rebuttals and trying to change perceptions.
On Wednesday, for instance, he gently skewered the news media: “If you’ve watched the news recently, you might think the shelves in all our stores are empty across the country, that parents won’t be able to get presents for their children… But here’s the deal: For the vast majority of the country, that’s not what’s happening.”
He struck a similar tone on Monday when he addressed Americans about Omicron and said it’s “not a cause for panic” — a subtle pushback to some of the panicked initial reactions to the variant news.
The Fox distortion field
I know I’m a broken record about this, but anti-Biden media coverage is critical to understanding the Biden presidency. For example, Fox showed Biden’s lunchtime speech live on Wednesday, but Newsmax pointedly did not. Host John Bachman said (while interviewing Seb Gorka) that “we’re monitoring” the speech, but “I can’t watch this guy squint into the teleprompter and tell us, you know, lies anymore, so I’m going to spare the audience that. You know, he’s talking about the supply chain here, but I want to go back to this issue with the vaccines.” And then Bachman indulged anti-vax talking points.
One of the banners on “Hannity” on Wednesday night — reacting to the aforementioned speech — said “BIDEN ADMIN DOWNPLAYS THE SEVERITY OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN CRISIS.” Another said, “DESPERATE DEMS RELY ON DECEPTION AND DISTORTION TO TRY AND SELL DESTRUCTIVE AGENDA.” That’s a lot of D’s!
The distortion field is very well demonstrated through Omicron. Biden has said several times this week that the country will fight Covid “not with shutdowns or lockdowns” but with widespread vaccinations, testing, and more. The words “not with shutdowns or lockdowns” have been baked into his public appearances. He could not be any more clear. And yet Tucker Carlson told his fan base on Wednesday that “the Biden administration is once again locking down the country” in response to the new variant. One of Carlson’s banners said “POWER-HUNGRY DEMS WILL ONLY INTENSIFY LOCKDOWNS.” So the president said A, but Fox says the president is doing Z. Is there any remedy for disinformation like that?
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