“Crisis!” “Chaos!” — press working hard to create Biden doomsday

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Singing from the GOP chorus once again, the Beltway press is certain President Joe Biden is careening towards trouble because of “the flurry of crises he is suddenly facing” (Washington Post),” and the “barrage of major challenges” that loom (Politico). The doom-and-gloom takes are everywhere.

The administration is “struggling to find a clear narrative.” “Multiple Crises at Home and Abroad Provide a Reality Check for Biden's White House,” a CNN headline declared, while NBC’s “Meet the Press” announced, “Biden Battles New Crises as Honeymoon Fades.” And from The Hill: “The Imminent Crises Facing Joe Biden.”

After a wildly successful first 100 days in office, Biden is riding high in the polls. But instead of touting his victories, the press seems eager to paint a portrait of a presidency on the brink, nervously confronting “crises” and “chaos.” As one reporter recently asked at a White House briefing, “Does it suddenly feel like the external world is turning on you guys?", the implication being that the Biden White House is just now facing public policy emergencies.

Also, “chaos” compared to what? A pathological liar president who was also clearly unstable and spent his final three months in office waging war on free and fair elections in this country?

This new bad-news storyline represents GOP messaging filtered through the Beltway media. The Washington Post over the weekend dedicated an entire news article to Republican leaders claiming things like, “The world is increasingly engulfed in chaos on Biden’s watch.”

Journalists though, often overreach while trying to construct the new narrative. In an effort to paint a dire picture of mounting “crises,” several pointed to the already-fixed Colonial Pipeline shutdown from last week as proof Biden is staring into the abyss and facing “new” calamities.

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What’s astounding in the claims that the Biden White House is just now facing major crises is that the Democratic president has already helped conquer a once-in-a-century deadly pandemic that claimed more than 600,000 Americans, crippled the country for more than a year, and consumed the previous president. How on earth does the Beltway press consider the Covid-19 pandemic not to have been a “crisis”?

The answer seems to be that because Biden posted such a huge win overseeing a vaccination rollout that became the envy of the world and has the country of a brink of returning to coast-to-coast ‘normalcy,’ the press is gaslighting the whole chapter of his presidency. In other words, the pandemic didn’t really count. But violence in the Middle East? Now that’s a presidential disaster.

And news outlets that aren’t gaslighting the pandemic are actually using it as proof of more bad news for Biden. In a doomsday round-up from Politico this week headlined “Biden Under Pressure To Act, Not Mull,”  “uncertainty over the post-mask stage of the pandemic” was pointed to as a looming “major challenge” for the president. Basically, because the CDC made the good-news announcement much quicker than expected that vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks, Politico included that in its list of problems for Biden.

Hands down, Biden’s top priority and the promise he made to voters was to get the pandemic under control and to vaccinate tens of millions of Americans as quickly as possible. His administration has been incredibly successful doing that, meeting and surpassing all key goals, but now the press says he’s in trouble because there’s “uncertainty over the post-mask stage of the pandemic.” Republicans didn’t like the mask announcement, claiming without proof it was done for political reasons to help Biden, so the press treated the mask declaration as bad news. (It was too “abrupt”!)

Talk about heads you lose, tails you lose.

Meanwhile, what about the border “crisis” the press hyped relentlessly in March, claiming the seasonal surge in migrants crossing the border was going to sink Biden’s young presidency?

ABC This Week in late March staged its entire Sunday program from the border in order to focus on the "emerging crisis for the Biden administration." During Biden’s inaugural press conference that month, reporters read off GOP talking points and peppered him with questions about the border, while completely ignoring the topic of the pandemic. “‘No End In Sight’: Inside the Biden Administration’s Failure To Contain the Border Surge,” read an over-the-top headline from the Washington Post two months ago.  

With border crossings now falling, the political press has lost interest in the former Biden “crisis.” Apparently, the pandemic and the migrant surge weren’t real crises because the administration helped deal with them efficiently.

Meanwhile, the New York Times, eager for some White House drama, recently concocted the claim that Biden suffers from a “short fuse” and “quick temper.” The problem was that the Times article contained zero evidence to back up the click-bait claim. Instead, the piece painted a portrait of a thoughtful president who requires lots of input and information before he makes key decisions.

Biden remains the most popular president among Democratic voters in the history of modern polling. But the press doesn’t care much about that. It’s more interested in parroting GOP rhetoric about “crisis” and “chaos.”

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(Photo: NIcholas Kamm/Getty Images)

GOOD STUFF:

🖥 From Amanda Marcotte’s excellent piece in Salon, “No, the media can't "move on" from Trump's Big Lie — not until Republicans end their war on voting”:

Republicans are increasingly circling around this talking point. They insist that the coup is ancient history and that it's churlish to keep rehashing who did and did not join in efforts to overturn democracy. It's the favored justification for the ouster of Wyoming's Rep. Liz Cheney from House GOP leadership, with Republicans claiming it's not that she refuses to support Trump's election lies so much as that she just keeps going on about it. And it was the line that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., trotted out last week, while trying to wave off media inquiries about the GOP's increasingly fierce backing of Trump's Big Lie: "I don't think anyone is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. I think that is all over with, we're sitting here with the President today."

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🎧 FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK

Glass Animals, “Heat Waves”

Released nearly a year ago in England, “Heat Waves” has slowly made its way around the globe, becoming a slow-burning hit in lots of countries, including No. 1 in Australia. Now, it’s blossoming in the U.S.

The band is basically Dave Bayley, who functions as the singer, songwriter, and producer of the group. “Heat Waves” delivers a shimmering, dreamy pop song that lurks around and into curious corners.

Sometimes, all I think about is you
Late nights in the middle of June
Heat waves been fakin' me out
Can't make you happier now

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