The mainstream media has unquestionably been among the strongest and most loyal allies and supporters of President Joe Biden’s administration and the Democratic Party, but that has begun to change for at least some members of the media who appear to have grown weary of the antics of increasingly out-of-touch Democratic officials.
That was made clear on Friday when a top CNBC anchor called out the poor timing and terrible optics of a White House celebratory event for the so-called Inflation Reduction Act while inflation remained sky-high and the stock market had tumbled significantly on bad economic news, the Daily Caller reported.
Celebrating amid “horrific” and historic inflation
CNBC’s Joe Kernen sparred with Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg and accused the Biden administration of being “tone-deaf” and blatantly dishonest toward the American people with regard to the severity of the nation’s current economic crunch.
With regard to last Tuesday’s celebratory event on the White House South Lawn, Kernan asked Buttigieg if it was a “mistake” to be “popping champagne corks about conquering inflation on a day when the stock market at that very moment was down almost 1,300 points” in the wake of “another really horrific inflation report.”
Buttigieg dismissed that critique, however, and instead argued that the long-term “benefits” of the recently passed legislation outweighed any short-term economic pain Americans may be feeling, but Kernan was unwilling to accept that sort of positive spin about the future unmoored from the current reality.
“Wouldn’t it be better to just be honest?”
“But on that day it looked really tone deaf,” Kernan pushed back. “So what you’re telling me, so just stick to the script? The economy is great, the border is secure, our cities are safe. Wouldn’t it be better to just be honest?”
The Cabinet secretary attempted to interject but the news anchor wasn’t finished yet, and added, “Wouldn’t it be better to just be honest with the American people about the soup that we’re in right now and we can all try to deal with it together instead of just …”
“Nobody’s saying we don’t have any problems,” Buttigieg fired back accusatorily, “but if you don’t pause and recognize the meaning of one of the most significant pieces of legislation so far in the 21st century just because we also have a lot of other problems we’re contending with as a country, then I think you’re really feeding into a narrative that’s pulling America down and holding America back.”
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) September 16, 2022
A “deliberately” and “erroneously” misnamed bill
Buttigieg proceeded to tout the alleged long-term benefits of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, but the New York Post reported that Kernan then took the secretary to task for the decidedly misleading name of that legislation that many analysts and experts predict will not reduce inflation and, in fact, could actually make the problem worse.
“It wasn’t named the Climate Act. You deliberately — and some people would say erroneously — named it the Inflation Reduction Act and you’re celebrating it on a day when, again, we had 40-year highs in inflation,” the CNBC host said. “And you know how it affects people on the low end of things. It’s like the most insidious problem an economy can face.”
Unfortunately, though he acknowledged the negative impact of high inflation and joked about the tendency of politicians to cleverly misname legislation, Buttigieg continued to defend the bill as a great achievement worthy of celebration.