One of the things lefties who watch MSNBC think is that while Fox News gives them a steady stream of propaganda, MSNBC gives them the real news.
Selective anger is one of the things that make propaganda stand out. Fox News usually stands up for the rich (“job creators”) and their tax cuts, but one millionaire, Democratic donor George Soros, makes them very angry. Rich right-wing donors and Russian billionaires make people angry at MSNBC, but powerful U.S. oligarchs, especially if they lean Democratic, don’t get as much hate.
Facts that fit the message are another sign of marketing. Fox News picks and chooses video clips and facts to make President Biden look like a weakling who is controlled by the left half of his party or the Chinese Communist Party, or both. He isn’t. On MSNBC, he is presented as a change agent who can make things better, and sometimes as FDR’s second coming. He’s also not that.
Does Joe Biden have a lot of trouble? It seems that way, and he can’t blame anyone else.
For people who only get their news from liberal corporate media (like the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN, and public broadcasting), the Biden government has done a lot of important and even historic things. Because of this, it’s hard for many liberal news consumers to understand why most people don’t know about Biden’s great achievements, as shown by the fact that his approval rate in the most recent CNN poll is only 39%.
Is it possible that people who watch left corporate media — who tend to be older and wealthier than people who don’t watch the news — are being swayed by propaganda and sold too much on Biden? Today, outlets that support Biden talk almost every day about how the president has dealt with the climate problem by passing the Inflation Reduction Act, a small step forward that is meant to encourage investment in renewable energy. This is where certain facts come into play. These same news outlets keep ignoring Biden’s recent changes that are making the situation worse, and summer 2023 was “the hottest season the world has ever seen.”
For people who only get their news from corporate liberal media, the Biden government has done a lot of important and even historic things.
Here’s how Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, summed up these changes in a Washington Post story that most major news outlets didn’t cover: “The Biden government has gone back to using a “all of the above” approach.
They are giving the go-ahead to one fossil project after another, like more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, a new LNG export plant in Alaska, a huge drilling project in the North Sea called the Willow Project and the Mountain Valley Gas Pipeline. And they haven’t done enough to teach the American people how important the problem is and how quickly we need to act to solve it.
Merkley said that Washington needs to reach agreements with other countries to stop new fossil fuel projects. “But how can the U.S. ask for that when we’re approving a lot more fossil fuel projects here at home?” he asked. In the end, the senator said, “Team Biden is failing on the most important issue facing humanity.”
Even though environmentalists have been putting a lot of pressure on Biden since 2021, including from young activists who the Democrats will need to beat the new fascism of the GOP in 2024, Biden has refused to declare a climate emergency. A statement like this would give him more freedom to act, letting him go forward instead of backward.
On the subject of student loan debt, grassroots groups, and even Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer started lobbying Biden in early 2021 to go big and use the Higher Education Act of 1965 to wipe out up to $50,000 of debt per person. Biden refused to give in. Even though Black women are the ones who have the most student debt, Biden fought against cancellation by lying and saying he didn’t want to help rich Ivy Leaguers. After 19 months of pressure from the Democratic base, Biden gave in, and his administration canceled some student loans based on COVID emergency legislation. However, the conservative Supreme Court stopped this move in the end.
People who want everyone to have health insurance are also well aware of Biden’s stubbornness. They remember how shocking it was when he said during the 2020 campaign that he might actually veto Medicare for All if Congress passed it. Candidate Biden did say that the age for getting Medicare would be lowered to 60, which would make a big difference in the lives of millions of people. But he hasn’t done anything.
Most bankruptcies in our country are caused by the cost of health care. This is one of the problems of inequality that suffocates millions of Americans, most of whom don’t watch MSNBC or corporate liberal media. Even people who don’t pay much attention to news would notice major changes. If you follow liberal news sources, you’ve probably heard a lot about how Team Biden and the Inflation Reduction Act are bringing down the price of insulin and 10 other commonly used drugs. It’s a big step in the right direction.
But it doesn’t compare to how big the health care problem is, and it hasn’t yet affected enough voters to make a difference. (More government money would be available for health care and other domestic needs if Biden and Congress didn’t keep adding to the military budget, which is already too big. This is a topic that corporate liberal media outlets rarely look into or criticize.)
This is why many MSNBC watchers don’t understand why the public doesn’t back a president who is praised every night for his big accomplishments. In the national poll from last week, which showed that 39 percent of people liked Biden, 58 percent said that the president’s actions have made the economy worse. Some of these “naysayers” do watch Fox News and other right-wing misinformation outlets every day, which are full of false information. But most of them are not inside the right-wing media bubble.
As prices go up and people in the middle class and working class fight to pay their bills, Biden hasn’t been able to convince many of them that he’s “on their side.” Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders have spent almost two years pointing out how corporate greed has caused inflation (and making plans to stop “greedflation”), but Biden is not able or willing to spread this nationalist message. And you won’t hear this message from liberal media outlets run by big companies or billionaires.
Given that Trump and the MAGA movement are a kind of fascist threat, it makes sense that many people who care about democracy feel the need to gather around Biden. But it’s long past time for progressives and Democrats to pull their heads out of the sand and stop being calmed by MSNBC or CNN’s praise for Biden and coverage of Trump’s charges 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trump might not be stopped by these charges.
Trump and Trumpism need to be beaten at the polls, and we need to face the fact that Biden would be a weak candidate next year. Even if you ignore his age, he is weak because he doesn’t seem to be able to deal with the problems people are facing. His campaign to get re-elected seems to have no idea what issues persuadable voters care about. Their latest ad about Ukraine shows this. Most people don’t want Biden to run again for office. Even most Democratic voters don’t want him to run again, especially those who don’t watch MSNBC every night.
In 2020, after a wide-open race for the presidency, Democrats and leftists joined forces to beat Trump. We might need that open process again in 2024 to beat Trump or Trumpism. Joe Biden would have to step aside for that to happen. As soon as possible is best.