To hear some Republicans tell the story, Joe Biden’s first term is an unqualified disaster. They employ hot button words like “corruption,” “inflation,” “gas prices,” “the economy,” and the ever-popular “Hunter Biden.” Then, of course, there’s the incessant attacks on Biden’s age, as if Donald Trump was some kind of spring chicken. Of course the media can usually be relied upon to push back on these attacks now and then. So what’s the problem?
When you look at the Biden record objectively, it’s really nothing short of remarkable. Biden may be old, but his proven track record for getting important bills passed when he had a shoe-string Democratic majority in Congress was nothing short of stunning. Why isn’t that easily-provable fact generally talked about?
The list is fairly well-known among Democrats who have been paying attention: the American Rescue Plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, the Chips Act, the first bipartisan gun safety bill in decades, the respect for marriage act, and so on. Right now America’s unemployment rate is at an all time fifty year low. And this is only a partial list of Biden’s achievements.
Gas prices? The US average gas price is $3.75 per gallon. And, while Americans are 34th on the list of prices worldwide, when you factor in the nation’s high-income levels and wealth relative to these prices, the US has the fourth-highest gasoline affordability rating on the planet.
Recall when “infrastructure” was nothing more than a punchline about Donald Trump? Well, Biden thundered the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act through Congress like a juggernaut. In fact, it was a bill that became so popular with many Republicans (who also voted against it) that they are now trying to take credit for it.
This last quarter America saw a breathtaking gross domestic product rise of 4.9%. Why on earth isn’t the mainstream media shouting that from the rooftops? Trump used to crow about one day hitting 2.5%. And TV cameras recorded his crowing. So I put it to you: What’s really going on here?
Republican claims that Biden is corrupt and the economy is a mess are not supported by a single fact. To be sure, the media is pushing back against these claims, so why isn’t it working? The answer is very simple. It’s not working because they aren’t pushing hard enough. And they know it.
The sad truth of the matter is that the Trump presidency was good business for the American media, and whether they admit it to themselves or not, whether it’s subconscious or not, they would love to see another one. They made a ton of money covering the one-man disaster that was “president” Donald Trump.
Barring another Trump administration, the media wants to create a race for the presidency that is so close as to keep the drama tense. Today’s mainstream media is a for profit enterprise. They slant the news just enough to keep Donald Trump viable because Trump makes money for them.
What really ought to be happening right now is the opposite of what we are seeing. In the eyes of the media and everyone else, Republicans should be so corrupt and their policies so comical that everyone knows it and says it out loud, over and over and over, twenty-four seven, until the densest among us finally gets the message. The fact that Republicans continue to get away with this clown show of a Congress is proof that they know they can. And they wouldn’t even try if they didn’t have the tacit cooperation of the mainstream media.
The mainstream media’s problems aren’t just confined to the obvious stuff, like CNN’s Kristen Welker’s unforgivably softball interview of Donald Trump, or NBC News agreeing to host the third Republican presidential debate with fascistic members of Salem Radio. It’s a general malaise in platforming and handling Republican liars. The pushback is there, it’s just not very convincing.
Part of the problem is the tepid language being used. Too many in the media fall back on this language as if the Fairness Doctrine had suddenly been resurrected exclusively for their own private use. I still hear Donald Trump being referred to as if he was both a legitimate president and remains a legitimate candidate. Even today, when he’s attacked at all, he is attacked with faint condemnation.
Let me put it simply and in a way that even the mainstream media can comprehend: Donald Trump is NOT “one of the most corrupt presidents” in US history. That makes him sound too much like Nixon, and next to Trump, Nixon looks like Abraham Effing Lincoln.
Donald Trump is, quite factually, the biggest and most destructive criminal in the history of the United States. Period. The fact that he also served as a “president” is incidental, proof that if you wait 240 years just about anything can happen. The day he lost his bid for reelection was a day of unparalleled victory for the United States and the health and safety of the human race. That the presidential contest was as close as it was is in part the fault of the mainstream media, and it should redown to their eternal infamy.
It’s almost impossible to overstate this. Hyperbole simply doesn’t apply here. The mainstream media betrayed us in 2016, with their absurd playbook airing the discredited “scandals” of Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s emails. They gave Trump billions in free coverage. Their headlong pursuit of profit at the potential expense of world peace, sane climate legislation and America’s internal security is a national disgrace. And I’ll be damned if they are not doing it again. Right before our very eyes.
The word needs to go forth, loud, long and repeatedly, that Joe Biden is the most successful and effective President in the last 60 years. Donald Trump is a rapist, a murderer, a thief, a liar and a traitor to the United States. He should go to prison for the rest of his goddamned life!
The prospect of Trump, or any other MAGA goofball, coming anywhere near the Oval Office should be a national nightmare for everyone, a bad joke and an acknowledged impossibility by every sane human being on the planet. And much of the fault for the failure of that idea belongs to the mainstream media.
Members of the press, talking heads and mainstream commentators need to step up and start calling Trump a criminal and his cult a bunch of screaming lunatics every time they are mentioned. Anything short of that leaves room for doubt, and there is no doubt about it. None whatsoever. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.