Harrop: ‘Liberal’ media keeps dropping its big ‘but’ in good news

Reporting good news on gas prices or jobs? Be sure to spoil the party with contradictory claims.

By Froma Harrop / syndicated columnist

Interesting headline in The New York Times: “In an Unequal Economy, the Poor Face Inflation Now and Job Loss Later.”

This headline appeared on Aug. 8, after more than 50 straight days of falling gasoline prices, the biggest inflation fear. Once exceeding $5 a gallon, the price of gas in many states was already down below $4 a gallon.

As for “job loss later,” what do we mean by “later”? Later includes eternity. What we do know is that more than 500,000 Americans were hired last month, greatly exceeding economists’ predictions. The unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, and employers remain desperate for help.

We must recognize that it takes a good deal of mental dexterity to write successful clickbait headlines. But when the headline contradicts the reporting — much of it in the same news source — you have an alternative facts situation.

Although The Times is considered liberal, it is also hyper woke and sensitive to left-fringe feelings. That translates into constant carping against the Democratic leadership for not doing enough; enough of what, not always specified.

The mindset further stipulates that the working poor must be subject to pity and that good news for this group cannot be acknowledged. That’s why the report that average hourly earnings grew more than 5 percent in July from a year earlier — after similar annual gains each month this year — sat so unappreciated.

In truth, it doesn’t matter whether the news is good or bad. President Biden must always be seen as not meeting expectations. A rhetorical trick to this end is inserting a “but” in the middle of a headline tied to an encouraging development. An example that just popped up in the Times: “Slowing inflation gave Biden a reprieve but high prices remain a political problem.”

The right accuses CNN of also being in the pocket of Democrats, but the news channel rarely presents good news without inserting its own big “but.” While reporting on the slowing inflation, Christine Romans bizarrely added, “That job market is still too hot.”

In addition to gas prices, the cost of food is down. Nonetheless, CNN tied the inflation report saying just that to a segment about food shoppers in Philadelphia complaining about … the prices. One need not go far to find someone willing to gripe about the cost of eggs.

In any case, these are First World problems. If the price of filet mignon has some consumers switching to cheaper chicken, well, the sun will still rise tomorrow at dawn. (Caviar also costs way too much, don’t you think?)

This consumer whining gets tied to Biden’s low approval numbers. And the low numbers must — The Story goes — get tied to inevitable disaster for Democrats in the midterms.

But a recent Monmouth University poll has 50 percent of adults preferring Democrats in the midterm elections, versus 43 percent for Republicans. Perhaps, just perhaps, the popularity of the president doesn’t predetermine what will happen in November. What about the unpopularity of the opposition?

CNN had Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan on to comment on the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Duncan is a good Republican who fears that putting Trump back in the headlines will hurt his party in the midterms.

“I’m one of those Republicans that wishes we were sitting there, talking about how bad Joe Biden is doing, how bad inflation is,” he said. Never mind that Biden is doing well and that inflation seems to be coming down. Duncan is just passing on the Republican Party talking points.

But Republicans don’t need to do that. The so-called liberal media is doing it for them.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. Email her at fharrop@gmail.com.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, Oct. 7

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Everett police responded to a double homicide in the 2000 block of Lexington Avenue on the afternoon of June 20, 2022. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
Editorial: Cities team up in effort for better public safety

The group of 15 cities in the county wants attention on legislation and the criminal justice system.

Schwab: Must we boycott all Republicans to send GOP message?

If, nationwide, they won’t abandon Trumpism and its lies, all voters ought to withhold their support.

AquaSox need new stadium, but keep the current prices

I moved to Stanwood from Kirkland in 2004, I had several good… Continue reading

Does baseball matter more than seniors?

So, Everett wants to spend millions for a new baseball stadium but… Continue reading

Iranian woman’s death in police custody indefensible

From the perspective of an Ahmadi Muslim, the heinous actions committed by… Continue reading

More businesses should add health care coverage

We are in odd times when it comes to the job market.… Continue reading

Comment: What Trump could gain with filing to Supreme Court

His arguments may find favor with justices willing to expand the executive privilege of former presidents.

Comment: What campaign ad buys say about parties and issues

Ads for Democrats are looking to persuade on abortion and more, where GOP candidates are looking to motivate.

Most Read