Why Biden gets bad press
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank caused a bit of chaos with a column claiming that recent media coverage of President Joe Biden has been disproportionately negative and in some respects more negative than with coverage of his predecessor. Such analysis is notoriously difficult; After all, it requires not only assessing how positive or negative the report is, but also answering the more subjective question of how positive or negative it should be. So I’ll turn this whole topic on until I see a defense of this report from Politico’s Rachael Bade, who argued: “Gee, maybe this has something to do with the struggle for democratic rule dominated the headlines in November – and the fact that voters sent a clear (and negative) message to Admin Biden and the Democrats in the November election…” I suspect that this is not must be an unusual emotion. I’ll start with the second point, because it’s important. Voters are not sending clear messages. They vote for candidates, and then political actors – including the media – read “clear messages” into those votes. Sure: Voters in Virginia, New Jersey and elsewhere turned Republican in last month’s midterm elections, and that’s partly a consequence of Biden’s low approval ratings. But voters frequently turn against the party during the term even when the president is quite popular. And at any rate, the best the electorate can do is reflect on the president’s general unpopularity. They did not say why the president was unpopular, or what actions or policies they opposed. All “obviousness” is constructed by observers. But the reason this post upsets me is the first part of her statement – that the Democratic infighting has dominated the headlines. It was a bit of a roundabout, since Milbank’s initial view was that media coverage was strongly negative. The question is whether it is appropriate for the Democratic infighting to become the big story last month, and it is clear that in fact the party has united and worked effectively. unusual in November. After all, last month’s big news on Capitol Hill didn’t confound Democrats. It was different groups of House Democrats that got together to pass the infrastructure bill and push for their version of the “Build Better Again” plan. The movement on both bills strengthens the case that what we have seen in the summer and fall are productive negotiations between party groups that have some real but essentially top differences. a page, not some kind of party-wide dysfunction. In other words, not only does understanding November as a month dominated by Democratic infighting misrepresents the story, but it also shows that some people have misunderstood the story. When the president is unpopular, everything is interpreted that way, so Biden’s lower approval rating is causing bad news coverage in the media rather than vice versa. If he becomes more famous, his media coverage will improve – as happened to Ronald Reagan in 1983 or Bill Clinton in 1995. And note that coverage. The misery that presidents receive when they step down does not prevent them from rallying. Other factors may influence media coverage. There is strong consensus among the elite that something good or bad will often have a significant effect. It’s certainly possible that some events are so obvious that they will generate the right scope. But if we’re talking about how the president’s actions are presented, very few events meet that standard. After pundits and pundits (myself included) dismissed his chances of winning the 2016 nomination, and then he outperformed the polls in the general election, I suspect that much of the media has become wary of accurately depicting his unusual personality as president. Furthermore, it is legally difficult to adjust to the constant flow of self-inflicted scandals. As a result, I suspect that Trump’s media coverage – as terrible as it is – has actually turned out to be better than it could have been. In fact, one could argue that much of the media is still underestimating Trump’s attack on democracy, considering what he’s done over the past 13 months as relatively casual.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/why-biden-is-getting-bad-press/2021/12/07/085ba16a-5782-11ec-8396-5552bef55c3c_story.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_business Why Biden gets bad press