The front page of Wednesday’s New York Times contains nothing about the record pace of the economy. It does contain dire warnings about supply chain issues affecting Christmas gifts and what seems to be an obligatory feature on the threat posed by inflation. Cost of baguettes is up in Paris! Sacré bleu! CNN offers up the story about Biden’s bad economic ratings but nothing on the booming economy. The Washington Post is economy-free when it comes to their front page—either on paper or internet.
For most of the year, the Times has led the way pounding on the drum about inflation. It doesn’t matter if the focus was the cost of burritos or the end of the $1 pizza slice, the Times has been there to keep the inflation hysterics running at an extra-high pitch. The New York Times even hosted an online chat so that people could share how they were “victims” of rising inflation. That story about $1 pizza? A phenomenon that largely existed only in New York City to begin with? That was page one.
CNN and other outlets have certainly not been slackers on the economic doom front. Every penny increase in the price of gasoline became a screaming headline. And repeatedly—repeatedly—outlets ran stories in which they quoted people making outrageous claims of 30% or 40% inflation without bothering to correct those claims.
There are no headlines to report that gas prices are down. There are no headlines to report that America is enjoying the best economy in 50 years under Biden.
There are no headlines to report a simple truth: The economy is not just booming because of Biden’s economic policies, or even because Biden’s work in fighting the pandemic has reassured business about the future. The economy is booming because, under the control of Donald Trump, no one knew what was coming next. Trump’s policies were utterly dependent on who had most recently kissed his butt, what industry he vaguely connected with a political enemy, and what he thought would piss off people who had not invited him to the best parties in New York City.
The economy is not just booming under Biden because Biden’s policies are good—even though those policies are good. The economy is booming under Biden because the economy was repressed under Trump, squashed under a weight of fear and uncertainty spawned by Trump’s erratic, spite-based approach. Trump handed out money to companies that had no evidence of potential, and he denied to it industries that he saw as aligned with his enemies.
Rationality turns out to be a better economic stimulus than owning the libs. But you wouldn’t know it from the media.
Five years of dealing with Trump demonstrated to the media that there was no better way to grab eyeballs than reporting the daily lies, insults, and disruptions. But what to do when there is no stream of verifiable lies? No Twitter rants filled with threats and childish names? What does the media do without their predigested disaster of the day?
Well, they can always create one. For the moment, the swelling omicron wave is satisfying the need to fill the page with legitimately downbeat articles. But don’t worry. There are Times reporters hard at work gathering unverified anecdotes to explain why inflation is going to make your next meal require a mortgage.
In the meantime, America is enjoying an economy that’s the envy of the world. And a press … that isn’t.
And when it comes to that issue with supply chains, here’s a part that isn’t getting much coverage:
Major U.S. ports are processing almost one-fifth more container volume this year than they did in 2019, even as volumes at major European ports like Hamburg and Rotterdam are roughly flat or lag behind 2019 levels. The busiest U.S. container ports are leaping ahead of their counterparts in Asia and Europe in global rankings as volumes surge.