Every election cycle, the media play a significant role in the spread of information, true or false. With cable TV, the invention of the 24 hours news channel, and the emergence of the internet, there is so much news out there that it’s hard to decipher what is fact from what is fiction. It gets especially murky when real facts are mixed in with half-truths and falsehoods and then used to drum up a false narrative or story. It happens every election cycle. Sadly, not many people in journalism have the courage to discuss their peers, the industry in which they work, and the depths to which they will go to push a particular political viewpoint or narrative. This year’s elections were no exception and we saw the media work hand in glove with the White House and Congressional Democrats. So what were the liberal media’s worst lies of the 2022 midterm elections?
One of the biggest lies the media put forth over the last year was that President Biden and Washington Democrats were doing something about rising gas prices. As Americans prepared for summer vacations, this news seemed promising as gas prices broke $4 a gallon in June. But this Associated Press article from July said, “Some economists have held out hope that inflation might be reaching or nearing a short-term peak. Gas prices, for example, have fallen from the eye-watering $5 a gallon reached in mid-June to an average of $4.63 nationwide Wednesday — still far higher than a year ago but a drop that could help slow inflation for July and possibly August.” Newsflash, inflation continues to hover around 8%, core inflation continued its steady rise all year, and gas prices went back up, hit $5 a gallon in July, and nearly reached $6 a gallon in August.
When news broke in October, weeks before the election, that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would be cutting global oil production and leading to rising gas prices at the beginning of November, the Biden administration again responded by announcing additional releases of oil from America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The liberal media seized on the news as NPR wrote “Biden is releasing 15 million barrels from the strategic oil reserve to tame prices.”
Nowhere in the liberal media’s discussion about rising gas prices was the fact that President Biden shut down American oil and gas production and refining factories. When President Trump handed Joe Biden the keys, he left him with an America that was an energy exporter, and Biden took that, shut it down and made America reliant on foreign oil again. But you didn’t hear any of that on MSNBC. All the liberal media talked about was “Putin’s war in Ukraine,” which had far more of an impact on Europe’s energy needs than America’s. Yes, the war in Ukraine has an effect on global energy supply, but Putin is not to blame for $6 a gallon gasoline any more than he is for America becoming foreign energy dependent.
One of the biggest whoppers of the 2022 election had to do with the single biggest issue of the campaign cycle: inflation. This makes sense as inflation was consistently, over the last year, the number one issue on the mind of American voters all cycle, polling showed. Peaking in June at 9.1%, the highest year-over-year recorded since 1981, President Biden and Washington Democrats let inflation get out of control and began scrambling as American families were hurting five months before election day. Enter the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which narrowly passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden in August. Newsflash 2.0: The $740 billion act doesn’t actually reduce inflation. An analysis conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business Model found that the Act “would have no meaningful effect on inflation in the near term but would reduce inflation by around 0.1 percentage points by the middle of the first decade. These point estimates, however, are not statistically different from zero, indicating a low level of confidence that the legislation would have any measurable impact on inflation.” But Washington Post and National Public Radio (NPR) readers saw “Biden signs Democrats’ sweeping bill to tackle climate change, lower health-care costs” and “Biden signs sweeping climate, health care, tax bill into law,” respectively.
With the 2022 midterm elections now in the rearview, it’s clear that the liberal media’s big assist to President Biden and Washington Democrats over the last six months was to put a positive spin on Biden’s reactionary and feckless leadership on a wide range of issues, particularly inflation and gas prices, in order to create the false impression that President Biden’s policies are not that bad. The fake news media wants Americans to believe that this is the new normal, that we should all get used to it, and that inflation dropping to 7.7% is amazing compared to 9.1%! They forgot to tell us that the Democrats got us into this mess in the first place with their outrageous blank-check trillion dollar COVID spending plans, anti-small business policies, by shutting down American energy production, and boosting interest rates, which has resulted in the highest inflation in America in over two generations with no end in sight. The fake news’ elite used a clever and classic play called the politics of distraction that, when taken together, creates an atmosphere of illusion.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action