President Biden is now engaged in a number of battles, including one against perceptions of economic risk, a never-ending epidemic, and his own political weakness. He has been making rebuttals and attempting to shift attitudes in recent remarks.
He gently skewered the news media on Wednesday, for example: “If you’ve lately seen the news, you might believe that the shelves in all of our stores across the country are empty and that parents won’t be able to buy gifts for their children… But here’s the thing: that isn’t the case for the great majority of the country.”
“Shelves are going to be stocked,” Biden declared as he ran over his administration’s initiatives, which he said were “done in conjunction with industry and labor.” I got the impression that the entire speech was a reaction to recent media scrutiny. In effect, his message was: Don’t fall prey to the sky-is-falling kind of news reporting that is so popular right now.
When he spoke to Americans about Omicron on Monday, he used the same tone, saying it’s “not a reason for fear,” a sly jab at some of the frightening early reactions to the variant news.
Are his arguments, however, being heard?
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That is highly questionable. I discussed news whiplash on a recent edition of “Reliable Sources.” As a watcher, it’s easy to get the impression that the country is lurching from crisis to emergency to tragedy, and that by the time one is resolved, the next is already grabbing all the headlines…