Biden inflation bill celebration: Mainstream media takes notice of ‘unfortunate’ timing as market plunged
The mainstream media took aim at President Biden on Tuesday, scolding the White House for “celebrating” the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act as August inflation remained uncomfortably high.
Biden, who announced the celebration on Twitter, was first mocked by conservatives who questioned what he could possibly celebrate as inflation rose 8.3% in August from last year, the price of groceries and rent remained high, and the stock market was in the midst of its worst day since June 2020.
After the initial wave of criticism from the right, much of the mainstream media followed with reports that the optics were tough for Biden.
Following the release of August’s consumer price index report, Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen said the numbers could be “bad political news” for Democrats heading into the midterms, and may curtail their chances in 2024. But Biden’s event remained as planned.
CNN hosts Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell pulled back live coverage of Biden’s speech, noting the “unfortunate” visuals of the president celebrating while the Dow took “a total beating,” losing more than 1,200 points.
MSNBC’s coverage cut away before the speech ended, and former CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller took notice.
“Both CNN and MSNBC cut away from Biden inflation speech. CSPAN not airing either. He’s been shut out. Maybe it’s the aviator sunglasses he’s wearing,” Knoller wrote on Twitter.
One CNN writer called it an “unfortunate moment” to be celebrating.
“The sun-baked South Lawn of the White House cheered the controversially named Inflation Reduction Act only hours after punishing new government data showing food prices soaring. Stocks were meanwhile plummeting in the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s largest one-day reverse since June 2020 in the darkest days of the pandemic,” CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote.
Reuters published a headline, “Biden celebrates ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ as food, rent prices climb,” which noted that the White House celebration “coincided with the release of Labor Department figures that showed an unexpected August rise in U.S. consumer prices, as rent and food continued to climb.”
“The economy continues to be the biggest issue for voters ahead of the November midterm elections, posing risks for Democrats trying to maintain control of Congress,” Reuters reporters Jeff Mason and Steve Holland wrote.
A New York Times headline declared, “Sobering Inflation Report Dampens Biden’s Claims of Economic Progress,” with the subhead, “The president is trying once again to accentuate the positives in the recovery from recession, but stubbornly high prices are complicating the message.”
The Hill published a headline, “Democrats celebrate inflation reduction bill as stocks tumble on latest data,” while Yahoo admitted Americans “have mixed feelings” about the Inflation Reduction Act despite glowing rhetoric from the White House.
A Bloomberg headline, “Biden Celebration of Economy Skips Inflation That Haunts It,” noted that the White House “ignored worse-than-expected US inflation data that roiled markets during a planned celebration for his signature climate-and-tax law.”
“He didn’t mention the latest inflation data at all during his wide-ranging speech,” Bloomberg’s Josh Wingrove and Jenny Leonard wrote. “As Biden was speaking, a broad-based selloff sent equities to their worst day in more than two years as fears mounted that the Federal Reserve will adopt an even more aggressive pace of monetary tightening.”
Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law last month after it passed through Congress along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate. The act, lawmakers said, was intended to combat climate change, address health care costs and raise taxes on large corporations.
But midway into September, a new report indicated inflation rose more than expected in August, squeezing U.S. households even as the cost of gasoline fell and continued to create a political headache for the president.
OutKick founder Clay Travis feels people should be held responsible for the controversial celebration.
“Every single person that OK’d this in the White House should be immediately fired for being too dumb to advise any president regardless of party. The stock market had its worst day since Joe Biden came into office,” Travis said on “FOX & Friends.”
Despite the backlash, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the event.
“Let’s not forget the moment that we saw on the South Lawn of the President and thousands of people coming together who helped get the Inflation Reduction Act done was a celebration for the American people. It was a win for the American people,” she told reporters. “When you think about how long elected members — Democrats, in particular — in Congress have been fighting for decades against special interest groups — in particular, pharma — to bring costs down for Medicare, that’s what you saw yesterday.”
Fox News’ Hanna Panreck, Timothy H.J. Nerozzi, Alexander Hall, Bradford Betz and Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.
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