It’s easy to imagine Montgomery Burns in a mahogany study, doing that finger-steepling thing of his and whispering “Excellent!” at the Fox News, Newsmax, or OAN coverage of the “inflation crisis” in America today. Because it’s the same playbook that Right-Wing media has used time and again to persuade its viewers that their very way of life is in danger, and that only placing their trust (and resources) in the hands of Republican politicians and conservative media groups can save The American Dream.
“Inflation Crisis One of the Worst in Modern Retail History” screams a Fox News headline of November 11th.
“Biden Policies ‘Dramatically’ Impacted Supply Chain Crisis, Inflation” clamors another, this one from October 22nd.
“Let’s be Honest…” barks a Newsmax headline of December 8th, which opinion article goes on to claim that—global pandemic aside, social turmoil aside—the real blame for the current inflation “crisis” lies squarely at the feet of: “Poor leadership in our government and in the central banks.” Then the article’s author, Dan Celia, goes on to opine that, “The Biden Administration took our Federal Chair [Jerome Powell], a man that had previously led with confidence and conviction, and turned him into a political puppet…”
Never mind that, as Business Insider puts it, the current economic inflation is the price of “historic stimulus and a thriving recovery, and it’s a price well worth paying.”
It’s a price well worth paying, of course, because the stimulus was given in response to the most impactful pandemic in a century, and it not only averted a global depression (which could have rivaled the Great Depression of the 1920s and ‘30s in terms of both human suffering and displacement), but it “fueled an unprecedented economic boom.”
Yes, “Americans have more money to spend and want to spend it,” notes the same Business Insider piece, as the House GOP Ways and Means Committee, a .gov hosted website no less, proclaims that “Low Income Voters Believe Bidenflation a ‘Very Big Problem’”
That’s right, a .gov website for the House GOP Ways and Means Committee is headlining a press release with a made for Twitter hashtag. “#Bidenflation” howl Conservative Media pundits and Republican political operatives from across the web, despite that the huge majority of Covid relief spending came during the Trump administration. And, more importantly, ignoring the fact that, for many Americans, this relief was critical to surviving in 2020 and 2021.
But this is the game Conservative media plays. This is the playbook. Remember it from Obamacare? Remember it from the smokescreen that was the “migrant caravan”?
Persuade your viewers that there’s a crisis, accuse the Left of causing or exacerbating it, pick out a symptom and promote it as The Cause, then, turn your viewers against their own self-interest. If you can do all this while protecting the oligarchy and fundraising off The American Dream, you win!
So, Do “Low Income Voters Believe Bidenflation a ‘Very Big Problem’”? Maybe. And if they do, just know that in a mahogany study somewhere, Montgomery Burns is doing that finger-steepling thing of his as he whispers “Excellent!”