In December 2023, anchor Chris Hayes of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes provided viewers and the American public with one of the best explanations as to why poll results and perhaps a general perception of President Joe Biden may be so low. In many ways, it boils down to lies, disinformation and the insidious role played by Fox News/the Fox News Channel (FNC). (It should be noted that “news” in Fox’s name is arguably a lie in and of itself; by many accounts, the channel should be considered an entertainment channel or “a world view, a lifestyle, a way of seeing the world, a 24/7 warm bath of false nostalgia and aggrievement primarily for older adults.”
Hayes notes, “It is worth taking a look at what, exactly, Americans have been hearing about the economy over the past three years.” He takes us through not only Trump’s lies about how great the economy was in his Administration but also the role of Fox’s lying anchors and right-wing characters over time. In the face of unprecedented crises faced by the Biden-Harris Administration the minute they stepped into office, Fox was on a tear. Some of the topics distorted by Fox to which its loyal adherents were bombarded included the following:
- The supposed labor shortage and how “nobody wants to work”
- Problems around the supply chain; starting in Oct. 2021, Fox was accusing Biden of “ruining Christmas.”
- The baby formula shortage
- How “gas prices are through the roof,” “the pain at the pump”
- “The Biden recession”
Hayes points out, with facts, charts and graphics, how wrong these accusations have been and how well the Biden-Harris Administration has dealt with all these crises; Biden and his competent staff “quietly did their job, then moved on to the next crisis.”
Furthermore, Hayes points out that “Trump oversaw the biggest job loss in American history, along with mass death and abject disaster.” In stark contrast, the Biden-Harris economy “has been the best economic performance of a president, under very difficult conditions, that this nation has seen since FDR.” Bottom line: overall we are much better off economically than we were under Trump and his cronies (many of whom, of course, are now under indictment for various crimes).
A primary reason, then, that Biden suffers in the polls is the oversized influence that Fox has on the American political landscape. Despite fines, humiliations and the admission on the part of Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch that the main goal of Fox News is not facts or the truth but profit, Fox not only spews lies to millions of viewers on a daily basis, but its loyal watchers drink them in then further spread them through social media.
Hayes’ perspective is nothing new for mainstream media. Outlets such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, NBC News, CNN, and even the more conservative Wall Street Journal have been “on to” Fox for years. What Hayes has done, though, is to juxtapose images of Fox characters spewing the lies with evidence for how competently Biden and his team have tackled almost every challenge they have faced, on behalf of the American people. Polls, especially polls at the national level, have been shown to be unreliable. We cannot be misled by polls, by Fox or by social media feeds into thinking that Biden should be blamed for our real or perceived ills. Counting Biden and Harris out is a serious mistake.
If any voter is wondering whom to choose for President in November 2024, s/he should seriously consider the facts. For many of us, the decision is crystal clear.