As someone who entered the field of journalism in 1976 and whose family began in the newspaper business in 1831, one of the more amazing things to watch in today’s media
environment is how quickly the establishment media adopts Democrat talking points as “news.”
The astonishing speed of this phenomenon was demonstrated earlier this week by the adoption of the phrase “Putin’s price hike” to describe the spike in oil and gasoline prices, but it seems to now be spreading to become a more general grant of media absolution to Joe Biden for the 40-year high 7.9 percent inflation recorded last month.
NBC was the only establishment media outlet that gave away the game, even as other articles echoed the White House. NBC News reported this week that the administration had decided to blame Russia for the gas prices.
When President Joe Biden called the rising cost of gas in the U.S. “Putin’s price hike” Tuesday — laying the blame for pain at the pump squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin — it wasn’t a casual aside. And his warning to oil and gas companies against price gouging was no ad lib.
His comments while announcing a U.S. ban on Russian oil imports in response to Putin’s assault on Ukraine — which he repeated hours later as he arrived for a veterans event in to Fort Worth, Texas — were part of a deliberate shift by the White House in the president’s messaging strategy about gas prices ahead of the midterm elections, people familiar with the internal deliberations said.
And the White House messaging shift was a dire necessity, because according to reporting by the UK’s Daily Mail, the Labor Department said on Thursday that the consumer price index increased 0.8 percent in February from the month before, for a 7.9 percent gain from a year ago.
It is the largest annual gain since June of 1982. Excluding volatile food and energy, prices rose 6.4 percent, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982.
The latest data showed the price of basic necessities rising sharply, with groceries up 8.6 percent from a year ago, shelter rising 4.7 percent, clothing up 6.6 percent, and energy up 25.6 percent.
The House GOP’s official Twitter account gave a good summary of the Labor Department report: “Inflation is a tax on ALL Americans. Gasoline is UP 38.0% Gas Utilities are UP 23.8% Meats/Fish/Eggs are UP 13.0% New Cars are UP 12.4% Electricity is UP 9.0% Food at home is UP 8.6% Food away from home is UP 6.8% Transportation is UP 6.6%.”
For the record, this is not a trend that started two weeks ago when Russia invaded Ukraine – inflation has increased every month of Joe Biden’s presidency, as has the price of gasoline.
According to AAA, the average nationwide price for a gallon of gas rose to $4.318 Thursday, up from $4.252 Wednesday, $3.477 last month, and $2.815 at this time last year.
Rick Santelli, whose rant on Obama mortgage subsidies gave a name to the Tea Party movement, absolutely hammered the Biden administration's ever-evolving excuses on inflation: "First it was transitory, then 'inflation is good.' Then we went to 'corporate greed.' Now we’re at Putin."
The viral metamorphosis of the White House talking point into establishment media headlines exposes the media’s crass shilling for Biden in the worst way possible since the February inflation number doesn’t include the past week’s oil price shocks, so it is only going to look worse next month.
And Republicans from leadership to back benchers weren’t shy about trying to bypass the establishment media shilling and glue the inflation number to Biden, with the New York Post gleefully grabbing their statements:
“Inflation in Utah is up to 9.7%. Joe Biden’s failed policies have made life more expensive for and harder on Utah families, and Democrats want to spend trillion$ more today. End the madness,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tweeted.
“The only thing Joe Biden has built back better is inflation. Nothing else,” posted Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC).
“Predictably, the reckless spending binge in Washington has supercharged inflation to another 40-year high. No one is buying the Democrats’ desperate excuses for inflation, but everyone is paying for them,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted.
“Americans can’t afford to live in Joe Biden’s America. Inflation is now at 7.9%, the highest since 1982. We need to get our spending under control now,” Rep. Lisa McCalin (R-Mich.) wrote.
“Inflation just came in at 7.9% & has skyrocketed to 40-year highs. The cost of living is rising far faster than paychecks. It’s time to ditch pie-in-the-sky far-left spending hikes, remove burdensome taxes & regulations, ramp up domestic energy production, & more,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) posted.
Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) likened the inflation hikes to taxation, simply saying, “Inflation is taxation.”
And in a tweet not captured by the New York Post, Senator Ted Cruz was even blunter:
“This is a flat-out lie. Gas prices have increased 48% under Biden—BEFORE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE. Biden did that. That’s bc Biden: – killed Keystone pipeline. – froze federal leases. – shut down ANWR All, while Biden waived sanctions on Putin’s pipeline,” the Texas senator said.
Yesterday, Peter Doocy of Fox News asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about White House messaging on "Putin Price Hikes"
"Inflation goes up today, the President's statement blames the 'Putin Price Hike.' Are you guys going to just start blaming Putin for everything until the midterms?" asked Doocy.
Watch it for yourself, but it sounded to us like the answer was YES.
domestic energy production