CNN host Don Lemon has been mocked for his crowing about Joe Biden reducing the price of gas – as analysts pointed out that the host was serenading the president over a five cent drop in the price per gallon.
‘Big economic relief for millions of Americans who have been dealing with soaring energy prices,’ declared Lemon on Tuesday night. ‘The price at the pump is finally easing up.’
He pointed to AAA figures showing the price per gallon of $3.35, down from $3.39 last week and $3.42 last month.
The price was, he said, the lowest since October – and then broke into song, trilling: ‘Laaaaa!’
CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night was very excited about a gas price drop of five cent per gallon
State-run media: CNN’s Don Lemon does the White House’s bidding by praising the price of gas falling just 5 cents. This is what the Biden administration wanted when they brought in media outlets to tell them how to spin the numbers. pic.twitter.com/q5aTak5rfx
– Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) December 8, 2021
Motorists have been suffering for months, with fuel in some places – like this gas station in Los Angeles – costing $6 a gallon, on November 15
He said the government was forecasting the price will drop to $3.01 by January, although that is still far higher than the $2.15 price of a gallon recorded in December 2020, when Donald Trump was president.
‘Can we just celebrate the good news for a minute? I’ll take it where I can get it,’ he said, clapping as he brought on guest Austan Goolsbee to discuss the numbers.
Lemon tweeted before his show: ‘What do dropping gas prices & skyrocketing stocks mean for you?’
His positive assessment had been given throughout the day on CNN.
Several times on Tuesday, anchors and commentators touted the small price drop as ‘critical relief for household budgets,’ ‘a big economic relief for millions,’ and ‘offering glimmers of hope for inflation-weary Americans,’ according to a Fox News analysis.
And on Wednesday, the crowing continued, with John Berman and Brianna Keilar, hosts of the morning show New Day, touting the small drop as ‘a potential antidote for inflation.’
Christine Romans, CNN’s chief business correspondent, appeared on the show and said ‘cooling energy costs … offer critical relief for household budgets.’
Lemon’s effusive segment was seized upon by Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog, with deputy managing editor Nicholas Fondacaro tweeting: ‘State-run media: CNN’s Don Lemon does the White House’s bidding by praising the price of gas falling just 5 cents.
‘This is what the Biden administration wanted when they brought in media outlets to tell them how to spin the numbers.’
Fondacaro was referring to a report on Tuesday night that three senior White House officials have embarked on a campaign to persuade newsroom executives to be more favorable in their coverage of Biden.
Lemon on Tuesday night promoted the economic success of the Biden administration
The trio – National Economic Council Deputy Directors David Kamin and Bharat Ramamurti, along with Ports Envoy John Porcari – have been ‘briefing major newsrooms over the past week,’ according to CNN’s media correspondent, Oliver Darcy.
Darcy, in his newsletter, said that their outreach was sparked by concern that Biden was not being treated fairly.
Darcy wrote: ‘The officials have been discussing with newsrooms trends pertaining to job creation, economic growth, supply chains, and more.
‘The basic argument that has been made: That the country’s economy is in much better shape than it was last year.
‘I’m told the conversations have been productive, with anchors and reporters and producers getting to talk with the officials.’
Joe Biden’s administration has dispatched a team to try and convince newsrooms to be more positive in their coverage of the president
Their lobbying came as, on December 3, a Washington Post columnist called Dana Milbank wrote an op ed entitled: ‘The media treats Biden as badly as — or worse than — Trump. Here’s proof.’
Milbank said that he had grown suspicious about the torrent of negative headlines about Biden, and commissioned a study.
He asked Forge.ai, a data analytics unit of the information company FiscalNote, to look at 65 news websites ranging from newspapers to wire services and political publications, and do a ‘sentiment analysis’ of the 200,000 articles by searching for adjectives.
Milbank said Forge.ai’s data showed the media was treating Biden worse than it had Donald Trump.
‘My colleagues in the media are serving as accessories to the murder of democracy,’ he wrote.
On Monday, Milbank appeared on CNN to defend his theory.
Dana Milbank is seen on Monday defending his suggestion that Biden is treated unfairly
‘August was the turning point,’ he told host Brianna Keilar.
‘Biden’s coverage was more favorable than Trump’s before then. There was that honeymoon.
Even as things have generally improved since then, the coverage has not improved.’
Milbank added: ‘It’s not bias. It’s the actual words we’re using.
‘So we are as negative as a collective media on Joe Biden, if not more so than we were to Donald Trump at a time when he was trying to overthrow democracy.
‘That is a tremendous indictment of the whole industry.’
Milbank said journalists working in the U.S. needed ‘to do soul searching and see what we are delivering to people’.
He said: ‘There’s a real problem when we are being just as adversarial because a guy doesn’t pass a bill, as we are when a guy is trying to overthrow democracy.’
Milbank’s article was greeted with approval from the highest levels in the White House.
Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, tweeted it with the comment: ‘Submitted for your consideration.’
The outreach by the three has perhaps paid dividends.
At the end of November, The Columbus Dispatch published an op ed under the headline: ‘Opinion: It’s time to give Joe Biden his due’.
William Derrough, a guest columnist at the paper and former treasurer for the DNC, detailed how, under Biden, the economy was booming; the pandemic was being successfully combatted; companies were thriving; and households were benefiting.
‘Notwithstanding many naysayers, under President Joe Biden’s administration, the United States economy is not just back on track to tremendous growth, but, thanks to a number of legislative and administrative measures, is on its way to being less trickle down and more bottoms-up.’
Derrough concluded: ‘Perhaps it is time to give Joe his due. He is indeed a capitalist. But he’s a compassionate one who believes in the power of the government to help fill the gaps and propel forward those who’ve been left behind.’
Wired columnist Virginia Heffernan, who was vocally anti-Trump throughout his time in office, tweeted on Sunday: ‘Biden has the highest job creation rate of any president ever.’
Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama who now runs media company Crooked Media, told his 1.4 million followers they should read an article written by his co-founder Dan Pfeiffer, entitled: ‘The dangers of the Democratic doom loop’.
Favreau said: ‘This is very much worth reading from @danpfeiffer.
‘Only two choices here: give in to the doom and give up, or keep trying to fight our way through it. The former guarantees a bad outcome. The latter offers us a chance.’
On Monday, MSNBC’s Ari Melber warmed to the theme of Biden being treated unfairly, tweeting: ‘While the AP reported on the ‘sluggish’ jobs report under President Biden, they called a similar number under Trump ‘robust.”
CNBC’s Thomas Franck also on Monday wrote an on ed entitled: ‘Wall Street economists are confident Biden’s Build Back Better bill will become law – and boost infrastructure firms’.
Franck wrote in glowing terms about ‘Wall Street’s confidence in the administration’s sprawling climate, health-care and education bill.’
Analyzing recent market reports, he added: ‘Economists at Goldman Sachs, Evercore ISI, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan have all written in recent weeks that they believe it’s a matter of time until the Senate passes Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.
‘That could mean a business boom for some of the country’s biggest construction and materials companies, they say.’
On Tuesday, CNN noted: ‘Finally some relief: Gasoline and natural gas prices are falling’, and said Americans should all be pleased with the news.
On social media, some welcomed what they said was attention finally being paid to an overlooked anti-Biden bias.
‘All the MSM does nowadays is to give opinions for the sake of ratings,’ said one.
‘So frustrating. Biden’s doing a pretty good job, and his press is just overwhelmingly negative,’ added another.
Another observed: ‘It’s not been fair & balanced no matter what outlet. They need to educate the public as to the policies being advanced by each party & how it impacts the voters’ lives. Then they can OBJECTIVELY analyze what each party is doing for the voters. Keep their pearl clutching out of it.’
Yet others derided the news of the outreach.
‘Biden’s policies are so popular that he’s begging the msm to do a better job at lying about it,’ said one man.
‘BIDEN’S HANDLERS MEETING WITH THE MSM ASKING FOR A BETTER SPIN ON HIS POLICIES AND A MORE POSITIVE IMAGE OF HIM. ALL THEY DO IS LIE,’ said another commentator.
Another tweeted a photo of a man in a sombrero laughing, captioned: ‘The left says that the MSM is harder on Biden than Trump…’