Prominent networks have often parroted talking points used by the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers, pinning inflation and high gas prices on everything from Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine to the COVID-19 pandemic and corporate greed. Many figures also claimed that high costs as a result of inflation would be transitory in nature.
“Here’s the situation. And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said last month.
The idea of inflation as transitory was repeated by members of Biden’s administration, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki. Biden’s colleagues have since pivoted away from the terminology.
Mainstream media anchors and their guests also made bold predictions on the country’s economic future that have turned out to be far from accurate.
In December, CNN reporter Matt Egan touted a government forecast that suggested gas prices would fall below $ 3 in 2022. He similarly highlighted a $ 3.35-per-gallon price as small “relief” for the American people just a day earlier.
CNN’s Don Lemon made similar comments about “lower” gas prices, claiming that Americans “were finally getting some relief.”
“We talk so much about bad news, oh my God, inflation, la la la, this is good news. Gas prices are heading south, down,” Lemon said in December.
That forecast and CNN’s reporting were well off the mark. Earlier this month the average U.S. gas price hit $ 5 a gallon for the first time ever.
Austan Goolsbee, an American economist, said in November that he agreed with the administration that inflation would be temporary but would still stick around for “months.”
CNN’s John Berman also weighed in at the end of 2021, claiming that the economy was “heading in the right direction,” and while by no means perfect, there were a lot of things to be “very, very grateful for.”
Some reporters and media figures also criticized Republicans who claimed that the president’s energy policies would cause a spike in the price of gas.
Washington Post staff writer Dino Grandoni argued in a November 2020 analysis that any action by Biden on the climate would have a “marginal, at best” effect on gas prices.
Grandoni further dismissed the “idea of a forthcoming gas price spike” as a political attack “fueled by Trump himself.”
ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel similarly knocked the former president for criticizing gas prices under Biden. Leading up to Memorial Day last year, Trump noted that upcoming gas prices would be “far higher” than gas prices under his administration.
Kimmel fired back, claiming that the reason gas prices were so low during his presidency was because nobody was driving during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
“When I was president we spent money on porn stars, not gasoline,” Kimmel said in his best Trump voice.
Meanwhile, some prominent voices in the media also attempted to downplay concerns about inflation and soaring gas prices.
CBSNs Tanya Rivero noted that one guest, Wells Fargo economist Sarah House, made a “good point,” in that inflation, as a product of demand, has an “upside.”
“To the extent that it’s coming from a strong economy, a strong consumer. That’s not a bad thing,” House replied.
Speaking on inflation in January, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle appeared to ease National Economic Council Head Brian Deese into his interview, tampering concerns about inflation at the same time.
“We have a very strong economy,” Ruhle said. “Unemployment is very low, consumer spending is increasing.” Ruhle went on to say that inflation is “overshadowing a winning economy.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Labor Department announced inflation hit a 40-year-high. According to the data, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May was 8.6% higher than it was a year ago.
Fox News’ Kristine Parks and Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.