Damage Control: Obama Comms Director Blames “Right-Wing Media” For Biden’s Failures

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With President Biden’s approval rating plummeting amidst soaring gas prices, inflation, and supply chain shortages, the liberal media machine has sprung into action to play damage control. Yet, on Tuesday morning, former White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer appeared on CNN’s New Day to blame Biden’s woes on the “right-wing media machine” and deny the existence of the liberal media.

John Berman began by asking Pfeiffer, “There are people within the White House who feel like they’re not getting their message out. How true?”

Pfeiffer related the Biden White House’s current problems to his own experience under Obama, saying, “It was hard to get our message out because the media environment was so chaotic and hyperbolic and there was this emerging right-wing media machine that was starting to drown out our message.”

Pfeiffer continued indulging in the fantasy that Biden’s stalled agenda is actually massively popular among voters, “I think there are two parts of political communication: what are you going to say and how do you get people to pay attention to it? Biden has nailed the first part for much of his Presidency. His agenda is popular, his messaging is good. But not enough people are hearing it.” 

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Perhaps Biden’s message isn’t resonating with voters. . .because his agenda isn’t popular? The thought doesn’t even seem to have crossed Pfeiffer’s mind.

For Pfeiffer, since Democrats don’t have a friendly media to help get their message out, “Democrats have to work extra hard to be omnipresent in the political conversation because we don’t have an apparatus who’s going to do that for us like President Trump did.”

To be fair to Pfeiffer, the Democrats don’t have A friendly media outlet if you don’t count MSNBC. Or CNN. Or ABC. Or CBS. Or NBC. Or PBS. And it’s not like Donald Trump battled a hostile “media apparatus” for his entire candidacy and Presidency or anything like that. 

Pfeiffer concluded his break from reality with a stroke of economic insight that was nothing short of brilliant:

When — eh — within the right-wing media ecosystem, when Donald Trump was president, the economy was great. Jobs numbers were the single most important thing. Right, it was this — the greatest economy in history according to Fox. Once, you know — obviously the economy is very complicated right now, but the idea that we are having historic job growth, one of the greatest jobs creation in history, is not a piece of information that’s being communicated to a large swath of the population because right-wing media outlets and the billionaires that fund it do not want people to know that.

As a general rule, people don’t get super enthused about job creation when there’s also record-high inflation. NewsBusters has also shown that the media has taken the White House’s economic talking points, particularly saying Russia’s war on Ukraine is the sole cause of increasing gas prices and inflation, and run with it.

Pfeiffer has also been making the rounds on other liberal networks, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday morning, where he said, “that Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire has more followers and engagement, many times more than the New York Times or CNN — that is a problem for democracy.”

For the good of “democracy,” all dissenting voices must be shut down. What a joke.

This latest example of media scapegoating was made possible by Booking.com and Carvana. Their contact information is linked. 

Click “Expand” to see the relevant transcript

CNN’s New Day
06/07/22
7:37:44 AM ET

JOHN BERMAN: Joining us is Dan Pfeiffer, former senior adviser to President Obama and White House Communications Director, and is the author of the brand new book out today, Battling the Big Lie: how Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media are Destroying America. Dan, it’s great to have you. There’s so much in this book that’s exactly relevant for stuff that’s happening in the news today. That report from Isaac was really revealing, that there are people within the White House who feel like they’re not getting their message out. How true? 

DAN PFEIFFER: Definitely true. And I put myself in the top percentile of Americans sympathetic to the challenges they have. When I worked in the White House, it was hard to get our message out because the media environment was so chaotic and hyperbolic and there was this emerging right-wing media machine that was starting to drown out our message.

That problem is exponentially worse now. The White House is — even if you put aside all of the crises happening outside of their control that are dominating the news, the Presidential bully pulpit is incredibly small, and this is a huge challenge to Democrats, it’s that we are losing the messaging wars because the Republicans — as I write in the book, Republicans have spent decades building up this massive apparatus, whether it’s cable news, the digital sites, YouTube personalities, — you know — Facebook messaging, that is pushing right-wing disinformation and propaganda at the expense of normal political conversation in this country. 

BERMAN: Is it just that, though? Or are there choices that this White House is making that’s making it harder for them to get their message out? 

PFEIFFER: Look, I think we can stipulate that everyone can always do a better job. I think there are two parts of political communication: what are you going to say and how do you get people to pay attention to it? Biden has nailed the first part for much of his presidency. His agenda is popular, his messaging is good. But not enough people are hearing it. 

And you have seen, I think, in the last few weeks a shift in what the White House is doing. Some of it’s in — in — the CNN report. You mentioned, the President is getting out more, he’s been doing more interviews, he’s going to be on Jimmy Kimmel tomorrow night. He even gave a primetime speech. And I think they’re recognizing that you have to — Democrats have to work extra hard to be omnipresent in the political conversation because we don’t have an apparatus who’s going to do that for us like President Trump did.

(…)

7:40:38 AM ET

BERMAN: I want to come back to this White House in a second, but I want to focus on another thing that we’re just learning which gets to what your book is about, which is that the first night of the January 6th Select Committee hearings will be in primetime Thursday night, all the major networks are covering them, the cables are covering them, except for — Fox News will not broadcast these hearings. What does that tell you? 

PFEIFFER: Well it certainly tells me that the idea that Fox is some sort of quasi-right-leaning journalistic organization during the day and then right-wing opinion at night, is completely not true, right? This is the entire operation at Fox, and it has now been amplified by a bunch of sort of sort of Fox — like, online versions of Fox, is — the goal is to create a hermetically sealed information bubble to dictate, to give people a specific alternative version of reality, alternative facts as Kellyanne Conway would say, to — for the purposes of motivating Republican voters and winning elections. That is what it is. Full stop. 

BERMAN: That’s one thing that’s interesting to look at, which is there is a segment of the country for which those hearings, I suppose you’re saying, will not exist. 

PFEIFFER: They will not exist. And, and — you can — it’s the same thing on the economy, right? When — eh — within the right-wing media ecosystem, when Donald Trump was president, the economy was great. Jobs numbers were the single most important thing. Right, it was this — the greatest economy in history according to Fox. Once, you know — obviously the economy is very complicated right now, but the idea that we are having historic job growth, one of the greatest jobs creation in history, is not a piece of information that’s being communicated to a large swath of the population because right-wing media outlets and the billionaires that fund it do not want people to know that.

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