Legacy Media’s Disdain: Understanding the Gap Between Mainstream Pundits and Public Sentiment

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The essence of the legacy news media is their disdain for you and their belief in your ignorance. Understand this, and everything else becomes clear.

Recently, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman penned his latest piece accusing people of misunderstanding the economy. Despite Krugman’s view that the economy is doing “quite well,” public sentiment remains dissatisfied. Notably, many people feel good about their personal finances but hold a negative view of the broader economy, leading Krugman to diagnose a “vibecession.”

In defense of Krugman and like-minded pundits, this discrepancy might not be immediately clear to the legacy media, which often prioritize the concerns of the identitarian Left over those of the working class. As always, it’s easier to blame “messaging” rather than empathize with voters.

If Krugman and his peers genuinely wanted to address President Joe Biden’s poor approval ratings on the economy, they should consider several factors.

First, for the past eight years, Democrats and their media allies have employed fear tactics to sway public opinion. Establishment liberals have adopted an apocalyptic tone in recent election cycles.

Initially, they claimed former President Donald Trump was a pawn of an arch-enemy, destined to start World War III. Then, they equated COVID-19 with countless 9/11 attacks, labeling skepticism about vaccines and masks as morally equivalent to mass murder. They argued that the fall of Roe v. Wade would turn The Handmaid’s Tale into reality, warned that the planet was on the brink of combustion, and claimed black men were being gunned down in the streets en masse.

Now, they shout “Democracy is on the ballot” at every opportunity, as if anything less than a Democratic landslide would spell the end of America.

Yet, Krugman and his associates expect voters to be optimistic about the future. Is it because the stock market is up?

Forget the multiple debunkings of the Russian collusion hoax, the establishment’s numerous blunders on COVID-19, the fact that Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has positively impacted abortion practices, the lack of global combustion despite dire forecasts from Greta Thunberg and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and the significant progress in race relations since the Civil Rights Act. It’s unreasonable to expect optimism when the dominant messages are doom and gloom.

People aren’t mere puppets, Mr. Krugman. They can’t be forced into a “happy days are here again” mindset just because Democrats might lose their seats.

Moreover, the majority’s current sense of feeling “good” about their personal finances is relative. Feeling “good” today might mean having a few months’ rent saved up, whereas 20 years ago, it might have meant a reasonable expectation of buying a home, a notion now unfamiliar to newer generations. The wealthy journalism class to which Krugman belongs can’t grasp the new economic reality for ordinary people. Their “good” is different—perpetually baffling them.

Considering recent experiences of soaring prices at gas stations and grocery stores following excessive government spending, it’s obvious why most voters don’t feel positive about the economy. If you haven’t fueled your own car or shopped for groceries in years, you wouldn’t understand.

The White House’s embrace of the “Dark Brandon” meme perhaps best encapsulates the “vibe” they’ve tried to instill during their tenure. The irony is rich, given their lamenting of America’s sour mood and disregard for the “lived experiences” of workers.

Peter Laffin
Peter Laffin
Contributor based in Orange County, California. Peter's previous work can be found in the Washington Examiner, the American Spectator, and the American Thinker.

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