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CNN panel on Biden struggles: Media not doing enough to sell agenda, Americans putting ‘feelings’ over facts

A CNN panel made a variety of excuses for President Biden’s sagging approval rating on Sunday, from the media not doing enough to sell his agenda to the notion of people putting “feelings” over facts. 

On Reliable Sources,” host Brian Stelter asked The Editorial Board columnist Magdi Semrau why the “link” between Biden and his agenda is “broken.”

Semrau asserted the media is not doing a “particularly great job” of relaying Biden’s agenda to the American public.” However, the columnist also argued that American dissatisfaction with the president has to do with the pandemic and inflation, which she described as a “real problem.”

Back in October, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made a similar statement after lecturing congressional reporters for not doing a good enough job “selling” Biden’s Build Back Better plan to Americans. 

AT JUST 36% SUPPORT, BIDEN SLIPS TO A RECORD LOW IN A NEW POLL

CNN Reliable Sources Host and Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter speaks on the “Trust, Truth and the Future of Journalism” panel at the Media Literacy Week Kick-off event at the Thomson Reuters building in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 6, 2017.
(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Pelosi said the media had not done justice to the list of items in the bill, such as Family Medical Leave. “Every time I come here, I go through the list … It is hard to break through when you have such a comprehensive package,” she told CBS News’ Nikole Killion. 

U.S. President Joe Biden and First lady Jill Biden disembark from Air Force One at Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, U.S, November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Tasos Katopodis

U.S. President Joe Biden and First lady Jill Biden disembark from Air Force One at Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, U.S, November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Tasos Katopodis
(REUTERS/Tasos Katopodis)

Later in the panel, Stelter said Americans are putting their “feelings” over “facts” regarding Biden’s handling of COVID-19 and the economy. He added that it is “understandable” that people go with those feelings “even if the facts show us a rebounding economy.”

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Writer and photographer Chris Arnade elaborated on a Substack post he wrote about why Biden and Democrats are likely “screwed” in 2022, arguing most “Back row” Americans don’t watch politics too closely and generally perceive things negatively.

“It’s like the NFL and most people treat politics like they’ll tune in to the Super Bowl once every few years and that’s about it,” he said. “That’s how they view politics as something, you know, they’re not a player in it, they’re just a watcher. They support teams. They support a side. But they don’t feel like – They don’t have a say in that much.”

Arnade went on to say the way politics affects the average American is “experiential” and that they do not “perceive things” or connect policies in the same way the media does. The panel guest was responding to a question from Stelter on whether or not he agreed with the idea that “people don’t know what’s actually going on” regarding how they are hearing and learning about the president and his agenda. 

Stelter also praised Arnade’s work and mentioned how he loved the idea that “Americans perceive the news and perceive Biden is light years different from the average political panel.”

CNN has previously sounded the alarm on Biden’s tanking poll numbers. Back in October CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten called them “not good” and a “very bad sign.”

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Biden’s poll numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction and stood at 36% last month, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll. 

Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien and Yael Halon contributed to this report. 

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