The Today show and NBC got lots of derision over this segment and Vicky Nguyen’s advice over the last day or so, but it missed the more important context. Yes, it’s rather absurd to talk about skipping the turkey for Thanksgiving, which is why the RNC had so much fun with this small clip from the segment. “Due to Bidenflation,” the GOP War Room argues, not only will Americans have to skip turkey, but they should cut back on feeding people altogether:
That’s terrible messaging, of course. However, at least NBC recognized and confirmed the reality of inflation, albeit belatedly. “Inflation is up,” Nguyen says at the beginning of the segment, and “that’s real money. Meatflation, shrinkflation, all the ‘flations Carrie Sanders has been talking about”:
Some of this advice makes sense, not just in terms of inflation but generally. Coupons are always available and can save real money. Prepare food from scratch rather than buy pre-made items or prepared platters. Some of it is silly, like suggesting a pot-luck approach that most households already use. Dumping the bird counts as silly — you’ll spend just as much on any entree to feed as many people as a turkey will.
Asking for cash for the meal is gauche, though, and the idea that you should go out of your way to discourage family from gathering by shorting them on hospitality is just outright offensive. I wonder how many people in Nguyen’s circle of friends and family wonder if she’s dropping hints this year?
The main point here, however, is that the media is finally catching up to their consumers. It was less than two weeks ago that NBC’s affiliate MSNBC advised consumers to just tap their savings to deal with inflation in a classic Marie Antoinette moment. Consumers have known for some time that inflation is both real and spectacular, even while Democrats and the media gaslight about it. The New York Times even warned Democrats yesterday that they’re running a big risk in continuing to downplay inflation’s effects and failing to correct for it:
Ms. Martin, 35, a political independent, doesn’t blame either party for inflation, but in a season of discontent, her disapproval fell more heavily on Democrats who run Washington. She voted for President Biden but is disappointed with him and his party. “I think I would probably give somebody else a shot,” she said.
As Americans go on the road this week to travel for family gatherings, the higher costs of driving and one of the most expensive meals of the year have alarmed Democrats, who fear that inflation may upend their electoral prospects in the midterms. Republicans are increasingly confident that a rising cost of living — the ultimate kitchen-table issue — will be the most salient factor in delivering a red wave in 2022.
Democrats’ passage in quick succession of the $1 trillion infrastructure law and, in the House, of a $2.2 trillion social safety net and climate bill, promise once-in-a-generation investments that Democratic candidates plan to run on next year, with many of the policies in the bills broadly popular.
But, despite rising wages and falling unemployment, Democrats are also in danger of being swept aside in a hostile political environment shaped in large part by the highest inflation in 30 years, which has defied early predictions that it would be short-lived as the country pulled out of the pandemic.
Given how dire inflation and its corrosive effects will be on Biden and the Democrats, one might expect media outlets to step up the gaslighting. However, that approach has run out of gas, almost literally. Attempts to write this off as “transitory” have expired, as has the argument that a comparison to last year is faulty on the basis of pandemic-suppressed demand. There was no suppressed demand by November of last year, especially for grocery staples and food, and neither was there any deflation to account for the levels of inflation this year.
The gaslighting has sputtered out at the gas pumps as Americans head out to Thanksgiving gatherings. The national media knows it. Democrats appear to be preparing to learn it the hard way.
Addendum: Will their New Year’s advice be to stop eating so much breakfast?