Background on Peter Doocy’s Economic Statement

Niamh Kane, Broadcast Journalism

 

In recent news President Joe Biden has come under media fire in response to him being caught calling a reporter a “stupid son of a bitch” on a hot mic. Said reporter, Peter Doocy, is employed by Fox News, which is a historically conservative network. This is not the first time where he received a negative response from the questions he asked political figures. 

 

In a video clip from 2017 that has recently resurfaced in response to the scandal with Biden, Former Senator John McCain also responds negatively to Peter Doocy when he asked about McCain’s relationship with the Former President Donald Trump. Rather than using explicit language, Mccain followed Doocy’s question with one of his own, “Why would you ask something that dumb?” Doocy’s question was asked a couple of months after McCain went against the rest of his party and voted against the repeal of Obamacare.

 

Tristan Hamilton

More recently, he proposed the following question to Biden: “Will you take questions about inflation? Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?”

Why did his question incite such a reaction from Biden? To understand that, we have to understand what is going on in the economy.

 According to Krugmans’s textbook Macroeconomics for the AP Course inflation is defined as the percentage increase in the overall prices per year. Covid has increased inflation from 2.3% in 2019 to 7% in 2021. Inflation is generally an indicator of trying times as it peaked at 10.3% during the Great Depression and once again reached 4% during the recession of 2008 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When inflation is calculated by the Federal Reserve System, it’s based on the Consumer Price Index (pictured below), meaning that inflation has serious consequences for the average consumer. 

FRED

The rising inflation as a result of Covid-19 was largely considered transitory according to the chairperson of the FED, Jerome Powell. In spite of that, he’s recently shifted his approach from managing the economic symptoms of Covid-19 as they come, to treating the inflation as a serious economic change. He has announced a series of rate hikes in an attempt to mitigate rising inflation. The rate hikes have significant consequences for the average American and thus the economy has reacted to his new approach to inflation. 

So was Peter Doocy’s question relevant? The short answer is yes, Doocy’s question is in fact relevant given the time. However, it was proposed with the upcoming midterms in mind; thus negating the significance of rising rates of inflation and instead treating it as a political gambit.

The situation itself is resolved though, as Biden has come out and apologized to Doocy. Doocy has gone on the record and even joked about it with his colleague Jesse Watters, remarking that Biden’s insult has “(not been) fact-checked yet and (nobody) said it’s not true.”