NBC Touts How Biden Will Boldly Put Middle Class 'Front and Center'

In an abbreviated edition of Sunday's NBC Nightly News (shorted by golf in the EST/CST), the network still found time to tout as newsworthy how Vice President-elect Joe Biden will chair a “White House Task Force on Working Families.” With “Focus on the Middle Class” on screen below a picture of Biden, anchor Lester Holt, referring to ABC's This Week, asserted Biden had “revealed” his function: “In an interview that aired today, the Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, revealed his role as the new administration's point man on the middle class.” (This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos summarized the interview on Sunday's World News, yet didn't mention the middle class angle.)

NBC reporter John Yang affirmed that “making good on a central theme of the campaign,” Biden “laid down a bold political yardstick for economic policy.” Viewers then heard a fairly pedestrian clip of Biden on ABC: “Is the middle class no longer being left behind? We'll look at everything from college affordability to after-school programs, the things that affect people's daily lives.” Yang then heralded, with “front and center” enlarged on screen from the press release: “Biden will head a cabinet-level task force making sure middle class and working families are 'front and center.'” How reassuring.

From the Sunday, December 21 NBC Nightly News:
LESTER HOLT: In an interview that aired today, the Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, revealed his role as the new administration's point man on the middle class. NBC's John Yang has that story.

JOHN YANG: Making good on a central theme of the campaign, Vice President-elect Biden laid down a bold political yardstick for economic policy.

JOE BIDEN ON ABC's THIS WEEK: Is the middle class no longer being left behind? We'll look at everything from college affordability to after-school programs, the things that affect people's daily lives.

YANG: Biden will head a cabinet-level task force making sure middle class and working families are “front and center.” And as the economic outlook gets gloomier, the Obama team has raised its already ambitious goal for a stimulus package: Three million new jobs over the next two years....

After naming an economic team heavy on academics, with today's announcement Mr. Obama may be trying to reassure average Americans that they're not forgotten....
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center