(USA Features) The Washington Post was called out on social media for hypocrisy over a report heaping praise on President Joe Biden’s “Buy American” initiative after ripping then-President Donald Trump’s very similar program as “dark” and racist.
A Washington Post story published Wednesday offered effusive approval for Biden’s new “Make Buy American Real” initiative and his government’s efforts to “bolster U.S. industry.”
“Biden Proposes Stronger ‘Buy American’ Rules for Federal Government, Aiming to Bolster U.S. Industry,” noted the headline.
“President Biden on Wednesday proposed strengthening the federal government’s Buy American rules in what the administration is calling an effort to bolster domestic manufacturing,” the opening paragraph said.
“The proposal, made public earlier Wednesday, would require that goods purchased with taxpayer dollars contain 75 percent U.S.-made content by 2029, up from a current threshold of 55 percent,” the paper added.
Biden, in remarks to workers at the Mack Trucks Lehigh Valley Operations in eastern Pennsylvania, claimed that “in recent years, ‘Buy America’ has been a hollow promise.”
“But my administration is going to make ‘Buy American’ a reality, and I’m putting the weight of the federal government behind that commitment,” he added.
“Instead of taking contractors at their word that they’ve hit the threshold, we’re going to start making them give us the details so that we can do more to support American” manufacturing, he continued. “Today, I’m placing my bet on America.”
An article from the Post from Jan. 30, 2017, less than 10 days after Trump was inaugurated, however, critiqued his ‘Buy American’ initiative, however.
Headlined, “Our History Shows There’s a Dark Side to ‘Buy American,'” the story first quotes the new president who said during his inaugural address, “We will follow two simple rules. Buy American and hire American.”
However, the story takes a critical tone thereafter.
“Trump’s program might sound appealing. But the Buy American exhortation follows a long history of similar campaigns steeped in racism, especially against Asians and Asian Americans, that have had real, destructive consequences,” writer and researcher Dana Frank wrote.
“It’s not that the Buy American call is racist in itself — there’s nothing wrong with seeking to reinvest our dollars back in good local jobs. The problem lies in the way in which it frames the issues,” Frank continued.
“Buy American presumes an imagined economic nation that pits working people in the United States against those of other countries, casting them as the enemy. From there, it’s often been a quick step to racial distinctions and attacks, as the past has shown,” Frank claimed.
“Buy American also has played into the hands of transnational corporations and other elites, who are happy if working people in the United States turn against those from other countries, while the corporations themselves flit about the world seeking low-cost labor,” she added.
Frank then went on to use Trump’s language to extrapolate meaning she can’t be certain is accurate.
“Trump is playing the Buy American card, coupled with a promise to ‘hire American,’ apparently advocating employment discrimination against even legal immigrants,” she wrote.
“By pairing the two, he is equating imported products and immigrant working people, as did Hearst, and implicitly blaming both for U.S. economic ills.”
Last year during the campaign cycle, Trump accused then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Biden of “plagiarizing” his “buy American” proposals, championing the political success of his “America First” agenda which concentrated on bringing jobs back to the U.S. from abroad through the use, among other tools, of tariffs on imports.
“OMG, this is just so classic. It seems every fact just gets run through the bias mill, before heading into news stories,” wrote a Twitter user.
OMG, this is just so classic. It seems every fact just gets run through the bias mill, before heading into news stories.
— CKanzleiter (@kzleit) July 29, 2021
Others noted the difference in coverage as well.
The @washingtonpost is owned by a total space cadet and it shows
— cody carlson (@MrCarlson91) July 29, 2021
The media has been exposed and they could give two fucks less. It’s crazy
— It is what it is (@HeyHowAboutTha1) July 29, 2021
— TheLateRepublic (@RepublicLate) July 29, 2021