President Biden and the Democratic Party had a much-needed great news day on Friday, upsetting the favored political media narrative. Definitive predictions of doom went up in smoke, reminding us how the pack mentality that drives coverage often leads to a cringeworthy disconnect between headlines and reality.

Pundits on the right and left had spent a week insisting that the Democratic Party was in a death spiral, and that the popular Biden agenda was the source of the party’s woes. Then the ground shifted.

First, the October jobs numbers released on Friday put to rest the notion that Biden has not been addressing issues most important to voters. With a boost of 531,000 jobs and an upward revision of 235,000 jobs for August and September, Biden could claim his aggressive agenda was working.

“This did not happen by accident or just because,” Biden said. “We laid the foundation for this recovery with my American Rescue Plan that Congress passed at the beginning of my term. It put money in working families’ pockets.” He also pointed out:

We got more than 220 million shots in arms in my first 100 days. And we didn’t stop there.
In recent months, we’ve started implementing vaccination requirements, which have helped bring the number of unvaccinated adults down in this country from around 100 million several months ago to 60 million now.
You know, that’s good for our health, but it’s also good for our economy.
Now vaccine — vaccinated workers are going back to work. Vaccinated shoppers are going back to stores. And with the launch of the vaccine for kids ages 5 through 11 this week, we can make sure more vaccinated children can stay in school.

The constant refrain from Republicans and much of the political media that Biden has been focused on the wrong things simply does not hold up to scrutiny. One can question whether presidents get too much credit for economic numbers, but if you’re going to hold Biden responsible for the outcome, he has every reason to boast about the 5.6 million jobs created since the start of his term, an unemployment rate down to 4.6 percent, an average gain of 600,000 jobs per month and a rise in hourly wages of nearly 5 percent this year.

Moreover, in the agonizing struggle to pass two giant pieces of legislation, Biden could finally declare victory. The House on Friday voted to adopt the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. The final Build Back Better vote will take place by the week of Nov. 15.

Consider the narrative incessantly pushed by virtually every media outlet until Friday: Biden has not delivered on the economy. His agenda is too far left, threatening to expand the debt and fuel inflation. He has lost the confidence of the public on covid. Biden cannot corral the left (and/or the centrists).

None of that was borne out by subsequent events (or polling on his agenda). By week’s end, the economy looked on much firmer footing — and, unlike his predecessor, the president had achieved a historic infrastructure investment.

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Inflation and deficit fears also subsided. The Joint Committee on Taxation declared the Build Back Better agenda would raise about $1.47 trillion over 10 years and in all likelihood would not add to the deficit. A pack of Nobel Prize-winning economists confirmed that the agenda would reduce long-term inflationary pressure. As one told The Post, “This is sound and uncontroversial economics — increasing supply and capacity reduces the bottlenecks that fuel inflationary surges.” Separately, Moody’s Analytics reported that Biden’s legislation “will strengthen long-term economic growth, the benefits of which would mostly accrue to lower- and middle-income Americans,” and it dismissed inflation concerns as “overdone.”

If the Virginia governor’s race had taken place after Friday, the good news might or might not have made a difference in the outcome. But the jobs numbers and legislative wins surely would have provided Democrats with a sense of momentum and blunted the gloomy coverage that no doubt depressed Democratic voter turnout.

One can argue that Democrats should have passed their bills weeks ago, allowing Virginia Democrats to bask in the glow of legislative success. However, one might also take away a different lesson, namely that the hyperbolic media coverage does a disservice to the public, increasing anxiety, playing down real progress and exaggerating the degree of political peril the administration faces. The media’s consistently premature declarations of failure (as with the Afghanistan airlift) never seem to prompt self-examination.

Greatly improved jobs figures and declining coronavirus numbers coupled with passage of the American Rescue Plan, historic infrastructure legislation and Build Back Better should soon allow Biden to claim one of the most successful first years of any modern president.

The “Biden failure” narrative, in retrospect, appears alarmist and downright wrong. If only the political media would exercise a modicum of self-restraint and allow events to play out, it might not continually wind up defending foolish predictions. Then again, measured headlines and restrained cable TV analysis do not necessarily draw big audiences.