CBS chalks up record inflation and gas prices to ‘Ukraine crisis’
American news outlet CBS has come under fire for a tweet and article that appeared to claim that several US crises which have been unfolding for months have been caused by the current “Ukraine crisis.”
“The US economy has been hit with increased gas prices, inflation, and supply-chain issues due to the Ukraine crisis,” the network tweeted on Tuesday.
The U.S. economy has been hit with increased gas prices, inflation, and supply-chain issues due to the Ukraine crisis. https://t.co/d9dwXWpcvf— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 23, 2022
The article asserts that tensions with Russia “are already hurting” Americans’ wallets, though the report primarily focuses on the potential future costs should the escalation of tensions between Russia and the US continue, especially on energy prices.
Escalation could also lead to further supply chain issues and rising inflation, the article adds.
Many have pushed back against the framing of the piece as the initial CBS tweet sharing the article blamed these economic woes on “the Ukraine crisis,” despite them having been issues Americans were dealing with months before Biden and other administration officials ever began pitching the potential of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza accused CBS in a tweet on Wednesday of trying to “cover up the failures” of the Biden administration. Other critics, primarily conservatives, claimed the network lacked integrity and was scapegoating Russia and the Ukraine crisis.
This all magically happened in 24 hours. I cannot believe the comedy parts of this site are free. https://t.co/AubBHSL9vt— Rob Eno (@Robeno) February 23, 2022
According to CBS, Americans were able to “weather” price hikes over the Covid pandemic due to tax credits, unemployment benefits, and stimulus payments from the government. White House officials, however, have previously blamed a multitude of factors for rising gas prices and supply chain snags, primarily pointing to a rise in demand as US cities moved away from Covid lockdowns.
In November, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki partly blamed increased online shopping, saying that increased volume is a “root cause” for both bottlenecked shipping ports and record inflation. “Maybe some of it is from habits that developed during the pandemic when people weren't leaving their homes,” she said. “Some of it is because we've seen an economic recovery that has been underway for the last nine months ... That is leading to a massive increase in volume.”
On gas prices, Psaki pointed to seasonal fluctuations last summer and later in November said the continuing rise in prices was proof the US needs to “double down” on investments in green energy to better control prices.
The Ukraine situation escalated for the Biden administration on Tuesday following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the breakaway territories the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, which the US claims belong to Ukraine. Biden announced the “first tranche” of economic sanctions against Russia in response, calling the recognition announcement the “beginning of an invasion.”
Inflation in the US hit a 40-year high earlier this month, before Putin’s announcement, whereas consumer prices jumped 7.5% over the same period the year before. Gas prices currently stand at $3.54 a gallon, according to AAA, which is a rise from an average of $2.65 a year ago, after Biden had been in office for approximately a month.