For weeks, conservatives slammed President Joe Biden for global supply chain issues brought about by increased activity in the latest stage of the pandemic and stratospheric demand of goods ahead of the holidays.
Former presidential counsellor Kellyanne Conway falsely claimed there were no supply chain issues under Trump. Conservative talk show hosts like Fox News' Laura Ingraham painted Biden as a grinch who ruined Christmas—weeks before the Christmas season even began.
President Joe Biden's administration took action to combat these issues, such as expanding the Port of Los Angeles' hours to 24/7, securing commitments from top importers to expedite shipping container removal, and signing off on 100 day reviews of vulnerabilities in the supply chain.
In the days before Christmas, the Biden administration celebrated that the long-predicted Christmas crisis was averted, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki claiming retail shelves were 90 percent stocked—just one percent below their pre-pandemic levels. The New York Times also reported that 99 percent of postal deliveries were on time in the holiday season.
"The much-predicted crisis didn't occur. Packages are moving, gifts are being delivered, shelves are not empty."
On Tuesday, Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money, tweeted a picture of empty shelves at a Dollar General.
"Suboptimal," he wrote in the caption.
But a closer look at the photo showed a different possibility. While a Christmas ornament hangs above stocked shelves in another aisle, the empty shelves Cramer highlighted are adorned with hearts, signaling the shelves weren't empty due to lack of goods, but because the store was moving from Christmas to Valentine's Day.
People soon pointed this out.
Hi @jimcramer I am a Retail Store Manager, have been for 24 years. The weeks after Christmas is a transition into Valentine’s Day. You condense and mark down Christmas and the. Fill with Valentine’s Day stuff. This tweet is just irresponsible, and you should delete it. https://t.co/VtFoQSOgpH
— Jersey Craig (@Jersey_Craig) December 29, 2021
I, too, get upset when they don’t have the Valentine’s Day candy stocked by late December. https://t.co/611Q8qpo8j pic.twitter.com/4iNSEozfIu
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) December 28, 2021
These shelves are very clearly where Christmas stuff was up until last weekend and where Valentine’s Day stuff will be shortly. Why lie like this, @jimcramer? You know full well that this was the case. https://t.co/wE7ugLMEBJ pic.twitter.com/dLzHamFUQu
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) December 28, 2021
They’re literally clearing off shelves to make room for Valentines Day merchandise—which means said merchandise has arrived on time and isn’t being impacted by the supply chain issues you so desperately want to be real. https://t.co/P4M7Bb97jS pic.twitter.com/lCRv93IajN
— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) December 28, 2021
Literally there are fully stocked shelves of DEALS and BIG SAVINGS at the end of the aisle that’s clearly been purposefully cleared to be restocked with gifts for Valentine’s Day, Jim. Do you not like DEALS and BIG SAVINGS? Are they suboptimal? https://t.co/aueCoXLSrP pic.twitter.com/cjXeMa2TZC
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) December 28, 2021
So desperate to keep the supply chain narrative alive they'll be staking out Spirit Halloween stores by January. https://t.co/3E23buzOzM pic.twitter.com/TKC5blpifi
— zeddy (@Zeddary) December 28, 2021
They weren't happy about the misleading content.
This is a lie and you know it.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 29, 2021
love to spread misinformation to 1.7 million followers
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) December 28, 2021
There was an aisle in our local Kroger that looked like this, too...an hour before the filled it with Valentine's Day merch. pic.twitter.com/xw9i4l7rlJ
— Mrs. K. Cleary (@KBiggers88) December 28, 2021
Less than a month ago, Cramer hailed the economy as "the strongest economy I've ever seen," so it's unclear what he thought the photo of empty shelves would convey to his 1.7 million followers.