Media criticism of Vice President Joe Biden's debate performance took a bizarre turn Friday when Fox News' Andrea Tantaros likened him to the sexist guy "every woman" has encountered in the workplace. Tantaros' initial focus on Biden's demeanor coalesced with other media figures' post-debate coverage, which largely stressed style over substance -- and glossed over numerous inconsistencies fact-checkers identified from Congressman Paul Ryan.
Discussing the October 11 debate on The Five, Tantaros stated that watching the debate, as a woman, Biden "just looked so cocky and so arrogant, and I thought, you know, every woman has worked in an office in the workplace with a Joe Biden." She continued:
TANTAROS: You know the guy that puts his finger in your face, the guy that sort of dresses you down, who knows more than you do -- hey, honey, go make some coffee. That's how I took it. You know what I thought? If he's gonna behave that way in public with millions of people watching, how does he behave in private?
Co-host Dana Perino agreed, adding: "Let me just give you a tip, piece of advice, guys, if -- say that you're in your 60s, you're thinking you would like to date again, if you want to know exactly how to turn off a woman, watch that debate last night and follow Biden's lead."
Co-hosts Eric Bolling, Brian Kilmeade, and Bob Beckel weren't asked to give their perspectives -- as men -- on what they thought of Biden's performance.
Tantaros and Perino's colleagues in the media similarly focused on Biden's demeanor instead of his arguments, with many repeatedly attacking Biden for smiling and laughing. Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg at one point commented on Twitter: "If biden laughs one more time i'm going to jump thru the tv and slap him."
Sean Hannity and his Fox News colleagues suggested that Biden had been drinking or compared him to a "drunk." Others likened his performance to Al Gore's in Gore's 2000 presidential debate against George W. Bush. "Is Joe Biden the new Al Gore?" asked a Politico headline.
Meanwhile, these media figures largely ignored the debate fact checks that identified numerous misleading statements by Paul Ryan.