Several media figures have echoed the sexist notion that Sen. Joe Biden will have to soften his tone and manner in a debate against Gov. Sarah Palin, in contrast with the tougher tone he could take if the Republican vice-presidential nominee were male.
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Bill Kristol characterized Sen. Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate as "Obama's imposition of a glass ceiling." But Kristol showed little concern for "gender equity" in the Democratic Party when he said during the primary that "[w]hite women are a problem" and attributed Sen. Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire primary victory to her "pretend[ing] to cry."
During an interview with Sen. John McCain, Katie Couric did not challenge McCain's false claim that Sen. Joe Biden "said you had to break Iraq up into three different countries" as part of his Iraq plan. On America's Election HQ, Karl Rove falsely asserted that Biden's proposal for Iraq involved "unilaterally splitting up a sovereign nation," a statement that Chris Wallace echoed. In fact, Biden introduced a "five-point plan" to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions." Further, Biden has made clear that he was not proposing that his plan be imposed on Iraq "unilaterally."
Media outlets continue to report that Sen. Joe Biden was accused in 1987 of plagiarizing then-British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without noting that while Biden did paraphrase from a Kinnock speech without attribution on at least two occasions in August 1987, he had reportedly credited Kinnock when previously using the same language.
On Cavuto on Business, Jonathan Hoenig, a regular panelist on Fox News' Cashin' In, falsely asserted that both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden "have made it very clear that they support socialized health care." Hoenig went on to say: "I know it sounds kind of curt in this age of political correctness and altruism, but why should I be responsible for paying for Joe Biden's brain aneurysms?" Biden suffered two brain aneurysms in 1988.
A Washington Times editorial criticized the media's coverage of recent remarks by Sen. Joe Biden, saying they were "the focus of the media's racial-insensitivity microscope." But less than two days earlier, Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley had asserted that Biden was "getting, more or less, a pass from the mainstream media" on his comments.
Discussing Sen. Gordon Smith's December 7 Senate floor statement denouncing the war in Iraq, neither ABC's George Stephanopoulos nor CNN's Wolf Blitzer challenged Smith on the timing of his statement, when it had become clear long before that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq and that the function of coalition troops had become essentially that of, in Smith's words to Blitzer, "street cops in a sectarian civil war."
While discussing Sen. John McCain's potential presidential candidacy, CNN's Wolf Blitzer ignored McCain's inconsistencies on taxes and abortion and essentially contradicted himself about McCain's position on Iraq. Blitzer also noted the names and experience of other political figures with presidential exploratory or campaign committees but did not describe their positions on any issues.
CNN's Your World Today devoted 16 minutes to live coverage of a press briefing by Tony Snow, which focused on the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's recent remark about Iraq. When questions turned to President Bush's Iraq policy, however, CNN cut away from live coverage after two minutes.