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Honesty from the Press, after the deed was done

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Via Newsbusters, White House reporter Carl Cannon, admits that the majority of the MSM was hostile toward Gov. Sarah Palin and “seriously failed to scrutinize Joe Biden, especially his fact-mangling and odd statements in the vice presidential debate.”

In the 2008 election, we took sides, straight and simple, particularly with regard to the vice presidential race. I don’t know that we played a decisive role in that campaign, and I’m not saying the better side lost. What I am saying is that we simply didn’t hold Joe Biden to the same standard as Sarah Palin, and for me, the real loser in this sordid tale is my chosen profession.

First off, thanks for admitting the glaringly obvious. Secondly, it’s pretty cowardly of Cannon to come out with this nine months after the election. Saying this publicly back in October 2008 would have show real guts and journalistic integrity. Cannon goes on to point out just how much of a free ride the press give Joey Biden, the Gaffe Master.

Sen. Biden, however, was in a place by himself when it came to bogus claims, absurd contentions, and flights of rhetorical fancy. He threw out several assertions that were so preposterous that – had Palin made them – they would have prompted immediate calls for McCain to dump her from the ticket.

The good senator from Delaware warmed up slowly, erroneously claiming that McCain voted with Obama on a budget resolution, and asserting wrongly that Obama wanted to return to the Reagan-era marginal income tax rates. He also embarked on an appallingly wrongheaded monologue about the constitutional history of the vice presidency. But when the talk turned to national security, presumably Biden’s purported area of expertise, he went completely off the grid.

To me Biden’s most discordant claims concerned his Animal House-like history lecture about the office of the vice president. It came while Biden was dressing down Dick Cheney, who was not present, for supposedly being unfamiliar with the Constitution. “The idea (that) he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States – that’s the executive branch – he works in the executive branch,” Biden said. “He should understand that. Everyone should understand that. And the primary role of the vice president of the United States is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and, as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there’s a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit….He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he’s part of the legislative branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive, and look where it has gotten us.”

Lord, would Tina Fey have had fun with this jumble of misinformation – if only Palin had said it! Article I defines the legislative, not executive, branch. The vice president is, indeed, mentioned there. What Biden finds “explicit,” hasn’t been so to previous vice presidents or to most constitutional scholars. Prior to the 20th century, vice presidents didn’t even have offices at the White House compound – they were housed in the Capitol. The notion that a veep’s constitutional authority is to provide advice to a president springs from Biden’s brow; it certainly isn’t mentioned, or even contemplated, in the Constitution, which doesn’t even say whether the vice president should receive a salary.

Should Joe Biden have known this stuff? Since he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, you’d hope so. But even if he didn’t, you’d think it would be news when he unleashed a veritable fount of misinformation to impugn Palin’s knowledge of the federal system while attacking a sitting vice president. It barely rated a mention in the collective mainstream media.

This isn’t “news” to anybody paying attention, but it is interesting to see a member of the DNC/MSM out his profession for blatant unprofessionalism. Of course, he is doing nine months after the election, and well before the next election cycle. Either way, I don’t think readers of the New York Times will ever know of Cannon’s confession.

Here is an impression of Gov. Palin from “Saturday Night Live” senior producer Marci Klein, that is more accurate than any mocking satire from Tina Fey, “This is the most confident person I’ve ever met.”

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