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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Joe Biden gets angry with an interviewer who suggests Obama is a Marxist

From the YouTube info on the vid below: The Obama campaign whined about WFTV being "unprofessional" when it dared to dish out some tough questions to Vice President hopeful, Joe Biden.

The Obama spokesperson issued this statement about the interview:

"There's nothing wrong with tough questions, but reporters have the very important job of sharing the truth with the public -- not misleading the American people with false information. Senator Biden handled the interview well; however, the anchor was completely unprofessional. Senator Biden's wife is not running for elected office, and there are many other stations in the Orlando television market that would gladly conduct a respectful and factual interview with her."

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election."

Wow. I like the questions, actually. Would that every interviewer would ask questions of all candidates like this. Hammer 'em.

UPDATE: Barbara West, the interviewer, has no regrets about her sharp questioning of Biden. She said, "I have a great deal of respect for him. I have a great deal of respect for Sen. Obama. We are given four minutes of a satellite window for these interviews. Four precious minutes. I got right down to it and, yes, I think I asked him some pointed questions. These are questions that are rolling about right now and questions that need to be asked. I don't think I was rude or inconsiderate to him. I think I was probing and maybe tough. I can't believe that in all of his years in politics, and all of his campaigning and such, that he hasn't run into some tough questions before. He's certainly up to it in giving good answers."

While I like the way West treated Biden, I'm a little upset with the way she put on kid gloves to deal with John McCain. You can view her easy-breezy handling of McCain here. (h/t to Fact Check in the comment section).

h/t The Stig, in the comments to this post

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on October 25, 2008 in U.S. politics | Permalink

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Comments

Jaws,

I agree with you. I liked the challenging nature of the questioning. And she gave Biden a full uninterrupted opportunity to give his response and she asked the questions without a derisive tone. She did a good job. Biden gave good answers to the questions, too, despite his annoyance.

When Republicans get similar style questioning they whine too. It's a very bipartisan thing to not like tough questions (and from the POV of someone selling a product - the candidate - that is to be expected). It is usually the basis for their complaints about being the poor, hard-done-by victims of the supposed liberal media bias. Nothing new about politicians not liking tough questions.

It should be noted that Sarah Palin has crumbled under less aggressive questioning than this. In the battle of the veeps, Biden is still the man (pardon the expression).

It should also be noted that Barbara West, the reporter who did the Biden interview, did an interview of John McCain on Octover 14th ( http://www.wftv.com/video/17712615/index.html ). The second question she asks is similarly a challenging one to him, but the others are not tough ones at all. In fact, the fist and last ones are particularly alley-oop passes to him. So while the Biden interview was good, praise for West should be tempered.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-10-25 7:32:06 PM


Jaws,

I agree with you. I liked the challenging nature of the questioning. And she gave Biden a full uninterrupted opportunity to give his response and she asked the questions without a derisive tone. She did a good job. Biden gave good answers to the questions, too, despite his annoyance.

When Republicans get similar style questioning they whine too. It's a very bipartisan thing to not like tough questions (and from the POV of someone selling a product - the candidate - that is to be expected). It is usually the basis for their complaints about being the poor, hard-done-by victims of the supposed liberal media bias. Nothing new about politicians not liking tough questions.

It should be noted that Sarah Palin has crumbled under less aggressive questioning than this. In the battle of the veeps, Biden is still the man (pardon the expression).

It should also be noted that Barbara West, the reporter who did the Biden interview, did an interview of John McCain on Octover 14th ( http://www.wftv.com/video/17712615/index.html ). The second question she asks is similarly a challenging one to him, but the others are not tough ones at all. In fact, the fist and last ones are particularly alley-oop passes to him. So while the Biden interview was good, praise for West should be tempered.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-10-25 7:37:14 PM


The Obama campaign wouldn't know "Sharing the truth with the public" if they saw it.

Posted by: Pete | 2008-10-25 8:13:47 PM


You're right, Fact Check. I was hoping West would be one of those hard-nosed reporters that doesn't take guff from no one, and hammers the candidates without remorse. But the way she dealt with McCain is embarrassing.

Paraphrase: "Why aren't you hammering Obama for his associations with ACORN and Ayers more?"

What a complete joke of a question. Might as well ask him why he's loved by everyone everywhere, and why he's so awesome.

But I am getting the sense, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the media has been, in general, treating Obama and Biden much better than they've dealt with McCain and Palin. I'm not normally sympathetic with claims of a biased liberal media. Having worked in news rooms, I'm sort of aware that you write about whatever will get read, get watched, and get hits.

For example, I'm about 10 times more likely to post a Sarah Palin video here on the Shotgun than a video about Obama or Biden just because videos about Palin get about 10 times the hits as any others.

But I am a little suspicious about how easy Joe Biden has had it. There's no stories about Biden anywhere. He's totally beneath the radar in this election... And that's a little too much silence for my liking.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-25 11:09:05 PM


Jaws,

"But I am getting the sense, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the media has been, in general, treating Obama and Biden much better than they've dealt with McCain and Palin."

That's a question I can't answer because I try to be as selective as I can about what US election coverage I expose myself to. 95% of it is nonsense (I have made a special point of not reading/listening to anything that even mentions "Joe the Plumber", for example) and it is easy to drown in the sheer volume of it.

But I can say this: what gets covered seems to vary more by what will get "buzz" than by which side it is. With Palin, she's a sensation because she's new, she's been a train wreck of a candidate, and she has just been found to have abused power as Governor. The $150,000 wardrobe issue was covered as much (and is as big a deal) as John Edwards $400 haircut was. Joe Biden's alleged botoxing got a fair bit of attention as well. (Seriously. Can anyone say with a straight face that he has not had work done? Maybe Biden can, but that's just because of the botox.)

Obama has had a lot of talk of ACORN and Ayers from the media, which is not all positive (and even talking about it dismissively as a non-issue is probably bad for his campaign, because they are still talking about it). Biden has gotten little attention, but he's only the veep candidate, so he is only really relevent when he screws up. That's when we hear about him (The "Obama will be tested" being the latest, but "he can't have my guns" and "maybe Hilary would have been a better choice" were discussed too.)

I guess in the end there is not really anything I can point to as obvious examples of the media being unfairly harsh on McCain/Palin or unfairly kind to Obama/Biden. At least, not examples for which there are a similar number of examples going the other way.

"But I am a little suspicious about how easy Joe Biden has had it. There's no stories about Biden anywhere. He's totally beneath the radar in this election... And that's a little too much silence for my liking."

Remember, part of the reason for this is because both campaigns (an innumerable pundits) think that to focus too much on the veep is the wrong strategy. So with no one taking shots at Biden and Biden mostly doing the same old "rah rah Obama!" stump speech, there is nothing newsworthy about the guy.

The difference between Biden and Palin is like the difference between a veteran Formula 1 driver who reliably finishes, but rarely wins and a rookie NASCAR driver who can't win a race, but often ends up in spectacular crashes only to be back on for the next race. Who would you rather watch? A 10:1 ratio seems about right.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-10-26 5:51:23 AM


"I guess in the end there is not really anything I can point to as obvious examples of the media being unfairly harsh on McCain/Palin or unfairly kind to Obama/Biden. At least, not examples for which there are a similar number of examples going the other way."


Fact check ... if you believe that remark, your head is clearly far up your ass.

Your rant is pointless and looks more like you enjoying your own words.

Posted by: John V | 2008-10-26 10:55:28 AM


Nice response, John V. You sure showed him.

Your immature, crude and unconvincing putdown to his thoughtful comments is pointless and looks more like you are enjoying your own words.

As to the "pointed questions" in the interview... I'm sorry, but that looked a lot more like wacko insinuations and smears thinly veiled as "questions" to me than actual questions. Just one man's opinion.

Posted by: Mike | 2008-10-28 2:30:11 AM



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