Joe Biden, the Media's Secret Quayle
2/12/2014 12:01:00 AM - Brent Bozell
Hidden just below the surface of the liberal media is a barely noticed trend of patronizing contempt: Joe Biden is the Democrats' Dan Quayle, but because he is a Democrat, they'll do anything to avoid treating him like they treated Quayle.
The Washington Post recently trumpeted a new poll that showed Hillary Clinton was cleaning Biden's clock in an early poll among Democrats, 73 percent to 12 percent. The Post saw this as great news for Clinton but not as disastrous news for the man who's currently in his second term as vice president. Try to imagine Al Gore pulling 12 percent in a presidential poll during Clinton's second term.
Politically, Biden is a Joke Man Walking. But shhh, we're not supposed to notice. It might make the president who selected him look bad.
Biden's unleashed some jaw-dropping gaffes that the networks have skipped. In 2008, he bashed his friend John McCain: "John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."
Katie Couric earned a Cronkite Award for shoving Sarah Palin around in 2008, but a few days earlier, she threw softball questions at Biden -- and Biden still managed to mangle history: "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed." Roosevelt wasn't president in 1929, and there was no television. But Couric didn't correct him, and ABC ignored it. NBC noticed, briefly.
Now take Biden's latest gaffe about New York City. Hong Kong's airport is shiny and new, he reported. "But if I blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you must think, 'I must be in some third world country.' I'm not joking," he said. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called it "inappropriate," saying Biden's speech was "not the right way to talk about it."
If a Republican had said this, it would be declared a racial slur, and there would be hell to pay. But Biden is Biden, and gets another mulligan. The New York Times helpfully wrote a story headlined "Some See Biden's 'Third World' Description of LaGuardia as Too Kind." Time magazine explained de Blasio's ties to Clinton, "for whom he worked as Senate campaign manager in 2000, could be coloring de Blasio's strong rebuke of Biden."
In December, Biden upset feminists while talking to female employees at an Internet company in Japan. Biden was scheduled to address the company's female employees and "discuss the economic impact of women in the corporate world." Instead, while talking to the women, he blurted, "Do your husbands like you working full time?" Network coverage? Zero.
"CBS This Morning" covered the Biden Asia trip for four days in a row but never found time for that clip. If a Republican like Rick Santorum had said it, it would have been painted as a dark male chauvinist moment.
The most recent proof of the media's disinterest in Biden's outrages came in a Feb. 7 interview on CNN's "New Day." Anchor Kate Bolduan displayed her servility to the Democrats in the opening chatter about how much Biden loves Amtrak trains. Her first question asked about what he hopes to achieve as the leader of a new presidential task force on job training.
Riveting, CNN, just riveting.
The so-called worldwide leader in news couldn't muster a single question about the ongoing failures of Obamacare, the IRS harassment of conservative groups, the muddle of Afghanistan, or the fiasco in Benghazi. Instead, Bolduan pestered Biden about when he would announce whether he would run for president and whether his wife would approve, with zero mention of his very weak polls. Before that, she wondered: "Can I ask you one fun question about Corvettes?"
This was Bolduan's toughest question: "What do you say to your fellow Senate Democrats who have made it pretty clear that they don't want the president anywhere near their state this election cycle? And you jokingly kind of said, OK, I'll stay out of it. But what do you say to them?" Biden replied, "I know I've been invited to go into well over 128 races so far. And so there's some places the president is considerably more popular than I am."
Even here, some so-called reporters seemed more like press secretaries than reporters. Shira T. Center at the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call helpfully guessed that CNN had provided this hot scoop: "Biden Boasts Democrats Want Him to Campaign for Them."
Biden is a national embarrassment, so much so that even with the national media doing their best to cover up, still the never-ending gaffes make their way out to John Q. Public, who will never vote him into any national office ever again.