Monday, September 08, 2008

On going "one-on-one" with Tom Brokaw, like being interviewed by Captain Kangaroo

One blog had this to say about Joe Biden's appearance on "Meet the Press" on Sunday, September 7:

On Sunday, September 7, in what was billed as "his first Sunday morning interview since accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for Vice President," Biden went "one-on-one" with Tom Brokaw and was once again spared any embarrassing questions about his shameful history of plagiarism, which many members of the public are still not familiar with.

Interestingly, Biden was quick to tell Brokaw that Palin has an obligation to appear on his program. It sounds like a set-up. And it is.

IPBiz notes

#1. It is true that Brokaw asked Biden no questions about Biden's past plagiarism.

#2. It is true that Lester Holt, on NBC's Sunday Evening News on Sept. 7, made reference only to Biden's discussion of Palin's obligation.

#3. It is also true that Brokaw asked Biden a question related to Biden's support from MBNA, and Biden's support for legislation favorable to MBNA. The question was motivated by an article in the Delaware News Journal, and initially was directed to whether or not it was appropriate for Biden's son to work for MBNA. [Biden's son did work for MBNA out of law school, but now is the Attorney General of Delaware]

#4. After Brokaw tediously read his MBNA question from a piece of paper (apparently literally a copy of the newspaper!), Biden gave a quick answer (yes, it was ok, followed by Bidenisms), and Brokaw was totally lost as to Brokaw's next step. Russert was always ready with followup questions, prepared in anticipation of likely answers. Brokaw's knowledge seemed limited to what was on his piece of paper.

IPBiz readers should note that Brokaw went to Wilmington for the interview (would he go to Alaska?). The News Journal has a clip of the question, which really has to be seen to be appreciated. The text accompanying the clip states:
During their talk, Tom Brokaw began an endless question by bringing up the front page article in today's News Journal, "Banking on Biden." During the back-and-forth, Biden defended his support for some legislation that was being pushed by big Delaware banks, like the former MBNA.

The blog also noted:

I noticed recently that Mike Barnicle of MSNBC did a story about Biden, highlighting that he was an "Irish-Catholic" and a man of the people who rides a train. Biden rides the Acela, and has had some rather interesting interactions with Amtrak, which might be explored by the media. The more likely result is that the Amtrak connection as with the plagiarism connection won't be discussed much at all.

See also

Poor Joe Biden

There are reports that Brokaw has been concerned by the biased coverage of Olbermann and Matthews; the Washington Post noted:

NBC staffers say the network's old guard, led by veteran anchor Tom Brokaw, has been complaining since February about the way Olbermann and Matthews favor Barack Obama. Tensions boiled over during the conventions, they say, when NBC reporters grabbed newsmakers on the floor but were often ignored as the anchor duo kept talking.

The complaints grew louder when Olbermann praised the Democratic speeches by Obama and Hillary Clinton but likened GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin after her speech to the obnoxious Reese Witherspoon character in the movie "Election." Things reached the point where HBO's liberal comic Bill Maher, riffing on MSNBC's coverage of Obama, said: "I mean, these guys were ready to have sex with him."

Perhaps Sunday's half-hearted "attack question" to Biden about MBNA arose to dispel accusations of bias. But the question was only half-hearted. Recall, Brokaw's initial question was whether it was all right for Biden's son to work for MBNA. It as pretty easy for Biden to say yes. It was pretty easy for Biden to say his son could have made more money in New York. Then, it was easy for Biden to re-take the initiative and spin "what happened" in the legislation to Biden's advantage. Biden did a masterful job "turning" the point on how the bankruptcy bill he pushed disallowed expenses from prolonged hospital stays. "That's why we need national health insurance."

Of lobbyists, Biden has no time for anyone but the boss: "The CEO has to come and see me." Biden's statement might imply that he has never talked to a lobbyist.

***Separately -->

Biden apparently has linked support for developmentally disabled children with support for stem cell research: If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?

If embryonic stem cell research had a proven track record in "therapies created," this might be an argument. But it doesn't, so there can be all kinds of reasons for not making the connection Biden attempted.


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