Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are You Joking?

Get a load of these questions that one Barbara West, a so-called reporter for the ABC affiliate in Orlando, put to Joe Biden:

  • If Biden is "embarrassed about the blatant attempt to register phony voters by ACORN," since Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., worked with the organization in the past;
  • If Obama's comment about wanting tax policies that "spread the wealth" is "a potentially crushing political blunder";
  • "You may recognize this famous quote: 'from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.' That's from Karl Marx. How is Sen. Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?";
  • Regarding Biden's comment that the world would test Obama and the Obama-Biden administration will need the support of Americans since it might not be immediately apparent Obama did the right thing -- "Are you forewarning Americans that nothing will be done and America's days as the world's leading power are over?"
  • "What do you say to the people that are concerned that Barack Obama will want to turn America into a Socialist country like Sweden?"
At one point--the Marx quote--Biden responded, "Are you joking? Is this a joke, or is that a real question?" Indeed, how else are you to respond to such a question? There are only two explanations for this line of questioning by an alleged member of the journalistic profession. First, blatant partisanship, or, second, profound stupidity. Either is possible in Orlando, Florida. Or a two-fer: stupid and partisan. You take your pick. (Another account of this plus video is here.)

And before you dismiss stupidity as an explanation, read Susan Jacoby's The Age of American Unreason, which makes it clear, that that explanation cannot be dismissed lightly. So, too, with the defense of this silly woman West by her news director. According to him, this was "hard-hitting journalism." What are you going to do in media climate like this?
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