10/06/2008

New Op-ed at Fox News: Did Biden Get It Wrong? You Betcha

The new piece starts off like this:

When you apply for a job the first rule for the interview is to know what the job is. Senator Joe Biden failed that test last Thursday. He couldn’t even get right what it is a vice president does.

The media is all over itself about how smart and experienced Biden is. Political Analyst Charlie Cook is quoted in the Washington Post on Saturday as saying “Biden is clearly so much more knowledgeable, by a factor of about a million.” Saturday Night Live does a skit about Biden being smart, if slimy. Meanwhile, Governor Sarah Palin is treated as being nothing more than a simpleton.

Yet, take Biden’s statement from the debate on the role of the vice president: . . .


One neat item of news, my article is now the most read piece on Fox News today. It was also the top emailed piece at Fox. UPDATE: On Thursday, 3 days after it was placed on the website, it is still the most read and most emailed piece on Fox.

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480 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't someone email the news people and question them, or get this in a major paper or magazine?
This is unbelievable!!! If I knew someone, I would write them myself with your article. We have to do something to get this information out there!!!!

10/06/2008 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Ken Jorgensen said...

If you think the media - PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC are news organizations, you DO have to wonder why they cover the Democrats the way they do.

If you think "the media" are the propoganda arm of the Democrat party, it is easy to understand why Dan Quayle's spelling mistake is still mentioned while Obama's background and citizenship are ignored, his college years are left unexamined, his connections to several terrorists and their organizations are ignored and Biden's mistaken account of history is not used to question his age and ability to serve.

I believe the latter and I expect the "media" to cover for the Democrats and expose every fault of the Republicans.

10/06/2008 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Lott criticizes one-sided analyses of the debate by only listing the things Biden was wrong about while not listing the things Palin was wrong about? Can you say hypocrite?

10/06/2008 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know before you vote!

The real Maverick

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/make_believe_maverick_the_real_john_mccain

10/06/2008 4:42 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous:

You didn't read the piece did you.

"they argue that the tax credit will be larger than the new taxes that the program will impose. Fine, but if . . ."

"FactCheck.org’s first critique claims that Palin was wrong to claim that troop levels in Iraq are down to their pre-surge levels. They are correct that after the recently announced drawdown, 6,000 more troops will be in Iraq than immediately before the surge."

But if you can point to mistakes that Palin made that weren't mentioned in any of these mainstream reviews, please point to them. For example, go through the AOL news analysis.

10/06/2008 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biden that the U.S. and France kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon and that he and Obama called for NATO forces to be moved in immediately in order to fill the vacuum before Hezbollah did…but their advice was not followed and now Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government immediately north of Israel. No one has every kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.

10/06/2008 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical. However, I know exactly how to let the MSM know. I've been chastizing factcheck.org over their bias for weeks now. Once I put Annenberg together with Obama, it clicked. How can we expect that organization to be unbiased. They are in the tank for Obama and do as little as possible when he lies. They also try to make his lies sound more like misstatements or just "white" lies. Never in my life have I seen anything like this in an election. All because this man is black. What a crock.

10/06/2008 5:24 PM  
Anonymous An American said...

Wow...for someone who claims to correct Sen. Biden, you're even more wrong than Sarah Palin was about John McCain's record. Article 1 does describe powers granted to the VP under the constitution, so Sen. Biden was correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_4:_Vice_President_as_President_of_Senate.3B_Voting_Power


That would be Article 1 section 3 Clause 4....

10/06/2008 5:50 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear "an American":

"But Biden is confusing which part of the Constitution covers the Executive Branch (it is Article II, not Article I)." Note that I am saying that Article I covers the legislature, not the executive. Note that I also wrote that the "vice president holds positions in both the executive and legislative branches." Given that you don't understand this, I guess that I can see why you are supporting Obama.

10/06/2008 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are absolutely right. how does a senator of 30+ years stay in office and not know what a vice-president does? it's beyond the pale. sarah palin got it right and hit the nail on the head everytime. i couldn't believe how she yanked the rug out from underneath biden everytime. i'll give the senator credit for not falling down.

10/06/2008 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Logic doesn't matter anymore. Democrats feel that everyone is entitled to everything regardless of work ethic. If you choose to drop out of school and have multiple kids with multiple partners, well, you're simply a victim and deserve money from successful people. Since when did success mean something bad and making horrible life choices mean you're a victim and should be handed free money (as we've all seen lately, there is no free money). Now the victim states of CA and MA want government money. Unreal.

10/06/2008 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article 1 Section 3 describes the Vice-President as only voting in the event of a tie in the Senate, So Biden was correct. The only mention in Artice 2 is that he shall collect the electoral ballots. Both you and Palin are wrong.

10/06/2008 6:51 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Last Anonymous:

"Article 1 Section 3 describes the Vice-President as only voting in the event of a tie in the Senate, So Biden was correct. The only mention in Artice 2 is that he shall collect the electoral ballots. Both you and Palin are wrong."

Please actually read the article. Take just three points.

1) "vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote" -- wrong, he can preside over the Senate whenever he wants to.
2) "The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote" -- wrong he is the president of the Senate and makes decisions on points of order deciding the Senate rules.
3) "Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch" -- Wrong, Article I deals with the legislature.
Palin got this right and Biden completely messed it up.

10/06/2008 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! I get it...you're related to Trent Lott, am I right?

This might be the only rational explanation for your clearly irrational analysis. You have already been corrected on your misapplication of the Biden's Articles of the Constitution comment,and now you attempt to suggest that he used it in the wrong context.

Most interesting though is that even had Biden made a vocal gaffe (which Republicans were likely "praying" for) it would have been the best fodder you could have found to attack the democratic ticket.

So now you reach for straws on how factcheck leaves out qualifying statistics when it corrects one of your brethren's clearly erroneous comments (I'm talking about pre and post-surge numbers, if you can still follow).

Face it, you've lost. Feel free to vent into the atmosphere of electronic space but you better get started on some BS articles about how you're unhappy that Obama won or you won't be getting any exposure.

The american public, despite some it's current faults, is no longer buying the hokum and hot air of Palin or her inept and decripit would be boss.

Cheers,

Sheep-Shaving Sam

10/06/2008 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great piece. Thank you! Can I post this somehow on my Facebook page?

10/06/2008 9:35 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Not certain this went through or not but this is a great piece. Thank you. Can I add this to my Facebook page?

10/06/2008 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the stupidity of the news media & the public. I will never support PBS ever again. Fact Check is a bunch of crap.

10/06/2008 10:37 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Sheep-Shaving Sam:

I am not related to Trent Lott. There is a lot of bluster in your comment, but do you actually have a response to the points that I made?

Dear Second to last anonymous/Mel:

Thank you. Sure, you can link to it on your facebook page.

10/06/2008 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know who you guys are voting for...who gives a d&^^ what article ...bush doesnt even know that and he IS the president....this forum sux.

10/06/2008 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched the debate twice trying to pick up anything that Palin said that would get me to have confidence or respect for her, neither happened. I am insulted as women and mother to be lumped into the "soccer mom" bag as well as insulted by the "Joe Six Pack" husband or American male. I have more respect for my husband of 25 years than to portray him in that light. I do not believe she is qualified, she is a cheerleader and parrot for John McCain. She is not knowledgeable and is demeaning to families. I want a knowledgeable, truthful, campaign and I don't believe she can accomplish this task. At least Joe Biden has accomplishments and knowledge that he can draw from to make things happen. She is probably a nice lady, but we do not need a talking head.

10/06/2008 11:27 PM  
Blogger Recovering Democrat said...

It will be interesting to see how the 'mainstream' media covers/responds to McCain's strong comments on Obama's character and the fact that there are so many unanswered questions about Obama.

10/06/2008 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Munango-Keewati said...

Good article--thanks for getting it on the Fox website.

One correction, though: Television had been invented by 1929, but was only in use experimentally. The first network broadcasts started about 1948. Frankly, I don't see how someone of Biden's age could have not realized (remembered?) that.

And my, doesn't the other side get testy!

M-K

10/06/2008 11:52 PM  
Blogger raynman55 said...

John,

Good article. Today's voter has to really be educated to weed through all the spin out there. When Dan Quayle was selected as VP running mate, I did not thing he was the best choice. It is amazing his misspelling gaffe exists today. Biden continues to fall all over himself and the left just glosses it over. If Obama and Biden criticize and run negative adds against McCain and Palin you think that is ok. If McCain and Palin do it to Obama and Biden then they just don't want to focus on the issues, "that really matter to the American people." The public needs to know.

I know, you are like so many who are on the left: "Don't confuse me with the facts."

Really read the article!

SR

As for Mr Critical Anonymous, read the article.

10/07/2008 5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical left wing media trying to sway the election. Kind of like hauling homeless felon winos down to the polls to register and vote the same day so no record checks can be made. But then again what do you expect from a candidate from Chicago, one of he most crooked cities in the country. Only good news is Marion Berry will have a "crack buddy" to hang out with if Nobama gets elected.

10/07/2008 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,
A relevant post.

I am not sure why media is not paying attention to Biden's lies in the debate.

Joe Biden:
"Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. The idea 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. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that."

Article 1 section 3:
"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

Article 1 is about legislature. Article 2 is about executive.

And this coming from a guy who was a former chair of the judiciary committee.

I looked up wiki:
In 1981, Biden received an honorary degree from Saint Joseph's University.[119] Since 1991, Biden has served as an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where has taught a seminar on constitutional law.[120] Biden has typically co-taught the course with another professor, taking on at least half the course minutes and sometimes flying back from overseas to make one of the classes.

I feel bad for the poor students.... If professors are like that how can we blame students....

Given his credentials and long time record I am reluctant to believe this was a gaffe. Either this guy is a liar or he is incompetent.

Also when did anybody kick Hezbollah out of Lebanon? WOW... That is news. And this from a foreign policy expert????

And did anybody notice the fairness doctrine in response to "redistribution of wealth"? Note that he did not deny the charge.

So we have Marxists aiming for power.

Thanks,
Praveen
New York

10/07/2008 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Biden get in trouble years ago for plagiarism? Why isn't that ever brought out into the open? Who is telling him what to think now?

10/07/2008 10:33 AM  
Anonymous GabrielCase said...

Dear Mr. Lott,

Your article is not wrong in its attention to detail but commits a journalistic atrocity in its misrepresentation of the significance of those details. Your article proclaims, as loudly and bluntly as possible, that Joe Biden simply does not know what a vice-president of the USA does. But this is nonsense - your attempts to elucidate this alleged gaffe are really just taking up issue with the particular syntax and form-of-words by which Joe Biden expressed himself verbally on the subject. Here is your own summary of your argument as you presented it in response to the objections of 'Anonymous' above:

1) "vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote" -- wrong, he can preside over the Senate whenever he wants to.

This is a pedantic observation at best. OK - the vice president is welcome to 'preside' over the senate anytime: but Biden's necessarily brief answer was not intended to address the minutiae of what a vice-president 'might' or 'could' do with his day, Biden's intention was (rightly) to get to the heart of the potential political consequence of the Vice-President's presence in the Senate: he is there to break a tied vote, plain and simple. You pretend that Biden said something wrong here - he didn't, he simply avoided belabouring the meaning behind the Vice-President's 'presidence' over the senate. This is probably why Biden began that particular sentence (go and look at a transcript if you don't believe me): 'The PRIMARY role of the Vice President is...' You first criticism essentially amounts to 'Joe Biden is not pedantic and long-winded enough in his sentences'. Hardly a scandal?

2) "The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote" -- wrong he is the president of the Senate and makes decisions on points of order deciding the Senate rules.

Again - pedantry. You make a mountain out of a molehill. The essential and definitive legislative contribution of the vice-President in the US Senate is to vote in a tied-vote situation. It is, at best, a moot point what potential legislative significance decisions on points of order could have. Certainly no significance worth mentioning in a high-profile televised debate. Conservative commentators like yourself would criticise Barack Obama for being too 'professorial' in his debating style and then criticise Joe Biden for the opposite: failing to explicate every minor point with an academic precision.

3) "Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch" -- Wrong, Article I deals with the legislature.

The blankness of your 'WRONG!' completely belies the fact that Joe Biden is perfectly correct when he observes that Article I gives the express definition of a vice-president's role. But because Biden adds the clause 'that's the executive branch' to his sentence you have jumped on his back as if he said 'Article I deals with the terms of the executive branch of government'. He did not say this and you know that. His juxtaposition: mentioning Article I and the word 'Executive' in the same sentence, is academically imperfect, but then he wasn't writing an essay was he? Besides - any reader of the constitution may correctly infer from the definition of a vice-president in Article I that his position cannot be essentially legislative (and must be executive) since it states that he/she cannot vote in the senate unless the exceptional circumstance of a tie arises.

'Palin got this right and Biden completely messed it up.'

Well no. Palin didn't mention the circumstance in which a vice-president can vote AT ALL - and thus avoided being nit-picked by pedantic commentators. Nor did Biden 'completely mess it up' - in fact, as I have shown, it is purely moot point whether he was even incorrect (personally I say he was correct and gave a much fuller answer than Palin). It is foolish to place this level of academic scrutiny on the spoken words of a candidate in a live debate: goodness knows that any English department would have a field-day tearing Palin's mode of verbal expression apart if they felt like wasting their time. Not that I am calling you a fool - far from it - you know exactly what you are doing in this article: which is the really offensive part. You are using pedantic scrutiny to justify shouting 'Joe Biden doesn't know what the Vice-President's job is!', when you are well aware of his intelligence, his political qualifications, and, i suspect, his extensive and long-held knowledge about the US constitution. This is bog-standard scaremongering.

How irresponsible. How immature.

10/07/2008 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fate of America is tied to a well educated electorate who take the time to be good citizens. Unfortunately journalism IS dead and the only thing left is to say nananana boo boo to people you disagree with.

Good article, Thanks

10/07/2008 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the media not see that the enemy they are caricaturing as soft and feeling, will instantly take away their freedom of speech if allowed to. By only backing B. Husein Obama, they are making the enemy of free thought/speech stronger. From the very start of the war, CNN has proven themselves to be the Cresent News Network, while ABC has become the Arab Broadcasting Company.

The media makes it very difficult to wake up, and put on my Navy uniform each day. Fortunatly, the people are not buying the lies as much as the TV wants you to think. I am reminded each day of the good my uniform does, by the people.

10/07/2008 2:12 PM  
Anonymous jo46032 said...

OMG-seriously, how much time and digging did you have to do write this article to defend Palin? Biden gets it wrong? no kidding, dig up the fact check info from 4 years ago...getting it wrong is bi-partisan. What is it about being Republican that won't allow you to acknowledge the truth about Palin? ...everyone should at least be able to acknowledge that Palin is incredibly unprepared for the slot she's been tapped for. Hopefully, while she's keeping under the State of Alaska radar in her Yahoo email account, she has learned to take a look at the news and the different sources available, so she has an answer next time.

10/07/2008 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you are saying that Palin supports Cheney's assertion that he is in the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch, at any given moment, such that he can claim executive privilige at all times? Your article delves into the Constitution, but skips this Constitutional issue...the very one Biden was clearly referrring to in the debate. As bets go, you lose. But thanks for alerting us to Palin's true views: it's good to know that she would be as dismissive of the Constitution as Cheney.

10/07/2008 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Victor Amoroso III said...

While it might seem that people are knitpicking Biden, his record of gaffes and misspeaks is legendary.
While it might seem that to call Biden's explanation of the role of Vice President is totally wrong is splitting hairs, as one versed in a parlimentary system it is not, as his mistake shows an ignorance of that system (one of which he has been a part of for 30+ years). Presiding and voting are completly different things. Biden made it sound that the VP only votes occasionally and then departs, while Article 1 states that the VP presides and votes. Presiding means that the VP directs the buisness of the body, and has an important role in that. However, many modern VP's have shirked these duties, and thus there must be the reason for Biden's mistake.
Now again, am I just splitting hairs or making a legitamate point? The reason why this does not constitute splitting hairs is because the difference between Palin and Biden (Stand up Chuck!) and their leadership style. Biden prefers not a engage, while Palin sees herself involved on a day-to-day basis.
"Stand Up Chuck" Biden, while having many years in the Senate, has demonstated multiple times throughout his career that while experience is nice, the correct experience is neccessary. Biden has been wrong about so many things, this just being the latest in a long line of gaffes, plagarisms, and outright mistakes. Even in any event, during the debate Palin clearly stood her ground, and even won the foreign policy section of the debate. For someone who has only been on the national stage for less than two months, that alone shows that she won handily against the "veteran" and will make a much better VP.

10/07/2008 2:42 PM  
Blogger The Angry Redneck said...

Not sure what bothers me the most...potentially having a VP that obviously doesn't know or understand the Constitution, or a POTUS that, though he is said to have been a Constitutional attorney, shows complete disregard of the most important document in American history, short of the Declaration of Independence. I advise the two of them to read both documents, paying particular attention to the reasons for, and details of, both.

10/07/2008 2:52 PM  
Blogger daveber said...

Dear GabrielCase,

For someone who proclaims themselves the referee of literary right and wrong, you've missed the entire point of the op-ed written by Mr. Lott. The point was not to bash Senator Biden and promote Governor Palin. The point was to contrast and compare the media bias between the two candidates using valid examples of gaffs.

Simply put, the media is the voice box of the Democratic Party. They go out of their way to assassinate the character of Republicans while failing to investigate and report the truths about the Democrats.

Like a blind squirrel who finds a nut (no offence to the blind), there are a few people out there that actually try to provide some balance in what is reported; and we Republicans actually appreciate finding someone that reports with some balance. I'm sorry your senses were offended by the nature of what Mr. Lott wrote, but I suggest you go back and read the article again tying to keep in context the intent of the article.

If you have something you can share that demonstrates the fair reporting of the mainstream media, we would welcome your evidence of fair and balance reporting of the different candidates.

10/07/2008 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The media does not report anymore, they put out their own propoganda. Unfortunately, there are too many ignorant people in this country who believe everything Katie Couric, Dr. Phil and Oprah say. If the "Press" is not put in their place, we will either be a full blown socialist nation soon, or we will get nuked by some terrorist because we abused his rights. Wake-up America before it is too late.

10/07/2008 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful piece!

It's tragic that the majority of our country doesn't see the wool being pulled over their eyes.

10/07/2008 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article - why don't we hear this!

I also was amused/dismayed to see that he we was accusing Cheney of mixing the powers of the executive and legistative branches, while stating he had changed his minding about justices legislating from the bench. Isn't that hypocritical? Why doesn't someone call him on this?

10/07/2008 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Michael Lee said...

I agree with the assessment above by GabrielCase. This article is a dangerous smear against Joe Biden.

You contradict yourself by saying that "the notion that the vice president can preside over the Senate only when there is a tie vote is simply wrong" - and then later on quoting the Constitution which says "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided". That's exactly what the Constitution defines the role as ... unless you don't believe the Constitution to be a legal framework in this situation.

What does "presiding over the Senate" mean to you? Does it mean that the VP makes the decisions for the Senate? You're confusing the meaning of the word "preside" and using that to make it seem like the VP has law-making powers outside of just tie-breaking. In fact, you're wrong. The VP may "preside" over the rules of the Senate but this is usually reserved for freshman senators so that they can learn the rules of procedure. I'm sure the VP has other things to do than call on speakers and rule on motions.

You're wrong here, and applying a complete double standard which has no place in US politics. As a Republican I'm astounded by your dishonesty.

10/07/2008 3:25 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Mr. Lott

I both read your piece and have read both Articles 1 and 2 of the constitution.

I would argue that Gov. Palin misspoke when she said "Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president."

The Constitution is very explicit in the role of VP.

"The framers also devoted scant attention to the vice president's duties, providing only that he "shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be evenly divided" (Article I, section 3)" and "The vice president's other constitutionally mandated duty was to receive from the states the tally of electoral ballots cast for president and vice president and to open the certificates "in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives," so that the total votes could be counted (Article II, section 1)" both from www.Senate.gov

I'm not sure where the flexibility can be interpreted from these two mentions of VP powers.

10/07/2008 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is GO MCCAIN & PALIN! I live in Illinois -- someone PLEASE ask me about Obama. He's a crook and nothing but a Chicago democrat! I'm so frightened that he will be elected, I've looked into moving to Alaska. Maybe I'll be safe from his idiotic policies there. Why doesn't anyone ask how he's going to PAY for all this good will he's sending elsewhere???

10/07/2008 3:36 PM  
Anonymous John Q. Public said...

Pretty much splitting hairs aren't we. If anything, it was a nice entertaining article. As an independent I am enjoying watching and reading the spin machines of both parties crank it up with a month to go. It appears the Republicans are starting to get desperate. (References to Obama hanging out with terrorists, being Muslim). I get the feeling the Republicans are realizing their 8 years of control will soon come to an end. And seeing where we are now compared to 8 years ago, the Democrats could run a dog for president and could still win.

10/07/2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger Nathaniel said...

Your article is extremely unconvincing, especially when you actually read and put into context what Biden said.

10/07/2008 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be the first to admit that there is a very significant liberal bias in the main stream media and that they are tilted to the left.

However, Fox News is NO BETTER. They are just skewed and tilted the other way to the right!

Case in point. After the VP debate last week, on Greta Van Sustern's show that went an hour long, she had roughly 10 different interviews/reactions from the McCain/Palin camp and supporters...She then had ONE, yes just ONE interview of an Obama staffer...

That type of stuff goes on everyday on Fox. Somebody please explain to me how that 10-1 ratio is "Fair and balanced"? There is NO WAY you can make that claim with a straight face. Sure, republicans love Fox News because it's catered TO THEM because Fox realizes the details of their fanbase and who makes that up!

I would really love to tip my hat to Fox News, if they would just come out and be honest and say, "look, the mainstream media is catered to liberals, so we're going to cater our coverage to conservatives." To me, that would make Fox News stand out from the rest and I'd applaud that.

However doing things the way they do now, and being as biased as Fox News is, and then for them to turn around and claim that they are "Fair and Balanced" is just a joke.

This op-ed piece is another prime example. Look, yes, we get it, the mainstream media is pro Obama/Biden, are you supposed to be telling us something that we don't already know? However, the authors whining about the lack of fairness, and bringing up all of Biden's mistakes when not also acknowledging that Palin told some lies and "half" truths makes the author of this Op-ed no better than the media types he is ranting about.

10/07/2008 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Sc123 said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this article...because the more you call BS on Biden, the more Palin looks like an ABSOLUTE MORON.
Which of course she is.
She's
1. Racist
2. Friends with KNOWN Terrorists (see actual VIDEO of this, Sara Palin & those darn golly gee witches, you see the man that "blessed" her...um..he had an old women driven out of his town in Africa for witchcraft...don't believe me? He still brags about it).
3. She answered not one NOT ONE question on how to lead this country.

Please, please, please, please get over your racism people & understand "God" does NOT care about what happens in the USA, ok? If there is a God? He will judge everyone on whether or not you lied (McCain) used your religion and scare tactics to get votes (McCain) and actually think that you are a "special person who deserves to be in office" (Palin)
PLEEEAAASE stop being such IDIOTS!!!!!!! We are in CRISIS and you just can't understand a "black" person if the best person for the job. STOP BEING SO BLIND, FAT & STUPID FOR ONCE!!!!!!!

10/07/2008 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at your article the quote from the Constitution: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.” is directly from Article I of the Constitution. Biden might have been wrong about some things, but, while he mentioned the vice president as belonging to the excutive branch (which is true), Article I of the Constitution establishes the VP's right to vote in the Senate.

10/07/2008 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes me worried for the state of our nation to have such a biased media. Fox gets so much flack for being "right", but the rest of the media outlets get to perpetrate any message they want. An alien from space watching our news would never believe that half of our nation are Republicans, most believe in God and/or are Christians, and have traditional values. Its like anyone like that is relegated to watching Kirk Cameron annoying people on the streets. I'm afraid too many people are being influenced by the biased media and that people in our country will forget what it means to think for themselves.

10/07/2008 4:02 PM  
Blogger sleepy bear said...

"When you interview for a job, here is a hint: make sure you know what the job is" When in a job interview never ever wink at your future employer!

10/07/2008 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank god someone wrote about Biden's incompetence! He's a moron and the liberal media covers for him. This is why I only watch foxnews!

10/07/2008 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, there are some smart media who did it get but it only proves how bias there is about covering the truth. Thanks for bringing it up... we need more smart people like you. Robert

10/07/2008 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason I think this story did not "dominate" after the debates is because it is an opinion of Biden's that he truly believes in. He's entitled to his opinion and whether you want to believe it or not, the constitution leaves room for interpretation. As you implied in the article, Article two only states the bare minimum requirements of a VP (but, does it go in to explicit detail about duties there after? or even explicitly about the primary role?) Here's the thing, many credible people out there believe the constitution was designed and penned to be a literal work in progress. Many believe the founding fathers saw this rising republic in forthought as an oppertunity to establish an evolving form of government, something that will change and keep up with the times. We elect leaders to interpret these documents (the constitution) and apply them to modern times. If this is Biden's interpretation of what a vice president does, than does that in turn make him wrong? Besides, his strong point remains, even if his interpretation is deemed "wrong" by the public in the long run, I think Cheney could still be considered the most dangerous VP in modern history... In Biden's view of things, atleast he'd be preforming his primary function as VP, Cheney has skipped by all the conventional duties of VP and has more or less invented his own role in the government. I would hope most people could understand this man has abused his role in the U.S government...

10/07/2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please wake this guy up and stop buying into the fear the republican party has been feeding you for the last 8 years. Its ok to vote for the right person if he is not a republican. You should be picking the best person for the job, and not the wrong person. Biden said the vice breaks a tie, which is what you say in your article. You point out issues that Biden got wrong, but most of those are so trival no person in the real world would care.

McCain is DONE!
Obama/Biden 08!

10/07/2008 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article would mean much more if Sarah Palin had corrected Joe, but she didn't.

10/07/2008 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabrielcase: I'm just wondering if your trying to sound overly intellegent to make up for your lack of self worth. How long did it take you to look all those words up in the dictionary? Who exactly are you trying to impress? I would guess most of the readers of this BLOG are interested in sharing their opinions in a less profound light. And I would guess most laughed at your feeble atempt to impress anyone at all. Most people in the country truely enjoy simplicity, and your post proves nothing more then the fact that Biden is totaly unconnected with the majority of people in America. Biden simply was giving off false information to give America a false sense of securty that Biden new what he was talking about. Let me ask you this: Is it worse to give off a false sense knowledge by lying about what you think you know or is it worse to not answer a question because you simply don't know it???? Biden should have done the latter.

10/07/2008 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this report. In general the media does not give the viewers enough credit-we do more research on what is said than you think. So it is frustrating to watch the media influence voters with their biased view(s) on only the points that they want to cover. The attacks clearly are one-sided, so thank you for your dedication to the truth! I was refreshed to read this report! We need more media coverage that is fair and not just 'out to get' the Republicans. Thank you.

10/07/2008 5:26 PM  
Blogger Curran Gehring said...

"But why not mention that 84 percent of the 38,000 troops in the surge are home or are in the process of coming home?" If you are speaking about her intelligence why not mention that she says "Nucular"?
What the hell is a nuculus? And this guy is defending her intelligence??

10/07/2008 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out the "10 years to get any new oil" out of any new drilling. I think he was thinking about new nuclear plants or who knows what.

10/07/2008 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all the vp of today's age can in no way be compared with the vp of about 200 years ago. And by the way Article I certainly covers the vice presidential powers, in fact you even quoted a piece of it. And practically the vice presidents of today do not regularly preside over the senate due to time constraints and other more important tasks. If that and calling a restaurant by a former name are two of the strongest things you have against Biden, I wouldn't bother writing that article in the first place.

10/07/2008 5:45 PM  
Anonymous NateG said...

gabrielcase - a well articulated post, my thoughts exactly on this article. thanks for taking the time to share

10/07/2008 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The liberal media appears to be unified. CNN, the sole Western cable broadcaster here in South Korea, is clearly "marketing Obama" and contributing immensely to negative attitudes towards the USA. Shame on them. I'm glad that I can get alternative reports from FOX on the internet. Pohang, South Korea

10/07/2008 6:01 PM  
Blogger nick said...

VP has no legislative role
when no TIE exists

and even then he does not legislate!

a federal judge dismissed challenge by Cheny when the VP tried to make claim he is a legislator.

1 or 2 the # doesnt matter!

10/07/2008 6:35 PM  
Blogger nick said...

he did NOT say article 1 covered the exec branch

Biden said #1 delineates the VP role which is to be part of exec

which is described in #2,
you are so myopic!

(you put word verification to discourage responses)

10/07/2008 6:42 PM  
Blogger nick said...

marxists?

again any proof? no!

just wild charges by morons



(let me go and waste time typing in word verification again)

10/07/2008 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out the facts

10/07/2008 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the words of our great VP you foxnews folks need to go f urselves. Yea sure, i shld vte for Palin right?
A 2 yr old can do better than her!

10/07/2008 6:56 PM  
Blogger JJ Tyler said...

Biden has been getting a free ride in the press. Palin is scrutinized and Biden's mistakes are looked over.

Thank you so much for this article. This needed to be said.

I once considered myself a moderate but they are pushing me away with their bias.

10/07/2008 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, I guess GabrielCase should spend less time trying to use all those words he got quizzed on in his SAT exam in his post, and understand that these inaccurate statements by Biden are laughable considering that he has been in his position for more than 20 years. He should have an accurate definition of the position committed to memory. If Palin had said these falicies, every anchor from Oberman to Couric would be all over it.

Just understand this: because you are riding Obama's wagon doesn't mean that Biden's statements weren't as horrible as they were.

10/07/2008 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Steven T Cameron said...

While Biden was wrong with his statement about FDR and television, the statement that it would have been impossible for Herbert Hoover to appear on television is equally wrong. According to wikipedia and BairdTelevision.com, Herbert Ives and AT&T demonstrated their version of early television on April 27, 1927 by broadcasting a speech by then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.

10/07/2008 7:34 PM  
Anonymous David Burman said...

Curious: You make the claim that Biden was mistaken about many things. You start out by stating that "Biden is confusing which part of the Constitution covers the Executive Branch (it is Article II, not Article I)."

Clearly YOU are confused. In ARTICLE I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution it states:

"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided."

Oops.

He never claimed to only preside over the Senate in the case of a tie.

YOU are the one who appears confused.

And Palin did not get it right, the Vice-President does NOT hold a position in the Legislative Branch. He presides over the Legislative Branch but he is not a member.

"The legislative branch of the federal government consists of the Congress, which is divided into two chambers -- the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each member of Congress is elected by the people of his or her state. The House of Representatives, with membership based on state populations, has 435 seats, while the Senate, with two members from each state, has 100 seats. Members of the House of Representatives are elected for two-year terms, and Senators are elected for six-year terms"

Someone does have their FACTS wrong. But it wasn't Senator Biden

10/07/2008 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great piece of journalism. We need more like you.
It is a daily struggle now to put up with mainstream media. It's just intolerable.
I can't believe how much Biden got away with that night.

Keep up the good work.

10/07/2008 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Why not respond to gabrielcase? You made the challenge...

I agree. You're irresponsible and you bring shame to your own credentials.

10/07/2008 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummm, wow. So, in your analysis of Biden being wrong about the constitution you're first point is wrong. Then, you not only wrongly state that it is Article II not Article I, but you link to a the constitution and put a quote up that is clearly from Article I, Section 3.

Also, using the constitution as it is written, the vice president is responsible for counting every vote by hand and the next vice president is actually the person who got the second most votes, not someone who the public have no choice in choosing.

Sounds like the right decision to me I'd rather have Obama/ McCain or McCain/ Obama than these two V.P's.

10/07/2008 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Laura S. said...

This lame piece of journamlism will get you no where. See contrary to what you wrote is the fact that you neglect actual intellect. Biden has a law degree from Syracuse, been in the senate since 1972 and Obama has a record that speaks for itself.(that is why no one can attack it...the other lame attempts at his "supposed" association with 'Ayers' is laughable) Democrats are fact checkers and your type likes to "go along" with each other just to fit in. We need someone who can stand up and fight for middle class Americans. Furthermore, we were doing a lot better financially under 8 years of Clinton. For you to even compare Clinton at this point in our economic times shows you are not even qualified to be talking about the real issues. You bet you got it ALL wrong.

10/07/2008 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John Lott you voted for George Bush whom is basically a moron with a below average IQ now look at the state of our country.MCcain is a warmonger just look at his family history and his p.o.w history. We need to stop war spending and put the wall street crooks who are making 500 million in bonuses when the company is going bankrupt. We also need to stop adjustable rates and baloon payments because that's how this mess started by banks scamming the people. We do that and tax China imports then we will be on top again. Everyone buys crap from china because it's cheap so americans lose jobs. This is not rocket science this is economics 101. Also oil is our downfall we have the technology to make alternate clean fuel yet we choose to make the Texans rich(not mentioning names) plus this is why these wars start to begin with. We need a change or this country is doomed!!!!

10/07/2008 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In typical fashion they are now attacking the messenger with the "Trent Lott" comments.
'It makes me sick to watch the liberal media.

10/07/2008 8:19 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Laura... we remember that all seemed well under Clinton. It has been a long 8 years. But, my husband was at the beginning of the layoffs BEFORE Bush was ever in office. Soon after Buch was in office, we had 9/11 occur. So, it does seem we have had been hit over and over. But, it started while Clinton was in office.
Others also think we had no issues with Iraq when Clinton was in office. Please do a search to see that Clinton was also bombing Iraq 2-3 years BEFORE Bush was in office.
Sometimes we just think things seemed better under a different administration but some people weren't seeing the signs yet.

10/07/2008 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Steve W said...

So Sarah can state that we have too much government but we needed more government to have forestalled this made up economic fiasco?

Make up your mind.

Oh that is right the only mind a Republican has is the one that whines in the men's restroom when they are busted.

10/07/2008 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol is this meant to take away from the harm the katie couric interviews did. I could go into how rediculous she looked , but you all know that anyway...don't you.

10/07/2008 8:31 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear GabrielCase:

1) Biden makes four mistakes about the constitution within one answer. The fact that he says that the vice president can only serve as President of the Senate when there are tie votes is wrong as you seem to concede. Your defense that this is due to "long-winded" makes no sense to me (all he said was "as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote").

2) I don't know where you get the claim that "essential and definitive legislative contribution of the vice-President in the US Senate is to vote in a tied-vote situation." Since the point of order rulings by the vice president can only be over turned by a vote of 60 Senators, the job of President of the Senate can be quite important.

3) You claim: "Article I gives the express definition of a vice-president's role." It gives part of his role, his role in the legislature. The point that I was making was responding to his claim that "Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch." Article II deals with the Executive branch. As I said, this wasn't a major point, but just one of his errors.

4) You write: "Palin didn't mention the circumstance in which a vice-president can vote AT ALL." So? That wasn't the question that was being asked, but she did get it right about the dual roles of the vice president. She also got it right that the constitution described the minimum of the vice president's role.

Dear Anonymous at 2:42 10/07:

You write: "So you are saying that Palin supports Cheney's assertion that he is in the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch, at any given moment, such that he can claim executive privilige at all times?" 1) Palin is correct that the vice president has dual roles in both the executive and legislative branches. 2) Your claim about executive privilige is absurd. Please provide one quote or reference from anyone making such a claim.

10/07/2008 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Steve W said...

Both parties are wrong. Those who believe in a particular party, and not the person, have screwed up this country.

America has to take ownership of the fact it has elected bozos from both parties and politics today reflects the American people.

10/07/2008 8:33 PM  
Blogger MadMex2K said...

I think they both are not right for the job...unfortunately, we chose them to pick from. I think Palin had a long time to rehearse her answers, she seemed to learn from her Katie Couric fiasco, so she wasn't about to blow this one.
Joe Biden did try to seem as neutral as possible, not overbearing or browbeating his lesser experienced rival...I don't hink either did their candidates any favors here...Palin did saave face by not screwing up, Biden didn't 'noticably' say too many things immediately recognized as wrong. I think they both mis-quoted and are exactly the kind of vice-presidents we are used to in this country...not good enough to be president, and just good enough to be a patch to cover the weaknesses of their running mate. God help us all if either gets to be President.

10/07/2008 8:35 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Wow..all the facts wee'nt 100% accurate. What a joke this article is. At least the Senator answered the questions asked. unlike Cupie doll who winked and "golly me" "shucked her way around questions.
As for lies...How many made up completely bogus emails have been generated by the Obama campaign? You know the ones that claim Mccain gets his funding from arab states? or that Mccain voted 94 times to raise taxes? or that Mccain is a Muslim? or that Mccain is the next anti-christ??? OOPS...Thats right those were all emails slandering Obama....Nothing but class I tell you!!! Swift Boats dont float this time!!!

10/07/2008 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing consistent with liberals is their ability to start throwing around personal insults when their candidate is put under the same microscope that they subject McCain and Palin to. Why can't you just stick to the facts?
It is a sad day when you have to resort to grade school antics to make your point. Insulting someone you disagree with is a childish way to try to win the argument. I am saddened that adults react this way. Learn to express your views without so much personal insult and less vulgarity.
Please for the sake of the human race.....GROW UP!!!

10/07/2008 8:51 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Michael Lee 10/07/2008 3:25 PM:

You write: "You contradict yourself by saying that "the notion that the vice president can preside over the Senate only when there is a tie vote is simply wrong" - and then later on quoting the Constitution which says "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided"."

-- The quote from the Constitution notes two roles for the vice president. 1) Preside over the Senate. 2) Vote to break tie votes. Those are two separate roles.

You write: "What does "presiding over the Senate" mean to you? Does it mean that the VP makes the decisions for the Senate? You're confusing the meaning of the word "preside" and using that to make it seem like the VP has law-making powers outside of just tie-breaking. In fact, you're wrong. The VP may "preside" over the rules of the Senate but this is usually reserved for freshman senators so that they can learn the rules of procedure. I'm sure the VP has other things to do than call on speakers and rule on motions."

My piece notes that he may preside over the Senate, indeed I say that vp's used to do it much more than they do now. The vp's role outside of casting tie breaking votes is to determine the rules of the Senate. A nontrivial task and one that can determine the outcomes of legislation.

10/07/2008 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Laura s
You wrote 8 years of Clinton we were better your right we had a (R) House and Senate till late 2006when all you (D) wented change well we got change with the (D) House and Senate look at the stock market now!! you tell me just who runs the US the President??? WRONG it's the House and Senate the President can not wipe his behind with out asking the House and Senate first!!
And John you were right on

10/07/2008 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I read this in my search for unbiased news and I was just wondering....where in the world does it say in the constitution that " The vice president is the president of the Senate, where he interprets the rules and can only be overridden by a vote of 60 senators." ? I looked, and it doesn't say this anywhere. Actually, it says nothing about the running of the senate where the VP or President Pro-Tempor is involved. So I'm wondering, is this a rule implemented that only those on the inside know about? Because as for us, "regular" americans who's interest in the VP mostly revolves around his shooting skill, we don't know much about the rules of the senate and I don't remember covering it in my High School Government class.

And, uh, Sorry, but in terms of wrong information, I think Palin's goes more over the line than Biden's. I mean, shouldn't she know more facts about the war in Iraq? She is Republican so she should care about it a little more, especially since their side is more about "winning" than getting out. Getting that General's name wrong wasn't that smart...or was that on purpose in her want to be more like "real" americans, who, like myself, could care less about what his name is? But then, we wouldn't be working with him and I can tell you, when you forget a co-workers name, it's embarassing and some people don't like it.

As for the anonymous next to me as I write this, I sure hope you are as sarcastic as me because if not, you're an idiot. Of course this guy is writing for a major paper--he's got a book to plug!

10/07/2008 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John: The point of your article was to expose the bias of the mainstream media in failing to point out Biden's inaccuracies, despite his years of experience in the Senate and his role in academia. His attempt to school the public on the Constitutional role of the Vice President was imprecise in confusing the power Article 1 vests in the Vice President in his role in the legislative branch with his role in the Executive branch of government. He was clearly mistaken when he states that the Constitution is explicit that the Vice President presides over the Senate only when there is a tie vote. Sorry, gabrielcase, but your charges about the article-"pedantic", "foolish", "immature"-are baseless. The article simply stated the facts and provided information that the mainstream media failed to. Good work, John!

10/07/2008 9:21 PM  
Blogger Lambert said...

Nice work John. Take them all to task. I especially enjoy the exposition of the continued bias of not only the mainstream media, but also some of those who pretend to be it's watchdog (FactCheck.org et al).

10/07/2008 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is with the whole system. The bulk of the news media is liberal, hence the bashing of the republicans and the praising of the democrats. The media is already projecting Obama the winner and the experts give their opinions...blah, blah. What makes them and expert, what gives the media the right to sway voters with their polls and projections. Before the invention of television and the decline of common sense, people actually could make a democratic choice, now it is all steered by the experts and the polls. When is american gonna wake up and see we are lossing our democracy to socialism?!?!?!

10/07/2008 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this article!! Unfortunately, the comments have turned quite a bit off the original subject of media bias. That being said, in the last few comments have talked about how wonderful things were when Clinton was in office. Yes, he balanced the budget. Yes, he was riding the wave of the dot com era of which he had NOTHING to do with. How did he balance the budget? one of the things he did was cut military spending 30%. Wonder why your fellow men and women in War Zones aren't properly armored? You guessed it! Cuts in military spending made it impossible to arm those vehicles properly.

I am so tired of hearing it all actually... No party is perfect and lets face it, neither candidate is ideal for the job. It's the lesser of evils... what can you live with??

By the way, Mr. Lott, I copied and reposted this article to my Myspace Bulletins. I hope it catches fire ;).

10/07/2008 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - Excellent work. I hope you don't expect to get a job w/ the media. They have no use for people like you!

10/07/2008 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be easier to point out Sarah Palin's errors if the campaign allowed her to talk to the press.

But aside from that, I'd rather have a vice-president who can intelligently address issues but makes a few factual errors than a vice-president who is incapable of answering any question that can't be answered with a memorized soundbyte.

10/07/2008 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WRONG!!! Your diatribe missed the whole point, John. Biden was discussing Cheney's wall safee, "treat as secret," war-profiteering, overpowering influence approach to what is traditionally a simply ceremonial job (read history and how former VP's lament about the lack of responsibility). You Republicans have driven this great nation into the ground over the past 8 years. Even a dog can learn new tricks. Pull your head out and realize what is best for this country.

10/07/2008 11:28 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 10/07/2008 11:28 PM:

Well, possibly you should read Biden's entire discussion. I have the entire statement quoted in my piece precisely so as not to take it out of context. In no place does Biden mention any of the points that you are making: "Cheney's wall safee, "treat as secret," war-profiteering, overpowering influence." What he was upset about was that Cheney was trying to say that the VP was part of the legislature and not just the executive branch.

Dear Anonymous at 10/07/2008 11:17 PM:

Possibly you could point to some of these errors by Palin. I deal with the main claimed ones in this piece. In any event, during this 90 minute segment they both answered the same questions and Palin didn't not make a fraction of the mistakes that Biden made nor were her mistakes anywhere near as large.

10/07/2008 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I listened to the enite debate IN CONTEXT, John. As a lawyer, I can surely recognize the sophmoric tactic of trying to use narrow interpretation of words instead of taking the overall meaning. You are an idiot, I will never visit your site again. BYE

10/07/2008 11:40 PM  
Blogger Monna_lisa said...

FINALLY!!! For a while I thought I was the only one that noticed Biden's Article I of the U.S. Constitution gaffe! I couldn't believe it: this whole week I'm thinking "am I the only American to have noticed such an obvious mistake?" No mention in the after debate commentary, no mention from the talking heads, no mention in the media, period. The media's silence on Biden's misquoting the U.S. Constitution is stunning. Thank you FoxNews for finally reporting on it (as well as on all the other inaccuracies) and thank you John Lott; at least I now know one other person noticed it too!

10/07/2008 11:40 PM  
Anonymous GabrielCase said...

Dear Mr. Lott

Thank you for your reply, I will respond to each of the points in your last reply as you numbered them:

1/ I think you misunderstood me here – I see Biden’s error in this quote (if there is one at all) as merely one of omission. In offering the debate viewers a simple account of the Vice President’s essential duties Biden used the term ‘preside’ to refer to the exercise of real legislative power by the VP in the senate (ONLY in the tied-vote scenario). My criticism of your point was that you would unreasonably prefer Biden to be long-winded and academically precise in his language by having him make the relatively useless observation that a VP can turn up and sit in the senate whenever he likes. I don’t see why he should have to be so exacting and pedantic in a televised debate.

2/ I get my ‘claim’ that the ‘definitive legislative contribution of the vice-President in the US Senate is to vote in a tied-vote situation’ from reading Article I of the US constitution. Are you suggesting that a point-of-order ruling in the senate is just as significant as the tie-breaker vote in legislative terms? I don’t imagine you are – that would be ridiculous. However, you clearly think that point-of-order rulings have an ultimate impact on legislation – that seems to me to be a completely moot point, and since, as you observe, a vote of 60 senators can overturn such a ruling anyway I hardly think that point-of-order rulings constitute a serious window into the legislative ‘branch’ for the VP. Biden clearly doesn’t think so either – which is why he made the decision not to waste debate time going into it. Again – I don’t see a mistake here, just a useful omission.

3/ If you interpret Biden’s sentence that way then you might well see a minor error. But you might just as easily read it as a short-form of the following sentence: ‘Article I of the US constitution defines the Vice President’s role in the legislature – it is very small – his place is therefore clearly in the executive.’ Let’s stop being silly though – I know, and you know, that Joe Biden has read, studied and no doubt written on the US constitution – it is not an obscure document: let’s not waste time pretending that he is confused about its basic structure.

4/ I think you are interpreting Palin’s words generously here. If Biden can be accused of being imprecise in his articulation of the office of VP (your article), then Palin can be accused of barely being able to string a coherent sentence together in the English language. Her answer was so flabby and broad that we could read just about anything we wanted to into it – and be honest: if she was really trying to elucidate the legislative powers, as well as the executive, of the office of VP (as you claim) then shouldn’t she perhaps have mentioned the one single scenario in which a VP has a real legislative voice in the senate? Biden’s omissions were totally minor – Palin’s omission was basically at the heart of an argument that she was trying to make – and that you (apparently) wanted her to make.

Many thanks for tending your blog so well and for a thoughtful discussion – I leave you the last word on this one.

10/07/2008 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of this matters. The Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group control everything. So whatever they decide is what's going to happen.

10/07/2008 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, the media did get it but they are part of the democratic voting machine and won't respond to any mistakes made by Joe (botox) Biden or Barack H. Obama.
Too bad when they think they are smarter than we are.

10/07/2008 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stock market at 13,000 when Democrats took control of Congress...today...9400. You figure it out.

10/08/2008 12:11 AM  
Anonymous CJ Lamb said...

John,
I think you disproportionately blew up Biden's comment about the Constitutional powers of the VP. On the other hand, you're covering for many of Palin's failings - her biggest was not answering the questions as asked. Now, Biden is legendary for being long winded, but at least he addressed the fundamentals of the questions. Palin heard the question and immediately began going off on her own answer - regardless of whether it was germain to the question.
You lambast the media for quoting all left of center sources. I followed your sources and they were right. Not right of center, far right. Is that not hypocritical? Or would you call that balance? Just curious.
Last - on the topic of the powers of the VP, I think we can all safely agree that the Founding Father's clearly intended a system of checks and balances. I think Glenn Reynolds says it best thus:
"it seems pretty clear that the President isn't allowed to delegate executive power to a legislative official, as that would be a separation of powers violation." There's room for argument and debate there, but I think it's pretty clear, IF you accept as fact the intent of the Founding Fathers, the the VP is part of the executive.

One thing we all seem to forget is that we are Americans. We all bleed red. And we all love this country, regardless of political affiliation. I have democratic and republican neighbors. As a registered Independent, I think their views are skewed sometimes - but there's nothing I wouldn't do for them in time of need.

Kind Regards,
CJ

10/08/2008 12:24 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 10/07/2008 11:40 PM:

Rather than just asserting that I engaged in a "sophmoric tactic of trying to use narrow interpretations of words instead of taking the overall meaning," please provide some substance to your claim.

Dear GabrielCase at 10/07/2008 11:46 PM:

Thanks for your notes.

1) If Biden had only made one or two mistakes in this short discussion, I wouldn't have discussed it. But the tied vote issue he made twice and both times they were wrong. You might not see "why he should have to be so exacting and pedantic in a televised debate," but these were all simple points that any first year law student (or boy scout who also have to read the constitution for one of their merit badges) would think were obvious points.

2) The interpretation of rules in the Senate is very important. It can prevent votes from even occurring on some legislation, so he can stop votes on legislation that would have gotten a clear majority vote, though if it had 60 or more votes they can over rule his interpretation of the rules. So, yes, I am saying that interpreting the rules is extremely important.

3) You might know that Biden understands these issues, but that is not obvious to me after reading this discussion multiple times. The main point of my piece is that if Palin had said anything even close to being this stupid, it is all we would have heard for the rest of the campaign. The point of the piece is the asymmetry in how these statements are treated.

4) Biden's mistakes were not ones of omission. They were mistakes where he said the wrong point. Palen's points were not only correct, they were actually somewhat deeper than I have heard most politicians make.

10/08/2008 12:28 AM  
Blogger Jill Rains said...

I just want to say thank you for saying this. I fuss and fume at home and I feel like no one is listening and then I read a piece like yours on Fox News online and I suddenly feel better.

10/08/2008 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author totally missed my point - I said it would be easier to point out mistakes if Palin were allowed to talk to the press. But the campaign has been sequestering her so she doesn't say anything embarrassing.

And she didn't make many mistakes in the debate because she just recited memorized answers. If she didn't have an answer to the question that was asked of her, she simply answered a different one.

The most obvious example was early on when the candidates were asked about what campaign promises they would have to cut back on. Biden answered by saying they would likely have to slow down on foreign aid.

When it was Palin's turn, she paused and then said she wanted to talk about energy, and went into a speech about energy independence and drilling in Alaska. She hadn't been prepped to answer the question that was asked, and obviously wasn't able to come up with an answer on her own.

10/08/2008 12:33 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear CJ Lamb 10/08/2008 12:24 AM:

How is Palin's answer not exactly on point? Palin said that the vice president is part of both the legislative and executive branch. The quote that you raise from Reynolds is to a completely different issue. There are executive powers and there are legislative ones. The VP is the only person who has both. Think of Reynold's comment this way, the President can't let the legislature enact and enforce laws.

Biden's statements were wrong on at least four counts (if I am not so generous, I would really count five). This isn't an issue of being long winded, this was a case of him getting things wrong. Palin makes no errors in this discussion. Here is the point of my piece. If a Republican vice presidential candidate had made even one or two errors similar to Biden's we would be hearing about it constantly.

Dear Jill Rains:

Thanks very much for your comment. I appreciate it.

10/08/2008 12:39 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Wow, talk about twisting what someone says. He(Biden) simply says that Article 1 outlines the role of the VP. He was referring to Article 1, Section 3, Clause 4 "Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided." That is copied exactly from the link(http://www.house.gov/house/Constitution/Constitution.html) on the original article. He then continues to say that the office of the VP belongs to the Executive branch. He does not say that Article 1 defines the Executive branch. If you're going to smear the man, at least do it better and not post links that prove him right and you wrong. Thank you Mr. Lott. Continue your great work!!

10/08/2008 12:44 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 10/08/2008 12:33 AM:

She has hardly been sequestered. For the ABC interview with Charlie Gibson, Gibson was allowed to interview her multiple times over two days. That allowed him to ask questions, to go back and have his staff think of follow up questions, and do so multiple times. No limits were placed on the length of time of those interviews. No limits were placed on what would be covered. Now that is a tough format. When people are allowed to go and spend hours thinking of your responses to questions that is about as difficult as things can get.

She also spent a long time with Couric and allowed her to engage in multiple different interviews.

Out of those interviews what was Palin attacked for. The Bush Doctrine where it was clear that Gibson got the question all wrong (see the links that I have) and that there were at least four meanings of the term. For the Couric interview, the attack on Palin was because she said that she reads all sorts of news sources and not naming specific ones. Is this a serious question? What is wrong with the answer? If she thought that it was a serious question, are you claiming that she couldn't have said "Wall Street Journal" or "New York Times." What would that have told us? Nothing.

I still stand by my earlier point though, here Palin went up against the same questions as Biden for 90 minutes and he made a lot of mistakes, many serious. She didn't. The point of my piece though was that even though Biden couldn't even get the job of the Vice President right, the media has completely ignored it.

10/08/2008 12:48 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Scott:

I am not sure that you read my piece. The quoted part of the Constitution is exactly the same sentence that I quoted. The problem is that Biden got this wrong in at least four respects as I discuss. The most trivial is that he pointed to Article I as "Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch." That is not the Executive Branch. For the other errors, I suggest that you read my piece.

10/08/2008 12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, the really sad part is, many of the American voting public simply don't seem to care anymore about accuracy or truthfulness in political candidates, particularly if those candidates support a leftist political agenda. Many voters now are emotionally hooked by the mystique of the Obama ticket and could care less whether or not the information the Democratic machine puts out is accurate. It just doesn't matter to them. They want "change," even if the changes that are promised may mean that America collapses into socialistic misery.

10/08/2008 1:27 AM  
Anonymous David Alexander, Toluca Lake, CA said...

To say Biden was "wrong" using Article I as opposed to II is parsing words. Article I AND II mention the role of the Vice President.

You may want to go back and read Article ONE, Section 3; "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

But nice try.

10/08/2008 1:46 AM  
Anonymous NateG said...

The simple point that is trying to be made is this - you can interpret what Biden said in two ways.
Original:
"Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch."

John Lott's interpretation:
"Article I of the Constitution, which concerns the executive branch, defines the role of the vice president of the United states."

Correct interpretation:
"Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, THE ROLE OF THE VP IS IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH"

He's not saying that Article I deals with the executive branch, but rather reaffirming that the office of the VP is in the executive branch. This, of course, is subject to another debate entirely... but it can hardly be considered a factual error.

10/08/2008 2:03 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear David Alexander:

The point was he referred to Article I for the EXECUTIVE BRANCH. No one was saying it didn't refer to the vice president.

I am becoming convinced that Obama supporters are unable to read.

Dear NateG:

That is NOT my interpretation. In any case, Article I doesn't deal with the EXECUTIVE BRANCH. Possibly you and David should get together.

10/08/2008 2:25 AM  
Blogger BluesFlute said...

Just as President Bush can do no right, the Sens. Obama and Biden can do no wrong. At least I've heard nothing to the contrary from a soul at the "news" desks at ABC, CBS, PBS, or NBC; from any liberal-to-moderate talk show hosts, musicians, actors, or comedians; or in a single liberal editorial. Since neither Senator can possibly be wrong or stretch the truth even a little, it must surely be that the Congressional Records that lie -- and no doubt the Records should be re-written, furthermore.

10/08/2008 2:38 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Thank you for the article and to Fox News!! I hope to see another article from you critiquing the latest presidential debate. I have known for months that I cannot rely on the media for unbiased information. You are a true patriot!

10/08/2008 5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is so much wrong with this post that I don't know where to start.

On a related note, it is clear that Joe Biden is more professional and more qualified to be the vice president.

I guess that's not hard, though, when he's running against someone who WINKS at the camera and says "maverick" every other sentence. Palin is a joke, a punchline. 10 years from now, she will be a trivia question.

10/08/2008 6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see this printed in a major magazine or any of the other media outlets, but lets face it, they ALL want Obama to win!!! So why would they ever do something like that?!!

10/08/2008 7:21 AM  
Blogger Milo said...

Is Fox News out of its mind to have this as a lead story on the webpage, lets get real here, This is ridiculous just like John Lott's book that is mind numbing. John I am sorry but when you say you are lucky you had jobs all of your life where you could just think about whatever you wanted, I have to say, time for you to get a real job. Go do something that actually matters. I am voting for Repulican ticket but lets face it Obama is going to win by 10 points and is crushing in the swing states. The media in general is so disappointing these days, lets for a minute forget the parties and just vote on who you believe follows your ideas and opinions as closely as possible, not whose VP selectee better deciphers article one and three of the Constitution. Lets focus on more important articles than one and three. Shame on Fox News.

10/08/2008 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article hit the nail on the head!!! My wife and I go crazy over this. You watch the dems get cornered and evade the questions and acusations at hand in the debates and then the media somehow finds a way to turn everything around afterwards. Why was Obama not stopped when he constantly talked off the topic last night?? He never answered the last question. One last comment, if Palin is too inexperienced for the VP, then Obama should not even be on a ticket.

10/08/2008 7:37 AM  
Anonymous News_across2000 said...

You write that Biden was wrong when he said the authority of the Vice President can be found in Article 1 of the Constitution.

A quick fact-check proves Biden was correct. The powers of the Vice President are in Article 1, Section 3 and Biden was also correct that the only authority the Vice President has is to be the tie-breaking vote in case the Senate is tied -- and that is a very rare occurance.

I just thought you might want to know.

10/08/2008 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know how media sources like Fox News say things like "the media didn't notice" - clearly, if it's on Fox News, the media DID notice. This is yet another reason I, an independent, am voting democratic this year. Conservatives and the conservative media can't speak or write a single sentence without choking on their own hypocrisy. When I watch any other news, they seem desperate to pander to republicans, no matter how many lies they tell. Perhaps Biden should have just taken a page from Palin's book and just made s@#t up!

10/08/2008 8:34 AM  
Anonymous No Socialist said...

Great article John but it needs to be televised via PBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN where most of the comrades get their news. I was surprised that so many of them read your articles.

10/08/2008 8:40 AM  
Blogger Quiverdaddy said...

John,

I just deleted a lengthy rant on the injustice of a "free press" so shamelessly in the tank for one candidate or another that they fail to do their duty to the truth.

Some posters have picked nits from your Op-ed instead of seeing the big picture: The MSM simply can no longer be trusted. The DNC or O'Bamma campaign supplies them with talking papers and they rarely go off script. In fact, I have to give them credit -- they stay on message for O'Bamma and BidMyTime better than the candidates themselves.

10/08/2008 8:50 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

Wow! I honestly believe it's so fun to read these blogs, both liberal and conservative, to see how worked up people get. I think it's proof that American's are still involved in the democratic process, at least in some ways! It's good to know that people care, one way or the other, about who will eventually run the country and I appreciate reading the comments.
On the other hand, I think people are involving themselves by logging in to microscopic issues. A mis-said word by Biden or Obama, to Fox and Republicans is just as criticized as a grammatical blunder by Palin or McCain to the so-called "MSM". Wouldn't it just be better for us to focus on the core issues at hand; on the policy being suggested; and on the possible outcomes of those policies. Stop focusing on words and phrases and tell us why policy is good or bad. Take a risk and make some predicitions about how certain decisions will cause certain outcomes. And please, don't cater to fear by using "socialism", "Marxism", or "terrorism". We don't need another McCarthy, we need facts, based on hard evidence! How can we make reasonable decisions when both sides of the media take things to the extremes. No wonder people are voting on their own political party pride more than anything else in recent elections! Get away from the nuances! Get to the real issues please!!

10/08/2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a lie. Look it up. Fox news is in the tank for republicans

10/08/2008 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article on Biden's blunders during the VP debate. Conservatives that have watched Biden for years know how overated Biden's intellect is. Sean Hannity has said that journalism in America 2008 is dead. By in large, that's true. It's encouraging to read an occasional article like your's that points out the truths that the drive-by media ignores.

10/08/2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for pointing this out. Apparently Obama speaks with a golden tongue and that has transferred to Biden. Sarah Palin is not as dumb as the media is making her out to be and hopefully the world will see the liberal media bias on election day. Go McCain!

10/08/2008 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Lott. Great defense on a topic that needs none.

As if it wasn't obvious enough...

PBS = Please Become Socialist

NBC = Never Broadcast Conservatives

ABC = Always Bash Conservatives

CBS = Democrats Know Best (And we have the right to be ignorant and make our own acronym regardless of what it says because we're Americans and you're not)

CNN = Communist News Network

MSNBC = Mostly Socialists, Never Broadcast Conservatives

Message to you "democrats": stop being anarchist and leeching to what used to be a wonderful political party until the Flower Children took over... Go make your own country and let the terrorists attack it (rather fight 'em there than here). Wouldn't it be great if our troops could fight terrorism here at home? Then you could get a first-hand look at what's happening [sarcasm].

Buffalo Bill

10/08/2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger Fahzbehn said...

Sadly, I, like most Americans adults, probably don't remember the actual details of the U.S. Constitution. I agree that a VP candidate should know these things. I think more Americans should. This is one more reason that the MSM probably didn't mention these mistakes. It is a fair statement to few Americans would have caught this and even less watched the debate at all. (I know at least one show that got higher ratings in that time slot.)

In this election, I'm stuck in a state where my vote won't have an impact (Illinois was decided for Obama long ago) and unless you live in Peoria, pointing out liberal bias is a quick way to lose friends. My friends site the news daily as proof of how awful McCain/Palin would be.

To be fair, I understand that this is a historic election. One way or the other, as a country, we are going to do something we've never done before. What I don't understand is how and why a party that supposedly supports free speech condemns an opposing view and is silent when they may be wrong?

I've read over your counter examples to most of the criticisms and largely agree with those things I understand, but I must admit that I am ignorant. What frightens me is that the mainstream media is afraid or unwilling to admit their ignorance as well.

10/08/2008 9:53 AM  
Anonymous JoeB said...

Does this really surprise anybody? The Press (print, web based and televised) have blantly blasted McCain since day one. They have given Obama & Biden a free ride. In this election they have shown the world just how bias they are in their reporting. Whether your for McCain or Obama, the reporting should always be fair and non-bias. The news editors proably don't know the role of the Vice President, but they do show that they are definitely biased in their reporting.

10/08/2008 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What always amazes me in these Presidential elections is how the freedom of press can distract Americans by focusing on petty issues. It's not the terminology that we are concerned with, it's leadership. Perhaps we aren't concerned with these errors like the days of Quayle because we've moved past that. I'd like to think so anyway. But folks like you and others on this blog obviously haven't. Do you really think that a Senator with his experience wouldn't be able to read a job description? Let's move on from this stuff and focus on the issues. Read past the biased opinions and really think about what is on the line here.

10/08/2008 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad that someone is finally saying, and printing, what needs to be said. Thank you for taking the time to give credit where credit is due...I know who I am voting for NOW!!!! Sarah might be simple, but boy, she sure isn't as stupid as some would like to think!!!!I think Biden owes her an appology!

10/08/2008 10:32 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear News_across2000 at 10/08/2008 8:26 AM:

You wrote "You write that Biden was wrong when he said the authority of the Vice President can be found in Article 1 of the Constitution. A quick fact-check proves Biden was correct."

That is not what I wrote. The simplest and most trivial point was that Article I deals with the legislature, not the executive branch as Biden claimed. For the other points, please read the piece.

10/08/2008 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Graas said...

Thanks for doing this important research. I have linked to your piece and encouraged my readers to read it from start to finish.
This morning I saw a headline from Slate saying that Obama won the foreign-policy portion of the debate. Don't we all wish we could get away with spouting nonsense? Thank you for challenging the media to perform appropriately.

10/08/2008 11:07 AM  
Anonymous GRS said...

Thank yo for this article-it is more than on point. It is soooo important to understand ones' job description. How can we possibly take giden seriously? oh yeah, nobody does. Politicians and new people alike say 'well, that's Joe for ya, he's always been that way". Huh???? If so, why are we taking him seriously as the next V.P??
bottom line? Most people don't vote with their heads. Sadly, it looks like we will have a poser in the white house surrounded by those who helped destroy our national security, crumble our economy and who have already walked away with personal billions. people want to appear open-minded when what they really are is ignorant and fool-hearty.

10/08/2008 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At one time, I had respect for Fox news. I really believed that while Fox was a right leaning news organization, they were fair and balanced and alone in the sea of left leaning news.

Now though, I believe that they are the National Enquirer of the news. Whats sad, is that people actually think that Fox news AND MSNBC news is news.

Everyone please go read the first two articles of the constitution.

10/08/2008 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you think the media - PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC are news organizations, you DO have to wonder why they cover the Democrats the way they do. "

In any other venue the Fox news view in the media would be considered ranting, lunatic, paranoia. There is a reason Fox news tries so hard to get it's worshipers to only listen to them.

If you are not listening to all the sources you can, questioning and compairing the story's and thier presentation, then you are blindly following someone with a clear agenda. This goes for any station or network.

IF you are in a room full of peopl ewith different opionion and ideas, the one guy you do not want to listen to is the one telling you that eveyone else is wrong and only listen to him.

That one guy is always fox news.

10/08/2008 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Lott,
Your response to some of your comments are very juvenile. This is new day in America and frankly time for the old ways to change. It seems as if those individuals who support Obama are somehow "mis- informed". I remain undecided at this point, but if I were to choose on character alone I would choose Obama. He has run a respectful campaign contrary to McCain's slanderous approach at victory. Biden may not have been the best choice for VP, but I would choose him any day over Palin who just recently ignored death wished upon Obama at a recent rally. It is clear YOU support this Fascist woman who rallied FOR secessionism! This is utterly sick and should not be tolerated by the American people or the Government..Perhaps you should FACT CHECK THAT

10/08/2008 12:25 PM  
Blogger Newport Beach said...

Newport Beach, CA - John, great article with valid points...Unfortunately, the Democrats and mainstream media are so angry at Republicans, they don't want o hear about any facts that contradict their chosen candidates. People are being bombarded with lies and rhetoric from Hollywood actors & actresses who barely graduated from high school...many of whom are making $5MM, $10MM or $20MM per year!!! This is beyond scary!!!

It's scary that America has become so divided (Remember - "..divided we fall" ???).

I hope that the American people step up for John McCain in favor of lower taxes and smaller government, and a true American with actual battlefield experience whose made the sacrifices necessary to protect our country.

10/08/2008 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Biden NEVER said that the Vice President did not preside over the Senate. He has been a US Senator since the 1970s so I think he can figure out that the Vice President of teh United States is the presiding officer of the US Senate. What he said though was absolutely correct: the Vice President serves as a part of the Executive Branch, not the Legislative as another Vice Presidential candidate said. FOX NEWS = unfair and unbalanced

10/08/2008 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's attack pieces like this that make me embarrassed to still be a republican. We used to have the high ground on taxes, fiscal responsibility, military restraint, etc. Now all we seem to do well is pull together to tear other people down...this is a great example of gotcha journalism at its worst. We deserve 4 years of no power so we can screw our collective heads on straight and stop running campaigns against caricatures.

10/08/2008 12:46 PM  
Blogger psegler said...

An essay for my POSI class...someone besides my professor should read it, less it just go to waste.

Obama v. Superman
This coming New Year I can foresee a column in some paper somewhere (maybe The Daily Planet in Metropolis) that will include the following. “Notable Deaths In 2008” and among the beloved stars we will have lost this past year, one will seem a bit out of place, for it isn’t a person, but an American institution. I contend that journalism suffered an agonizing death in 2008. No longer can we expect to find in our world hardworking journalists such as Lois Lane in the superhero story of Superman. From now on, Lois is as real as it gets when it comes to responsible journalism. The Main Stream Media (MSM) has been leaning left with liberal bias for years, but this year proved to be too much for the once honorable profession as it succumbed to the fears of political correctness and the bandwagon of national and international polls. As a result, the McCain/Palin ticket hasn’t had much of a chance against the Obama/Biden ticket amid the rampant love fest between the new rock star political ticket and the MSM.
The death of journalism comes at the hands of the big three networks CBS, NBC, and ABC. Traditionally, the big networks were regarded as the journalistic standard, but the current evening news anchors have abused their power to inform the public and obliterated all previous ethics. These days, the evening news is nothing more than a 30 minute Andy Rooney segment of the legendary 60 Minutes. With all due respect to Andy Rooney, I don’t think Katie, Charlie, or Brian are worthy of shining his shoes.

The Presidential Election and the primaries that preceded the campaign were visibly marked by the bias of the MSM toward Barack Obama. On paper, Barack Obama is the least qualified and most liberal candidate to have ever run for the Presidency of the United States. He has clear ties to the documented and self-proclaimed terrorist Bill Ayers, participated in membership of a radical Church with Rev. Jeremiah Wright as the pastor (also described as a mentor by Obama), and has completed shady real estate transactions with a convicted slum lord Tony Rezko. All of which has been virtually ignored by the MSM. You won’t see real journalistic duties being performed or reported by the big 3 networks, if they were to do some investigative reporting about Obama and his character they would find his own words describing himself as a radical along the lines of Saul Alinsky that follow:

"Sometimes the tendency in community organizing of the sort done by Alinsky was to downplay the power of words and of ideas when in fact ideas and words are pretty powerful. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal.' Those are just words. 'I have a dream.' Just words."

In his book DREAMS FROM MY FATHER:A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE Obama says the following:

“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets.At night,in the dorms,we discussed neocolonialism,Franz Fanon,Eurocentrism,and patriarchy.When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake,we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints.We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure.We were alienated.”

Surely, even Lois Lane would report such ideologically identifying characteristics of a Presidential candidate. The most notable slant can be found in the major news anchors interviews of VP candidate Sarah Palin. Katie Couric showed disrespect and visible disdain of her subject with a format of “gotcha questions.” Charlie Gibson evidenced this in a similar manner with a question relating to the “Bush Doctrine” which officially doesn’t exist. In contrast to the treatment of the republican candidates by the MSM, Obama has been handled with kid gloves by his interviewers. One example of this might be the George Stephanopoulos interview where George corrects Obama about his religious faith.
The MSM has failed to do its job and the McCain campaign has no choice but to run paid advertisements to expose the truth about their opponent. The MSM and Obama campaign have as a result judged this to be a sign of the McCain campaign going negative. Is it really negative just to point out a candidates associations and ideology? I don’t think it is. It has become apparent that many of the 24 hour news organizations have refused to give the McCain campaign a fair chance with its viewers in reporting the facts correctly and allowing the viewers and readers to make an educated choice.
A recent example of this is found in an article by CNN that claims that the McCain v. Obama campaign has become increasingly negative. In the article, it makes the statement that the Obama campaign has said that McCain supports a 1,000 year war. The actual allegation is that McCain supports a 100 year war, but this in itself was false. By exaggerating the initial claim and not accurately defining it as a falsehood gives legitimacy to the Obama campaign. Is it just coincidence that an article about fact-checking gets the facts wrong?
I strongly support the McCain campaign airing as many “negative” paid advertisements as possible, because the MSM and Obama campaign must be exposed for what they are. They need to inform the American people as often as possible that Obama is the most liberal and least qualified candidate for the Presidency with core ideological values that are counter to the principles that have guided the U.S. for the last 227 years. I would like to see the McCain campaign not only continue to point out the lack of character of their opponent, but the strikingly similar views of the Obama/Biden ticket to the platform of the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx.
The McCain campaign should run an ad that makes the comparison between everything American and that which Obama stands for. This could be called the “Superman” ad. An American icon, Superman stands for “Truth, Justice, and the American way!” What does Barack Obama stand for? Barack Obama is not Superman despite what all of the wannabe Lois Lanes of the MSM say. Barack Obama is no Superman. Barack Obama is Lex Luther.

10/08/2008 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biden was not wrong. The person from whom he plagiarized his comments was wrong.

10/08/2008 12:57 PM  
Anonymous chai said...

WOW what an article
everyone knows that to decide on a winner depends mostly on the media. so in case someone was wondering how whould the biased midea have covered the debate if biden was on the republican ticket, this article answers it

10/08/2008 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all well and good to find and uncover mistakes, however we aren't really doing anygood with this information unless we can somehow manage to get this information out to a wider audience, solve that problem and Obama wouldn't be anywhere close to still being in this race. Fact is, the liberal media covers for both Obama and Biden and if you ask me, everything about this entire election, debate proce4ss, media etc has been bogus. Obama has used highschool politics, all talk, no substance, no record, and when you attack him, he just cries that its unfair and all you want is to tear him down rather than care about the country, yet he expects no one to say anything to him when he attacks others. The guy is basically getting away with murder. He has yet to have his feet held to the fire about anything that's been exposed about him and I really do believe that only be possible when someone manages to find a way to hold the media's feet to the fire for the obvious bias towards Obama and most things liberal. Why hasn't somebody done a peice on FOX about what parties the owners of these media conglomerates donate to etc and really just pushed the button on all of them and force Obama to be exposed for the fraud that he is?

10/08/2008 1:14 PM  
Blogger AreJay said...

In criticizing John McCain for including Spain's President in those with whom he would not meet, Joe Biden acted aghast that John McCain would not meet with an ally that is at this time furnishing troops to stand with us in Iraq. Certainly in the past Spain has been our ally and has supported our efforts. But shortly after the terrorist bombings in Spain early in 2004, the Socialist Worker's Party was elected and thereafter at the direction of their new President all supporting troops in Iraq were withdrawn. I would consider our relationship with this new regime as tenuous at best. I would meet with the King of Spain, or even the previous Party who did support us, but I would not meet with this group either.

10/08/2008 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Mt. Crunksuvious said...

None of these points can help convince me that Palin is nothing less than a world class idiot. Seriously people?...your party votes for actors because of what they portray during their acting careers and now you're stepping down to pagent queens? I'm not even a Democrat! I don't want that woman anywhere near the helm when McCain keels over after 6 months in office.

10/08/2008 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why isn't it head lines at fox news ???????????????

10/08/2008 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bitterness and unrestrained hate coming from the left is amazing, as well as the asinine comment insisting people on the right are racists for not wanting a black president. Of course it has nothing to do with Obama's communist philosophy, his links to leftist bombers, racist ministers, endorsements from Hamas or his veiled anti-gun/hunting/free speech and baby killing positions.

No, BHO is a true patriot, a family man who's primary motivation in life is to serve his country, elevate to poor, teach the ignorant, tear down racial barriers, heal the stricken, end all wars, and make the environment eternally pristine. He cares nothing for himself, and is completely open and honest with everyone he meets. He's not just some guy who regurgitated information back to his professors, he's a true intellectual with an innate sense of understanding, and connects to ordinary people in such a profound way they faint in his presence.

What unadulterated BS is that? The same kind of nonsense coming from mindless moonbats. They can tolerate no criticism of their messiah. They're programmed to react to any information which contradicts their delusions with fanatical rants, often citing lies from their lunatic fringe blogs like the daily kos. The reaction here to a story that exposes the first apostle of their moonbat messiah for the moron he is, is a great indicator of how they will over look any flaw to gain power. It's a good thing so many of them are hoplophobes, or they'd just kill all dissenters. They obviously have no regard for the lives of the unborn, so it's not a stretch too imagine.

The right has no problem being (sometimes overly) critical of their own candidates, this shows they have standards, and value character, REAL INTELLIGENCE, integrity and substance. They clearly do not react with the same vitriol as the foaming at the mouth rabid venomous moonbats do regularly. Considering what little Obama can be pinned down on, those few beliefs we know he has are clearly malignant to free society. I hope the country gets what it deserves, because as far as I see it, the people who support BHO the most are the ones who contribute the least to our nation, and have the least to offer the world as far as job skills, critical thinking skills, character, loyalty, morals or common sense. These used to be virtues to our society, and now they are ridiculed in pop culture by the people who lack any visible virtues at all.

When their candidate loses again, I wonder how many will keep promises long ago broken, too leave our beloved country, and move to some socialist utopia. I can see the inner tubes floating south from Florida already…

10/08/2008 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its about time that the news starts offering truths about the democratic candidates. Its now wonder why Obama is leading, the news media is always posting all the dirt on the republican candidates and nothing but praise for the democrats, totally biased! I have not seen one article from a major news source since the candidates were selected on something negative about Obama, although Im slowly seeing things about Biden. Is it the fact that Obama hasnt been in politics long enough for there to be anything major to dig up on him? If thats the case, he shouldnt be running. Obama reminds me of a used car sales man, theyll say anything to get you in, but once youre in and they sell you on it, theyll turn right around and forget you. I found this very interesting...
http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?RsrcID=2036

10/08/2008 1:36 PM  
Blogger nick said...

Lott doesnt post my comments

always scared of the truth, he is.

10/08/2008 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is funny how the people who only believe Fox News/Entertainment can't understand that the other 95% of US do not need to be brainwashed. Think for yourself! Check the fact, don't read blogs! Good lord, at least try to be objective!

10/08/2008 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can we have a fair election with democrats busing homeless people to the polls to vote their way and the right to vote being given to people with mental disabilities who have to have a guardian appointed by the courts because they are not competent to handle their own affairs?

10/08/2008 1:51 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear AreJay at 10/08/2008 1:28 PM:

Sorry, but McCain didn't say that he wouldn't meet with Spain's "President" (Prime Minister). What McCain said was that he wasn't president yet so it didn't make sense to start setting up state visits.

Dear Mt. Crunksuvious at 10/08/2008 1:30 PM:

"Palin is nothing less than a world class idiot." If you have an actual reason for making this claim, please let the rest of us know.

Dear Nick at 10/08/2008 1:40 PM:

Your claim: "Lott doesnt post my comments." Ugh? Except for a few people who have reposted the exact same comment multiple times, every comment has been posted here.

10/08/2008 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how those who criticize other networks for being partisan almost always show extreme prejudice in their journalism as well. I followed a link to your article and it only took a few sentences to realize how illogical and biased your article would be. Pathetic!

10/08/2008 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I watched the debate twice trying to pick up anything that Palin said that would get me to have confidence or respect for her, neither happened.... At least Joe Biden has accomplishments and knowledge that he can draw from to make things happen. She is probably a nice lady, but we do not need a talking head..."

I'm voting McCain because, At least John McCain has accomplishments and knowledge that he can draw from to make things happen.

10/08/2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Tim from NC said...

Thank you for a refreshing new perspective. I've been so annoyed with CNN's, CBS, et al. biased liberal-slanted reporting. EVERY thing I hear and read from them does exactly what you say - promotes the few good things proposed by the Obama team and glosses over or ignores the good points made by the McCain team. Of course, goofs & mis-statements are treated oppositely as you so clearly point out.

Whatever happened to objective journalism? Did it ever exist? I'm 40ish and can't remember that it ever did, but I know it's gotten worse in the past 20 years.

Liberal media outlets have an agenda and make no effort to hide it. CNN's polls are biased and are NOT scientific. Following the first debate, they declared Obama the winner - regardless of the fact the majority of pollsters were admitedly Democrats and that the results were within their own reported margin of error! CNN admitted as such, but made no apology for their biased, judgmental, self-serving interpretation of the results!

Sadly, the American masses believe all this without question. They are too lazy to research and find out for themselves. If they did, the correct choice would become clear.

Ideally, all media orgs, including FOX, should be completely objective. But in the face of such overwhelming liberal slant, FOX (and you) must take up the call to present the truth not heard. Keep up the good work. We need more.

10/08/2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stopped reading this article after LOTT got it wrong. While it is true that Biden should have said Article 2 when speaking of the executive branch. Everything else he said was true. What Biden said about the VP was true. Don't believe me look up the actual constitution (just like I did). What Article 1, section 3 states, and I am quoting, is "The Vice President of the United States shal be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided." Furthermore the Vice President IS named in the Executive Branch. Lott needs to check his facts before he accuses others, and readers out there need to do their own research, not bash other news agencies, or simply accept what someone says on face value.

10/08/2008 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nick said...
Lott doesnt post my comments

always scared of the truth, he is.


Ok Yoda

10/08/2008 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You lose all credibility when you cite YOURSELF as a source to back up one of your ridiculous claims! Sad, but not surprising from a republican.

10/08/2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous jab777 said...

People - both left wing and right wing remember - look at cnn.com it's running Obama ads! Yes Obama's campaign paid for them but MSN, who owns cnn.com, has a financial vested interest in Obama. Of course they're not going to be biased. I'm not saying that Fox is any better, as I think they might run the ad as well - but let's not forget that there's a TON of advertisement money in the Media from the Obama campaign. Yes, sure there are political perspectives but you're always going to lean towards the person who is paying you more. It's just the bottom line.

10/08/2008 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Drew said...

Article I, Section 4, clause 3 defines the role of the Vice President in the legislative branch. That is what Biden was referring to at that point in the debate, Cheney's interpretation of his role in the legislative branch. Joe had it correct when he mentioned Article I, since he was referring to a VP's role in the legislature. Looks like you need to a little more research there Mr. Lott. Think that's why the mainstream media didn't carry it?

10/08/2008 2:50 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Drew:

Do you even know that in my piece I quoted the entire clause that you are referring to? Just as an aside, while you correctly refer to the clause as showing the VP's role in the legislature, Biden said that clause defined the VP's role in the Executive Branch. Though that was the minor point in my list. Please read the piece. If you have responses to the problems that I pointed out, I would be interested in reading them. Thank you.

10/08/2008 2:56 PM  
Anonymous JD Annapolis said...

What's amazing to me is how many Obama-Biden supporters continue to attack Gov. Palin's experience when Sen. Obama has less foreign policy and executive experience than I do.
I'm 29 and have not only served and led Marines overseas I've come home to start and run a successful real estate business (yes even in this faux "recession"). Obama on the other hand has been nothing but a thug politician since day one. I could run circles around him on foreign policy because I've not only picked up a book (research) but also from experience. From an executive standpoint I know how to run a business (payroll, budgeting etc.) and he knows only what his handlers tell him.
Biden's case isn't much better. Even though those on the left claim him to be a genius on foreign policy he's made more mistakes, mistatesments and outright lies than anyone I would trust to command me or take advice(his role as VP) from. I only need recall Joe's own words about Obama that the Presidency of these United States does not lend itself to on the job training. In the Marines we'd call that a dead Marine or worse a dead fireteam, squad or entire unit.
It seems that all politicians these days stretch the truth or outright lie to be populist for the people. I know that McCain and Palin have made mistakes and have reached to make a point about Sen Obama. But they (Obama and Biden) have been caught a number of times outright lying with brazen disregard. I will never vote for a man or woman who wants to win an election through deceit, divisiveness and class warfare rather than speak the truth no matter how painful or depressing it may be. John McCain so far has been one of the most forthright candidates i've seen and often to his detriment. You may not like him but at least he's no liar.
Arrogance is dangerous but Ignorance is deadly Obama is wrong on everything and he's wrong for America

10/08/2008 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Freedom from the left said...

This shows us why Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama are the dangerous ones. The left side has control of the media, the entertainment society and citizens that are easily led by them.

Sen. Obama and his followers are embarrassed of the US military. If elected they will send the troops back to America in defeat. They will act with poor judgment and the consequence will be that the terrorist problem will be brought home the US once more.

Sen. Obama does not care about the US military from the past or present. He only wants to appease the popular world opinion that the US is too strong, and should be contained.

Americans need to take a stand in the voting booth to preserve our freedom and pride of the American Nation. All military service members and their immediate and extended relatives get out and vote for Senator McCain.

10/08/2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty bad John Lott, pretty bad. The tone of your piece critisizes Biden for not knowing what article of the constitution defines. I also think you're being a little smug in pointing out an error which could be amended by changing a singel word. Instead of saying he couldn't preside over the Senate he hould have said he can't vote in the Senat unless there is a tie. Im a registered Independent and have this image in my mind: A speeding freight train hurdling off the face of a cliff. That freight train is named Neoconservatism and tethered to the caboose are a few Repub's with their heels dug into the dirt trying to pull it back. For the good of the country, let it go. And try not to hide the real theme of your article by adding a "more importantly" after you state it. Your real shot was trying to claim he didn't know what article defined the role of the VP in the Senate. The last year of Thomas Jefferson's vice presidency was 1801, there very well may be a VP to actively preside over the Senate more recently, if there is one, why not quote them? I would think this would go without saying. I know true objectivity is a myth but it's writing like this that inspired me to be an Independent in the state of Kansas, and please God, will everyone stop envoking Ronald Reagan's name at every possible chance? If this website's figures are correct, spending under Reagan increased as did the size of the government. http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=488. I believe in the ideals of small government and low taxes, which is part of the reason I left the Republican party and became an independant after they abandoned these values. This election, I'll vote for Obama partly because it looks like the Repub's know it's a Democratic year and don't want to waste a legitimate candidate, thus McCain and Palin--as if there could be a worse VP candidate than Palin. She even has Kansas cringing.

10/08/2008 4:42 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

sc123, how old are you....like, 13?? OMG!!!!

10/08/2008 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over the next thirty days, this article should be sent daily by all of us to CBS, NBC and, ABC. at least give them a chance to report correctly!

10/08/2008 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article! I am so overwhelmed with the liberal media. Just try to post a conservative comment on one of the mainstream media outlet sites. It is so obvious that even postings from the public are scanned and only the liberal loving comments are posted. It is such a shame. It appears that only uninformed idiots are aloud to speak.
I for one seriously fear where our country is headed!

10/08/2008 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On what basis do you make the claim that the Constitution only spells out the "minimum responsibilities" of the Vice President. That's insane. In that context anyone mentioned in the consitution (and, aren't we all mentioned in some form or another) might have more powers than it says. Just because it doesn't specifically say that the Vice President can't lock every Senator in the capitol basement for 4 years doesn't mean he/she can. The Constitution very clearly lays out the role of each government member. Anything inferred beyond that is just speculation, not fact.

10/08/2008 5:44 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 10/08/2008 4:42 PM:

You wrote: "I also think you're being a little smug in pointing out an error which could be amended by changing a singel word."

Well, there are at least four errors in just that one answer. It is true that if he had used the term "Article II" instead of "Article I" or word "legislative" instead of "executive," that error would have been fixed, but as I said that was the least serious error. There were all the other errors in the other sections and I listed out just eight of those (I could have listed out 2.5 times that number).

10/08/2008 5:45 PM  
Anonymous 20-something Graduate Student said...

Three thoughts:

Obama is calling McCain desperate because he has to "resort" to finger-pointing. But most of the media is "in bed" with Obama, so who else is there to call out the BS that Obama's campaign is spoon-feeding Americans?

Sometimes I think the media goes out of its way to bias themselves just to exercise their freedom of speech, to push it as far as possible.

Being an INFORMED voter and participating in elections is a RESPONSIBILITY and PRIVILEGE. And it sickens me to think about all the Obama supporters that believe everything he says as a result of his charisma. Even worse... the Facebook groups I've seen to "Vote for Obama to Make History." If the only reason you are voting for Obama is because he is black, I'd rather you not vote at all. Obama has paved the way for minorities in the presidential race, but I promise there are better-qualified black men out there. Let's wait to make history until the guy is actually right for the job.

Thank you John Lott for having the courage to stand out and be real.

10/08/2008 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

john lott for president...somebody i can actually trust...tp

10/08/2008 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read this article and had one major problem. In the constitution it IS Article 1 section 3 that describes what the vice president does in term of senate (president in name with no votes unless there is a tie). This is what Biden was alluding to when he spoke about the vice presidency and article 1

10/08/2008 6:12 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 10/08/2008 6:12 PM:

If you read the piece, you would know that I quoted that clause in its entirety. First, that clause is from the section of the constitution on the legislature, not the Executive branch as Biden claimed. I say that is the most minor of the at least four mistakes. Also, the VP is not President of the Senate only when there is a tied vote, as Biden claims. And so on . . . Please actually read the piece. Thank you.

10/08/2008 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor losers.

The items you quoted are far from facts. You cannot change the facts as all republicans always do to suit their angry campaigns.

We want a change and some class in the presidency.

Obama - Biden are the Change the US needs.

10/08/2008 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Bobzilla said...

Point taken. If you really dissect what Biden is saying, I think he's just setting himself up to not have to be as responsible as Article II dictates. Strangely, Democrats are all about removing responsibility from the individual. I think I just had an epiphany.

10/08/2008 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Investigating this exchange, I read Federalist #68 to see if it would cast light on this controversy. From what I read, the Framers expressly DID NOT want the VP to be a part of the legislative branch.
In fact, one suggestion was to have the Senators themselves choose the VP. However, the Framers did not want him--or her--to be at the mercy of those who gave him the job.Especially in case of a tie, they did not want his vote influenced.
They then decided that as he might take over the presidency, he should be selected as the president was selected.
The essay was clear that the VP was separate from the legislative branch, and the VP's independence was necessary to ensure the integrity of any tiebreaking vote he might have to cast.

10/08/2008 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1965 Biden plagiarized while writing a paper as a student at the Syracuse University Law School in a legal methods course which he failed because of that copied paper.Senator Biden’s plagiarism of a speech by British Labor Party leader Neal Kinnock took place at a campaign stump at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.And the fact that Biden had given other speeches using the Kinnock passages without acknowledgment suggested that the lifting was more than just an inadvertent oversight.

10/08/2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presidency 8 years:2001-2009
Congress 1995-2007
7 of the 9 supreme court justices nominated by Republican presidents. All this and the world is against you?
Republicans just can't stand that they were given the opportunity to mold this country in their own image and with their own ideology . . . and failed spectacularly, miserably and tragically for America and the world. And who's to blame for this resounding failure? Why, the MSM of course!!

10/08/2008 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VPs do not have the right "if they choose to" to do anything they might want to do in the Executive or Legislative branches.
The argument you make here, that VPs have the right to interpret rules of the Senate, is I believe archaic, but even if true, an option to serve in that capacity is a Senate rule, granted by the majority, which approves senate rules; it is not in the Constitution. If there were recent senate rules enabling such a thing for Vice President Cheney, then they would have been voted in by the Republican senate majority. These rules may not still apply, and in any case, they are conditional. You can see some of the history of such things here:

http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Vice_President.htm

Vice Presidents are given powers, but only by the President, or by the Senate, and only if the President or the Senate respectively choose to grant such powers. Otherwise, Vice-Presidents have no Constitutional role at all as independent agents, except the right to break a tie vote, and to "preside" over the Senate, in the form that the Senate chooses to define that right. That Vice President Cheney is asserting that he is neither formally of the Executive or Legislative branches, and therefore is an independent power, not restrained by laws applying to either, only is valid if he has an independent source of power in the Constitution. He does not. Any powers he has are derivative of their granting authority, and in the case of all of Cheney's powers, that authority is as an agent of the executive branch.

10/08/2008 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Dani said...

There is so much that all the liberal media is ignoring and even covering up about Biden, and Obama, for that matter. If people even asked simple questions such as, how did Obama get that mansion of his? They would discover his affiliations and who he is in debt to quite quickly. It's a good thing the average American just watches the news and eats it up as the full truth.

10/08/2008 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Biden, a known plagiarist, can't even tell his head from his tush. Bad Ideas Biden got ideas, alright, but they are WRONG FOR THE COUNTRY-dividing Iraq into 3-did he even talk to the Iraqis about this? And the liberal, biased Press IGNORED his ignorance on the duties of the VP. Those media people must be on LSD when it comes to Obama and Biden's ignorance/gaffes. Sorry, America, the media has become too political to watch out for the American people.

10/08/2008 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your a clown John. Go write something useful.

10/08/2008 8:06 PM  
Blogger Tallybowl said...

Just read Article I and Article II of the US Constitution. Indeed as several posters mentioned Article I defines the powers of the Vice President (article I, section 3) ... thus Biden was correct. Amazing that you can criticize the "mainstream" media and praise Fox when they let ignorant articles like this be posted.

There was an article in the Washington Times critizing Biden but that article wrongly described what Biden was saying and then corrected that wrong assumption.

10/08/2008 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article 1, Section 3 of The US Constitution in which Biden was referring to regarding the role of the Vice President.

"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec3.html

The handy FAQ included within the site: http://www.usconstitution.net/constfaq_a5.html#Q86

Q86. "How much power does the VP have in the Senate? I understand he is the President of the Senate and can cast a vote only in the event of a tie."

A. The Vice President is the President of the Senate, and as such, has the power to preside over any session of the Senate. I'm not exactly sure how powerful that makes him, though the Rules of the Senate do grant the President a lot of procedural power. He does only have one opportunity to vote (to break a tie); and he is the presiding officer in any impeachment except that of the President.

I'm not being liberal or conservative here just stating the hard facts. Biden was referring to the VP exercising too much power in the Senate which can be considered wrong due to the many checks in balances in place of our great democracy.

10/08/2008 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biden's point is that the Office of Vice President is seated in the Executive Branch. Cheney used his excuse as a means to conceal information that I as a taxpayer want to know. Palin isn't even hot, you just don't get out enough.

10/08/2008 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The writer needs to check his facts also.

He mentions the Biden talked about FDR speaking on the TV about the great depression and then stating that the tv wasnt invented even when Hoover was president. Well that doesnt make sense. The TV was invented in the early 20's. The great depression was also in the late 20's and through the 30's. FDR was president from 1933 - 1937. The first TV broadcast was in the mid 30's while FDR was still president and this means it could very well be possible that he did talk about this subject on the TV. It was commercially availible to everyone until later int he 30's but it was availible and was invented at the time of Hoover and FDR.

Im not for solid for either party at this time, but reading this article talking about other medias fact checking, do some of your own first.

10/08/2008 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I encourage folks to fact check candidates statements, I am surprised how sloppy some of this fact checking can be. As one example, the FoxNews op-ed has an item on "Do “Iraqis have an $80 billion surplus”? No. If oil prices had remained high, it might have reached $50 billion by the end of this year." And a link to another FoxNews article is posted for citation. Great, but that article says "Iraq's Budget Surplus Could Top $79 Billion" The $50 billion mentioned in the Op-Ed is the surplus expected for just this year. Iraq already had $29 Billion in surplus from 2005-2007. Fact checking? Good. References? Even better. Mis-stating the facts in a fact-check piece? Disappointing. Yes $80 billion is not $79 billion, but it's a lot closer to 79 than 50. I expect better from fair and balanced academics such as John Lott. Perhaps I shouldn't, regardless of which party they choose to support

10/08/2008 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so frustrated by the slanted media coverage of this election and the candidates. Of course, we have been frogs in lukewarm water who are now boiling. This has been a progression by the media and press and we have sat by and let it happen. Is there any way to reverse this speeding train? I want to know what can be done before I explode with anger!!!!

10/08/2008 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just shows that Fox News is the only 'fair and balanced' station

10/08/2008 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Marissa for McCain/Palin said...

Thank you, Mr. Lott, for writing this article. I will be forwarding it to many of my friends (as a friendly FYI, not to shove something down their throats). Everyone has their own opinion, and it shouldn't be forced on anyone else. It's funny though how everyone wants to shove their opinions "anonymously". But the FACTS are always good to have when you're picking someone to run your country.

10/08/2008 11:40 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous at 10/08/2008 8:49 PM:

1) This must be the 10th time people have pointed to this quote from the Constitution and this must be the 10th time that I will note that if you read the article, you will see that the piece already quotes this exact same section of the Constitution.

2) "though the Rules of the Senate do grant the President a lot of procedural power" -- Thank you. That is exactly right and that is the precisely the point that I was making in the piece -- the VP has more power legislatively than simply breaking tie votes and he is not just President of the Senate when those tie votes occur (both incorrect points made by Biden).

Dear Anonymous at 10/08/2008 9:35 PM:

The Vice President has positions in both the Executive and Legislative Branches, and he cited the wrong part of the Constitution as evidence that he is in the Executive Branch.

Dear Anonymous at 10/08/2008 10:11 PM:

Thank you on this. If you had looked at the version on my website, this point was already corrected, but the piece on the Fox News site should be corrected soon. Thank you.

10/08/2008 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In any debate , there is a general assumption that both sides will present their cases based on factual evidence...it would be impossible for Palin or anyone else to win a debate when the other party ( Biden) lies continually. Biden therefore, loss the debate based on a violation of the general rules of debate. Sorry, thats how it works.

10/08/2008 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I listened to the enite debate IN CONTEXT, John. As a lawyer, I can surely recognize the sophmoric tactic of trying to use narrow interpretation of words instead of taking the overall meaning. You are an idiot, I will never visit your site again. BYE"

DITTO

10/09/2008 12:09 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

I don't think it's that FactCheck.org, and their "clearly liberal cronies" are ignoring Sen. Biden, or giving him a free pass. I think it is actually that Gov. Palin, with all due respect, is just wrong more often. It is undoubtedly true that Sen. Biden says some pretty "whacky" things or phrases things a bit oddly, but rarely are his statements ignorant, empty, or completely untrue (unless excerpts are taken out of context). I believe that Gov. Palin probably believes in what she is saying, but being unable to name a single magazine or newspaper in this country, being unaware of the philosophy behind the Bush doctrine, and seemingly not knowing any supreme court cases are certainly more important than forgetting the name of a restaurant in Delaware. The point is, if you legitimately think that PBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN are all biased news sources and Fox News is the one true beacon of journalistic excellence, I think that it is more likely that your perception is skewed to the right.

10/09/2008 12:45 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I'm surprised that the author of this piece, someone with a PhD, can be so ignorant...Maybe it will happen to me when I finish my JD, but I doubt it.

Let me know how that whole ignorance thing works out for you in the end.

10/09/2008 12:59 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Ditto at 10/09/2008 12:09 AM:

Could you please be concrete? I printed out Biden's entire answer to the question. Even though his answer was long, I have not cut out a single word so I don't understand what you mean by "IN CONTEXT."

Dear Paul at 10/09/2008 12:45 AM:

The mistakes that I listed for Biden are about twice as many as the mistakes that FactCheck.org listed for Palin. As I also note in the piece, their points on her are also distorted and I dealt with their first two points.

This notion that she couldn't name a single magazine or newspaper is silly and you know it. I would have given the same answer that she did. I read a lot. I don't rely on just a half dozen sources or so. Do you really doubt that she couldn't have simply made up a source if she was so inclined? Do you think that she knows the name of the WSJ or the NY Times? This question isn't serious nor is the distorted attention given to her answer.

Dear Daniel at 10/09/2008 12:59 AM:

What did you achieve with this post? Unfortunately, there were too many posted here like that and even more vicious ones emailed to me. Did you make a useful argument that changed anyone's mind?

10/09/2008 1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need Obama. Can't you see that he is the only one can save us? Can't you see that he is such a wonderful person? You have misquoted Biden because that is the only way that you could challenge him. You have lied about what is in the Constitution. Fox News, if it weren't a rightwing Republican propoganda rag, would fire you. you think that lies will save you, but they won't. Obama will bring fairness to the bigots on the radio airwaves and make sure that their is finally objective truth put out. WIth the new campaign finance rules we get through, the Republicans will not win again in decades.

10/09/2008 1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First...this Op-Ed peice is completely FALSE.

Biden got it right, and PALIN GOT IT DEAD WRONG !...there is ZERO flexibility as to what the Vice president does and what powers they weild over the Senate...and the VP is ABSOLUTELY part of the EXECUTIVE BRANCH !


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vice_President_of_the_United_States

The Vice President of the United States[1] is the first person in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president. Every presidential term ends on January 20 of the year immediately after a presidential election. As designated by the Constitution of the United States, the vice president also serves as the President of the Senate, and may break tie votes in that chamber.[2] He or she may be assigned additional duties by the president but, as the Constitution assigns no executive powers to the vice president, in performing such duties he or she acts only as an agent of the president.

10/09/2008 1:35 AM  
Anonymous American news is sad said...

This is definitely the kind of shit news I have come to expect from FOX. Although you just show a severely biased report of Biden's mistakes, what you really do is prove how stupid both candidates are. At least when Biden messes up it isn't because he lost his cue cards. He might be a moron but I wouldn't be surprised if Palin couldn't tie her own shoes!
p.s. Maverick! (cheesy wink with a thumbs up)

10/09/2008 1:42 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

"This notion that she couldn't name a single magazine or newspaper is silly and you know it. I would have given the same answer that she did. I read a lot. I don't rely on just a half dozen sources or so. Do you really doubt that she couldn't have simply made up a source if she was so inclined? Do you think that she knows the name of the WSJ or the NY Times? This question isn't serious nor is the distorted attention given to her answer."

I don't think it's silly at all. First of all, Gov. Palin is very confident and poised when confronted with topics that she is familiar with, like energy. Katie Couric asked Gov. Palin (more than once) to just name one newspaper or magazine source, and she turned it into an embarrassing mix up of words, as she typically does when she is pressed on an issue that she knows very little about. I also think that point was accentuated when shortly after the interview she made a speech and included a very awkward reference to "reading the New York Times".

As for your alleged Sen. Biden fact check, I think that your examples are pulled out of context and in most cases not even the full sentences. I don't really think it's likely that any of those quotes accurately represent the point that he was attempting to convey. What FactCheck.org does is cite the specific speech, provide the entire quote, and then refute it using factual information. If you had done that, then I think that would have added some legitimacy to your examples.

10/09/2008 1:56 AM  

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