An embarrassing performance Sunday for CBS’s Bob Schieffer in the debut of the new hour-long format for Face the Nation. At least he should be embarrassed by the contrast in how he played sycophant to Vice President Joe Biden, treating him as an oracle of wisdom, while not being nearly so coddling with Newt Gingrich who he corrected and challenged. Schieffer cued up Biden to pontificate:
What’s your take on that?
What did you mean by that?
What do you make of all of that?
What’s your take on that?
To Gingrich, however, he argued with the former Speaker’s points.
Schieffer reminded Biden of how “you really called him [Romney] out the other day for saying the President was out of touch.” The CBS host prompted the Vice President to elaborate: “What did you mean by that?”
In a particularly uninspired “question,” Schieffer inquired: “Are you enjoying this Republican primary? I know you said one day, ‘God love them, I hope they have another twenty debates.’”
Bringing up President Obama’s admission to Russian President Medevdev that he’ll have “more flexibility after the election,” Schieffer noted Romney “said it was alarming.” Schieffer’s question: “What do you make of all of that?”
The Biden session, pre-recorded Friday in Milwaukee, culminated in Schieffer forwarding the liberal framing of the Obama administration’s plan to block the right of religious institutions to not pay for contraception, claiming “the way it’s kind of shaken down, it seems to have sort of gotten Republicans off talking about the economy, and sort of campaigning for against birth control in some funny kind of way. What’s your take on that?”
As if biased media coverage, as exemplified by Schieffer, has nothing to do with that perception.
Up next with Gingrich, Schieffer presented the liberal spin as fact: “Do you think it’s good politics though for Republicans to be sort of campaigning against birth control?” Gingrich retorted: “This is a canard. Nobody is campaigning against birth control.”
Earlier, Schieffer countered a Gingrich point by forcing him to respond to Biden: “He said, though, that Republicans are emasculating all efforts to deal with renewable energy, and that in fact, you have no policy.”
Schieffer soon grew argumentative and defended Obama against criticism on gas prices: “But isn’t it very difficult for this President or any President to bring down gas prices because the big factor here is the fact that the Chinese now need so much oil. You have turmoil in the Middle East. You have this situation going on with Iran. Some of these things the President can’t control.”
On Barack Obama’s slip about post-election flexibility, Schieffer challenged Gingrich:
Nobody ever gets much done in an election year, in Washington. I mean, that’s pretty much a true fact. Wasn’t that really just stating the obvious?