On Wednesday, all three network morning shows interviewed Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden and offered no Republican counterpoint, punishing the McCain campaign for Sarah Palin declining to make similar appearances. On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host Diane Sawyer concluded her interview with Biden by declaring: "And we want you to know that we have asked Governor Palin to come on Good Morning America. And, of course, debate Senator Biden again here. And repeatedly, she has declined. Although, Senator Biden has said that he's willing to debate her again, if she wants."
On NBC’s Today, co-host Ann Curry made a similar declaration: "And we should also note that we invited Governor Sarah Palin to join us this morning, but she declined. The Governor has an open invitation to appear on Today, but so far she has not accepted our offers." On CBS’s Early Show co-host Harry Smith explained: "We also invited Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate, but the McCain campaign declined." Apparently, the mainstream media deems itself as John McCain’s communications director.
Meanwhile, all three shows asked Biden about his reaction to Palin’s criticism of Obama. On Good Morning America, Sawyer asked: "Governor Palin has become the point person for the McCain attacks in her speeches. Do you think – she said she's taking off the gloves, putting on the heels. Is it fair game? Or gone too far?" On Today, Curry wondered: "But let's talk about the new style of the campaign because Sarah Palin is now saying that the gloves are off. She's linked Obama to domestic terrorism. She's, she's been bringing up Reverend Wright's name. She, she was hearing at one of these events, Obama introduces "Barack Hussein Obama." Is there a tone, where is this, all this going? Explain what's happening here Joe...Is this an ugly stop? Can you characterize how you view this stop?" Finally, on the Early Show, Smith asked: "Let me ask you about Sarah Palin on the other side of the -- on the other side of the aisle. She's been going to these rallies, tens of thousands of people showing up. Talking about a friend of your running mate's as a domestic terrorist. Does your campaign have an answer for that?"
All three network morning shows have routinely attacked Palin since she was named as McCain’s running mate in late August.
Here are the relevant excerpts of the three interviews:
GOOD MORNING AMERICA
SAWYER: One question about style and debate last night, and there was one moment that's gotten a lot of attention. Some people say -- asking was It respectful or not? Other people saying, right on. It was Senator McCain. He was talking about Senator Obama.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate, loaded down with goodies. Billions for the oil companies. And it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? Might never know. That one. You know who voted against it? Me.
SAWYER: "That one." What do you think?
BIDEN: John- I think when John knows he's sort of in attack mode, it's always kind of difficult to look the other person in the eye and say, it's you, John. It's you, Barack. It's you, Harry. I think it's- I think it reflects his more - he's ill at ease with the attack he has under way.
SAWYER: Governor Palin has become the point person for the McCain attacks in her speeches. Do you think- she said she's taking off the gloves, putting on the heels. Is it fair game? Or gone too far?
BIDEN: I think it goes way too far. Look, this really is a case where, when you don't have anything to talk about, attack. And it gets really over the edge. I mean, some of the stuff she's saying about Barack Obama and the stuff that people are yelling from the crowd, if she hears it, she should at least be saying, whoa, whoa, whoa, that's overboard. I mean, this is volatile stuff. And it's -- I just -- I thought we were kind of beyond this place that it seems to be going.
CURRY: Okay, well I'm gonna turn and, and ask you about something else. Your campaign made much of the fact that last night, John McCain referred to Obama as, "that one." Was this, in your view, dismissive, Joe?
BIDEN: No, it was, for me, I know John well. I may be wrong, I think it was, when John knows that he's on the attack and, and he's not feeling good about it, John never looks you straight in the eye. John doesn't go and refer to you by your first name. I think it's part of this whole thing, if you noticed, John didn't make a whole lot of eye contact last night because I think John, when he's on the attack mode, and making the other guy a bad guy, it's just not his style. So I think it was unfortunate but I don't think it was, I don't read anything into it other than just like last debate he didn't look at Barack. I mean when John is attacking he doesn't walk up to you and say, "Ann Curry let me tell you something." He says, "You know that Curry person over there." He does it that way. I think that's all it was.
CURRY: So you're saying it's just his style. But let's talk about the new style of the campaign because Sarah Palin is now saying that the gloves are off. She's linked Obama to domestic terrorism. She's, she's been bringing up Reverend Wright's name. She, she was hearing at one of these events, Obama introduces "Barack Hussein Obama." Is there a tone, where is this, all this going? Explain what's happening here Joe.
BIDEN: They're losing. She's been told to go out and pull out all the stops. I think it borders on being-
CURRY: Is this an ugly stop? Can you characterize how you view this stop?
BIDEN: Well I think it is ugly. I mean to have somebody stand up there and, you know, for example I heard people, I watch the news, and I heard that a couple of people hollering from the audience, you know, semi-vile things, you know about terrorists, things like that. And idea that a, that a leading American politician who might be Vice President of the United States would not just stop mid-sentence and turn and condemn that, you know? I just, it's just, this is slippery slope. This is a place we shouldn't be going.
SMITH: Let me ask you about Sarah Palin on the other side of the -- on the other side of the aisle. She's been going to these rallies, tens of thousands of people showing up. Talking about a friend of your running mate's as a domestic terrorist. Does your campaign have an answer for that?
BIDEN: Yeah. It's just malarkey. Flat malarkey. Barack Obama was 8 years old when this guy was engaged in activities he was engaged in. He is no part of our campaign. He would be no part of anything having to do with the White House. The guy Barack Obama's going to turn and ask opinion of is me. Not that guy. You know, the idea here that somehow these guys are once again injecting fear and loathing into this campaign, it's -- it's -- I think it's mildly dangerous. I mean, here you have out there these kinds of, you know, incitements out there, a guy introducing Barack using his middle name as if it's some epitaph or something. This is over the top.