CNN Uses Liberal Expert to Tout Biden's Foreign Policy Experience

Mary Snow, CNN American Morning | NewsBusters.orgThursday's "American Morning" featured a segment focused on Senator and Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Joe Biden's foreign policy experience. During the report, CNN correspondent Mary Snow used Michael O'Hanlon of the liberal Brookings Institution to make the claim that Biden's foreign policy experience is "praised" by the experts. While O'Hanlon has helped write foreign-policy speeches for former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and was thought of as a potential member of Kerry's administration by the National Journal, Snow never mentioned his political leanings:

SNOW: Biden's experience, which includes being the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has won him praise among foreign policy experts.
MICHAEL O'HANLON, Brookings Institution: He's creative. He's willing to put out new ideas and, I guess you could say, he's willing to be wrong at times.
On Monday, as documented by MRC Research Director Rich Noyes, CNN's Michael Ware declared that Biden's bifurcation plan for Iraq was "madness" and noted: "No one is for partition unless of course you're an Iranian-backed political party because they'd love to have a self-governing zone in the south that effectively would become an extension of Iran."

Thursday's report by Snow, however, actually featured praise for the plan while only mentioning that Iraqi politicians are "critical of it":
SNOW: In 2006, Biden proposed a plan to divide Iraq into three separate regions, similar to what was done in Bosnia. But the Iraq plan failed to gain ground and Iraqi politicians are still critical of it. But-

O'HANLON: At that time, it was a very reasonable alternative to develop. And I think he used his position in the Congress very effectively to inject a new idea.
A transcript of Thursday's segment follows:

8:10 a.m.
SENATOR JOE BIDEN: Send the kids to college, how are we going to retire, Joe? You know, folks, that's the America that George Bush has left us, and that's the America that we'll continue to get if George -- excuse me, if John McCain is elected president of the United States of America. Freudian slip. Freudian slip.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: The Democrats' vice presidential nominee Senator Joe Biden last night, focusing on what he says are the anxieties of the working class, the economy. But his real forte, foreign policy. And parts of his record could prove awkward for Barack Obama. CNN's Mary Snow joins me now with details on that. Hey, Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Kiran. You know, no doubt that his vast foreign policy experience is certainly an asset on the Obama ticket. But when it comes to Iraq, Senators Obama and Biden weren't in lock step on everything.

SNOW (voice-over): When it comes to foreign policy experience, Senator Barack Obama has stressed judgment, citing his opposition to the Iraq war. He strongly criticized Senator Clinton during the primaries for her 2002 vote to authorize the war. Senator Joe Biden cast the same vote as Clinton, and that, says CNN political analyst, David Gergen, has brought critics.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: In the left, the base of the Democratic Party, is not happy about Joe Biden voting to authorize the war. And at the same time, the conservatives are going to come at him for voting against the surge.

SNOW: Biden was outspoken against the administration's Iraq policy and staunchly opposed the surge.

BIDEN: Did anybody count on the utter incompetence of this administration when they were giving the authority they were given.

SNOW: Biden's experience, which includes being the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has won him praise among foreign policy experts.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: He's creative. He's willing to put out new ideas and, I guess you could say, he's willing to be wrong at times.

SNOW: In 2006, Biden proposed a plan to divide Iraq into three separate regions, similar to what was done in Bosnia. But the Iraq plan failed to gain ground and Iraqi politicians are still critical of it. But-

O'HANLON: At that time, it was a very reasonable alternative to develop. And I think he used his position in the Congress very effectively to inject a new idea.

SNOW: And one foreign policy area where Biden and Obama are in sync is the need to build alliances around the world. Kiran, we heard Joe Biden talk about that last night. We also heard him frame his debate about judgment, saying whose judgment would you trust, Barack Obama or John McCain.

CHETRY: Mary Snow, thanks.