Guess Who Sees MSM Double-Standard on Biden's Latest Gaffe?

Guess who said the following this morning about Joe Biden's latest gaffe—his statement that America would be faced with a major international crisis within the first six months of an Obama administration as foreign forces seek to test the young new president: "certainly if Sarah Palin had said this, it would be above the fold in most newspapers today."

1. Brent Bozell
2. Rush Limbaugh
3. McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer
4. Dan Rather

If you guessed 1, 2 or 3, you'd be a rational NewsBusters reader . . . but wrong.  Yes, the answer is 4, Dan Rather.  In true man-bites-MSM mode, Rather made the remark on today's Morning Joe.

View video here.

The show led with a discussion of Biden's vainglorious gaffe.

WILLIE GEIST: Let's listen to Joe Biden in his own words, and then we can discuss it.

Cut to audio clip of Biden in Seattle, Washington yesterday.

JOE BIDEN: The whole world is waiting, folks. The whole world is waiting.  I know almost every one of those major leaders by their first name, not because I'm important, because they were young parliamentarians when I was coming up and we've been hanging around a long time.  I'll tell you what, mark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him just like they did young John Kennedy. They're going to want to test him, and they are going to find out this guy has got steel in his spine.

After Joe Scarborough reported that the Obama campaign is furious with Biden, Mika Brzezinski noted that there was only spotty coverage of Biden's remarks in the morning's papers.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well you know it's interesting, because I'm going through the papers. I figure there's got to be, just as you analyzed, Joe, political ramifications to that comment, gaffe, however you want to make it—two in a row, though—but I'm seeing spotty media coverage.  I feel like half the media covered this.  I'm just going through the papers and seeing if it plays highly, and I'm not finding it in the [Washington] Post so far.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, let us just say it's surprising, and I would just throw it back to you-all and tell you what the McCain campaign is saying this morning, and what a lot of Republicans, they're asking really a question: what if Sarah Palin had said electing John McCain would create an international crisis because of his age. Would that be above the fold on the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post?  Would that be a lead story? We've got somebody who's an expert in the media who I think, Mika, knows a lot better than we do, Dan Rather.  Dan, talk about the double standard.  Are there times that you would cover this story differently if Sarah Palin said it rather than Joe Biden? Not you, but the media.

DAN RATHER: Well I think the point is well taken, Joe, that certainly if Sarah Palin had said this it would be above the fold in most newspapers today.

Rather expanded on his comment, and while he was putting it in the mouths of "what happens on the internet," he clearly seemed to be adopting it as his own opinion.

RATHER: But let me point out that what happens on the internet may be as important or more important than what's happening in the newspapers.  And I'll be surprised, and you know, Joe, I'm frequently surprised, but I'll be surprised if this doesn't have a run on the internet, with among the points two that you raised.  Number one, if Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all over it and so would have the major television outlets. And number two, they can't be happy inside the Obama campaign about this, and let me emphasize I've not spoken with them this morning.
SCARBOROUGH [who clearly had been in touch with the Obama campaign]: They are not.

You live long enough, you see everything.  Let me write words I never imagined I would: I'll let Dan Rather's statement speak for me.

Note: I just heard from the McCain campaign that Biden is off the campaign trail, with no scheduled events today.  Now why would that be?

Aside: If only Dan would have spiced up his commentary with some of his classic down-home shtick, perhaps something along the lines: "gosh knows if I were still at the Evening News desk, I'd of buried this story deeper than a large-mouthed bass on a Ju-ly afternoon."

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.