ABC, NBC Morning Shows Decline to Fact Check Biden Whoppers

The ABC and NBC morning shows on Friday showed no interest in fact checking some of Joe Biden's misstatements during Thursday's vice presidential debate. CBS This Morning partially debunked some of Biden's claims, ignoring the Vice President's suggestion that he opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During the debate, Biden asserted, "It came from this man [Paul Ryan] voting to put two wars on a credit card...I was there. I voted against them. I said, ‘No, we can’t afford that.’" Actually, the then-senator voted to authorize force in both Afghanistan and Iraq. However, this point was ignored by ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today and CBS.

On the subject of Libya, only Jan Crawford of CBS This Morning explained, "[Biden] said last night the administration didn't know about additional security requests there in Benghazi. Of course, that was the subject of a House hearing this week where State Department officials said multiple requests for additional security were denied."

Norah O'Donnell wondered, "As Jan pointed out we've had House hearings that says they asked the State Department multiple times for more security. Is that a problem for this administration?"

Today and GMA skipped this point. On Thursday night, only NBC's Andrea Mitchell knocked down these claims. On ABC, Jon Karl declared looking into the assertions to be "difficult to untangle."

The Chicago Tribune explained the Libya claims this way:


PAUL RYAN: "There were requests for more security."

THE FACTS: Ryan is right, judging by testimony from Obama administration officials at the hearing a day earlier.

Charlene R. Lamb, a deputy assistant secretary for diplomatic security, told lawmakers she refused requests for more security in Benghazi, saying the department wanted to train Libyans to protect the consulate. "Yes, sir, I said personally I would not support it," she said.

Eric Nordstrom, who was the top security official in Libya earlier this year, testified he was criticized for seeking more security. He said conversations he had with people in Washington led him to believe that it was "abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. How thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?"

He said his exasperation reached a point where he told a colleague that "for me the Taliban is on the inside of the building."

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org