We really have entered an alternate reality.
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, substitute host Norah O'Donnell not only asked Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan about how he could have gotten his marathon time wrong from 22 years ago, she actually equated the error to Al Gore saying he invented the internet (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NORAH O’DONNELL, SUBSTITUTE HOST: Finally, let me ask you about the time that you gave in terms of when you were asked about running a marathon and you said that you had run a two hour and 50-something marathon. It turned out that of course it was actually over four hours. When I first heard that, I thought, “Well, he must have misspoke or perhaps he didn't remember.” But a lot of people, this keeps coming up. I mean, you are a fitness buff. You are a numbers guy. How did you make that mistake?
PAUL RYAN, REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It was an honest mistake. I was 20 years old. I hurt my back when I was about 23 or 24 and I had to quit running. I herniated a disk in my back. So I’ve just lost perspective on what normal times are. I ran an ordinary race and I thought the answer I gave was an ordinary time. Obviously, it wasn't. It was 22 years ago.
You know, I think what's happening here is the president doesn't have a positive story to say, so they're trying to use this kind of rhetoric. My brother's been busting my chops ever since I said that because he is an actual marathon runner and he's been saying, "Are you crazy? That's crazy fast." Look, it was just an honest mistake.
O’DONNELL: Right, but remember, everybody was criticizing Al Gore when he said he invented the internet whether fairly or unfairly.
RYAN: Look, 22 years ago, I stopped running a long time ago because I have these back issues. I just lost perspective of what ordinary times are.
O’DONNELL: All right, Congressman Ryan who has run, to be clear, an over four hour marathon.
Our nation is struggling with stubbornly high unemployment and spiraling budget deficits that threaten our very existence, and O'Donnell spent time quizzing the Republican vice presidential nominee about his marathon time when he was in college.
As if that weren't shocking enough, she then compared his error - about a marathon time from 22 years ago! - to another politician boasting about inventing the internet.
Does O'Donnell really think someone's time in a race is as consequential as an invention that has radically changed our very way of life?
When you see this kind of nonsense, it frightens you to imagine what the Obama-loving media will be saying as November nears.
Heaven help us.