"Are you joking?"
"I don't know who's writing your questions."
Those were two of the angry responses by Joe Biden to a couple of tough questions posed by Barbara West on Orlando's WFTV (must-see video embedded right).
You can get an idea of just how upset Biden was by reading the title of of this account of the heated interview: "Obama campaign cuts off WFTV after interview with Joe Biden."
Here are the observations of what happened from the Orlando Sentinel blog of Hal Boedeker the TV Guy:
WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. A friend says it's some of the best entertainment he's seen recently. What do you think?
West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.
"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.
West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.
"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.
Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.
"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."
Here's a link to the interview: http://www.wftv.com/video/17790025/index.html.
WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes."
Jordan said political campaigns in general pick and choose the stations they like. And stations often pose softball questions during the satellite interviews.
"Mr. Biden didn't like the questions," Jordan said. "We choose not to ask softball questions."
Jordan added, "I'm crying foul on this one."
Hal Boedeker also cited how upset the Obama campaign was with an interviewer who finally asked tough questions of a Democrat candidate in another blog posting:
Why did Barack Obama's campaign cancel an interview Jill Biden, wife of Sen. Joe Biden, was going to do with WFTV-Channel 9?
The campaign cited "an unprofessional interview" that WFTV's Barbara West conducted with Joe Biden on Thursday. WFTV news director Bob Jordan has defended the interview as hard-hitting and unlike many satellite interviews where softball questions are posed.
In a statement Friday afternoon, Adrianne Marsh, Florida spokeswoman for Obama's campaign, said the station, in talking with Sen. Biden, was "both combative and woefully uninformed about simple facts."
Marsh said West's insistence that Obama was an organizer for ACORN was "100 percent false." "In a line of questioning that would make Rush Limbaugh proud, West even went as far as to quote Karl Marx, a Communist icon, in a disturbing attempt to associate Barack Obama with socialism," Marsh wrote.
"There's nothing wrong with tough questions, but reporters have the very important job of sharing the truth with the public -- not misleading the American people with false information," Marsh added. "Senator Biden handled the interview well; however, the anchor was completely unprofessional. Senator Biden's wife is not running for elected office, and there are many other stations in the Orlando television market that would gladly conduct a respectful and factual interview with her."
So now the Obama campaign is upset over tough questions that are routinely asked of Republican candidates. To get an idea of just how upset Joe Biden was over not being asked the usual softball questions gently tossed to him by the mainstream media, check out the video of the heated interview.