Joe Biden might have set a personal record last week for the most gaffetastic gaffe of his storied, fact-mangling career. According to the Washington Post, in describing the awarding of a medal to a military member:
"In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony."
Nice work, Joe!
So, will the Democrat primary electorate hold against Biden his history of mangling the truth? A CNN panel this morning fretted that could indeed be the case because . . . when it comes to the truth, Democrats hold themselves to a higher standard than Republicans!
First up was Rachael Bade, both a Washington Post reporter and a CNN analyst. She claimed that whereas President Trump's alleged tangles with the facts have not hurt him with his base, Democrats...are different. She also dragged in the hackneyed "12,000 false/misleading statements" count from Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.
BADE: I think this is one of the most fascinating political case studies of 2020. It's this question of whether Trump has changed the standard as to what politicians say and whether it's 100 percent accurate. Remember, we at The Washington Post have a running tally of 12,000 false or misleading statements the president has made since he was sworn into office, and that has not touched him with his own base. But Democrats are different. Democrats, you know, pride themselves on fact-checking and making sure that things are right.
Co-host John Berman wondered with some bemusement "Is the Joe Biden adventure or experience all priced in already?" Substitute co-host Julia Chatterley worried whether "the Democrats are going to be held to a higher standard here?"
Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary to President Bill Clinton, replied "I think Rachael makes the right point, which is that Democrats are holding themselves to a higher standard." Then he unloaded his own fable about the media's false equivalency: "In 2016, no matter what Trump said or did, the answer was 'Well what about Hillary's emails?'"
Of all people, Lockhart should know better than to claim that Democrats hold themselves to a higher standard of truth. When it was revealed that his old boss, Bill "never had sex with that woman" Clinton had been lying through his teeth about Monica Lewinsky, not one member of his cabinet disavowed him. Lockhart was the press secretary during the whole impeachment saga.
Then of course there was Hillary "clean the server with a cloth" Clinton, whom the Democrats nominated despite her transparent lies about the private e-mail system. And let's not forget Barack "if you like your plan you can keep your plan" Obama!
So please, CNN, spare us the notion that when it comes to the truth, Democrats are some paragons of higher-standard virtue!
Here's the transcript.
6:24 am EDT
RACHAEL BADE: I just think that this is one of the most fascinating political case studies of 2020. It’s this question of whether Trump has changed the standard when it comes to what politicians say and whether or not it’s 100% accurate. I mean, remember, we at the Washington Post, we have a running tally of 12,000 false or misleading statements the President has made since he was sworn into office. And that has not touched him with his own base.
But Democrats are different. And you know, Democrats sort of pride themselves on fact-checking and making sure that things are right, typically. And so, the question is, do Democratic voters in the primary hold this against Biden?
. . .
JULIA CHATTERLEY: To Rachael’s point here, is the bar lowered now? And is it actually the Democrats, are the Democrats going to be held to a higher standard here of at least pulling the correct facts together, even if the story’s a good one.
JOE LOCKHART: I think Rachael makes the right point, which is that Democrats are holding themselves to a higher standard. But there is this sort of equivalency we have in the media. In 2016, no matter what Trump said or did, the answer was "Well what about Hillary's emails?" And there were as many stories about Hillary's emails as Donald Trump's bigotry. And we know now with hindsight that that was a mistake. That was a mistake on all of our parts.