ABC, NBC Aid Biden’s Rationalization of Inaccurate Medal Pinning Story

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Former Vice President Joe Biden found himself at the center of yet another controversy on Thursday, after it was discovered he had stitched together several stories to construct an emotional tale of pinning a medal on a serviceman in Afghanistan. If President Trump got as many details wrong about a story, the liberal media would declare that he was intentionally trying to “gaslight” the country. Instead, ABC and NBC helped him rationalize it, albeit in different ways.

According to Biden’s version of the serviceman’s deeds and the medal ceremony (click “expand”):

One of his buddies got shot, fell down a ravine about 60 feet. [Transition] This guy climbed down a ravine, carried his guy up on his back under fire and the general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him.

(…)

It's the god's truth, my word as a Biden. He stood at attention, I went to pin him, he said, "Sir, I don't want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir, please, sir. Do not do that. He died. He died."

But The Washington Post did some investigative work on a Democrat for a change and uncovered that, “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.

For ABC’s World News Tonight, senior national correspondent Terry Moran noted that Biden “did pin a medal on a different man in a different part of Afghanistan for a different act of valor, Army Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Workman, who tried to rescue a fellow soldier from a bushing vehicle.”

Workman telling The Post, he did say to Biden then, ‘I don't want it, he died.’ And Workman adds, Biden looked him in the eye and said softly, ‘I know you don't,’” Moran added, seemingly to Biden’s credit.

 

 

The kicker? Moran got the name of the soldier wrong. According to The Post and NBC Nightly News, the soldier’s name was Chad Workman, not Jeremiah.

Moran concluded with a sympathetic reading of Biden’s defends of his story:

He's in South Carolina campaigning, he told reporters there that, quote, “the central point of the story is, quote, absolutely accurate,” that a young soldier did try to refuse a medal Biden was pinning on him. Biden trying to make the argument there that's what counts, the heroism and heartbreak, not so much the details.

NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander tried to water down Biden’s conflated story by apparently comparing it to inaccuracies stated by President Trump. “The President has made numerous exaggerations and false statements including this claim just this week,” he declared, citing Trump’s recent suggesting the First Lady had met North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

“The White House later clarifying that the First Lady has never met Kim,” he added.

Alexander concluded by noting that Workman, “told The Post, eight years later, he still remembers meeting with Biden and felt like the former Vice President really understood.”

Again, if this was Trump they were talking about, they would have been a lot more vindictive with how they covered it. Biden’s crafted tale wasn’t even a priority for the CBS Evening News. Instead of covering Biden they bemoaned cities and states wanting to ban red-light and speed trap cameras.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
August 29, 2019
6:41:31 p.m. Eastern

TOM LLAMAS: Now to the race for 2020. Front-runner Democrat Joe Biden under scrutiny tonight for a story he often tells on the campaign trail about pinning a medal on a serviceman in Afghanistan. But there are questions tonight about how much of that story Biden got right. Here's ABC's senior national correspondent Terry Moran.

[Cuts to video]

TERRY MORAN: For years, Joe Biden has been recounting a story of American heroism and heartbreak on the front lines, recently telling a crowd in New Hampshire how he traveled to Afghanistan to pin a Silver Star on a young Navy captain.

JOE BIDEN: One of his buddies got shot, fell down a ravine about 60 feet. [Transition] This guy climbed down a ravine, carried his guy up on his back under fire and the general wanted me to pin the Silver Star on him.

MORAN: And then, a moving moment as Biden approached with the medal.

BIDEN: It's the god's truth, my word as a Biden. He stood at attention, I went to pin him, he said, "Sir, I don't want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir, please, sir. Do not do that. He died. He died."

MORAN: But The Washington Post dug into the story, and determined 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."

Biden seems to have conflated several events. Kyle White, the serviceman he describes, an Army specialist, not a Navy captain, was actually presented with the medal of honor by President Obama in Washington, D.C.

But the Vice President did pin a medal on a different man in a different part of Afghanistan for a different act of valor, Army Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Workman, who tried to rescue a fellow soldier from a bushing vehicle. Workman telling The Post, he did say to Biden then, "I don't want it, he died." And workman adds, Biden looked him in the eye and said softly, "I know you don't."

[Cuts back to live]

LLAMAS: Terry Moran joins us now from Washington. And Terry, Joe Biden is responding to this story tonight?

MORAN: That's right, Tom. He's in South Carolina campaigning, he told reporters there that, quote, “the central point of the story is, quote, absolutely accurate,” that a young soldier did try to refuse a medal Biden was pinning on him. Biden trying to make the argument there that's what counts, the heroism and heartbreak, not so much the details. Tom?

LLAMAS: Terry Moran for us tonight. Terry, thank you.

 

NBC Nightly News
August 29, 2019
7:09:47 p.m. Eastern

KRISTEN WELKER: Next, to the 2020 race. Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden again on defense tonight after a report he’s been repeatedly and inaccurately telling a war story on the campaign trail. We get more now from NBC's Peter Alexander.

[Cuts to video]

PETER ALEXANDER: It's a moving war story that Joe Biden has told before.

JOE BIDEN: This guy climbed down a ravine, carried this guy up on his back under fire --

ALEXANDER: That he was in Afghanistan as Vice President when he was asked to pin a Silver Star on a Navy captain.

BIDEN: He said, “Sir, I do not want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir, please, sir. Do not do that. He died. He died.”

ALEXANDER: But according to The Washington Post, almost every detail of that story, he told Friday, appears to be incorrect, that he was conflating elements from multiple actual events. Including when he pinned a Bronze Star on this Army staff sergeant, Chad Workman.

Ultimately, The Post reports 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.”

BIDEN: It's the god's truth, my word as a Biden.

ALEXANDER: Asked tonight if he conflated multiple stories, Biden told a South Carolina newspaper, “no, I don't think so. The central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said. He refused the medal.” It comes as President Trump has repeatedly accused the Democratic front runner of being off his game.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Joe Biden has truly lost his fast ball.

ALEXANDER: The President has made numerous exaggerations and false statements including this claim just this week.

TRUMP: Kim Jong-un, who I've gotten to know extremely well, the First Lady has gotten to know Kim Jong-un.

ALEXANDER: The White House later clarifying that the First Lady has never met Kim.

[Cuts back to live]

As for Staff Sargent Workman, he told The Post 8 years later he still remembers meeting with Biden and felt like the former Vice President really understood. Kristen.

WELKER: Peter Alexander, thank you.

NB Daily Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Terry Moran Peter Alexander Joe Biden Donald Trump

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