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Verbal “gaffes” & double standards

Liberals routinely dismiss Biden’s gaffes as the rhetorical excesses of an overly exuberant speaker — it’s ‘Joe being Joe’“, begins a recent piece on the Vice President’s “chains” comment.  The writers continue noting how the Democrat would be excoriated for his words had he spoken them as a Republican

And there can be something appealing about a politician who throws caution and the script that goes with it to the winds. Yet when conservative speakers get overly exuberant and cross a rhetorical line, they are presumed racist or culturally insensitive, rather than refreshingly free-spirited. One standard should apply.

You might think this was something on conservative blog or from a right-of-center editorial page.  No, it’s actually from the Boston Globe, a left-of-center journal.  And these liberal editors had asked us to . . .

imagine if Republican Paul Ryan uttered comments like that. Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president would be pilloried for racial insensitivity — and so would Romney. In the fight for civility and substance over pointless hyperbole, Biden may not be the worst offender. But he’s an offender nonetheless, and he should apologize.

Don’t hold your breath.  That said, it’s nice to see a liberal newspaper wake up and realize that media reaction to gaffes often depends not on the content of the remark but on the partisan affiliation of the one who makes it.



  1. Of course there’s a media double standard. If there weren’t any double standards, the MSM wouldn’t have any standards at all.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 19, 2012 @ 2:13 pm - August 19, 2012

  2. BTW – I’m expecting our resident Fairness Doctrine trolls (hello, Snatch) to quickly distance themselves from this comment:

    The “niggerization” of Obama. How apropos, considering that he only recently embraced his black half and had about as much privilege granted to him in life as did Romney.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is liberalism.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — August 19, 2012 @ 2:18 pm - August 19, 2012

  3. The double standard is so obvious. Sarah Palin´s comments were broadcast so often to show her as being less than competent. Even Tina Faye´s impersonating the Governor, saying I can see Russia from my kitchen window was repeated frequently that the public believed the Governor actually made the comment.

    Comment by Roberto — August 19, 2012 @ 2:41 pm - August 19, 2012

  4. Peter H, you are en fuego! I like the cut of your jib and would like to subscribe to your newsletter! Heh!

    Comment by runningrn — August 19, 2012 @ 3:17 pm - August 19, 2012

  5. I think Biden is great for the Democratic ticket. Please, Mr. President, put VP Biden out on the campaign trail every day, especially when he’s tired.

    Comment by davinci — August 19, 2012 @ 7:22 pm - August 19, 2012

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