Why the Media Doesn’t Fact-Check Joe Biden Like It Does Paul Ryan

The media isn't calling out Vice President Joe Biden for his lies the way they are Paul Ryan.

By + More

A friend brought to my attention an interesting bit of news about Vice President Joe Biden, recently campaigning in Republican Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.

As reported by both NBC News and the New York Times, Biden invoked his love for football's Green Bay Packers and that, "As a student in Catholic school, he said, the day began with a prayer invoking 'the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost and Vince Lombardi.'"

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

Now Biden was born in 1942. Lombardi didn't become head coach of the Packers until Feb. 2, 1959, when Biden was 16 years old. It seems highly unlikely that his school day would begin with a prayer for a coach who only started when he was 16—if he the vice president is like most people—and a sophomore in high school.

A lie? Maybe? An embellishment, almost certainly. But no one called him on it, even though the vice president is running around the country daring people to "fact check" his remarks. Remember now, this is the same guy who had to drop out of the race for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when it was revealed that he had plagiarized from a speech given by then British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

It's already been established that Biden is gaffe prone, like the time he gave a speech in which he referred to "J-O-B-S" as a three-letter word. So the standard for accuracy may be lower than it is for other elected officials, since people just don't expect as much from him. But when you consider the way in which the speeches of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan have been picked to pieces, you have to wonder what is going on?

Most all the Ryan statements have ultimately been found to be true, especially the comments he made in his acceptance speech concerning the automobile plant in in his hometown of Janesville, Wis. Can the same be said for Biden? Well, no one can be sure because no one has really looked, at least not with the same level of scrutiny. It may just be another example of media bias, that Biden is getting a freer ride than Ryan because too many of the reporters and fact checkers covering the presidential race want the Obama/Biden ticket to win.

  • Read Susan Milligan: Explaining Romney's Brain Freeze on the Troops and Afghanistan
  • Take the U.S. News Poll: Will Barack Obama's Convention Bounce Last?
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.