And then the sharp-focused comedian raised the question that journalists should be asking themselves: "Is there no penalty anymore for just being wrong?"
Supposedly objective news reporters let politicians get away with being wrong, either intentionally or unintentionally, all the time. It does not serve the public interest, and it undermines one of the pillars of democracy: a free press.
Matt Taibbi, writing for The Rolling Stone, sounded the same theme -- focusing on the Vice Presidential debate. He says that Joe Biden was right to scoff at Paul Ryan's answers, and he praised moderator Martha Radditz for trying to hold Ryan to a yes or no answer to her question about the specifics of how Romney/Ryan would pay for the 20% across the board tax cut that they claim.
Biden threw his hands up in the air and scoffed "unbelievable." But Radditz did her job -- though it's not clear that any of the commentators noticed. They were more interested in talking about the "style" of the candidates.
Radditz: You have refused yet again to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics, or are you still working on it, and that's why you won't tell voters?After repeatedly bringing Ryan back to the question and only getting the talking point blather about bipartisanship, Radditz translates his answer for the viewers, "No specifics, yeah."
Ryan: said they were committed to the 20% cut but they would wait and work out with Congress what loopholes would be closed, because we want to have big bipartisan agreements.
Radditz: Do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you know exactly what you're doing?
Ryan: talked about how Reagen and Tipp O'Neill worked out the tax cuts in the 1980s. What we're saying is here's a framework. We want to work with Congress on how to achieve this. That means successful -- look
Radditz: No specifics, yeah . . .
Bipartisanship ??? From one of the top leaders of the Republican party in Congress, whose Senate leader began the Obama administration by saying the Republicans' chief goal was to ensure that Obama was a one-term president; and who, in Taibbi's words, "would stall a bill to name a post office after Shirley Temple" rather than vote in a bipartisan way with Democrats.
All praises to Martha Radditz for being a rare voice who will try to hold the Romney/Ryan "parlor trick" disguised as a tax plan (again Taibbi's words) to accountability. And then calling it for what it is, when she can't get them to answer.