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“Democratic Strategist” Bob Beckel Joins FOX News Attack On Joseph Biden

Reported by Ellen - July 9, 2006 -

I’ve made it pretty clear in my posts that I’m no fan of “Democratic Strategist” and FOX News contributor Bob Beckel. But he reached a new low Friday night (7/7/06) on Hannity & Colmes when he spoke out more harshly against Democratic Senator Joseph Biden than conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham.

The discussion was the second in as many nights about Biden’s supposedly controversial comment about Indians. Alan Colmes started the discussion by noting that Biden’s remarks were off-hand, then played a clip of Biden saying, “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Colmes said that Biden is in Iraq but his office sent a statement saying “The point Senator Biden was making is that there has been a vibrant Indian American community in Delaware for decades… (R)ecently, middle class families are moving into Delaware and purchasing family-run small businesses. These families have greatly contributed to the vibrancy of the Indian American community in Delaware and are making a significant contribution to the national economy as well.”

That was followed by a clip of Hillary Clinton joking about a man named Mahatmas Gandhi who runs a gas station. Colmes asked, “So do Democrats really have an Indian problem or are conservatives trying to smear prominent leaders who are likely presidential candidates in 2008?” Colmes semi-joked, “Of course, the answer is the latter.”

Next, Colmes posted an excerpt of a newspaper article about Republican Senator Conrad Burns apologizing “for saying that living with blacks in the nation’s capital is ‘a hell of a challenge.’ Burns said he made the remark in response to a rancher who had asked him, ‘Conrad, how can you live back there with all those n*****s?’”

Colmes also posted a clip about Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss saying, “We should just turn the sheriff loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line.”

Ingraham, of course, attacked the left, this time for encouraging a “hyper-politically correct” atmosphere. “You have to worry about whatever you say about any group.” Then, she added, “I don’t think Joe Biden is racist or intolerant but I do think the Democrats have contributed to this atmosphere of hyper-political correctness that allows for these types of attacks.”

Colmes pointed out that it’s Republicans and conservatives attacking Biden and asked where’s the outrage over what Burns said or what Chambliss said.

“Is any of this important?” Ingraham asked. “This is my point. None of this matters. All of these are off-hand comments that Congressmen or Senators are making... It's white noise and nobody cares about it."

Colmes agreed and turned to Beckel. “I would just like the same standard, though, for those conservatives who are critical of Biden and I applaud Laura for actually at least looking at this in an even-handed manner. But there’s been no condemnation of Saxby Chambliss, Conrad Burns… There’s clearly a double standard.”

That was a great opportunity for Beckel to score points for Democrats and against the Republican attack machine. But Beckel didn't just ignore the opening, he ran from it by joining the other side and making his own gratuitous attacks on Biden. Beckel quickly agreed with Ingraham that the focus on Biden was “a lot out of proportion,” then dispatched Burns’ comment by saying he’s “missing a few dogs from under his front porch so I’ll have to dismiss that.” But as “Bite your tongue Biden!” appeared on the screen, Beckel said, “One thing about Joe is, he’s never had an unspoken thought in his life. And I can not believe that his staff would put out that statement.” Beckel cracked up in ridicule.

Hannity said he understood that Biden’s remark was off-hand but nevertheless complained about the “double standard” shown Trent Lott. “It would be a knock-down, drag out, get him out of the leadership.”

“You’re exactly right,” Ingraham agreed. “They tarred and feathered him.”

Both of them conveniently overlooked the fact that Lott was removed as majority leader by his own party. Did Beckel remind them? Of course not! He continued his attacks on Biden.

Hannity sarcastically read the rest of the long statement from Biden’s office, asking why Biden just hadn’t said “I’m sorry.”

Beckel could not stop laughing as Hannity spoke. Beckel added, “It is true. When conservatives talk about minorities, let’s face it. You know, there is – liberals have more room to maneuver there. And I agree with you. But I go back to what Alan brought up there about what Conrad Burns said and what Saxby Chambliss said, I mean those were just never (unintelligible).”

Ingraham questioned what Beckel meant by liberals having more room.

Beckel replied, “I’m trying to be honest here… unlike that statement from Biden’s office, which I still can’t get over.” Beckel started laughing again. “They could have written another five pages on that thing – I mean, you’re right. What should have been said is, ‘I’m sorry.’ But the answer is that I think that liberals have a long-standing record of support on minority issues and I think they do get a little bit more room.”

Colmes broke in to end the segment and noted what Beckel should have. “By the way, Laura, it was Republicans that got rid of Trent Lott in the leadership. It wasn’t Democrats who did that.” As Hannity muttered that it was Democrats, Ingraham said, “Democrats started it, Alan.”

Beckel said nothing.

Comment: I'm definitely not a fan of Biden's, either, but Beckel could have and, in my view should have, focused on the larger issue of a double standard, especially since Alan Colmes handed Beckel the opening plus talking points with which to do so. Did Beckel pass up the opportunity to score points for what is supposed to be his own party because he "didn't get it" or because he had a sincere desire to dis Biden or in order to curry favor with the conservatives at FOX News?