Peter Johnson, Jr., Fox’s supposed “legal analyst,” appeared on Fox & Friends this morning for one of a zillion segments lambasting Vice President Joseph Biden’s debate performance two nights ago. But Johnson’s surely won the award for Most Hideous. He suggested that Biden may be senile and then compared him to Dr. Evil.
Johnson insisted that Biden is not Dr. Evil but there was nothing inadvertent about the video that Fox producers had at the ready showing a split screen of Biden next to a maniacally laughing Dr. Evil. Nor were Johnson’s suggestions that Biden is either senile or psychotic (or both). What this has to do with legal analysis, nobody ever explained.
Johnson said Biden “looked unhinged” and said a registered nurse tweeted him, “If I saw that, I would have called the M.D. and started increasing the meds!” He added, “People were a little bit frightened. At 69, what’s going on with this man? Why is he acting in this way?”
As he spoke a lower-third banner read, “SMILING BIDEN: DID HIS GRINS SCARE AWAY VOTERS?”
After the host played the video of Biden next to Dr. Evil, Johnson said:
Now, Joe Biden is not Dr. Evil. He’s an honorable American servant and patriot. But when you look at this kind of unhinged, unbridled, unfettered maniacal laughing, and looking up at the sky and throwing your eyes back and throwing your head back and looking and interrupting 80 different times, you say, Has he become a movie character? Are the gaffes intentional? Or are the gaffes not intentional? Can he control himself or can he not control himself?
But later, Johnson answered his own question by saying that it was a set up to “excite the base” and make an aggressive President Obama look reasonable. “It won’t be Dr. Evil but may be some other variant,” Johnson predicted.
Then, after all that smearing, Johnson had the nerve to say, “I think the American dignity means more than any one man’s ambition in a presidential election.”
This morning, in order to prep the FOX “news” viewer for this Thursday’s townhall style debate, Johnson looked back at past townhall debates. In a debate that was widely regarded as a Kerry win (even by the right-wingers on FOX “news”), Johnson did a little revisionist history by quipping that he thought Bush won (seemingly because Bush used some humor while Kerry seemed stiff). Yeah, whatever, Johnson. Pffft.
Then to really fire the folks up to further see the President in a negative light, he analyzed a 2008 Obama/McCain debate and declared that Obama said some “God awful offensive”* things about McCain. He didn’t bother to give us an example of what Obama said that was so awful. Guess we should just take his word for it, huh?
Johnson has been doing this very biased sort of commentary on F&F for some time now but the way he sets this stuff up is getting ridiculous. The morning of the VP debate he was on F&F again with a stupid graphic that showed what he thought Biden and Ryan needed to do that night. After having made sure to point out that polls show that voters have a more favorable view of Ryan than they do of Biden, he went on to say that Biden “will laugh, he may cry” to connect with the people. Funny how some “analysts” like Johnson are now giving Biden hell for the laughs/grins considering it looks like they were totally expecting it.
To further set the stage for bias against Biden and to manipulate the viewers’ expectations, Johnson’s chart (in the below link) highlighted that Biden’s assignment would be to “trash Romney” while Ryan would “be positive”. Then Johnson’s chart told the viewers that Biden’s goal would be to “scare” the folks while Ryan’s would be to “reassure” them. Good gawd, bias much, Johnson?! I wonder how Johnson feels now after making these stupid predictions, you know, considering Ryan couldn’t restrain himself from scaring the folks and attacking Obama/Biden? LOL!
However, Johnson, the right-wing tool, wasn’t finished manipulating the viewers yet. He went on to say that the VP debate matters in terms of “momentum”, “narrative” and to prove that Obama/Biden plan is a “failure”. Clearly Johnson believes that a debate win for Ryan would further hurt Obama (and perhaps it would). But that wasn’t good enough for Johnson with regards to setting up the folks’ mindset. Nah, Johnson wanted to make sure that Obama took a hit no matter what the outcome happened to be. So Johnson said that “if Biden is half decent, he’s going to wind up embarrassing the President because everyone is going to say why was Biden so good and Obama so bad.”
So there you have it, FOX viewers, if Ryan wins, Obama loses. If Biden wins, Obama loses. (eye roll)
*sorry I can’t double check the exact words as I didn’t have my DVR set to tape today’s F&F but this is what I remember hearing him say
This morning, Politifact examines 17 alleged lies (instead of 18 as I’d counted last night): 8 by Ryan and 9 by Biden (not 10).
- Ryan’s score: true (0), mostly true (1), half true (2), mostly false (3), false (1), “lie of the year” (1) and “pants on fire” (0)
- Biden’s score: true (1), mostly true (2), half true (5) mostly false (1), false (0), “lie of the year” (0), and “pants on fire” (0).
Biden still wins on points.
According to them, Ryan got
A) one thing right (Hillary Clinton did talk about Bashir Assad being a reformer, but Factcheck goes on to say that she was reporting the views of some people in congress; I beg to note, your Honor, that Biden was penalised for presenting truncated information),
B) one misquotation and
C) seven (7) wrong.
Biden was found to have
A) exaggerated in one case (on republicans voting against funds for Embassy security; all they did was reduce the funding),
B) presented incomplete information in the second case (Romney would have chased down more people than only Osama Bin Laden, Biden was penalised for failing to present the whole picture),
C) being wrong on certain aspects of Romney’s tax plan (where he and Ryan got into a stuff-inventing contest).
Factcheck does not say whether or not they analysed any other statements by Biden. Seems they present only the corroborated lies whereas Politifact examines all controversial statements including those that are rated true, mostly true or half true.
Their conclusions so far are:
Ryan (8 statements): true (0), mostly true (1), half true (1), mostly false (3), false (1), “lie of the year” (1) and “pants on fire” (0).
Biden (10 statements): true (1), mostly true (3), half true (6), mostly false (0), false (0), “lie of the year” (0) and “pants on fire” (0).
I’d say Biden is winning on points. Also because
the reasons for less than “true” in his case focus on his failure to provide all the details. Having done some formal debating (Roberts Rules of Order) in my well-spent youth, I know for a fact that it’s a lot easier to invent stuff than to stick to the facts.
To which I’ll say just one thing:
How bad must your candidate suck if he just got his ass handed to him by a drunken, senile guy 27 years his senior? LMAO!
Okay, maybe that’s not really a great analogy, given the eventual disclosure of Reagan’s Alzheimer’s but it is interesting (Reagan’s opponents poked fun at Reagan’s age but never went so far as to call him senile). I also don’t recall the right accusing Pat Robertson’s disgusting post-9/11 comments as the result of senility (even though he was 71 when he said them) nor has senility been offered as an excuse for any of his other reprehensible comments since then.
Was thinking the same thing and I think the source is exactly the same, too. It’s become so fashionable to talk about this person or that person: it’s supposed to make one sound attentive to individuals but I’m pretty sure most of those stories are invented by the speech-writers.
I once saw an op-ed by Peter, where he turned his head from side to side as he delivered his set-piece. Sent shivers up and down my spine it did.
James Rosen blocked me on Twitter when I called him on the same tactic for a NewsHounds post. I wrote all about it in my post Aunty Em Ericann’s Bun Fight With James Rosen of Fox “News” at http://notnowsilly.blogspot.com/2012/05/aunty-ems-bun-fight-with-james-rosen-of.html