CBS Uniquely Notes Racial Tinge of Biden's 'Chains' Gaffe
As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Tuesday gave attention to Vice President Joseph Biden asserting that Mitt Romney, by "unchaining" Wall Street would effectively "put y'all back in chains," only CBS's Bob Schieffer informed viewers that about half the audience in Danville, Virginia, was African-American, thus suggesting the Vice President was making an embarrassing pander to black audience members who likely have ancestors who used to be "in chains."
On the CBS Evening News, as he set up a soundbite of Biden, substitute host Schieffer related:
Vice President Biden really got wound up today at a speech to a crowd that included hundreds of African-Americans that Mitt Romney wanted to unshackle Wall Street and put the audience back in chains.
Then came Vice President Biden speaking in Danville, which used be one of the capitals of the Confederacy during the Civil War:
Romney wants to let the, he said in the first 100 days he's gonna let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He gonna put y'all back in chains.
The CBS host continued:
The Romney campaign called it a new low in presidential campaign politics.
As ABC's World News and the NBC Nightly News played Biden's words, neither mentioned the racial makeup of the audience as an indication that Biden likely was indeed referring to America's history of enslaving African-Americans. ABC's David Muir recounted:
And while Romney's new number two, Paul Ryan, took on the President while in Colorado ... it was what Vice President Joe Biden said today in Danville, Virginia, that the Romney campaign quickly argued was a new low.
After a soundbite of Biden's "chains" comment, Muir continued:
The Obama campaign says, while perhaps inartfully phrased, that Republicans have long used a similar metaphor, "unshackling the private sector." The Romney campaign saying, "We now know the President is willing to say Romney wants to put people back in chains."
And on NBC, correspondent Peter Alexander first mentioned that Biden had mixed up which state he was in, blaming it on the "frenetic pace" of the campaign, but then did not even directly suggest that his "chains" comment was even controversial as he played the clip:
PETER ALEXANDER: With both tickets criss-crossing swing states, the frenetic pace got the best of the Vice President.
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN: With you, we can win North Carolina again!
ALEXANDER: Only problem, he was in Virginia. Biden also blasted Romney.
BIDEN: He said in the first 100 days he's gonna let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He gonna put y'all back in chains.
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center