Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fact checking Biden and Palin during the Vice Presidential debate

I wrote recently about debate success being measured on likability and believability rather than the grasp of facts. Read here - Sarah Palin VS Joe Biden: Who won?
Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg has written a few posts echoing this sentiment
Quick Reax Oct 3, 2008
What struck me the most about the debate... was how Biden’s "gravitas" is derived almost entirely from the fact that he can lie with absolute passion and conviction. He just plain made stuff up tonight...
It's amazing how the impulse to see Biden as the more qualified and serious guy stems almost entirely from his ability to be a convincing b.s. artist. I'm not saying Palin was always honest or unrehearsed, but when she offers up a catchphrase or a talking point, you can tell. When Biden spews up a warm fog of deceitful gassbaggery the response seems to be "what a great grasp of the issues he has!"
Jonah continues the same charge, reminding that he doesn't absolve Sarah Palin
B.S. is an Abbreviation for "Biden Says" Oct 3, 2008
Jake Tapper saw no reason to single out Biden. Bernard Goldberg (no relation) said on F&F (Fox and Friends) that Biden had a greater grasp of the facts, which may be objectively true but he also has a much greater grasp of nonsense he just makes up as he goes along.

And, again, I never said that Palin was pure. My point is that Biden showed himself to an exceptionally facile liar. He makes stuff up with great passion, conviction and seeming command of the substance. So it just bugs me when people say he's better on the substance. I could be a great physicist if I'm not held to a requirement to be factually correct;
The fast paced nature of debates coupled with the citing of often convoluted records mean that truth will often be stretched. Any egregious mistruths will no doubt be corrected by the media, in opposition ads and speeches and in the blogospere. Otherwise they're quickly forgotten.

Ultimately debates are remembered by the impressions they leave on the night. An exasperated Jonah Goldberg concludes will go down the memory hole, it just doesn't matter. Joe Biden is a mater of the substance and Palin is a rookie who did better than expected. That's how this debate will be remembered, alas.
I encourage readers look at the campaign and opposition followups as well non-partisan analysis of the debates
This from - FactChecking Biden-Palin Debate

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