Former vice president Joe Biden made headlines when he responded to a retired Iowa farmer during a town hall appearance, where the farmer asked about Biden’s son Hunter, Hunter’s involvement in Ukraine, and Biden’s age. Biden called the farmer a “damn liar” and verbally sparred with the individual on those topics.
CNN’s analysis of the back-and-forth argument, entitled, “Analysis: What Biden’s ‘damn liar’ exchange shows when it comes to his candidacy,” dug into the exchange for its audiences and praised Biden for his display of emotion.
The farmer allegedly accused Biden of “selling access to the presidency” by sending his son Hunter to Ukraine and suggested Biden was “too old” to be president. Biden’s response was, “You’re a damn liar” and challenged the farmer to a push-up competition.
CNN also called the exchange between Biden and the farmer “feisty” and added that this was “a human moment defending his son.” The analysis claimed Biden “showed the authenticity, emotion and readiness for a fight” to take on Trump. It also quoted Biden’s post-town hall comment to the press, where Biden defended his actions and said it was due to “his overwhelming respect and love for my son.”
To its credit, CNN mentioned Biden’s history of testy exchanges on the campaign trail. In 1988, while in New Hampshire, Biden had a back-and-forth exchange with a New Hampshire voter who had asked him about Biden’s law school and class rank. Biden said, “I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect. I went to law school on a full academic scholarship.” Biden added, “I’d be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you’d like.”
However, CNN’s analysis came off as a glowing review of Biden’s candidacy and was not as fair as it could have been. Although the analysis mentioned Biden’s prior public argument in 1988, the word choice painted Biden in a favorable light, such as using “a human moment,” “feisty,” and “authenticity.” The analysis appeared to promote Biden’s human nature over sticking to neutral and impartial political news analysis, which is an example of a lack of ethical and impartial journalism at CNN.