Carroll whiffs in complaining of media bias against Buck

If you follow Vincent Carroll at the Denver Post, you know he likes to be a media critic every now and then, and sometimes he makes a good point.

But he whiffed completely in his column today in asserting that poor U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck was the victim of media bias during his appearance on Meet the Press Sunday.

“With Buck, on the other hand, Gregory hardly let up,” moaned Carroll, whose column was headlined, “A glaring example of media bias.”

The most effective way to illustrate the absurdity of Carroll’s attack is simply to list the questions Meet the Press host David Gregory asked Buck.

Check them out below, and you’ll agree that any political candidate in Buck’s position should be able to knock these questions out of the park.

There’s not a single “gotcha” query in the bunch, nothing Buck shouldn’t have known inside and out.

So, to cry “media bias” over them is an obvious distraction from the real issue, which, of course, is Buck’s answers to the questions.

  1. MR. GREGORY:  And the question is whether the tea party represents an extreme, insurgent political force, or whether it’s a legitimate political movement.  What do you say?
  2. MR. GREGORY:  If you’re senator, do you think these elements [anti-Semites, racists, bigots, hard-core white nationalists] in the tea party need to be dealt with and need to be rebuffed?
  3. MR. GREGORY:  Senator, is this a legitimate question?  Is this [Tea Party}a mainstream movement?  Because this is high stakes in your, in your campaign, in this debate.
  4. MR. GREGORY:  Mr. Buck, the issue of the tea party matters, though, because one of the big knocks against you, it’s been subject to the campaign between you, is whether or not you took positions to appeal to primary voters, to get that tea party support that you’re now backing away from….  Is that charge fair?
  5. MR. GREGORY:  But isn’t it also easy to flirt with positions in a primary, and then back off and say, “Well, I’m not sure I’d actually vote for that,” you know, once you get into a general election?  Isn’t that what people really dislike about politics?
  6. MR. GREGORY:  I want to–you want to button this up before I move on to some questions.  You say…
  7. MR. GREGORY:  Why is that unreasonable in your view [that politics haven’t allowed us to make tough choices]?
  8. MR. GREGORY:  And you take responsibility, as well, for what Republicans did in terms of running up the debt before that?
  9. MR. GREGORY:  Well, let me ask you on that point, do you agree with Republican leaders who say that tax cuts do not have to be paid for?
  10. MR. GREGORY:  Well, extanding–extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the highest earners.  The president says it all the time, it would cost an extra $700 billion.  Should those be paid for if the–if, if Republicans like you want to cut that deficit, bring it in balance, do you then have to pay for the tax cuts you want to extend?
  11. MR. GREGORY:  But how can that be bigger?  You either believe in the balanced budget or you do not.  If you extend tax cuts, you said just a moment ago they have to be paid for.  Then how do you pay for it?
  12. MR. GREGORY:  But not–it’s not fair to compare him to all Republicans. Republican leaders don’t agree with what he just said, which is that you have to pay for tax cuts.  So isn’t he–aren’t you guys more in line, wouldn’t you say?
  13. MR. GREGORY:  You’re talking about growing the economy?
  14. MR. GREGORY:  And I wonder whether you regret using those words [buyer’s remorse], and whether you think women should give some weight to those issues in deciding whether to vote for you.
  15. MR. GREGORY:  But do you regret the way you either talked to her or talked about the case?
  16. MR. GREGORY:  Right.  But what about what you told the Greeley Tribune [about “buyer’s remorse”]?
  17. MR. GREGORY:  The issue of gays in our country, in a debate last month you expressed your support for “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which we talked about with Mr. Gibbs, and you alluded to lifestyle choices. Do you believe that being gay is a choice?
  18. MR. GREGORY:  Based on what?
  19. MR. GREGORY:  Why do you believe that?
  20. MR. GREGORY:  You don’t think it’s something that’s determined at birth?
  21. MR. GREGORY:  How do you answer that, Mr. Buck [on Afghanistan]?
  22. MR. GREGORY:  What if General Petraeus says, “You know what, it’s July 2011, but if we’re going to achieve our goals, we can’t pull any troops out.  May need more troops, may need to surge up again here.” Well, you could support that because you don’t believe in deadlines?
  23. MR. GREGORY:  Let me ask you a question about the Supreme Court.  Obviously a crucial role as a U.S.  senator, confirming a justice who’s nominated by the president.  Which sitting justices would you have voted against?
  24. MR. GREGORY:  Mm-hmm.  Are there Clinton-era nominees as well, down the line?
  25. MR. GREGORY:  But is that part of the problem, that you want to come to Washington and not have any friends?  How do you solve problems if you can’t work with people on the other side?
  26. MR. GREGORY:   Ashley Newberg:  “This is what I would ask them:  What do you hope to accomplish, both in your political career and in life in general outside of politics?” But you’ve got to be very brief. 

If you’re so inclined, list some tough questions for Buck in the comment section, so Carroll gets a better sense of the possibilities.

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