Politics & Media
Sep 03, 2008, 10:38AM

Biden's Collar May Not Be So Blue

Sarah Palin's not the only VP candidate whose reputation is exagerated by the media, but at least Joe Biden's getting a favorable treatment. After reporting in his speech last week that he grew up in a "middle class" neighborhood, mainstream media outlets called his background "working class." Something doesn't ad up.

In his Wednesday night speech at the Democratic convention, Biden referred to "those of us who grew up in middle-class neighborhoods like Scranton and Wilmington." In the video preceding his address, he said that the people he knew as a boy didn't regard themselves as working class but as middle class.

So what did the news media report? "Sen. Joseph R. Biden accepted the vice presidential nomination of the Democratic Party with a speech that harkened back to his working-class roots in Scranton," said The Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal informed readers that "Sen. Joe Biden showcased his working-class upbringing." The New York Times said he "spoke frequently, and earnestly, of his blue-collar background."

No, he didn't. In fact, he did just the opposite. Anyone paying attention would have noticed as much. But the legend of Joe Biden, born in a welding shop, dies hard with political reporters, who find it easier to romanticize a gritty, hardscrabble childhood than a conventionally comfortable one.


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