Expressing his great enthusiasm for what he called “a historic day,” Vice President Biden turned to President Obama at this morning’s health care bill signing ceremony and whispered, “This is a big f—ing deal!” In their eagerness to distract from the bill signing, Fox News jumped on the comment, breathlessly reporting it as a scandal.
Fox News’ official Twitter account first tweeted Biden’s quote:
Immediately after President Obama signed the health care reform legislation, Fox News’ Trace Gallagher brought up the “news,” saying that it was crossing their “urgent wires.” “We’ll play that for you if we can,” he promised. Bret Baier called Biden’s comment “striking”:
GALLAGHER: We also had crossing the urgent wires…the possibility that Vice President Joe Biden might have slipped up and dropped an f-bomb when he was addressing the President. […]
I want to add some more context about what I was saying about the comment that Vice President Joe Biden made to the President and it says here, in our urgent queue, that when he was hugging the President, he leaned over and said, “This is a big bleeping deal.” We’ll play that for you if we can. […]
BAIER: It was pretty striking for Vice President Biden to turn to the President and say, “This is a big blanking deal,” using the f-word with the microphones picking it up, and I’m sure we’ll take about that later.
Of course, Fox is eager to find a source of distraction to avoid covering the substance of the health care policy. Over the course of the year-long health care debate, Fox propagated baseless stories about “death panels,” fears about a “government takeover,” and claims that health care being “unconstitutional.”
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tweets, “And yes Mr. Vice President, you’re right…”