VP Debate: Partisan Media Stick to Party Lines, CNN and NY Times Toe the Center

Members of the media drew less of a consensus than at last week's presidential debate

Last Updated: October 12, 2012 @ 10:32 AM

Vice President Joe Biden's performance at Thursday night's vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan enthralled reporters, who consistently noted his confidence, dominance and aggression, noting at one point that he "laughed his way through" the parley.

Getty ImagesPresident Obama's right-hand man, widely considered gaffe-prone and therefore worrisome in front of a microphone, stole the show, according to some liberal outlets. But many news agencies did not see as clear a winner as they did when Mitt Romney trounced the incumbent last week.

The Huffington Post said in the lead story on its homepage, which was splashed with the giant headline "Biden'd.": "The vice president dominated the spotlight… charging at Republican Mitt Romney's running mate from the get-go and bombarding him with a flurry of eye rolls, interjections and accusations."

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MSNBC seemed to enjoy what it saw as Biden's pummeling of the Republican challenger.

"The vice president threw up his arms, laughed, scoffed and rolled his eyes in reaction to Ryan’s attacks – an unabashedly reaction to what Biden frequently called 'malarkey.'

CNN said that both candidates were aggressive but neither bested the other.

"A combative debate on Thursday between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan came down to the issue of trust," the network said. "They challenged each other's facts and claims and offered starkly different visions for the direction of the country."

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The New York Times' noted the generational divide between the 69-year-old vice president and his 42-year-old challenger. It noted that the candidates' statements on healthcare hunkered down on party lines.

The Wall Street Journal delighted in the steam of the debate: "If Americans wanted to know what a real debate sounds like, they got one."

Fox News, despite praising Romney's feisty performance at the first presidential debate last Wednesday, scolded Biden for the way he "could be seen grinning and laughing — some have said smirking."