Former vice president Joe Biden gave a speech in Pittsburgh on Monday to renounce the Democratic Party's widespread complacency in the face of violent unrest.
"Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting," Biden said in a direct rebuke to CNN and other mainstream media networks. "It's lawlessness. Plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted."
Biden declined to take questions from the media. Nevertheless, professional journalists agreed that the speech was the best of Biden's career—surpassing the career-defining speech he gave at the Democratic convention 12 days ago.
A speech, however, is just words. Biden's actions in the face of lawlessness suggest those words cannot be trusted.
Last week, for example, the Washington Post published a shocking account of Biden's brief tenure as a safety patrol officer at the Catholic elementary school the former vice president attended:
When Joe Biden was in elementary school, the nuns put him on safety patrol, giving him a shiny blue badge. One day on the bus, his sister Valerie acted up, and Biden knew his duty was to report her.
Instead, with his father’s gentle encouragement, he turned in his badge and quit the patrol. Nothing was more important than family, he decided—even if members of that family stretched the rules a little.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media have ignored this disgraceful episode and refused to hold Biden accountable. The former VP's brief career in law enforcement was defined by a refusal to enforce the rules and tarnished by a nepotism scandal that prompted his resignation.
Speaking directly to voters on Monday, Biden asked: "Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?" Unfortunately, he neglected to provide some crucial context: Looks can be deceiving.