Dan Gainor Exposes Media Double Standard on ‘Tell-All’ Books

Have you heard that a former aide to Joe Biden has written a “tell-all” about the current Vice President of the United States? Not many people have.

Dan Gainor wrote a piece over at Fox News on Friday, noting how quiet the media has been about the book:

Imagine a scathing look at a vice presidential candidate. Put a “R” after that candidate’s name, like Sarah Palin, and you get big-name books, a controversial film and lots of news coverage.

Put a “D” after that candidate’s name, even when he’s still the sitting vice president, and it gets almost no attention. That’s the case with Jeff Connaughton, “a Biden Senate staffer turned lobbyist” who just published a book called “The Payoff” that Politico says “lacerates” the vice president.


Politico quoted from the book saying Biden was an “egomaniacal autocrat” “determined to manage his staff through fear.” Pretty strong stuff, landing just at the peak of a presidential campaign. Most not inside the Beltway might even call it “news.”

But it’s also been strongly ignored by the news media, forever chasing after Republican scandals. In this case, only a handful of outlets have covered it including Politico, The Washington Post and Al Gore’s ever-more-obscure Current TV. The Post gave it all of one paragraph.


So much for bad stories about the VP just before election, including one where “Biden revealed that he had been upbraided by an angry Obama.” Yet, these are exactly the kind of stories the news media would call game changers, which makes one wonder why this book is getting no ink.

But don’t hold your breath. The book came out in September and journalists have ignored it this long. It likely won’t get coverage until mid-November some time, if then. Just in time to have zero impact on the election.

It’s incredible that Connaughton’s book has received coverage on only a “handful” of media outlets and the book’s author has done zero major interviews, especially when you consider the amount of attention Frank Bailey’s load of garbage received.

Bailey’s book was covered by the Associated Press (republished all over the country in local papers), Washington Post (several times), The Christian Science Monitor (more than once), Politico, Huffington Post (several times), NY Daily News (more than once), U.S. News, CNN, Christian Post, The Daily Beast, AOL News, Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage Press, ADN, ExtraTV, Mediaite (several times), Fox News, The Hollywood Gossip, The Epoch Times, The Week, Seattle PI, Daily Caller, CY Interview, The Young Turks, Hardball with Chris MatthewsCountdown with Keith Olbermann, Cenk Uygur on MSNBC, Daily Mail UKUSA Today, LA Times, NBC San Diego, San Francisco Chronicle, Business Insider, The Wrap, Mother Jones, ABC News, CBS News, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Salon, Media Bistro, Pop Eater, NPR, NBC’s Today Show and many more.

Frank Bailey was also given major interviews (that were embedded on news sites and blogs around the country) on The View, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Bill O’Reilly, HannityMartin Bashir Live, KTRH News, CNN with Brooke Baldwin, and the Associated Press, which was distributed widely.

If you’re keeping score at home, it stands at:

An easily discredited book about a possible future presidential candidate: a boatload of news coverage

A “tell-all” about a sitting vice president: a handful of paragraphs

Media bias is usually pretty easy to detect but in this instance, it also exposes the hyper activity of the press to try and tear down Governor Palin. The media didn’t care if Bailey had no credibility, if he had clearly planned on using his connection to make money, if he was denied a job at SarahPAC and harbored sour grapes, or if he used a left-wing author who had already made most of these stories up in her own imagination prior to the book being released. None of that mattered. They wanted the book covered so that Americans would look at Governor Palin in a bad light.

I don’t know if the book written about Joe Biden has any credibility or not. The author went on to be a lobbyist after leaving the administration, so I’m inclined to take anything he wrote about the current VP with a grain of salt. That said, if the media was using Bailey to trash Governor Palin, they are doing just the opposite to help Joe Biden and Barack Obama during a tough campaign season.

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