But that's really the only hit on Mattera here. There are rules governing film in the Capitol, but not in the office where this was filmed. There are places where non-journalists and non-staffers can't go, like the Speaker's lobby outside the House, or the halls outside the Senate -- the places where most reporters grab members and senators for quotes. But Mattera was next to reporters in a place where, technically, anyone could go. He ambushed the vice president, but his question could as well have come up at a press conference. And according to people who were there, Mattera did have credentials. (In a hurry, you could mistake a Hill press pass for a tourist badge, but it's a stretch.) Let's rap Mattera gently on the knuckles for pretending he just wanted a photo with Biden, but let's not pretend the question or the setting was unfair to the vice president.
The dust-up between Mattera and Biden wouldn't have happened if the mainstream press had done their jobs in the week following Biden's Flint, Michigan speech. If Vice President Cheney had made a similar argument against Democrats, you can be sure we wouldn't have needed to wait a week for a left-wing blogger to challenge him.