Biden: Generator of bona fide news. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

President Obama gave that tack a try in his interview with “Entertainment Tonight’s” Nancy O’Dell. The question concerned the attention paid to Vice President Biden’s comment at a campaign stop in southern Virginia that Mitt Romney’s financial policies will “put y’all back in chains.” The audience was racially diverse.

Though Obama told ET that the “phrasing is a distraction from what is at stake,” he also said this:

“You know the truth of the matter is, again, this is an example of what the American people hear and what the press corps want to focus on are two very different things...”

Sorry, Mr. President, but don’t hang this one on the media.

Remarks like Biden’s — whether you consider them a harmless gaffe or a racially loaded attack on the Romney campaign — are no-brainer news. They’re no less newsy, too, just because of Biden’s history of flippancy. Doug Wilder, an African American and former Democratic governor of Virginia, made that point nicely: “You can forgive people for gaffes, but there comes a time when you realize you’re forgiving the same guy for making the same mistakes.”

How dare Wilder assist the press corps in focusing on this issue.