Does he have jimmy legs? Spontaneously evacuating bladder?
November 21, 2009 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Why was there a panel blocking the lower half of Biden in this episode of the daily show?

I saw this and I am very curious. I don't recall seeing this for other guests.
posted by zennoshinjou to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It's part of the set, it's always there. You can see it in videos with other guests:
posted by miskatonic at 7:09 AM on November 21, 2009

I noticed this as well. There was definitely an extra piece added on. You can see it clearly in the videos here. Must have been a security measure.
posted by cosmac at 7:17 AM on November 21, 2009

Response by poster: miskatonic I had this conversation with 2 friends earlier.. its not a normal part of the set. Watch when Biden first walks in to sit down and then compare that to other videos.
posted by zennoshinjou at 7:18 AM on November 21, 2009

I assumed it was to protect him from possibly getting shot. The audience is probably at a lower level than the stage.
posted by something something at 7:27 AM on November 21, 2009

something something: No, the audience is actually raised up a bit. (I've been to a taping.)
posted by gchucky at 7:44 AM on November 21, 2009

I noticed this too - they definitely added a little curtain blocking view of his legs. It didn't seem like much of a security measure, unless there was a secret service guy hiding down there.

Would love to know the answer to this...
posted by kdern at 8:03 AM on November 21, 2009

Best answer: This panel is indeed not a regular part of the set, it only makes an appearance with guests with some sort of security detail. Then president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf's visit to the daily show featured two of these panels. The same type of panels are placed next to the presidential podium during speeches.

Their basic purpose is to hide behind when some sort of call is made about an imminent threat.
posted by geez at 8:26 AM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]

I have heard that anytime a political figure of important status makes a public appearance, they are protected by bulletproof panels like this one. Podiums are generally bulletproof, and during the presidential campaigns, all of those waist high political banners are actually covering up the same sorts of panels.

However, I cannot seem to find any corroborating evidence online.

Like Geez said, the basic idea is that someoneo can duck behind the panel in the event of an assassination attempt.
posted by AtomicBee at 11:10 AM on November 21, 2009

My google-fu is pretty good but I came up mostly bupkis on this one, too. It's something that for obvious reasons is not much discussed.

Note that they provide not only cover (presumably bulletproof material), but concealment. This allows for removal of the targeted person from the area of immediate danger.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 PM on November 21, 2009

I have a few buddieson the stage crew at the show. I've emailed and will let you know when I get a response. (If I get a response..........)
posted by nevercalm at 12:16 PM on November 21, 2009

I noticed this too and assumed it concealed a bulletproof panel - something for him to duck down behind if there were shots fired.
posted by chrisamiller at 12:18 PM on November 21, 2009

I've worked on shows where really (reallyreally) high level politicians were booked. Generally, the call is interrupted by an hour or longer period where everyone is ejected and there is a total toss of the studio by the secret service. The dogs come in, and everything is opened and searched...drawers, cabinets, pocketbooks, whatever's in there. Then, the crew is let back in, and everything they have with them is searched. They are also re-checked every time they leave and re-enter the studio. When the audience arrives, they are metal-detected, wanded and patted-down. The agents also work in waves...there are the "area" people, who secure the studio. Then there are groups who show up with intensifying levels of security and ever-shrinking areas of focus, until the actual group protecting the person arrive. The secret service are a strictly no bullshit operation, and it's a wonder to behold, frankly.

Also, I've always wondered who their tailors can tell that there's some firepower beneath the suits, but you never really know what or how big.
posted by nevercalm at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]

It seems kind of useless since there is a portion of the audience behind his seat that is not blocked by the barrier. Unless they stealthily brought in another barrier and set it up behind him after he sat down...

I could understand using something like this if the set were outdoors or in a public place, but presumably they screened everyone entering the studio that evening. Kind of weird.
posted by Nothlit at 12:36 PM on November 21, 2009

It is for protection, as others have said. Jon talked about the security measures taken for Musharraf's visit on Letterman, which included the panel. (@2:00 in this clip; part 1 here)
posted by asras at 8:54 PM on November 21, 2009

Best answer: From one of the crew heads: "they gave us kevlar shield that we dressed in a blue felt."
posted by nevercalm at 9:34 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

nevercalm: Also, I've always wondered who their tailors can tell that there's some firepower beneath the suits, but you never really know what or how big.

Jos A Banks, Brooks Brothers, Men's Wearhouse, etc. All the major menswear stores deal with this all the time. It's just a matter of wearing the holster at the time of the fitting and they will make the adjustments, including adding extra lining in the holster area to compensate for the added wear and tear from the holster rubbing against the suit.
posted by junesix at 3:14 AM on November 22, 2009

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