Sunday, September 14, 2008

Charlie Gibson: Proving the MSM is On It's Way to Extinction

I caught most of the ABC News September 11th interview of Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin and was extremely annoyed at how disrespectful and condescending anchorman Charlie Gibson was toward her. He was talking to her like she was a naive, 14 year old girl who needed a little of his "wisdom". His questions were tough, which is understandable, but the interviewer did a terrible job of keeping his own opinion out of the discussion. He cut her off several times, continually tried to get her to admit that she was "terrified" at the prospect of being V.P. and not up to the challenge; while she is clearly confident in her abilities, but says she is "humbled" by it all. I don't know about you, but that is exactly the response I want from a person in her position: a willingness to pursue a challenge for the greater good, while understanding the heaviness of the responsibility.

The full transcript of the interview is linked below (courtesy of NewsBusters) and it shows how what you ultimately saw on television was edited not just for brevity, but to paint Sarah Palin in a particular light.

GIBSON: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say “I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?”

PALIN: I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, will be ready. I’m ready.

GIBSON: And you didn’t say to yourself, “Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I — will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?”

PALIN: I didn’t hesitate, no.

GIBSON: Didn’t that take some hubris?

Here, Charlie rails on the notion that the Governor of Alaska is in over her head, and that it takes "hubris" for her to act with confidence under the circumstances. Now, "hubris" is one of those 50 cent words I don't use every day, but it implies not just confidence, but such confidence that acts in ignorance and ultimately leads to humiliation, whether intentional or not. Gibson is strongly implying she is unprepared, but too arrogant to know any better.

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you — what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that’s the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.

GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?

It should be noted here that Gibson obviously doesn't have the grasp of the Bush doctrine that he thinks he does. Charles Krauthammer deals with this gaff by Gibson in a Washington Post article (link below). What I would like to ask Charles Gibson is, did it take "hubris" for you to ask a question such as this, given that your own understanding of the issue is apparently incorrect?

Palin's answer:

Note: Bolded text is what was omitted by ABC in the final televised interview.

PALIN: I agree that a president’s job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.

I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.

GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.

What is of particular interest is the portion of this segment that ABC chose to leave on the cutting room floor. By removing Sarah's assertion that is the President's obligation, not just prerogative, to defend Americans, while leaving the more general statement that we have a right to defend ourselves, it paints Sarah Palin as some gun-toting war-monger.

The arrogance of Charlie Gibson is palpable. To presume to have a better grasp of the duties of public office than Sarah Palin when he has spent his life writing the news, while she has spent hers in public office making news and bringing real change to the city and state she presided over in an executive capacity.

I think ABC is showing their true colors, arrogantly assuming most people will never go beyond their skillfully edited OP/ED piece that could have been a bit of good reporting. Had it not been for the risk of highlighting Sarah Palin's integrity on important issues, the American people may have seen the whole interview.

Gibson has a similar sit-down with Obama earlier in the year, and here is how the questions asked of the two compare:

The following comment illustrates the difference between how Gibson interviewed Obama and Palin:

cedarford:A woman at a Hillary website (nom de plume - Nancy Kallitechnis) posted what she found reviewing Gibsons questions to Obama compared to the questions he later asked the VP nominee Palin:

The following is a breakdown of the questions asked of the nominees:

Obama interview:

How does it feel to break a glass ceiling?
How does it feel to “win”?
How does your family feel about your “winning” breaking a glass ceiling?
Who will be your VP?
Should you choose Hillary Clinton as VP?
Will you accept public finance?
What issues is your campaign about?
Will you visit Iraq?
Will you debate McCain at a town hall?
What did you think of your competitor’s [Clinton] speech?

Palin interview:

Do you have enough qualifications for the job you’re seeking? Specifically have you visited foreign countries and met foreign leaders?
Aren’t you conceited to be seeking this high level job?
Questions about foreign policy
-territorial integrity of Georgia
-allowing Georgia and Ukraine to be members of NATO
-NATO treaty
-Iranian nuclear threat
-what to do if Israel attacks Iran
-Al Qaeda motivations
-the Bush Doctrine
-attacking terrorists harbored by Pakistan
Is America fighting a holy war? [misquoted Palin]

Gibson, an experienced interviewer and anchorman, treats Obama like a golf buddy, but badgers Sarah Palin to death and spouts left wing opinionate drivel. How's that for balanced reporting?

Guess what MSM? The average person (like myself) is getting more informed by the day thanks to this whole "Internet" thing, so not only are you not the only game in town, but your absolute left-leaning bias is showing big time, and I sincerely hope it destroys you as people grow in their distaste of your approach to "reporting".

Hat Tip:

Full transcript of the interview(bolded text shows comments that were edited out):
mark LEVIN Show

Bush Doctrine:
Washington Post


Bookworm Girl said...

i lost all respect for charlie due to this interview with palin. i never realized he was such a jerk.

Bullfrog said...

bookworm girl: I agree that this is disappointing, as reporters like Charles Gibson are relied on by people to inform them on important current events. It's good that there are alternative news sources.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

The more news that's coming out of this interview you realize how much of a hit job on Palin it was.

Dave Miller said...

Bullfrog, what would you expect? We have 50 days until the election, and quite honestly, the media was wondering if this was going to be their only access to Palin.

The campaign has not been very open in letting, or giving her the chance to be on her own, answer querstions on her own, or even campaign on her own.

Even an apologist should be able to see that at least there is perception within the campaign that she is not up to the task of jousting with the media, a regular function of the presidency since JFK.

On a semi related note, I am working on a future post and I have a question.

Is stretching the truth politically lying?

No context, no Obama, no McCain. I am just looking for a straight up yes or no answer.

Bullfrog said...

Dave: Even an apologist should be able to see that Obama has all the free PR he needs, courtesy of the MSM.

As far as "stretching the truth" goes; a lie is a lie, whether it is done for political gain or not. Politics is somewhat a smoke and mirrors game, where campaigns try to get you to see what they want, regardless of the truth. But it is plain ol' deceit at it's worst.

That is why it is all about the record of the person you are considering, because aside from what they are saying, that is the only real measure of a person's character.

Dave Miller said...

Bullfrog, do you believe the Couric interview was biased, or an attack job?

She seemed utterly lost in that one.

Bullfrog said...

Dave: I have only heard and read about the Couric interview. I have seen quotes from Palin that are alarming in that they show at best she was really nervous and less prepared than she could have been, and at worst as inept as Dems hope.

Taking into account her experience and what I know about her personality and character, I am less apt to think she is as inept as she appeared and would lean towards chalking it up to nerves and getting caught off-guard.