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

Sunday, September 07, 2008

McCain vs. Obama: Vive la Difference?

It has been suggested to me more than once that there is not alot of real difference between John McCain and Barack Obama. If you think of McCain's liberal leanings, this is easily conceivable, but it occurred to me that the real telling would be in doing a direct comparison of their voting records while in the Senate. Man, talk about some serious, time consuming research! Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, someone else thought if it before me and already did the hard task of chasing down the data and presenting it. I believe the person credited with the research (bottom of article) may be an Obama supporter, but his presentation was pretty balanced.

These are organized issue by issue, and in no particular importance:


  • 2007 Immigration Act - McCain and Obama both voted for it (right before it failed).
    A bill prohibiting illegal aliens convicted of aggravated felonies, domestic violence, stalking, violation of protection orders, crimes against children, or crimes relating to illegal purchase or sale of firearms, from gaining legal status - McCain and Obama both voted against it.

  • Obama sponsored a bill that would raise the level of family sponsored immigrants from 226,000 to 567,000 - McCain voted against this.

  • The following one is just confusing. I guess I don't understand politics:

    Amendment that declared English to be the common language of the U.S. - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"
    Amendment making English the national language of the U.S. - McCain: "Yes", Obama: "No"
    Amendment making English the unifying language - McCain and Obama voted "Yes"

  • Triple-layered fencing along the Southern U.S. border - Both voted "Yes"
  • Double-layered fencing - both voted "No".

    The Constitution

  • Amendment against flag desecration - McCain: "Yes", Obama (and Hillary): "No"

  • Resolution criticizing for bashing General Petraeus - McCain: "Yes", Obama: did not vote (interesting)

  • Senate pay raises - Both "No" (only 6 voted "Yes")

  • Amendment opposing criticism of the U.S. military - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"

  • Bill granting Habeas Corpus rights to U.S. detainees - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"

  • Same sex marriage amendment - both voted against this.


  • Allow an amendment vote to increase government financial aid to Katrina victims by providing food, bankruptcy relief and tax help - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"

  • Congressional commission to study what went wrong with Katrina - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"


  • Congressional committee to study how contracts were to be handed out in Iraq and Afghanistan - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"

  • Additional $50 billion to fund Iraq - both voted "Yes"


  • Alito & Roberts - McCain: "Yes", Obama: "No"

  • Gonzalez - McCain: "Yes", Obama: "No"

  • Condoleeza Rice - McCain: "Yes", Obama: "No"


  • Bill limiting farm subsidies for married couples to $250,000 - cosponsored by McCain and Obama

  • Economic stimulus - McCain: "Yes", Obama: did not vote

  • Sunset of the estate tax - McCain: "Yes", Obama: "No"

  • Increase debt limit to 8.97 trillion dollars - both voted against this

  • Extend pay as you go until 2011 - both voted "Yes"

  • Temporary crude oil profits tax - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"


  • Ethics bill - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes" (although he wasn't a cosponsor of the bill he touts it as his most important achievements)


  • Drilling in ANWR - both voted "No"

  • Carbon and mercury limits - both voted "Yes"


  • Pell Grant increase - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"


  • $500 million to help vets deal with PSTD and substance abuse - McCain: "No", Obama: "Yes"

    Free Trade

  • CAFTA - McCain: "Yes", Obama: "No"
  • Free Trade agreement with Oman: both voted in support

    Stem Cells

  • Embryonic stem cell research - both voted "Yes"


They seem to agree on immigration, gay marriage, stem cells, and the environment, while differing on Supreme Court justices, taxes, Iraq, trade, and ethics.

As a strong proponent of Pro Life, I find McCain's soft stance on embryonic stem cell research particularly disconcerting, and I find it ironic that those who would consider McCain the "lesser of 2 evils" would do so partly based on Obama's very liberal stance on abortion. If respect for life is what moves you to be against abortion, there can be no reason for you to simultaneously support embryonic stem cell research. I suppose you could argue that their difference on appointing Supreme Court justices makes the Pro Life argument a mute point.

Add to that his voting record on protecting the institution of marriage and a historical soft stance on immigration, and I develop serious reservations about putting McCain at the helm even at the off chance it would usher in a Palin administration in 4 years. Add to my distaste that he is a certifiable "Global Warming Believer". The question to me is: can we afford 4 years of McCain, and more importantly, can I live with myself every day knowing I pulled the lever for him?

This coming from a Californian who is still regretful of putting the "Governator" in office; what an absolute disaster he has turned out to be.

Hat tip: Joe Rivett at

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Has McCain Changed His Tune, or Can We Still Call Him, "The Maverick"?

Needless to say, Conservatives have been absolutely unified and indeed electrified by the addition of Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket. I watched her speech and was impressed by how real she is when speaking to the American people, and I think this is primarily her appeal. Add to that what seems like a genuine conservative streak, a willingness to challenge the "status-quo" and the novelty of being a female and you end up with someone who has turned the McCain campaign completely around.

This speaks to McCain's political savvy and his willingness to surprise us; before his V.P. pick was official, I am of the impression that many secretly wished he would choose Palin, but publicly predicted otherwise because they weren't sure he had it in him. The consensus now seems to be that McCain has cemented his status as a "Maverick" by his choice of V.P., and maybe that is true.

Let me start by saying my motive here is not to rain on the veritable "Love Fest" that characterizes the Republican party as of the last 7 days. Alot of long-time conservatives are saying they haven't seen the party this energized since the early 90's, and others are even reminded of the conservative revolution brought by Reagan. This is good for politics; to have people passionately involved in the process, and having discussions about why their candidate is better. I believe firmly that people being informed and invested in the political process can only result in good for the country. This is why our political system works as it does, because through dissent and debate, and sharing information (true information) the best candidate wins.

A month ago it was not clear to me which candidate would best represent me. I was, and still am, certain that Obama's "big government" socialist utopian vision for America was completely against my sensibilities as a believer in a constitutional form of government. The men who founded this Republic were wise and knew how to best strike a balance between governing a nation while protecting the liberties of those they governed, and I think that formula can still work today. That said, I was as depressed as anyone to have the choices we had for President.

Every time the word "Maverick" is used to describe to McCain I get a little nervous, as I am reminded of what made him a maverick to begin with. Through his years in the Senate, he earned the reputation as the Republican who was willing to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats to get legislation passed. Now, I don't share the same distaste for bi-partisanship as some, and under the circumstances, it is the only way conservatives in Washington can get things done. As long as it is ultimately good for the country, I don't care who authors legislation. But, this was the main gripe conservatives had about McCain when he pulled ahead as the Republican nominee, and he was painted as a "traitor" by many not only for working with Democrats but more specifically for legislation that was promoted by him that was decidedly unrepresentative of traditional conservative values.

While I am as enchanted as the next person by Sarah Palin, as a person who analyzes EVERYTHING (maybe too much, my wife can tell you), I have to ask the question: Has John McCain changed since the time, not long ago, when his base was begrudgingly vowing to "hold their noses" and pull the lever for the "not-quite-conservative" Republican candidate for President?

Sarah Palin's conservative values are evident in her record in public life and in what is apparent about her personal life, but I can't say the same thing about McCain.

My wife and I discuss politics often, and recently she asked the question, "People write speeches for politicians, and they always say what is necessary to get elected: How do we know what they are really about?" This is not just a good question, it is THE question. When Obama, the young Senator from Illinois, announced his intent to campaign for the Democratic Party nomination, the only way we could measure his ability to act as President was by looking at his record. And indeed the Right has constantly criticized the Democratic nominee on the grounds that his record was not only short, but what record there is doesn't amount to much that proves he is ready for the job. It is painfully obvious that Democrats have caught "Obama Fever" for the same reason they were behind Kerry; because they think Obama can win.

What has always separated conservatives and liberals is principle. When those on the left were rooting for Kerry because they didn't want another Bush term, we accused them of running a "negative campaign" and thought less of them because they had no real reason for supporting John Kerry except political expediency and fear of the alternative. I frowned and shook my head when I saw bumper stickers urging people to vote Kerry because "A Vote for Kerry is a Vote Against Bush". How pathetic.

If we are honest, fair, and genuinely desire the best representation, we are obligated to hold McCain to the same scrutiny as we hold his opponent to. So we are again forced to step back and go beyond the McCain of late and use his record to get a true measure of the man who desires to be our President. And, we have an ethical obligation not to be accused of the same acts we have condemned others for.

I am glad at least for the political stir Palin has caused and for the wind being knocked out of the Obama campaign, but for me, the jury is still out on whether the McCain/Palin ticket is the best representation of my values as a Christian conservative. Palin is an exciting choice for VP, but we need to bear in mind she is not running for President, McCain is.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Out of the Woodwork...

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh the morning the Sarah Palin announcement was made. Since then, I have been spending alot (some would say too much?) time traveling the blogosphere to gauge the reaction from both sides of the political aisle.

Conservatives have awakened from their McCain-induced slumber and have started getting involved in supporting the GOP candidate by giving to the campaign, buying yard signs, etc. I congratulate McCain and his team for their accomplishment and am glad folks are doing more than "holding their noses" this election year.

On the other hand, the wingnuts on the left have come out of the woodwork in direct opposition to McCain for his VP choice. As I read articles about Palin and the associated comments, I am overwhelmed by the volume of people who are passionately on either side of this issue.

The excitement of Republicans is pretty self-explanatory: they have some assurance that their traditional issues will get some representation now that Palin, proven pro-lifer and fiscal conservative, is on the ticket. And the GOP has a woman running who is capable of capturing as much media attention as she has, which is good for the election, especially in light of the way the MSM has sided on reporting on Obama developments, no matter how trivial. The numbers are in and Obama has gotten "special treatment" by the media, and this was probably the only way for the GOP to steal the limelight. There is more, but I will leave it at that.

Where it gets REALLY interesting, and to a degree a little puzzling (call me naive), is the hateful, panic-stricken response from those who support Obama (or post as "Conservative" while secretly supporting Obama, *wink*). The rhetoric ranges from commenting about how foolish McCain is for his choice to downright "Chicken Little-esque" statements about how the world will come to an end if McCain dies (touching they are suddenly so concerned for his well being) and Sarah Palin is at the helm.

Let's assume that the liberals are correct and that the Republican Party is a bunch of kool-aid drinking, lemmings-off-a-cliff, political morons who do not know what is best for this country.

My question to those so thoroughly against the McCain/Palin ticket is: Why are you trying to so hard to talk them into averting disaster? Why not let the logical end, which according to you is utter implosion, come naturally?

The answer is, they are threatened by the impending 4 years of Republican rule that Sarah Palin represents. Who can blame them. I mean, she respects life, liberty, and the individual pursuit of happiness (hey, that sounds familiar) that they despise so very much. The reaction we are seeing is normal when a party has been utterly complacent, resting on it's laurels arrogantly assuming they had the election in the bag, and are suddenly blind-sided by the likelihood that, once again, they will come up losers.