In Palin-Gibson Throwdown, Government Gets A, Media F

September 22, 2008

Charlie Gibson's interview with Gov. Sarah Palin should be put in a time capsule and saved for future generations to understand why Democrats - in veering far-left during the first eight years of the 21st century - became the extinct dinosaurs of American politics by once again losing their bid for the presidency.

There was ABC-TV's Gibson, looking clinically depressed and speaking in that faux-soft voice people use when trying to suppress their rage, questioning the vice-presidential candidate in all of her youthful, can-do American optimism. What a picture!

Gibson embodied the media elites and other leftover leftists from the '60s whose entire raison d'être since 2000 has been to demonize the president, our war efforts, and our country, to tear down and excoriate them, to side with our enemies, and to undermine every attempt to achieve victory in Iraq, create energy independence, and maintain intelligence secrecy - all in the service of electing a Commander in Chief whose Marxist/socialist worldview reflected their own.

In glaring contrast, Palin embodied all those who love our country, appreciate the need to defend it at all costs, pray daily for our victory over a determined enemy and for our troops themselves, revere the importance of family and the sanctity of life, appreciate that energy independence is a national security issue, and believe that what's wrong with Washington - including a Democrat Congress with the lowest poll ratings in history (Gallup had it at 6% in June) - can and will be reformed by people with proven track records in doing just that.

There was Gibson, peering superciliously over his old-fogy Carl Levin eyeglasses and affecting the conceit of liberals everywhere that they are oh-so-superior - intellectually and morally - to the rubes among them.

And there was Palin, unfazed by his pretenses, offering down-home hospitality and answering his questions with sophistication and accuracy that have since driven the Obama campaign and liberals in general around the bend.

There was Gibson, pretending to be objective, when we all know that his sole purpose was to present the kind of gotcha questions that would derail the Palin juggernaut.

And there was Palin, pretending that she didn't know exactly what he was up to.

Gibson asked the governor if she agreed with the Bush Doctrine.

"In what respect, Charlie?" she replied.

According to columnist Charles Krauthammer, "she responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous. Sensing his `gotcha' moment, Gibson refused to tell her and then "grudgingly explained" that it "is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense."

But, as Krauthammer - who was first to use the term - explains, the Bush Doctrine originally meant the policy of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, which "amounted to a radical change in foreign policy."

The second Bush Doctrine, Krauthammer adds, came after 9/11: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

The third Bush Doctrine - Gibson's choice - had to do with the notion of waging preemptive war.

And the fourth Bush Doctrine, Krauthammer said, is "the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world."

Gibson, Krauthammer said, "captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes' reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage."

In short, Palin was correct and Gibson's researchers didn't do their homework.

As it turned out, ABC drastically edited the interview. According to writer P.J. Gladnick of, the network "edited out crucial portions of the interview that showed Palin as knowledgeable or presented her answers out of context."

Here is a mere sampling of the questions Charlie Gibson asked Governor Palin:

  • Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
  • The administration has said we've got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
  • What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
  • And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
  • Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?

Yet, in his recent interview with Obama, Gibson never asked the candidate about his longtime associations with anti-American, anti-Semitic Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago convicted crook Tony Rezko, the anti-American priest Michael Phleger, or the unrepentant domestic terrorist, bomber and killer William Ayers, and nothing on foreign policy. But Gibson, in true Oprah touchy-feely fashion, did ask him:

  • Do you worry that [the 2008 race] could turn on race, age and class?
  • Is the hardest part of all this behind you or ahead of you?
  • The picture of you in the paper, this morning, with your wife, watching the Clinton speech. What did you think of the Clinton speech?
  • Your daughters. What did they say to you? Did they take it as a matter of course that Daddy could be nominated to be president? They never knew what older people know in terms of discrimination, although they may still feel some. What did they say about that?
  • I watched closely your countenance last night, your mien, as you stood in that hall. You didn't smile much. Has the joyfulness of this hit home yet? Do you take joy from it?

So much for even a pretense of objectivity by ABC and Gibson!

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Copyright ©2008 Joan Swirsky