Charlie Gibson had a chance to show that he could be fair, balanced, and P.D.S.-free with Sarah Palin’s first major MSM interview.
Looks like he blew it.
Taking quotes out of context.
Engaging in distortionary hype.
And the reason we should watch the rest of this hatchet job is…what exactly?
Also: Guess this is good preparation for the kind of neutral, objective questions we’ll get during the debates.
Interview excerpts here.
This is how Yahoo! News is promoting the interview:
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.
That’s what that comment was all about, Charlie.
GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln’s words, but you went on and said, “There is a plan and it is God’s plan.”
What she actually said:
“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
Allahpundit rips Gibson:
Totally untrue, but that’s what he gets for relying on the Associated Press, which took the liberty of bowdlerizing her quote mid-sentence in order to make it fit the narrative they were trying to build of her as some fundie who thinks she can read God’s mind. Here’s my post on the subject from last Thursday. Read it and see just how egregious the distortion here is.
What’s missing from the AP’s version? Right — the beginning of what she said, the part that makes clear she’s not asserting that we’re doing God’s will but simply praying that we are. It’s the difference between me saying “McCain will win” and “I pray McCain will win.” The first is an assertion of fact/secret knowledge, the second is an expression of desire/hope. The AP actually stoops to picking up the quote mid-sentence to make it better fit the stereotype of the holy-roller yokel claiming divine inspiration for Bush’s Crusade.
Will Gibson acknowledge this egregious distortion?
Kathryn Lopez: “Or was Charlie Gibson just condescendingly explaining the world to Sarah Palin?”
Commenter MNgirl: “I just finished watching both ABC News and I was okay with it for the first 5 minutes but when Gibson looked down his little nose at her disapprovingly and said ‘Why don’t you tell me what you think the Bush doctrine is……’he lost me. This one is going to backfire on the media once again. He blew it, women hate being patronized and women watching that are only going to see him trying play “gotcha” with Palin and her fan club is going to grow. What a jerk. He gets a gift handed to him and the most he can do is patronize her and try to trick her. Idiot.”
Commenter jencab: “This is a lame interview. Charlie belittled her, chopped up her answers, seems repulsed, and sighed. What the hell is that? I never seen him like this with any other politician. Unbelievable.”
Patterico: “Holey Moley — L.A. Times Criticizes Gibson for Mischaracterizing Palin’s Prayer”
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