Sarah Palin and Charlie Gibson

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on September 11, 2008

It's a little bit sad that the McCain campaign took a look at the mainstream media littered with Obama cheerleaders and decided that the fairest coverage they could get was from ABC News' Charlie Gibson. So, Gov. Sarah Palin sat down with Charlie and he proceeded to demonstrate his incompetence.

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.

Well, not exactly. Her exact words were:

"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."

And the real "exact words" show that Gibson is either incompetent or dishonest or both. As you choose which explanation you wish to attribute Gibson's performance to, take note that the last two lines -- where Palin questions if the quote is correct and Gibson assures her it is -- ended up on the cutting room floor.

If that wasn't bad enough, Gibson tries to "gotcha" Palin and ends up being "got" himself.

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?

Wrong! That's not the "Bush doctrine."

National Review's Andrew McCarthy:

The Bush Doctrine, technically, is not asserting a right of preemptive attack. It is saying that if Country A facilitates terror, it is responsible for that terrorist organization's strikes, and therefore we can attack Country A. That is not preemptive; it is retributive.

And then you've got the occasionally reliable Wikipedia:

The Bush Doctrine is a phrase used to describe various related foreign policy principles of United States president George W. Bush, enunciated in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to treat countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups as terrorists themselves, which was used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan.

Wikipedia then lists some other things the doctrine is now believed to include -- including the right of preemptive attack -- but as McCarthy notes (follow the link) that right is part of the right of self-defense and is nothing new to Bush. The naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis was technically a pre-emptive attack.

It wasn't like we needed any further evidence of how ill-served we are by the mainstream media, but it's always nice to have anyway.

0 comments on “Sarah Palin and Charlie Gibson”

  1. Charlie Gibson might have made himself look bad by getting it wrong, it only goes to prove your point that journalism's wounds are self inflicted. Unfortunately, the real story is that Sarah Palin, does not know what the Bush Doctrine is, the foreign policy doctrine that the US has been operating under for the last 7 years and the doctrine that a McCain presidency has not said it will not follow.

    I don't have a problem with some of the other things, not knowing foreign leaders names, not traveling out of the country, etc. She's going to be VP not POTUS and was a Governor that didn't have to deal much with foreign policy. That said, as someone who will be one of the most powerful people in the world she should have a basic understanding of the foreign policy that the country has been operating under for the last 7 years. It was clear by the look on her face and the hesitation that she had no idea what he Charlie was talking about and tried to BS her way through.

    I don't have much use for the majority of crap that's been said about Palin, I do have some concern about what her record really is, that doesn't seem clear yet and I am very concerned with her complete lack of foreign policy experience. We live in very dangerous times and we need someone who seems to have at least thought about foreign policy at some point in the last few years. She clearly has not.

    DF

  2. I've thought about this as well. I did not see the whole interview but have seen the Bush doctrine clips. She definitely looked like a deer caught in the headlights. So, how to think about this?

    On one hand, her lack of knowledge is quite disturbing. On the other hand, within 3-6 months of being VP she will have easily surpassed Obama's current foreign policy knowledge or experience, assuming of course that she works hard at learning about it. So, as long as McCain lives another year or so I genuinely think that her level of expertise will be superior to that of Obama's. If the country is prepared to elect Obama, it should be prepared to elect her VP.

    Everyone will make their own judgment about this, but mine has become that as long as I feel comfortable with her as a potential POTUS some day, then I can get comfortable with her being VP now.

  3. Looks like in 9/21/2002 Gibson had this version of the Bush Doctrine:

    "The president in his speech last night, very forceful. Four out of five Americans watched it. Everybody gathered around the television set last night. The president issued a series of demands to the Taliban, already rejected. We'll get to that in a moment. He also outlined what is being called the Bush Doctrine, a promise that all terrorists organizations with global reach will be found, stopped and defeated."

    Moving ahead six years:
    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?

    Looks like she understood the "Bush Doctrine" better than Gibson.

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