When the McCain/Palin campaign chose Charles Gibson for Palin’s first interview few people realized that Gibson also went on trial. The media bosses were watching. Would he be tough enough on Palin? Or would he give her a free pass?
Charles Gibson has successfully removed all doubt that he remains in good standing with the majority of liberal media snobs. No doubt about it - Gibson was under a great deal of pressure from the left. Had Gibson been a little more confident of his own standing, he might have felt comfortable enough to crack a smile now and then. But Gibson was overly stern and he came off as uncomfortably rigid and obviously unfair. Gibson’s behavior was so biased, that his trust-level has plummeted.
Charles Krauthammer’s Washington Post article today Charlie Gibson's Gaffe makes it clear.
"At times visibly nervous . . . Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of 'anticipatory self-defense.' "
-- New York Times, Sept. 12
Kruthammer wrote that he was the first to use the term “the Bush doctrine,” and he goes on to explain the term’s many transformations. Then Kruthammer summarizes the sentiments of much of America:
Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the Times noted. In doing so, he 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.
The New York Times article by Jacques Steinberg Palin Reviews Are In, and Gibson Got an ... fails to provide a grade for Gibson, but does note in the middle of the page, the following complaints:
The questions some respondents took issue with included Mr. Gibson’s reference to a recent church speech, in which he quoted Ms. Palin as saying, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” In an excerpt of the speech on YouTube — which ABC spliced into the interview when it was shown — Ms. Palin had prefaced that comment by appearing to say she was praying that America’s mission in Iraq represented God’s will.
“How come no one questions Gibson’s qualifications to be a journalist when he misquotes and takes out of context Palin’s comments about the war and God,” someone identified as “I Love Hillary” wrote on the ABC site.
“Bakar 2” wrote on the site, “Charlie Gibson I am so disappointed and ashamed of what you did to Sarah Palin last evening!” The person added, “I hope your ratings go down accordingly.”
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air wrote Did Gibson have a double standard for Palin? Three charts compare Gibson’s soft ball questions in interviews with Obama and Edwards with his hard-ball questions to Palin.
We would have no problem with tough questioning to hold Republican candidates accountable if the media would perform the same task with Democrats. Yet no major media outlet has reported on Barack Obama’s long association with and defense of William Ayers, an unrepentant domestic terrorist, nor have they pressed him on his lack of executive experience or the absence of any significant political accomplishments except his own elections. We await that interview with great anticipation and no hope whatsoever of it ever occurring.