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

by JOAN SWIRSKY September 16, 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!


In a biting comparison between the two candidates,Andrew Bolt, an Australian journalist, based with Melbourne's Herald Sun,cites commentator Neil Mitchell's assessment of the Gibson-Palin interview, in which Mitchell concludes that a President Palin would have already started "four wars," the first with Pakistan.

Here is her reply to Gibson:

We should start with the premise that the United States, like all sovereign nations, has the unilateral right to defend itself against attack. As such, our campaign to take out Al Qaeda base camps and the Taliban regime that harbored them was entirely justified... (I)f we've got (Osama bin Laden) in our sites, we should ask for Pakistan's cooperation, we should ask Pakistan to take him out. But if they don't, we shouldn't need permission to go after folks that killed 3,000 Americans.

Only kidding. That was actually Barack Obama. This is Palin:

"In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists, who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes, and we must not blink.

Here is what Obama said about Russia:

I would also argue that we have the right to take unilateral military action to eliminate an imminent threat to our security - so long as an imminent threat is understood to be a nation, group, or individual that is actively preparing to strike U.S. targets (or allies with which the United States has mutual defense agreements).

Here is Palin on Russia, when asked whether the United States would have to go to war with Russia if it invaded Georgia, and the country was part of NATO:

Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help. What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against ... We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.

No wonder Bolt asks: Which candidate is the dangerous one?

And no wonder that the American public gave Palin high marks and Gibson a failing one!


Among the fatal errors of Obama's campaign is that he has taken on Palin - on, of all things, the issue of "experience" - as if she were the presidential nominee, effectively portraying himself as less than presidential. He has also failed to make his case against his real rival.

As Michael Goodwin writes in the NY Daily News:

With top Dems fearing Barack Obama is in a hole, the Obama campaign has made a weird decision. It's going to dig that hole deeper, harder and faster. No more Mr. Nice Guy, Obama vows. He's going to really start hitting John McCain now. He's going to make voters understand that McCain equals four more years of George Bush.

It's a weird decision because Obama has been doing exactly that for four months [but] he hasn't done anything else. How about a new idea? How about putting some meat on the bony promise of "change"?

Obama was coasting as the presumptive President. He secured his base in Europe, but neglected West Virginia, where Clinton beat him by 40 points. Poll-wise, he remains where he was when Clinton quit in June."

Now faced with an energized and disciplined opponent, Team Obama is doubling-down on an approach that failed to seal the deal despite a beatable McCain, a favorable environment and a fawning media.

Besides, the idea of Obama getting tough and "hitting hard" is laughable. He simply doesn't have it in him. He's an essentially passive and cerebral guy who has always counted on his angry mentors, pastors, associates and handlers to express his anti-capitalist, talk-to-terrorists, raise-your-taxes worldview, while he, himself, has hidden meekly behind the hollow platitudes of change and hope.

Of course, the Leftwing media is continuing its love-fest with Obama and trying its hardest to besmirch Gov. Palin. But as the Gibson interview - and subsequent polls - pointed out, the media have little if any sway with voters. In spite of their best efforts, Obama is still flailing and the inexorable force of the McCain-Palin team surges ahead.


Just this week, reported that: "Several municipal clerks across the state (of Michigan) are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families."

That "community activist group" is none other than ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which has been investigated for voter fraud in Ohio, Colorado, Missouri, Washington, et al, with some employees, according to the Wall Street Journal, being convicted for using "cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and pillars of the community named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey."

According to columnist Michelle Malkin:

This left-wing group takes in 40 percent of its revenues from American taxpayers - you and me - and has leveraged nearly four decades of government subsidies to fund affiliates that promote the welfare state and undermine capitalism and self-reliance, some of which have been implicated in perpetuating illegal immigration and encouraging voter fraud. A new whistleblower report from the Consumer Rights League documents how Chicago-based ACORN has commingled public tax dollars with political projects.

Who in Washington will fight to ensure that your money isn't being spent on these radical activities? Don't bother asking Barack Obama. He cut his ideological teeth working with ACORN as a "community organizer" and legal representative. Naturally, ACORN's political action committee has warmly endorsed his presidential candidacy. According to ACORN, Obama trained its Chicago members in leadership seminars; in turn, ACORN volunteers worked on his campaigns. Obama also sat on the boards of the Woods Fund and Joyce Foundation, both of which poured money into ACORN's coffers. ACORN head Maude Hurd gushes that Obama is the candidate who "best understands and can affect change on the issues ACORN cares about" - like ensuring their massive pipeline to your hard-earned money.

Everyone knows about the notorious Chicago machine and its "talent" for fixing elections. Clearly, I believe the most important thing that conservative, Republican, Independent, and Democrat-for-McCain voters can and must do to insure a McCain-Palin victory on November 4th is to contact their voting precincts and insist that each and every vote be monitored. contributing editor Joan Swirsky has been a longtime health-and-science and feature writer for The New York Times Long Island section and the recipient of seven Long Island Press Awards. She was also the editor of The Caucus Current, a monthly magazine on Jewish political issues, for 15 years.

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