Friday, September 12, 2008

A funny part

of Charles Gibson's haughty quizzing of Governor Palin.

Gibson quizzed her about "the Bush Doctrine". She was unsure of what he was referencing. She asked him to further explain. Here's the funny part: Charlie Gibson could not himself remember the Bush Doctrine! He haughtily quizzed her about something he himself didn't know the answer to! Hilarity. Gibson fumbled around, seemed (off camera) to be referencing his notes, then gave an incorrect definition of the Bush Doctrine!

I'm with Andy McCarthy's take on the incident ... except: I think, more than Andy does, Palin drew a blank on "Bush Doctrine". Maybe she'd never heard of it. Maybe she just blanked in the moment. But, to my eyes, she blanked on it. That's not a big deal. Bush hasn't much publicized his doctrine, i.e. "with us or against us", since the end of 2001. Andy McCarthy demonstrates that most Americans - even the Americans who are very most up to date on issues - would have a hard time either remembering or agreeing on exactly what the Bush Doctrine is. Further, Bush arguably hasn't followed his own doctrine.

The left blogs and MSM will make a big deal of it. Maybe Leno and Letterman will make a big deal of it. I don't think voters care. Voters already know Gov. Palin is not Colin Powell. Instead, she will be taking advice from Colin Powell.

However, upon further reflection, let's say maybe on the advice part. Colin Powell hates the Bush Doctrine.


Gibson may have trouble living a second thing down: either he or his staff (my pick) proffered a partial Palin statement about praying for our troops as a gotcha. Palin smelled a rat:
Palin: You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote.

Gibson, as always, haughtily: Exact words!

Gibson's partial quote inferred the exact opposite of the meaning of Palin's fuller statement.

Palin nevertheless came out of this exchange smelling like a rose, as she explained she was quoting Abraham Lincoln in her statement.

ABC compounded the egregiousness by editing the above exchange out of their Nightline telecast (the exchange had earlier been on World News Tonight). Thus they edited out Palin's objection that her words were mischaracterized - therefore making her look worse; they edited out Gibson's haughty double down: "Exact words" - therefore making him look better. Sigh. A simple acknowledgment and apology would've been so much more professional.

Update: Richard Starr, in the Weekly Standard Blog, lists multiple examples of media bigwigs giving differing definitions of the Bush Doctrine. link

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