I had taped Sarah Palin’s interview with Charlie Gibson last night, and didn’t watch it until much later in the evening. I had already read various opinions on blogs and news outlets, so I was intrigued at what I would find. I thought that Gov. Palin did well for her first national interview. She appeared a bit nervous, but answered all the questions well, did not make any major gaffes, articulated conservative principles well, and came across as a real person, one of her major appeals.
Gibson, on the other hand, appeared condescending, especially on the question asking her if she agreed with the Bush Doctrine, which the media is now all over Sarah Palin for not knowing exactly what that is. Gibson even, after her initial answer, stated what he thought the Bush Doctrine was, the doctrine of preemptive attacks. The problem for Gibson is that there is a wide variety of opinion on exactly what the Bush Doctrine is. It is mostly a Washington-insider generated term. In two separate Boston Globe articles, the Bush Doctrine is defined differently; once as preemption and once as the concept that state sponsors of terrorism are to be treated the same as the terrorists themselves. You can bet if Obama had answered this question this way that the media would not be all over him about it.
The editing job on the interview was horrible — it was often obvious that they edited her mid-sentence, and it appeared as if GIbson was often interrupting her. It would be interesting to see the full interview, as that would give a better idea of what she really said rather than press reports.
Finally, Gibson also misquoted Palin in an attempt to paint her as a religious zealot, asking her why she felt that the we were engaged in a holy war and if she really felt that we were doing God’s work. In the process, Gibson showed his ignorance of religion and people of faith. A close examination of the actual quote (which he left ou the beginning of when asking her) shows that she was praying that what we were doing WAS the will of God, and that it WAS according to God’s plan. She wasn’t stating that fact, she was asking that God guide us to do what is right according to His plan — something that all practicing Christians can relate to.
Overall, Sarah Palin did not do herself any harm, and even exceeded the interviewing skills of a certain Democrat candidate (I did not here one “Umm..well..uhh..Charlie…uhhhh” throughout the entire interview). After she gets a few of these under her belt, she will probably excel at them. Overall, Palin 1, Drive-by-Media 0.