Friday, September 12, 2008

Gibson's Palin Interview - LiveBlog

Watching the ABC News 20/20 Friday night, where they interview Governor Sarah Palin. The introduction tries the scary music and "who really is Sarah Palin?" line, and threw several low blows at Palin. One was the billing per diem. They mentioned that she bill the state, but failed to mention that it was a drastic reduction from her predecessor, mentioned that she sold the money-hog private jet and flies coach, or mention that she has been actually billing less than she is entitled to.

"Governor of a small populated state" Gibson says. Actually, Alaska is the geographically largest state, Charlie. Why diss this state by calling it small? It's not like its ... Delaware.

"He's regretting not picking her now." Palin on Obama and Hillary. She says Hillary showed "grace". She might be the quote of the night.

In the interview: Gibson says Wasilla went from no debt to debt, but she countered that it was due to a bond issue that people wanted. She mentions the tax reductions, and there were many.

Gibson asks, curtly: "What do you change in the Bush administration plans?" Why the over-focus on an Obama campaign talking point of "change from Bush"? As if change from Bush is the pole star of good policy. (It's not.) And why repeat the question when it was answered with their policies? On the third ask, she says it 1,2,3: 1. Reform taxes. 2. Restrain spending. 3. Reform the oversight of agencies. This great answer apparently displeased Gibson because she didn't sufficiently bash the Bush administration with it.

"We will find efficiencies in every agency." She says the people want to see efficiencies in Government. Mentions that entitlements could be on the table.

Next up are the social issues. Roe v Wade: Palin says "States should be able to decide" on abortion policy. When Gibson brings up her'extreme' position of opposing abortion even in the case of rape and incest, Palin says: "I am prolife ... a culture of life is best for America. ... greater support for adoption and other options."

Embryonic stem cell research: "My personal opinion is we should not be destroying embryos." She correctly points out that it is her personal opinion which is different than McCain's. Gibson seems to only know the liberal talking point positions on this and other topics, and incorrectly states that embryonic stem cell research is the most promising research, when in fact breakthroughs have practically
Guns: "Ban on assault weapons?" She opposes. "I believe in the second amendment." Gibson pressures her: "Is gun violence a health issue?" with graphic of gun violence (hmm, no graphic of an abortion). She responds that gun control takes guns from law-abiding people not criminals.

Without a doubt, she came off as a pro-gun pro-life social conservative, but one who is sincerely open-minded and not 'strident' in her expression; this will please the Republican base and repel liberals.

She gave a good answer on the question of family versus her job: "I am part of that generation (where equality of opportunity is a part of life)." She says she can handle the combination of family and work just as others have managed (who jut happen in the past to be men). By deflecting the question of whether it is sexist to ask or not, she is more or less saying this - the non-sexist answer is to assume she can handle the situation as well as a man with a family.

Gibson opened up the supposed scandals. On book banning, she debunked that by saying she merely asked the question about policy if a parent requested books banned. On so-called troopergate issue, she was at least able to point out that: First, they raised and issue because the security detail asked if there was a threat on the family, and the trooper in question threatened to kill her father; second, that the commissioner, who was replaced has said that she never asked him to fire the trooper; third, the trooper in question that the Governor supposedly tried to get fired is, um, still on the job. This is non-scandal in so many ways, its amazing it is raised.

In the end, the interview didn't have any real surprises. For Governor Sarah Palin, that's mostly to the good. It did show that Governor Palin could hold her own in an interview setup where the press is throwing leading questions at her. Her positions are an open book, and she showed that she was at least able to parry some tough questions, and in other cases use political dodges to get away from 'gotcha' setup questions. Charlie Gibson is a liberal talking-point parrot who apparently is incapable of recognizing conservative thought or ideas, and thus wanted yes-no answers to falsely premised liberal POV questions. I came away thinking: Now why didn't they ever put Barack Obama through such a tough grilling?

Interview transcript from ABC News.

Malkin has the rundown on the previous nights interview, which was Gibson trying out the gotcha games on Palin: ABC News Blows It.

Mark Penn of the Hillary campaign notes the anti-Palin media bias: "I think that the media is doing the kinds of stories on Palin that they’re not doing on the other candidates. And that’s going to subject them to people concluding that they’re giving her a tougher time."

Update 2: Proof of the Gibson double-standard. He gave a puff interview to Edwards in 2004 (You speak with such equanimity this morning. Didn’t they make you mad last night?), puff interview to Obama a few months back (How does it feel to “win”?). Only Palin gets tough questions from Gibson.

No comments: