The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Charlie, Charlie

Charles Gibson’s hard-hitting interview on ABC television with Sarah Palin exhibited the kind of questioning that all of us in the Center would like see much more often. Hard hitting, very aggressive, substantive, and focused are all adjectives that are fair to apply to his questions on foreign policy, religion, and global warming. With the exception of his "gotcha" question on the Bush Doctrine (I would bet that 98 percent of all senators, congressman and academics would have been unable to answer or understand it as it was presented), it was good journalism.

But there’s a problem … when Gibson conducted his first interview with Barack Obama in 2007, there were no hard-hitting questions, no aggressive follow-ups, no substantive exploration of Obama’s foreign policy knowledge, his association with his church, or his broad-based understanding of climate change. There were no gotcha questions either. And Obama was running for President.

Instead there were softball questions from Gibson like the following (from the interview transcript):
GIBSON: Your mom comes from the Pacific Northwest, migrates to Hawaii, goes to college there, right away, meets a dashing young Kenyan, gets pregnant and the result …

Obama smiles and answers with style.

GIBSON: How did you internalize that? [On his father deserting Obama’s family]

Obama looks very serious and responds.
GIBSON: For five years out of college, he worked to pay off student loans and was a community organizer in Chicago, which led him back to school, Harvard Law School, and on a summer job, met this young woman. (to Obama) Did you know right away?

Obama tells a romantic story. Note that his days as a community organizer were never explored. Too bad, there are some interesting and disturbing elements to that story. I suppose Charlie was in a better mood that night and wanted to hear about romance.

Finally after a softball introduction in which Gibson introduces Obama (none of that for Palin, it was all strictly business), Gibson asked the question he asked Palin out of the box:
GIBSON: So did you think to yourself, 'Barack, what kind of hubris is this that I am thinking about being President?"

But surely, there were other questions that had more substance, right? He must have following up that question by probing Obama's experience? He must have asked about the Senator's foreign policy background?

Nope. That was it.

So it appears that hard hitting, very aggressive, substantive, and focused questions are appropriate for an introductory interview of a VP candidate who the MSM has decided to despise, but wholly inappropriate for a candidate for President that they have chosen to promote.

Nah, there’s no media bias. Not a bit.