So, instead of merely reporting the news, now reporters are the news? Apparently Charlie Gibson thinks he is, anyway. He gave an interview to the Toledo Blade on October 5 as if his opinions of the race for the White House are somehow more important than the news of the candidates. You remember the candidates, don't you Chuck? You know, those guys who are actually going to be elected, the ones that you are supposed to be reporting on?
Gibson spoke to the Toledo Blade's TV beat reporter Kirk Baird about an upcoming visit to Ohio's Bowling Green State University and he said a few pretty revealing things to the Blade about how the media are treating the campaign.
Like many of his ilk, he appears in this interview to show a disdain for small town America, he obviously pretends not to see any bias among his comrades, he excuses that bias he does see and interestingly he claimed it was the duty of the media to "expose" Sarah Palin -- an interesting choice of words, for sure.
Gibson will be in Ohio for an ABC spectacle this coming week where they will arrange to discuss the next debate with what they are to claiming to be an "independent" group of Bowling Green University students. But, Gibson takes pains to say that Obama has "energized" students even as he claims they will speak to some that are for McCain.
Gibson begged off answering any of Baird's direct questions about his impression of Sarah Palin, but Gibson did take a swipe at her community in a subtle way. In discussing his Palin interview, after inarticulately saying, "there was a great deal of interest in it. It was interesting that there was so much interest in it," Gibson seemed to take a cosmopolitan's jab at the "surreal" Fairbanks, Alaska.
All of sudden here you are in a hotel in the city of Fairbanks [Alaska], which doesn't have a very large population, and there's all this attention. There's eight people sitting in a room and a camera rolling ... it just seemed surreal to be in such a setting where there's this interview that so many people have talked about.
What makes it all so surreal? Has Gibson never interviewed an important person before? It seems clear that what was "surreal" to Gibson was that he was forced to go to what he must consider a godforsaken, barren spot that "doesn't have a very large population." Otherwise, what was so surreal about doing the same job he's done for decades?
To a question about being a moderator for debates, Gibson went into a long, drawn out explanation of the timing that the moderators use to govern the debates that was of little interest. But Gibson went on to say that he felt VP debate moderator and known Obamaphile Gwen Ifill, is a "very fair human being." Apparently he didn't really watch the debates to notice the "F" Ifill easily earned as the moderator. Obviously he sees nothing wrong with being completely in the corner of one side as a debate moderator, doesn't think it will call into question that moderator's fairness.
But, Gibson's last bit was the most revealing of the interview. To a question on media bias Gibson replied:
Overall, you've got to make sure the coverage balances out in terms of time. We're wrestling with that now. We gave a lot of time to the Palin thing. We're not going to make it absolutely equal because she's new on the scene, so simply ... it's important to expose her, more so than Joe Biden. But we've got to do something fair on the other side as well. We'll do something ... I don't know if it will equal in terms of time, but it will be something featured.
Since when has the media made sure "the coverage balances out"? Obama has gotten far and away more and more positive coverage than has McCain. And, I found his choice of words on how they were handling Governor Palin quite revealing. Maybe it was a sort of Freudian slip, but his choice of words, "it's important to expose her," was interesting, to say the least.
As Gibson has repeatedly proven during his career, "fairness" isn't necessarily high on his list of important goals for which to strive.