In portions of Charles Gibson's third interview with Sarah Palin aired on Friday's 20/20 and Nightline, but not earlier on World News, Gibson demanded to know why she and John McCain “keep saying” Barack Obama will raise taxes when he says he won't, followed up her wish that Roe v Wade be overturned by -- in a question left out of the ABCNews.com transcript -- contending “it's a critical issue for so many women. You believe women should not have that choice?” and after Palin expressed support for gun rights, he asserted “we spend billions of dollars a year every year treating people who are victims of gun violence” and pleaded, as if more gun control is the only solution: “Nothing we can do about that?”
As the two sat in Palin's Wasilla home, Gibson scolded her and McCain:
Why do you both keep saying that Obama is going to raise people's taxes? It's been pretty clear what he intends. He's talked about middle-class tax cuts, extending Bush tax cuts on everything but people who own or earn more than $250,000 a year -- cuts taxes on over 91 percent of the country. Why do you keep saying he's going to raise people's taxes?
Johanna Neuman of the Los Angeles Times yesterday misrepresented First Lady Laura Bush's words to make it seem like she was backing away from GOP veep candidate Sarah Palin's criticism of Senator Barack Obama's community organizing days.
Recall, as I noted in the NewsBusters post "Media Freak Out Over Palin and Giuliani's ‘Community Organizer' Jabs" earlier today, that community organizing, in the sense that Obama, a Harvard-educated lawyer uses the term, is Saul Alinsky-style political organizing. It's not about church bake sales, picking up litter, little leagues, or parent-teacher associations. It's about agitation aimed at securing big chunks of government money and radical social change. It is not noble. It is radical left-wing activism. It is not community service. It's more like community destruction. Think Jesse Jackson. Think Al Sharpton. Think ACORN. Think Mother Jones.
In Charles Gibson's third interview session with Sarah Palin, conducted at her home in Wasilla and featured on Friday's World News, Gibson asserted “we've got a very sick economy,” pressed her to list how she'd change Bush economic policy, insisted she concede “it's now pretty clearly documented you supported that bridge before you opposed it” (and to defend Alaska's continued earmark requests), all before he ran through several social issues -- from abortion to guns -- forcing her to state positions Gibson certainly realized would cement her to ideologically conservative positions seen as extreme by many of his viewers.
On the economy, with the Palin's airplane visible lakeside in the background, Gibson proposed: “John McCain and you are now talking about the GOP as a party of change. We've got a very sick economy. Tell me the three principal things you would do to change the Bush economic policies.” Amongst his follow-ups: “Summarize the three things that you'd change in the Bush economic plans.” Gibson soon ran through a list of social issue topics:
> Roe v. Wade, do you think it should be reversed?...John McCain would allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. Do you believe in it only in the case where the life of the mother is in danger?...Would you change and accept it in rape and incest?
> Embryonic stem cell research, John McCain has been supportive of it.
> Homosexuality, genetic or learned?
> Guns: 70 percent of this country supports a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons. Do you?
How interesting that ABC's Charles Gibson, as noted in this Associated Press dispatch, focused on Sarah Palin's foreign-policy bona fides when he interviewed her (a transcript is here). Also note the biased AP evaluation (bolds are mine):
John McCain running mate Sarah Palin sought Thursday to defend her qualifications but struggled with foreign policy ..... acknowledging she's never met a foreign head of state.
..... She also said she had never met a head of state and added: "If you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you."
Indeed. Palin's contention gains more support if you look at the prior experience of at least a couple of presidents and vice-presidents during the past few decades:
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith talked to Rudy Giuliani about Sarah Palin’s performance in an interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson on Thursday’s World News and Giuliani observed: "The whole issue of whether she knows world affairs or not, these are questions that were never asked of Barack Obama, never asked of him to this day."A visibly upset Smith vigorously denied such bias: "That's not true. That's not true." Giuliani continued: "To this day he hasn't been asked these questions, about travel-" Smith kept up his defense: "That's not true. That is absolutely not true...That is absolutely not true. Those -- all those questions have been asked over the last 19 months." Giuliani got in the last word: "I don't know where."
New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney's front-page story on Friday, "Obama Raises Level of Attack As Party Frets," tipped its hand on one part of Barack Obama campaign's strategy: Relying on turnout from its loyal supporters in the press.
By every indication, Mr. Obama's aides underestimated the impact that Mr. McCain's choice of Ms. Palin would have on the race. Mr. Obama and his campaign have seemed flummoxed in trying to figure out how to deal with her. His aides said they were looking to the news media to debunk the image of her as a blue-collar reformer, even as they argued that her power to help Mr. McCain was overstated.
Democrat vice presidential nominee Joe Biden gives significantly less money to charity as a percentage of his household income than the average American.
In fact, in the last ten years, Biden and his wife have averaged 98 percent less in charitable donations than the typical household in their income bracket. Such was revealed Friday when Biden released his family's tax returns for the last ten years.
As the Obama/Biden ticket champions itself as the candidates for the little guy and the downtrodden, one has to wonder how much press coverage this story will get. As marvelously reported by the TaxProf Blog Friday (emphasis added, grateful h/t Jennifer Rubin):
H/t cgb1. Sarah Palin is sending the MSM around the bend. On MSNBC this afternoon, Andrea Mitchell provided perhaps the most blatant example yet of an MSMer openly admitting she doesn't want Palin as VP. Mitchell, clearly frustrated by Palin's every-woman-appeal, complained: "Is that what we really want in our leaders? Do we want someone 'just like me?' I mean, I don't want someone like me because I know I'm not because I know I'm not prepared to be vice-president or president. What makes people think that having someone like their neigbhor be in the White House is a good thing?"
Mitchell's guest was Lisa Murkowski, Republican senator from Alaska. Mitchell began by trying to lure Murkowski into taking a swing at Palin for her comments about taking on the "good old boys." Palin defeated Murkowski's father Frank, then the sitting governor of Alaska, in the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary:
A former aide to Hillary Clinton's campaign has told CBS News that the media have been much harder on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin than the other candidates in the race, and as a result "have growing credibility problems."
In an interview posted at CBSNews.com Friday, Mark Penn eviscerated the press for "going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed" whilst showing no similar interest for those of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, or even John McCain.
Readers are warned to strap themselves in tightly, for Penn spoke more plainly about media coverage of this election cycle than most in his party can tolerate (emphasis added, h/t Jennifer Rubin, photo courtesy CBSNews.com):
On August 31 at Newsbusters, Warner Todd Huston caught NBC political correspondent Andrea Mitchell's assessment about the kind of women who would be supporting the McCain-Palin ticket:
..... they (McCain-Palin) think that they can peel off some of these working class women, not college educated, who, the blue collar women who were voting for Hillary Clinton and may be more conservative on social causes.
Combining Mitchell's take with the statement by Eleanor Clift (noted by NB's Brent Baker) that "in many newsrooms" McCain's pick of Sarah Palin was "greeted by "laughter," you get the distinct impression that the media believe that women who are supporting McCain-Palin aren't very smart.
The Mitchell-Clift Maxim isn't passing the smell test in Ohio, at least if the results of the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll released earlier today (a PDF can be retrieved at this link; HT to NB commenter Dee Bunk) are to be believed.
In its Dunkin' Donut-sponsored Web poll of the day for September 12, Time.com misrepresented Gov. Sarah Palin's position on the Georgia-Russia conflict, perhaps to paint the Alaska governor as a trigger-happy novice at foreign affairs:
Do you agree with Sarah Palin that the US should go to war to defend Georgia if necessary," asked the poll. That suggests Palin is urging the United States gear up for war with Russia, a misrepresentation of her views.
But a look at the interview with Charles Gibson in context shows Palin was merely expressing a commitment to defend Georgia as a NATO member if that nation should join NATO. That is perfectly in line with Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which reads:
As if we needed another reason to think that the excitable Maureen Dowd and the empty headed Matt Damon are... well, excitable and empty headed... we get the newest raindrop in their river of blather as proof that their "research" into a subject seems to consist of hearing an unsupported claim and deciding it represent gospel truth. Our latest proof is that they both seem to have been taken in by a nutrooter lie, a fake quote that claims Sarah Palin said, "dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago."
Both seem to have fallen for a parody of Governor Palin invented by a blogger who's post seems to have been taken literally. The following self-identified "fake Governor Sarah Palin Quote" was posted on August 30: "God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats."
I guess if the press can't find anything substantive to throw up against Sarah Palin, making stuff up will have to do.
A front-page article by the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut crows over what the reporter claims is a gaffe by GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin:
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."
The idea that Iraq shared responsibility with al-Qaeda for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself.
This one has got to take the cake for stupidity and lack of journalistic integrity. The Old Media has been gyrating in ever widening circles to find new and unheard of ways to destroy Governor Sarah Palin and now from the Hartford Courant (Connecticut) we find the most ridiculous one yet. With this Robert Thorson column we have now gone from slandering Gov. Palin herself, to attacking every last member of her family -- including her Down Syndrome child, Trig -- to this latest stop on the smear Palin express: attacking Palin's hometown Wasilla, Alaska. Thorson seriously tries to make us believe that Wasilla is an "angry" town! Why? Because of its "geography." And because of something that happened in 1976.
Yes, Wasilla is filled with "disappointed" and "angry" people and this is what "scares" Thorson about Governor Sarah Palin. And Thorson knows that everyone in Wasilla is foaming at the mouth mad because of his intimate knowledge of Wasilla and it's people, right? He knows this because of his extensive research into Wasilla's newspapers, or TV reports, or interviews with citizens all of whom are telling him about their mental perturbation, right? Uh, no. He "knows" this because of an Encyclopedia entry and little else.
ABC's Charles Gibson pressed Sarah Palin repeatedly, in a fresh interview excerpt aired on Thursday's "Nightline," to cry uncle and concede global warming is “man-made” -- but even when she did he wasn't satisfied and pushed for more of a mea culpa. "Nightline," which made “War, God and Oil” the on-screen header for excerpts from Gibson's interviews, began with a slightly longer version of what "World News" carried earlier, mostly about foreign policy, followed by new video from a second interview Gibson conducted as the two walked alongside the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
Gibson presumed not believing global warming is “man-made” is some kind of shameful oddity as he wondered: “Do you still believe that global warming is not man-made?” Palin offered that “I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming,” but that wasn't enough for Gibson, who held up John McCain as the oracle and lectured:
Charles Gibson's interview with Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the first since her selection, not surprisingly focused mostly on pressing her to prove she's qualified for the job and quizzing her about foreign policy issues. While Gibson certainly treated her with more respect than would have many other national media figures, he did suggest her willingness to unhesitatingly accept John McCain's offer demonstrated “hubris” and he delved into what he described as her “provocative comments” on the Iraq war being part of “God's plan.” When he seemingly caught her unaware of the definition of the “Bush Doctrine,” he outlined its tenets without embarrassing her, yet he also veered close to condescension in asking if she had “ever travel[ed] outside the country” and: “Have you ever met a foreign head of state?”
Gibson began the World News excerpt, of the session recorded in Fairbanks, with what he termed “the central question,” namely: “Can you look the country in the eye and say 'I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just Vice President, but perhaps President of the United States of America?'” When she denied any hesitation about her abilities, Gibson asserted: “Doesn't that take some hubris?”After she cited her energy expertise, he countered: “National security is a whole lot more than energy.” He moved on to quizzing her about how, if the U.S. followed her advice to admit Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, “wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?”, whether she'd let Israel attack Iran and if she would approve of cross-border raids into Pakistan.
That segment consumed the first ten minutes or so of World News which ended with another interview excerpt in which Gibson paraphrased her as saying in June that “our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” After supporting You Tube video of Palin, Gibson demanded: “Are we fighting a holy war?” Unconvinced by her answer about how she only meant, as Lincoln urged, “let us pray that we are on God's side,” Gibson pounced: “But you went on and said, 'There is a plan and it is God's plan.'” He soon followed up again: “Are you sending your son on a task that is from God?”
Hubris was indeed revealed in the ABC interview with Sarah Palin, and it wasn't coming from Sarah Palin, but Charlie Gibson. But there was more than Charlie's sneering condescending tone, looking down over the rim of his glasses like some snobby intellectual that bothered me. Twisting her words into a fabrication feeding the fear of theocracy was utterly insulting. It was especially insulting to claim that these were her "exact words" after being challenged on it. Watch this video excerpt from the interview to see the exchange.
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.
On Thursday's "Today" show, co-host Meredith Vieira actually challenged former Clinton administration advisor Paul Begala about the significance of Barack Obama's recent "lipstick on a pig" comment.
As was typical for this shameless pol, Begala viewed the McCain campaign's complaints concerning this remark as a distraction "from the fact that, you know, in the eyes of most people, the economy's going in the wrong direction, health care's going in the wrong direction, the whole country's going in the wrong direction."
However, Vieira surprisingly disagreed, and wasn't letting her guest get away with simply echoing Democrat talking points (partial transcript and embedded video follow, file photo right):
On Tuesday's "Special Report," Fox News's Brit Hume credited NewsBusters for exposing a fake eBay listing auctioning off Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's baby Trig.
As my colleague Warner Todd Huston wrote earlier that morning:
Apparently, a poster at the radical nutroot site, DemocraticUnderground, created a fake listing for someone pretending to sell baby Trig on ebay. The faux listing read "Baby used prop newborn boy 3-6 months special needs," and included a description that called Governor Palin a "pushy social climber, unwilling to let pregnancy and children stand in the way of ambition."
Later that evening, Hume reported (h/t American Thinker's Marc Sheppard):
Washington Post staff writer Kevin Merida talked to NewsBusters at a rally for John McCain in Fairfax, VA and denied that the media are biased. He asserted, "I think that most journalists are really conscientious about, you know, really looking at all sides of issues and subjects." However, he did hedge that "there's always some bias in media coverage and some, just, not-terrific journalism."
When asked about intense scrutiny into the life of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Merida didn't see an issue of unfair coverage. "...She's somebody new on the scene and she's getting a lot of, you know, scrutiny, like anyone would, I think, in her position, with her background, her resume and, kind of, bursting onto the national scene in this sudden way." Asked specifically about possible double standards, such as when "Today" reporter Amy Robach speculated on September 3 about whether a Vice President Palin will "be shortchanging her kids or will she be shortchanging the country," Merida declined to comment on other media outlets.
Four days before the infamous "lipstick on a pig" remark by Sen. Obama, Gov. Sarah Palin was depicted as the lipstick-wearing porcine embodiment of "Federal Budget Earmarks" in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch cartoon by R.J. Matson (see picture at right; h/t tipster Chuck Hodges).
Yesterday NewsBusters contributor Warner Todd Huston noted that Obama's remarks sounded remarkably similar to a speech bubble in that ran in a Tom Toles cartoon the same day, September 5, in the Washington Post.
It's not too far-fetched to say Team Obama is cribbing his stump speech laugh lines from the liberal funnies.
CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman’s report detailing the abortion stances of the four major presidential and vice-presidential candidates on Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program gave a fairly neutral portrayal of how "Biden and Obama both favor abortion rights" and how "Palin and McCain are both anti-abortion," despite Tuchman describing how Palin is "considered fervently anti-abortion." However, host Anderson Cooper, in his introduction to Tuchman’s report, gave no reaction or labeling as he mentioned South Carolina Democratic Chairwoman Carol Fowler’s slam against Palin, that John McCain picked her because she "hadn’t had an abortion," other than stating, "Just the mention of that word [abortion] stirs up intense emotions for a lot of voters."
Roger Ebert the movie critic may not be a big fan of melodrama. Roger Ebert the liberal columnist is a different story.
Ebert went so far as to say voting against McCain-Palin would be a vote to "save the Republic":
I trust the American people will see through Palin, and save the Republic in November. The most damning indictment against her is that she considered herself a good choice to be a heartbeat away. That shows bad judgment.
Ebert did mercifully leave Palin's religion and her family out of the mix, but he scoffed at Palin as ill-educated and ill-traveled, all while mocking her for mocking elite liberal sensibilities:
Like many liberal media outlets totally apoplectic over Sarah Palin being John McCain's running mate, the New York Times has continually questioned her qualifications as having "only" been a governor and a mayor.
Yet, 24 years ago, when presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Walter Mondale was considering who his running mate should be, the Times editorial staff asked, "Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President," as it made the case that the women on Mondale's list were qualified despite lacking senatorial experience.
Is this because those were Democrats and Palin is a Republican?
Consider the answer as you read a July 3, 1984, Times editorial (emphasis added, taken from LexisNexis, no link available, photo courtesy AP):
What media outlets are the ladies of "The View" watching? After Joy Behar the previous day spoke of an alleged media love affair with Sarah Palin, Barbara Walters echoed Joy’s charge on the September 11 edition. Responding to Joy Behar’s statement that a "Bush operative" wrote Palin’s speech, Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted the media’s double standard that they never inquired as to who wrote Obama’s speech. Barbara Walters then jumped in and exclaimed that Governor Palin has "had a glorious ride with the media."
As reported yesterday, Sarah Palin’s ride with the media has been anything but glorious. MRC’s Rich Noyes reported on the media’s rough, often unfair treatment of the Alaska governor. ABC, "The View’s" own network, ran a hit piece on Mrs. Palin. Elisabeth Hasselbeck swiftly responded "it was glorious when they attacked her daughter too."
In the wake of the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s use of the phrase "lipstick on a pig," on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "Lipstick wars. Barack Obama fires back." A clip was then played of Obama on Wednesday’s Late Show with David Letterman: "Technically, she [Sarah Palin] -- had I meant it this way, she would be the lipstick. You see?... The failed policies of John McCain would be the pig." In a later segment, the on-screen graphic appeared: "‘Lipstick On A Pig’ Dustup: Smear Tactics?"
In the second half of that segment, Rodriguez talked to liberal George Mason University professor Michael Fauntroy about the issue and Obama’s comments on Letterman: "I want you to listen to what he said to David Letterman last night about his lipstick comment...Michael, do you think he explained it or made it worse?" Fauntroy replied: "I think he explained it." Rodriguez went on to question whether Obama should have just avoided using the phrase to begin with, but Fauntroy disagreed: "...then both candidates are in big trouble because you end up in a circumstance in which you have to censor yourself in a way that may be -- may go beyond who you are as an individual. And what voters want to be able to see from the candidates is authenticity and that may not be possible if candidates are worrying so much about what they say."
"Former GOP senator calls Palin a 'cocky wacko'" teased the Chicago Tribune on its online front page. Curious as to who that might be, I clicked the link to find out who.
Let's just say I didn't exactly spit out my coffee when I read the Associated Press story only to find out the culprit is none other than former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RINO-R.I.).
Of course, for those like NewsBusters readers who are well-informed and politically engaged, the only thing Republican about Linc's name is, well, his first name. But your average newspaper reader is likely unfamiliar with Chafee, particularly in a story carried over a national news wire.
Yet the reader doesn't get any hint of his leftist voting record in today's five-paragraph Associated Press article: