UPI Charges ABC With Biased 'Double Standard' in Palin Interview

September 13th, 2008 8:46 AM

Dontcha ya hate it when Old Media outlets beat up on other Old Media outlets? (Well, maybe you don't hate it, exactly) It's like Old Media on Old Media violence. In this case we have the United Press International (UPI), struggling lesser known news wire service, giving the big smack-a-roo to ABC. UPI is warning that Charlie Gibson's gruff handling of Governor Sarah Palin may "backfire," and that the interview revealed a "double standard" of harsh treatment for Republicans compared to the softballs they've thrown to Democrats in past interviews.

Who can disagree with that assessment?

UPI's Martin Sieff's one sentence assessment of the interview seems to be the general consensus of all dispassionate observers. "There were no surprises, no knockout zingers," Sieff says, "but also no bloopers Thursday night in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's first TV interview since becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee."

But, Sieff also noted that Gibson obviously intended to hurt Palin if he could and also noted that "double standard."

Charles Gibson of ABC News was out for blood and inherently applied a double-standard compared with the kid gloves George Stephanopoulos used on Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois on Sunday night.

Gibson was out to embarrass Palin and expose her presumed ignorance from the word go. By contrast, when Obama referred to his "Muslim faith" on Sunday and did not correct himself, Stephanopoulos rushed in at once to help him and emphasize that the senator had really meant to say his Christian faith.

Sieff also thought that Palin was too nice to Gibson saying that she should have gone on the offensive against him. "Tactically, she made the mistake," Sieff observed, "of trying to be friendly and informal with Gibson, who assumed a superior, professorial and critical stance toward her. She would have been far better going on the attack to rattle him."

In fact, Seiff really ripped into Gibson and ABC on several points.

The double-standard Gibson applied to Palin, compared with the uncritical media platforms repeatedly offered to Obama, who has had zero executive experience running anything, was especially striking. ABC and Gibson focused on Palin as if she were running right now for the presidency rather than the vice presidency. He and other media pundits, by contrast, have never asked the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, if he has ever had to make a decision on anything.

This piece is filled with interesting tidbits that have become words of hope among the Republican faithful and from right-leaning pundits, but this is one of the first times a regular Old Media establishment has given such a large amount of space to the concept that McCain and Palin are cleaning Obama's clock of late.

UPI here gave quite a few smacks at Gibson and it is pretty interesting to see. Here, for instance, Sieff explains whey Gibson's harsh demeanor may have backfired.

Whatever her inexperience and other shortcomings, Palin did not fall into that trap in her ABC interview. At no point did she appear fearful or threatening. Gibson's aggressive questioning on her religion and her son's coming military service in Iraq, by contrast, runs the risks for the Democrats of strengthening support for Palin among working-class, married women, especially those with husbands or sons serving in the military.

About the only critical thing I can say about this piece is that Sieff used the phrase "by contrast" 10 times too often! Aside from that the sentiment and analysis seemed dead on.

Go and read this spot on piece by Martin Sieff. Revel in this cage-match, smackdown from one Old Media hand to another.

Ah, that satisfaction of being in the lead. Palin's lip stick monkey wrench is sweet, indeed.

(Photo credit: www.theglobalist.com)