Friday, October 03, 2008

Charlie Gibson Goes From Most Respected Anchor to Foolish Disgrace

It’s well known and well documented that Charlie Gibson is liberal. But he generally seems to be a well meaning, likeable liberal. He has only a cursory view of the economy, of geopolitics, in truth, of any significant issue, and a disinterest in all things military. But he’s a genuinely nice man, albeit one who is tremendously influenced, at least as far as politics is concerned, by the spiteful New York elites.

When the left has a cause celebre, he will regularly join hands with them, but on his terms, in a milder and gentler, and hopefully more fair manner. But his interview with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was way over the top. In fact, it was downright hypocritical.

I understand where Charlie is coming from. For months, the media has been lulled into the false notion that Obama, their newest hero in a long line of leftist cult personalities, was inevitable. And for a few years now, they’ve propagated a sense that Democrats would finally gain the White House after eight long years on the sidelines.

Electoral victories of Democrats is a matter the media elites take immensely personal. Bill Clinton’s victory in ’92 was seen as their victory, the ascension to power of all children of the 60s (although Clinton is more conservative than they are, we must bear in mind that perception always trumps reality when it comes to the whimsical allegiances of superficial media elites) . Their fierce allegiance has now transferred to their replacement hero, Obama, who is far more radical than Clinton ever was and who may be even more radical than the media elites are themselves.

So it’s understandable that they’re personally upset. What’s not excusable is that they’ve, in effect, walked off the job. They’re refusing to report and have instead assumed the role of attack dogs for their campaign of choice. Yes, they’ve favored, lied and manipulated the news for years, many times in very inexcusable ways. But they never campaigned as overtly for or against a campaign as they are now. They’ve never been so full of bile as they are today. They’ve never acted as outrageously and been so openly spiteful as they are with their anti-Palin, pro-Obama crusade. And in the process, they’ve thrown their integrity straight out the window.

Joining their ranks is the once respected Charlie Gibson. He’s done similar things before and his biases are very much a reality. But the sad thing is not that he was never as overtly biased as he is now, as is the case with the rest of the media. The truly sad part is that the level of nastiness and hypocrisy displayed by him is uncharacteristic and is a blemish on an otherwise fairly decent career (as decent as one can expect from one in today’s mass media).

His interview with Gov. Palin reached the point of insanity. It also displayed profound hypocrisy. He asked her whether she hesitated when asked to be John McCain’s running mate. When she replied in the negative, saying that she wanted to help in any way Sen. McCain felt best, Gibson actually asked her whether this didn’t show “hubris” on her part.

But where was Gibson when Barack Obama announced his run for the presidency in Nov. 2006 (after Time Magazine had done a cover story that October urging him to do so), at a time that he had less Senate experience than Palin has been Governor? And does anyone doubt the reaction of the media should Obama have chosen the governor with the highest approval rating in America as his running mate. We can agree there’s not much doubt what their reaction would have been.

Gibson and the media also fail to recognize the significance of Alaska’s proximity to Russia (failing to do so because they don’t want to). There’s a reason John McCain brought up the point. A few years ago, Vladimir Putin laid claim to the entire North Pole. As a result, any governor of Alaska is thrown head first into national security issues and international affairs even before they take office.

Even ABC’s “Fact Checker” got in on the game, playing fast and loose with the “facts.” When Gov. Palin said that “many vice presidents throughout history” would answer “no” the question of whether they had met with foreign leaders. “Fact” Checker Jake Tapper had a problem with that and deemed it “false.” He cited George H. W. Bush, Mondale, Al Gore and Dan Quayle as examples of vice presidents with great foreign policy experience (a stretch, to say the least, in many of the above cases). Of course, Palin’s statement was true and applies categorically to over 80% of past vice presidents.

But it gets even more ridiculous. Gov. Palin has more foreign policy experience to become Vice President than then Gov. Bill Clinton had when he became President. The same can be said of many recent presidents, with the only exception since Nixon being George H. W. Bush. Before that, with the exception of Eisenhower one needs to go back to James Buchanan to find a President with major foreign policy experience prior to assuming office (before him we’re looking at Martin Van Buren and John Quincy Adams, but you get the point).

This is the same media that pushed Mitt Romney as being a highly qualified vice presidential selection (namely because he had the biggest problem with independents). Romney had little more executive experience than Palin and business acumen does not usually translate into a knack for formulating good policy. Moreover, the same media that’s bashing Palin is also the same media that was touting Tim Kaine as a running mate for Obama just a few short weeks ago. Kaine has about a year’s more experience than Palin, with a far lower approval rating and less than a hundredth of what to show for his time in office than does Sarah Palin. Neither Romney nor Kaine took on the establishment of their state and their combined approval rating would only possibly equal that of Gov. Palin’s alone.

Governor Palin revamped a state and shook up an establishment. She’s shown good judgment and a will to work for the people. It’s not without reason that she enjoys a higher approval rating in her state than any other governor in the nation, stemming back to well before she was being considered as McCain’s vice presidential nominee. And the media needs to get over it.

Simply put, the media needs to stop acting like pigs in lipstick. (Speaking of which, Obama knew full well how his remarks would have been taken. The laughter with which his remarks were met by the crowd should have also made him think that one over.) Media elites need to start doing their jobs, or at least start pretending to do so.

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