Friday, September 12, 2008

Palin Interview: Is Gibson Inept?

Charlie Gibson in asking Gov. Palin about the Bridge to Nowhere project ends the segment with what reads like a rhetorical question. Gibson asks Palin if her position is consistent with what a reformer would do. Amazingly the interview excerpt ends with no response from Gov. Palin.

PALIN: Transportation fund dollars still came into Alaska. It was our choice, Charlie, whether we were going to spend it on a bridge or not. And I said, thanks, but no thanks. We're not going to spend it on the bridge.

GIBSON: They appropriated $223 million, I think, for the bridge. Then they -- when the project died, that money was still there. And you kept -- the state of Alaska kept that money. Is that consistent with the image of a reformer?

The excerpts then go on to the next phase of questioning:

Sarah Palin on Congressional Spending:

GIBSON: One of John McCain's central campaign targets, tenets of his campaign, is eliminating earmarks, getting rid of them. Are you with John McCain on that?

PALIN: I certainly am. And of course the poster child for the earmarks was Alaska's, what people in the lower 48 refer to as the bridge to nowhere. First it was a bridge to community with an airport in southeast Alaska. But that was excessive. And an earmark -- an earmark like that, not even supported necessarily by the majority of Alaskans. We killed that earmark. We killed that project.

Now maybe this is a major screw up by ABC in not including Palin's response in the transcript when it is included in the actual broadcast footage. But, this is a lose-lose situation for ABC.

If professional interviewer Charlie Gibson asked a question (and one based almost entirely on his own editorial comment--rather than one aiming at clear information) and didn't give Palin's response, this is both biased and inept. It leaves the reader of the script with the impression that Gov. Palin has no answer.

If the transcript ABC put out does not reflect the interview content, ABC is inept--and on one of the biggest prize interviews it has ever had. If they do such sloppy work on a major interview, imagine their sloppy work on routine or minor interviews.

The mainstream media just keeps digging itself deeper.

UPDATE: Turns out it was sloppy work by ABC. Sarah Palin did have an answer--a good one--to Gibson's assertion.

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