A comparison of Charlie Gibson's September 11, 2008 questions to Gov. Palin with Gibson's October 9, 2008 questions to Sen. Obama (in italics) shows Gibson favoring Sen. Obama.
Of eleven questions Gibson asks Gov. Palin, 63% are direct questions asking for a specific answer (#1-4, 6, 7, 10, 11). Of ten questions Gibson asks Sen. Obama only 40% are direct (#4a, 7a, 9a and 10a). Half (#9a and 10a) of the direct questions asked to Sen. Obama are based on Obama being “unloaded on” and being “come at” by political opponents. Thus, Gibson indicates that Sen. Obama’s answers to the facts involved are not important. None of the questions Gibson asks Palin are based on an assumption that they are politically motivated and the answers unimportant.
Conversely, 60% of the questions Gibson asks Sen. Obama are free association statements that can be handled in any way Sen. Obama cares to respond. Only 37% of the questions Gibson asks Gov. Palin are free association.
Though I haven’t included the last section of Gibson's interview with Gov. Palin, Gibson never thanks her for the interview. Gibson thanks Sen. Obama twice.
Besides throwing a majority of softball format questions to Sen. Obama and clearly indicating that the answers to some questions are not important because the questions are politically motivated, Gibson doesn’t even have the common courtesy to thank Gov. Palin for her interview.
1. GIBSON to Palin: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. 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?"
1a. GIBSON to Obama: Senator, we're undergoing a global market meltdown, and we -- the basic firmament on which our economy is based has undergone a seismic shock for the last few days and yet last night, you guys had a debate about spending and tax policy and earmarks that you could have had three months ago. That's frustrating to people.
2. GIBSON to Palin: And you didn't say to yourself, "Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I -- will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?"
2a. GIBSON to Obama: But we have to deal with the tools that we have now with this. We've talked to a lot of people as we've traveled around the Midwest. One woman in Dayton said to me, if either one of these guys could tell me succinctly, simply, how they're going to get us out of this mess, that guy would win. It's still to be won. And she said neither has, and it seems as if neither can.
3. GIBSON to Palin: Didn't that take some hubris?
3a. GIBSON to Obama: Somebody else said to us where's the passion in these guys. Where's the anger? People that lost trillions of dollars in their stock accounts, in their pension plans, in their 401(k)s. You said out there at this rally fear and panic cannot pervade us. And yet fear does right now. And people look to leaders to turn that around or to counter that.
4. GIBSON to Palin: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?
4a. GIBSON to Obama: You also said at this rally we need new direction, we need new leadership in Washington. What would you be doing right now that's any different than what the Bush Administration has done and is doing?
5. GIBSON to Palin: I know. I'm just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.
5a. GIBSON to Obama: That's puts you in a position -- that puts you in a position of essentially saying trust me. I'm a 47-year-old guy with one term in the Senate. You got to put your faith in me.
6. GIBSON to Palin: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?
6a. GIBSON to Obama: But we -- we passed the $700 billion rescue package. The market went down. The Fed said we'll be the primary lenders to bank and to businesses. Market tanked. We now have a worldwide rate cut to try to increase liquidity. The market is yawning at that today. It almost -- and the credit markets remain frozen. It almost seems as if rationality is out the window.
7. GIBSON to Palin: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
7a. GIBSON to Obama: One woman last night stood up and asked you at the debate why should we trust either one of you with our money. Which was an interesting question. It bespoke a sort of lack of faith in any kind of institution, a systemic breakdown that is indicative of fear. How do you counter that?
8. GIBSON to Palin: And all governors deal with trade delegations.
8a. GIBSON to Obama: The kids at Bowling Green, I watched the debate with them last night. And other kids that we talked to during the day. They said they're not talking about our issues. Right. They're not -- they don't believe the money's going to be there to pay for their loans to get them through four years of college. And then on top of that, I said to them, well, if you don't have any faith in that, how many of you believe Social Security will be there when you get to be 65. Twenty-one kids, three held up their hand. That, again, is a -- is a great doubt of faith in the system.
9. GIBSON to Palin: Who act at the behest of their governments.
9a. GIBSON to Obama: Change the subject for a moment. John McCain has unloaded on you in the last 72, 96 hours as has Sarah Palin. McCain is saying, essentially, we don't know who Barack Obama is, where he came from. I'm an open book, he's not. Were you surprised, A, that he didn't bring it up last night at the debate and use that line of attack? And, B, since you must have prepared for it, what were you going to say?
10. GIBSON to Palin: I'm talking about somebody who's a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
10a. GIBSON to Obama: And, finally, she's come at you, Sarah Palin has come at you because of the Bill Ayers connection. Are you going to have to address that again? How are you going to explain it? Have you had a continuing connection with it? And why didn't you just cut it off once and for all once when you knew?
11. GIBSON to Palin: 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?
11a. GIBSON to Obama: Senator, thanks. Appreciate talking to you.