Monday, September 15, 2008

ABC Dishonestly Edited Sarah Palin Interview

Not only did ABC, Yahoo News and the Washington Post badly misrepresent several statements made by Sarah Palin recently, but ABC actually edited out some of Palin’s comments in her much-watched interview with Charles Gibson in an attempt to portray some of her views as outside the mainstream. This is well over the top.

If you have a pulse and watch television, you must certainly be aware that Obama supporters have been smearing Sarah Palin unmercifully to the extent that they have overreached so badly that they have all made themselves look foolish, vindictive and vicious. ABC is a charter member of the smear crew. See the end of this post for more details.

ABC Misrepresents Palin Quote in ‘Holy War’ Question

September 12, 2008 (Excerpt)

“This promo of Sarah Palin's ABC News interview appeared on the Yahoo! News Web site.

Millions of TV viewers who watched ABC News’ interview with Sarah Palin Thursday night never saw her take issue with a key question in which she was asked if she believes that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is “a task that is from God.”

The exchange between Palin and ABC’s Charlie Gibson, in which she questioned the accuracy of the quote attributed to her, was edited out of the television broadcast but included in official, unedited transcripts posted on ABC’s Web site, as well as in video posted on the Internet.

But in the version shown on television, a video clip of her original statement was inserted in place of her objection, giving a different impression of how Palin views the Iraq war

In the interview, Gibson asked 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?”

Palin’s response, which appears in the transcript but was edited out of the televised version, was:

“You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.”

“It’s exact words,” Gibson said.

But Gibson’s quote left out what Palin said before that:

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

The edited televised version included a partial clip of that quote, but not the whole thing.

Gibson’s characterization of Palin’s words prompted a sharp rebuke from the McCain campaign on Thursday.

“Governor Palin’s full statement was VERY different” from the way Gibson characterized it,” read a statement circulated by McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

“Gibson cut the quote — where she was clearly asking for the church TO PRAY THAT IT IS a task from God, not asserting that it is a task from God.

“Palin’s statement is an incredibly humble statement, a statement that this campaign stands by 100 percent, and a sentiment that any religious American will share,” Bounds wrote.

In the rest of the segment that aired, Palin told Gibson that she was referencing Abraham’s Lincoln’s words on how one should never presume to know God’s will. She said she does not presume to know God’s will and that she was only asking the audience to “pray that we are on God’s side.”

A promo posted on Yahoo! News Friday continued to misrepresent the exchange. It displays Palin’s image next to the words, “Iraq war a ‘holy war?’” implying that Palin — not Gibson — had called the War on Terror a holy war.

ABC News did not respond to requests for comment from

ABC’s mischaracterization of Palin’s words was not the only one in the media. The Washington Post also did some last-minute clean-up in one of its articles on Palin — a front-page story Friday with the headline “Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 in Talk to Troops in Alaska.” “ Fox News

On his website here, Mark Levin, a conservative talk-show host, has posted five, single-spaced pages of the original transcript of the Gibson-Palin ABC interview in a format that shows the large number of responses by Palin that ABC edited out of the videotape that they represented as the actual interview. A sample of the edit is shown below, with the edited out passages shown in red:

GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?

PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.

GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.

PALIN: Right.

GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.

PALIN: Right, right.

GIBSON: I’m talking about somebody who’s a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one

PALIN: I have not and I think 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. But, Charlie, again, we’ve got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody’s big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state … these last couple of weeks … it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.

GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.

PALIN: Sure.

GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.

The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?

PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…

GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.

PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We’ve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.

We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along

I find it incredible that a major television network would edit the comments and responses (and questions too) that a candidate for vice president of the United States made in an interview billed as a major attempt to define her views for the country. A reading of the entire interview and the edited comments leaves no doubt that the purpose of the interview, and the purpose of the editing, was to play “gotcha” with Governor Palin. They didn’t succeed, and they should be ashamed.

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At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this is not incredible today, it has become "normal"....just like the partisan editorializing and posturing that the so-called news reporters (who have mutated into talking heads) do when addressing questions (usually from each other)

It is now commonplace that they get in a little (sometimes related) dig while pretending to answer the actual question asked...

Having said all that, it does not matter much. It is a very small percentage of people who follow the politics at this level of detail.



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