Saturday, September 13, 2008

Who's Zooming Who? - Charlie Gibson's Gaffe

The detailed analysis of the Palin, Gibson interviews are now surfacing on the internet. Overall, most everyone (on both sides) say that Sarah Palin did fair.

The real truth about Sarah's performance may take a little more time to analyze. The word is out that ABC highly edited. More on that later.

Her performance was okay, in other words, they couldn't find any major gaffes, although they do point to one in this part of the interview:

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush — well, what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view?

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, annunciated September 2002, before the Iraq War.

PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made, and with new leadership, and that’s the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.

GIBSON: The Bush doctrine as I understand it is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with us?

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligent and legitimate evidence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country.

Well, we've been hearing the media go on about how Palin is ignorant of the Bush's policy, 'The Bush Doctrine to be specific.

What I didn't know was that there is no WRITTEN Bush Doctrine and in fact there are at least 4 versions of the supposed doctrine.

lgf (Little Green Footballs) has the story.

and the original article from the Washington Post

Charlie Gibson's Gaffe

The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.

He asked Palin, "Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?"

She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, "In what respect, Charlie?"

Sensing his "gotcha" moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, Gibson grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine "is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense."



Summary of 'Bush Doctrines': (Taken from the WP article)

1. ... the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.

2. Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to the joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush declared: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with us or against us" policy regarding terror -- first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan -- became the essence of the Bush doctrine.

3. A year later, when the Iraq war was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of preemptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush doctrine.

4. The fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most sweeping formulation of the Bush approach to foreign policy and the one that most clearly and distinctively defines the Bush years: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush's second inaugural address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

Which one of these would you have answered to?

Sarah answer #4, Gibson thought #3 was the only 'Bush Doctrine'.

Or did he. Was he setting up Sarah to look foolish or was he confused himself?

So.. as the song say's, "who's zooming who?"


  1. Anonymous11:38 AM

    HI Tim great story. Chuck must have a short memory. When he gave us his understanding of the Bush doctrine back in 2002 on TV after one of the presidents speech's he described it the same way Sarah did. Larry Elder played them side by side on his Thursday's show. Great site keep um coming. Paul

  2. Paul,
    thanks for the visit/comment