Great moments in gatekeeping

posted at 2:55 pm on September 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Don Wade and Roma at Chicago’s WLS-AM ask outgoing ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson about why most media outlets have failed to cover the ACORN story — and they get a better answer than they must have expected. Instead of a discourse over editorial policy, Gibson proclaims his ignorance of the story — even though the Senate acted last night to cut off funds to the group, and days after the Census Bureau publicly extricated itself from its relationship with ACORN. When pressed, Gibson indicates that the story is apparently beneath his standards, as Michelle highlights in the transcript:

Don: Okay, here’s my news question. A Senate bill yesterday passes, cutting off funds to this group called ACORN. Now, we got that bill passed and we have the embarrassing video of ACORN staffers giving tax advice on how to set up a brothel with 13-year-old hookers. It has everything you could want – corruption and sleazy action at tax-funded organizations and it’s got government ties. But nobody’s covering that story. Why?

Gibson: HAHAHAHAHA. HEHEHE. I didn’t even know about it. Um. So, you’ve got me at a loss. I don’t know. Uh. Uh. But my goodness, if it’s got everything including sleaziness in it, we should talk about it this morning.

Roma: This is the American way!

Gibson: Or maybe this is just one you leave to the cables.

Roma: Well, I think this is a huge issue because there’s so much funding that goes into this organization…

Gibson: I know we’ve done some stories about ACORN before, but this one I don’t know about…

Roma: Jake Tapper did some blogging on it. I know he’s blogged at least once on this scandal.

Gibson: You guys are uh really up on the website.

A couple of points should be made. First, Gibson is not the entirety of ABC News. As Don and Roma point out, ABC has been reporting it through Jake Tapper, although currently only on the website.

All that being said, the ACORN story is not just a Kanye West celebrity dust-up. It involves tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, and potentially billions in upcoming legislation. ACORN has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Democratic Party in the last election cycle and beyond, helping to organize in communities on behalf of Obama’s domestic policy agenda. It’s a story worthy of national coverage, and leaving it to the cable news outlets may explain why people don’t bother to tune into the broadcast networks any longer to get informed.

Let’s pose the question this way. If the Federalist Society, which got a heaping helping of demonization during the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation hearings, started giving advice to prospective pimps and hookers on tax evasion and hiding child-prostitution rings, does anyone think that the Charlie Gibsons and the Papers of Record in the US would let that slide to the cable networks? Or would it headline their outlets, complete with a dissection of Federalist Society support for Republicans?


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Comment pages: 1 2

But Charlie looks so professor like with those round glasses he wears.

He must be smart.

BowHuntingTexas on September 15, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Gibson: Or maybe this is just one you leave to the cables.

How long do you think any of us would keep our jobs if I said, “Maybe I’ll just leave this piece of business to my competitors.”

UltimateBob on September 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Quit ragging on Charles Gibson. He went to Princeton, you know.

/sarc

Percy_Peabody on September 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Bu..bu..but we ARE the D E C I D E R S !!1!

phreshone on September 15, 2009 at 3:52 PM

I used to like Charlie, so I thought what he did to Palin should have been waaay beneath him. Today he made either a liar or an utter fool of himself. Serves him right.

petefrt on September 15, 2009 at 3:56 PM

90% of the people on TV are arrogant morons. That part is no big deal.

But seriously, how can people stand to stare at that ass sitting on top of this guy’s neck every night? Even before he opens his mouth, you can tell he’s a walking, talking rectum.

He didn’t get the job for his brains or his looks. So how do they pick from the thousands of applicants for a job like this?

logis on September 15, 2009 at 3:57 PM

I thought what he did to Palin should have been waaay beneath him

Should have? He’s a trud.

Wade on September 15, 2009 at 4:05 PM

I wish they had asked Charlie what he thinks of the Obama Doctrine.

d1carter on September 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Why bother asking a question of anyone from an Ivy League school. Evidently they’re all MORONS.

Jeff from WI on September 15, 2009 at 4:09 PM

“You guys are really up on the websites”

Charlie doesn’t own a computer with internet capability??

Charlie never heard of Drudge?

Jeff from WI on September 15, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Come on folks, Charlie is sooooooo smart (especially when he wears the glasses on the end of his snotty nose)

mobydutch on September 15, 2009 at 4:27 PM

that’s disgusting. and he laughs about it?

pa.the.tic!

sarainitaly on September 15, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Imagine you’re a young, just out of college, journalist looking to make a name for yourself. Would you go where the action is–on FOX or talk radio or some cool blog, yes! Would you look for a job on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN or PBS et al–where censorship is their middle name–no! All these outlets will have left if they keep this up is over the hill, out of the loop throw backs like Charlie.

jeanie on September 15, 2009 at 4:38 PM

wait, has Charlie retired yet? If he has, I will excuse him. If he hasn’t, it is pretty obvious why he is.

sarainitaly on September 15, 2009 at 4:38 PM

petefrt on September 15, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Sorry. That was a mistake. Nothing new here. The names aren’t out yet, except a reference to Boxer.

petefrt on September 15, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Gibson is a brain-washed fool.

But given his status and profession, he doesn’t deserve a pass.

People like him are more dangerous than Al Queda.

notagool on September 15, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Gibson was a jolly good sort on the morning show, not a journalist (roll eyes), but as morning show host goes, he ain’t bad.

Could not pay me (then) to watch that hack on the other chanel.

Nowadays, I just watch recorded Glenn Beck from previous night.

Sir Napsalot on September 15, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Here is Charlie Gibson and the rest of the MSN’s response to the ACORN scandal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKvhVssO348&feature=related

GoodBoy on September 15, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Say something Charlie, that Sarah is still here and you are GONE. Comfy under that bus Charlie? Just as Mary Jo took one for Splash, you’re going take one for Barry.

GarandFan on September 15, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Here is Charlie Gibson and the rest of the MSN’s response to the ACORN scandal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKvhVssO348&feature=related

GoodBoy on September 15, 2009 at 4:47 PM

You may have to Cut and Paste the link I gave above..I can’t make it work by clicking the link.

GoodBoy on September 15, 2009 at 4:52 PM

But seriously, how can people stand to stare at that ass sitting on top of this guy’s neck every night? Even before he opens his mouth, you can tell he’s a walking, talking rectum.

logis on September 15, 2009 at 3:57 PM

That is why the drive-by media should wear diapers covering their mouths so we don’t get spewed with sierra hotel india tango.

hamradio on September 15, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Oh, good choice. I would get more use out of a mug also. I am not sure how much I could use it if it has The Won’s mug on it. I am a discriminating shopper.

Cindy Munford on September 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM

“Discriminating”? Uh oh.

TXUS on September 15, 2009 at 5:01 PM

News reader.

He uses a device that works for TOTUS. It’s logical that he has not heard of the story.

TexAz on September 15, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Charles “Professor” Gibson: forgotten, but not gone

ya2daup on September 15, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Gibson and the rest of the state-controlled media know all about ACORN and Van Jones. They’re just not going to publicize anything that might remotely do harm to Obama.

ddrintn on September 15, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Charles ‘Hack’ Gibson. Once a loser… forever a loser.

Griz on September 15, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Leaving hard news to the cables is the reason why Fox has more news viewers than anybody else. The Leftists that run the MSM would rather see their organizations die than do any honest investigative reporting of left-wing groups and individuals (see Van Jones). Let it be the death of them. There are enough ‘amateur’ journalists working through the internet that they will hardly be missed.

Gibson is retired so he can afford to make stupid, smirky jokes about stories that he now fancies are beneath him, even though he spent most of his career doing fluff pieces, like cooking his SuperBowl enchilada recipe on his morning chat show.

P.S. Can anyone here explain Charlie Gibson to me in the first place? He and Harry K. Smith are two of the most unappealing people EVER. Like, ew! Do they have blackmail material on some network higher-ups or something?

PoodleSkirt on September 15, 2009 at 5:56 PM

wait, has Charlie retired yet? If he has, I will excuse him. If he hasn’t, it is pretty obvious why he is.

sarainitaly on September 15, 2009 at 4:38 PM

No, he will retire in January 2010.

From what I can tell, Gibson has no formal journalistic training-he was a law major, but his grades were too low to get into law schools. His training was all on the job.

To his credit, he did join the US Coast Guard in the 1960s.

Del Dolemonte on September 15, 2009 at 6:19 PM

And this guy tries to paint Sarah Palin as a know-nothing?!?

capricorn on September 15, 2009 at 6:23 PM

So he portrayed himself as either an idiot or a liar.
As any Democrat demonstrates, they are not mutually exclusive.

justltl on September 15, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Two twenty year old real journalists have done more reporting in the past couple of days then ABC, CBS, NBC has done the whole year.
Two “punk” kids should, but won’t, win a Pulitzer prize for investigative journalism.
Because only the “elite” knows what is news and what isn’t…and this isn’t…according to them.

right2bright on September 15, 2009 at 6:51 PM

And this guy tries to paint Sarah Palin as a know-nothing?!?

capricorn on September 15, 2009 at 6:23 PM

The irony has escaped any of us…

right2bright on September 15, 2009 at 6:52 PM

If I was Gibbs, I would be getting my resume ready. Looks like Charlie Gibson is auditioning for the job.

conservativegrandma on September 15, 2009 at 7:07 PM

My father, a broadcast executive, used to call guys like Gibson… “a hunk of meat and a mouth.” Beta male dogsbody on Good Morning America was a career high for this putz.

rrpjr on September 15, 2009 at 7:12 PM

The man famous for the vague “bush doctrine” gotcha question. Typical.

rob verdi on September 15, 2009 at 3:16 PM

You beat me to it. I just wonder if he had his reading glasses on the tip of his nose when he was doing the radio interview.

ncborn on September 15, 2009 at 7:12 PM

Gibson: I know we’ve done some stories about ACORN before, but this one I don’t know about…

-
And so it shall be written in the history books… 2009: The year that the Forth Estate died of swine flu.
-

RalphyBoy on September 15, 2009 at 7:17 PM

But Charlie looks so professor like with those round glasses he wears.

He must be smart.

BowHuntingTexas on September 15, 2009 at 3:48 PM

Ha! He’s a Prick.

CynicalOptimist on September 15, 2009 at 7:40 PM

That guys on the ball! What a schmuck!

MCGIRV on September 15, 2009 at 8:31 PM

I love seeing this condescending snob look like a fool.

RadClown on September 15, 2009 at 9:33 PM

I think you are all being waaaaaaay to hard on old Charlie. He just reads the news. If somebody doesn’t write it for him or the makeup lady doesn’t tell him about it, you can’t expect him to know about it on his own.

/sarc

sclemens on September 15, 2009 at 10:25 PM

Is it just me, or does ol’ Charlie look like an old, warty toad who just sucked on a lemon?

tcn on September 15, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Wait a minute. Palin knows something Gibson doesn’t? Can’t be! If he announces his retirement is due to Alzheimers, well, then okay. Otherwise, he’s one of the dumbest folks on TV.

Charlie can see England from his (corner) office window.

tuffy on September 15, 2009 at 10:49 PM

Charlie, what newspapers and magazines do you read?

PC14 on September 15, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Was it really ignorance or an attempt to devalue the story by implying it wasn’t important enough for the major networks who are too busy carrying Ogabe’s water? (Oh, piss boy…)

SKYFOX on September 16, 2009 at 8:57 AM

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