Did Gibson have a double standard for Palin? Update: ABC's edits

In the days leading up to Charles Gibson’s interview with Sarah Palin, many demanded that he ask her tough questions on foreign policy and reform.  Certainly that is what journalists should do with all of our elected officials and political candidates, but it seems that Gibson doesn’t always meet this standard.  Two bloggers have already provided evidence that Gibson treated Democrats much differently.


First, the Anchoress has a list of questions posed by Gibson to Barack Obama three months ago, who has arguably less experience on foreign policy than Palin and no executive experience at all:

Obama interview:

How does it feel to break a glass ceiling?
How does it feel to “win”?
How does your family feel about your “winning” breaking a glass ceiling?
Who will be your VP?
Should you choose Hillary Clinton as VP?
Will you accept public finance?
What issues is your campaign about?
Will you visit Iraq?
Will you debate McCain at a town hall?
What did you think of your competitor’s [Clinton] speech?

Palin interview:
Do you have enough qualifications for the job you’re seeking? Specifically have you visited foreign countries and met foreign leaders?
Aren’t you conceited to be seeking this high level job?
Questions about foreign policy
-territorial integrity of Georgia
-allowing Georgia and Ukraine to be members of NATO
-NATO treaty
-Iranian nuclear threat
-what to do if Israel attacks Iran
-Al Qaeda motivations
-the Bush Doctrine
-attacking terrorists harbored by Pakistan
Is America fighting a holy war? [misquoted Palin]

Newsbusters, meanwhile, has Gibson’s interview with John Edwards in 2004 after being selected as John Kerry’s running mate.  Edwards had less than a full term in the Senate as his entire political background, and no foreign-policy, military, or executive experience at all.  Yet Gibson didn’t press Edwards on these points at all.  In fact, the entire interview consisted of a hard-hitting interrogation … on how mean Republicans are:


GIBSON: You speak with such equanimity this morning. Didn’t they make you mad last night?

EDWARDS: Oh, I thought they were over the top, completely over the top. And, and actually what bothered me more than anything was in the midst of -I mean, there was, if you, if you got up and went to your refrigerator to get a Diet Coke, you would -you would miss everything Dick Cheney had to say about health care and everything he had to say about jobs. I mean, this is the first, we’ve had 11 straight presidents in this country, Charlie, who have created jobs. This is, until George Bush. You know, we’ve got all these folks who are having trouble with their health care premiums going up, 26, 27 hundred dollars, and what do they have to say about it? Nothing. I mean, don’t people deserve to know from their president and vice president what it is they’ve done and what it is they’re going to do? And instead, all we hear is a lot of rhetoric about, about their opponent. I mean, I just think leaders in this country, the American people deserve leaders who are better than that and do better than that.

GIBSON: Did you get mad, though?

EDWARDS: Oh, yeah. I was, I was, especially about the personal attacks against John Kerry, because they’re false. I know this guy and I know what he’s made of inside and he’s ready to lead this country.

Compare, contrast, and draw your own conclusions.  The following cartoon by Kirby Garp, exclusive to Hot Air, tells the story:


We would have no problem with tough questioning to hold Republican candidates accountable if the media would perform the same task with Democrats.  Yet no major media outlet has reported on Barack Obama’s long association with and defense of William Ayers, an unrepentant domestic terrorist, nor have they pressed him on his lack of executive experience or the absence of any significant political accomplishments except his own elections.  We await that interview with great anticipation and no hope whatsoever of it ever occurring.

Update: Newsbusters takes a look at the full transcript and finds some interesting answers left out of the broadcast portions of the interview.

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