Monday, September 8, 2008

In a move that surprises absolutely nobody, ABC News' Charles Gibson whores himself out to the McCain/Palin campaign

Much was made over the first part of the weekend of Sarah Palin's refusal to conduct an interview with, uh, anyone following her nomination for the vice presidency. Perhaps feeling the criticism, the GOP put out word that Palin would not consent to any interviews

"until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference."
Got that? Deference Not "respect." Not "courtesy." Deference. One almost literally shudders to think of the outcry were Barack Obama to demand that he be treated with "deference" during interviews. The condemnation--and scorn--would be universal. Yet the Republican Party can make that demand, and have it granted.

The lucky recipient of the interview is Charles "Charlie" Gibson of ABC News, who has apparently promised to conduct an interview filled with so many softballs that Jenny Finch would be impressed. Gone will be any pretense of a real "interview"--in its place will be one of those horrible "profile" pieces that will present Gibson as the awestruck outsider interviewing a real, down-home, aw shucks (but Alaskan!) governer, name of Palin. Sarah Palin. There will be no difficult questions, excepting those presented in the form of "how did it make you feel when critics said that __________?"

Here's a short list of moments I absolutely GUARANTEE you will be found in the interview.

1. Gibson and Palin will walk down a street (bonus points if it's kind of Wild West looking, with boards instead of concrete sidewalks), and Gibson will be amazed at how many people Palin knows by name. Double bonus points if they just happen to run into an old teacher, teammate or schoolmate of Palin's.

2. Palin will serve Gibson something "exotic," l like a mooseburger, and he will act as though she's just offered him something imported from Mars.

3. Gibson will conduct an interview with someone who will be called an "opponent" of Palin, yet they will have only nice things to say. Nobody with substantive criticism will be found or interviewed.

4. After all the "families are private!" talk from the GOP, Gibson will have a few moments with Palin's daughter and her daughter's babydaddy, who will take pains to talk about the awesome support they've gotten from the family.

5. Gibson will ride in a (choose one) helicopter or bush plane with Palin over some sort of natural area filled with deer or elk. She will talk about her love of the environment, and he will ask a softball question about oil drilling.

6. As mentioned above, difficult questions will be presented in the form of "how did it make you feel when your critics accused you of _______?"

All in all, Gibson will come across as a starry eyed outsider, mystified by this crazy "Alaska" place, and will come away raving about Palin. It's a slam dunk. He has no shame--he's turned himself into the journalistic equivalent of a hooker, content to let the customer have their way with him so long as he's taken for a ride in a helicopter and given a mooseburger to eat.