Saturday, September 13, 2008
Sarah Palin's interview
Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee's first interview to the media, that was eager anticipated as the first opening to who this woman really is, turned out to be a damp squib. (Those who missed it can see it here). Charles Gibson, the ABC anchor was suitably deferential and asked all the 'right' questions. Bob Park, the physicist who runs the very popular and extremely acerbic newsletter 'What's New' has the following open letter to Mr Gibson about the interview. I can hardly describe it any better, so I will just reproduce his letter here. THE PALIN INTERVIEW: CHARLIE, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Dear Mr. Gibson: Having agreed to be "deferential" and being a nice guy besides, you were picked by Sarah Palin’s handlers to conduct her first media interview since the nomination. You were not unaware of how little the nation knew of her. As the only reporter granted this privilege you had a responsibility. In view of her links to Pentecostalism, and what little we’ve been able to piece together about her views on other issues, I was praying, figuratively speaking of course, that you’d start right off with the big one: what is your opinion of Charles Darwin’s theory of human evolution? All the others, sex education, stem cell research, choice, gay rights, church/state separation, are easy once that one out in the open. You greeted her politely, if at arms length, and went right to the first question: "Can you look the country in the eye and say, I have the experience and the ability to be not just Vice President, but perhaps President if the United States of America?" Isn’t that the same question McCain was asked? "I do Charlie, I’m ready," she replied. What did you expect her to say? No, I’d better go back to school and find out how things work outside Alaska? For weeks we’ve heard not one unscripted word and all you can think to ask her is whether she’s ready? And you wouldn’t let it go. "When he asked you to be VP," you persisted, "did you think for a minute, 'N'?" If she did, she’s not going to tell you on nationwide television. Are we supposed to spot look for beads of sweat or a shifty look in the eyes? "I did not," she said, "I thought yes, right off the bat". You wouldn’t drop it, "And you didn’t say to yourself, am I ready?" "I didn’t hesitate, no." My God! Give it a rest Charlie. "Doesn’t that take some hubris," you asked? "I answered yes," Palin responded, because I know you can’t blink." It probably got better, but I was asleep by then. And here for good measure are some of Maureen Dowd's questions (none of which were asked or will ever be asked). What kind of budget-cutter makes a show of getting rid of the state plane, then turns around and bills taxpayers for the travel of her husband and kids between Juneau and Wasilla and sticks the state with a per-diem tab to stay in her own home? Why was Sarah for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against the Bridge to Nowhere, and why was she for earmarks before she was against them? And doesn’t all this make her just as big a flip-flopper as John Kerry? What kind of fiscal conservative raises taxes and increases budgets in both her jobs — as mayor and as governor? When the phone rings at 3 a.m., will she call the Wasilla Assembly of God congregation and ask them to pray on a response, as she asked them to pray for a natural gas pipeline? Does she really think Adam, Eve, Satan and the dinosaurs mingled on the earth 5,000 years ago? Why put out a press release about her teenage daughter’s pregnancy and then spend the next few days attacking the press for covering that press release? As Troopergate unfolds here — an inquiry into whether Palin inappropriately fired the commissioner of public safety for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law — it raises this question: Who else is on her enemies list and what might she do with the F.B.I.? Does she want a federal ban on trans fat in restaurants and a ban on abortion and Harry Potter? And which books exactly would have landed on the literature bonfire if she had had her way with that Wasilla librarian? Just how is it that Fannie and Freddie have cost taxpayers money (since they haven’t yet)? Does she talk in tongues or just eat caribou tongues? What does she have against polar bears? Imagine, she might just become the "leader of the free world" some day.