I never had anything against Charlie Gibson before. Now we know he’s a liar. Charlie Gibson’s interview with Sarah Palin included this exchange:
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.
That’s what that comment was all about, Charlie.
GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln’s words, but you went on and said, “There is a plan and it is God’s plan.”
“Exact words” he says. Not really. Yes, she spoke those words, but Gibson has carefully divorced them from their context:
“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
The words Gibson omitted are given in bold. In context, it’s absolutely clear that Palin’s words were exactly what she told Gibson they were: a prayer, not a statement of fact.
I’m particularly incensed by Gibson’s follow-up after she has already explained the context: “I take your point about Lincoln’s words: but you went on and said. . .” The word “but” implies that the following quote contradicts her explanation. In context, the quote actually confirms it.
ASIDE: By the way, I don’t see that there’s anything so scandalous to what Palin is alleged to have said either. But, not having said it, she shouldn’t need to defend it.
ABC also tells another lie in its article about the interview:
Palin has also recently come under fire for dismissing a librarian while she was mayor of Wasilla in 1996.
The librarian lost her jobs [sic] after telling Palin she would not remove books if the mayor deemed them offensive.
This allegation is entirely false, except in the weak sense that the librarian lost her job at a later date than her conversation with Palin. The conversation itself gives no support to the suggestion that Palin wanted to ban books.
UPDATE: Hot Air noticed this as well.
UPDATE: An email to the Corner alleges that ABC edited out the “exact words” exchange when the piece was rebroadcast on the west coast. (I don’t know if this is true or not.) Taking out Gibson’s lie would make sense, of course, but deleting Palin’s “I don’t know if that was my exact quote” is another matter. The latter was correct and essential. It’s unacceptable to delete an essential part of Palin’s response merely because it occasioned the interviewer to lie. The only way for ABC to fix this is to admit that Gibson made a “mistake”. They cannot cover it up.
ASIDE: How do I know that Gibson is lying? He had plenty of opportunity while researching this interview, to make sure he knew what he was talking about. He had the responsibility in particular to make sure that he would only claim “exact words” when he actually knew they actually were her exact words. In any case, they certainly know the truth now. If ABC issues a correction, I’ll call it an honest mistake. Barring that, they are being dishonest.
UPDATE: Other outlets have picked this up now, but no correction from ABC yet.
UPDATE: More media idiots pick up the meme.
UPDATE: Fox News has the story straight.