McCain Calls Palin for Help

Saturday Night Live Opens Strong with a Sketch All Americans Can Laugh At

McCain Calls Palin For Help

Mike Gravel Interviewed on Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin Clearly States in ABC Charlie Gibson Interview that her personal opinions are her personal opinions and not necessarily reflective of what the policy would be in a McCain/Palin Administration.

Further, Sarah Palin stated that in an election the lives of the candidates are an open book and it's important for the public to know what the personal opinions of the candidates are, but it's important to understand that personal opinions are different from a government's policy.

Sarah Palin has demonstrated as Mayor of Wasilla and as Governor of Alaska that:
1. She did not ban books in Wasilla. She inquired into the policy should a parent of a child in the Wasilla schools want a book banned.
2. She did not propose a curriculum of intelligent design and creationism in Alaskan Public Schools when she had an opportunity to do so.
3. She did not seek to pass an Alaskan law to ban abortion.

This demonstrates an ability of Sarah Palin to differentiate between personal beliefs and dictating those personal beliefs to the constituents she governs and serves.

ABC's Charlie Gibson Misquotes Sarah Palin in Interview
From Fox News

Millions of TV viewers who watched ABC News’ interview with Sarah Palin Thursday night never saw her take issue with a key question in which she was asked if she believes that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is “a task that is from God.”

The exchange between Palin and ABC’s Charlie Gibson, in which she questioned the accuracy of the quote attributed to her, was edited out of the television broadcast but included in official, unedited transcripts posted on ABC’s Web site, as well as in video posted on the Internet.

But in the version shown on television, a video clip of her original statement was inserted in place of her objection, giving a different impression of how Palin views the Iraq war.

In the interview, Gibson asked Palin: “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’s response, which appears in the transcript but was edited out of the televised version, was:

“You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.”

“It’s exact words,” Gibson said.

But Gibson’s quote left out what Palin said before that:

“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 them out on a task that is from God. 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 edited televised version included a partial clip of that quote, but not the whole thing.

Gibson’s characterization of Palin’s words prompted a sharp rebuke from the McCain campaign on Thursday.

“Governor Palin’s full statement was VERY different” from the way Gibson characterized it,” read a statement circulated by McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

“Gibson cut the quote — where she was clearly asking for the church TO PRAY THAT IT IS a task from God, not asserting that it is a task from God.

“Palin’s statement is an incredibly humble statement, a statement that this campaign stands by 100 percent, and a sentiment that any religious American will share,” Bounds wrote.

In the rest of the segment that aired, Palin told Gibson that she was referencing Abraham’s Lincoln’s words on how one should never presume to know God’s will. She said she does not presume to know God’s will and that she was only asking the audience to “pray that we are on God’s side.”

A promo posted on Yahoo! News Friday continued to misrepresent the exchange. It displays Palin’s image next to the words, “Iraq war a ‘holy war?’” implying that Palin — not Gibson — had called the War on Terror a holy war.

ABC News did not respond to requests for comment from

ABC’s mischaracterization of Palin’s words was not the only one in the media. The Washington Post also did some last-minute clean-up in one of its articles on Palin — a front-page story Friday with the headline “Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 in Talk to Troops in Alaska.”

As pointed out by The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, the original version posted online used harsher language than the one that hit Beltway newsstands early Friday morning.

The original passage, written by staff writer Anne E. Kornblut, read:

“Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would ‘defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.’

“The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped Al Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. On any other day, Palin’s statement would almost certainly have drawn a sharp rebuke from Democrats, but both parties had declared a halt to partisan activities to mark Thursday’s anniversary.”

But in the print version, and the version now appearing on the newspaper’s Web site, the article softened its claim a bit by swapping in the last line with this: “But it is widely agreed that militants allied with Al Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.”

For Further Information, Please See:
Full Transcript of Interview
ABC Transcripts Excerpts

Thanks for reading.

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Henson Ray said...

Very funny. I saw this on YouTube last week. It's amazing how fast people can knock these things out.

September 13, 2008 8:21 AM
Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know who made this video, because I think a lot of people really do think McCain is weak (probably because of his age) and that Palin may be the stronger personality of the two. I can't wait to see how she handles herself in the debates. Anyway, pretty funny, Matt. Thanks for the laugh.

September 13, 2008 10:18 AM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

Henson--I know....but the best thing about the presidential election races is the videos that come out...jib jab, etc....This one was brilliant and you just have to laugh.

Matt--I would too, but whoever they got to play Sarah Palin looks like a celebrity look-a-like. I'm waiting for the debate...I hope she asks Joe Biden why Joe thought Hillary was a better VP Pick for Obama than himself.

Cheers, guys!

September 13, 2008 10:24 AM
tashabud said...

That's funny, but I hope McCain and Palin have a better friendly relationship than what is satirized on the video.

It's sad for a well-respected institution like ABC to resort to deceit, by manipulating Palin's words in order to advance it's liberal-leaning views, thereby, swaying public opinion away from the conservatives.

September 13, 2008 1:42 PM
The Marc Chamot Report said...

Great post Matt! Thanks for your awesome imput! I'll reflect on that.



September 13, 2008 6:39 PM
Anonymous said...

It's so crazy to me that they can just put words into someone's mouth! I'm glad that they got called out on it. Thanks for posting this.

September 14, 2008 12:12 AM
Gray Kane, Ph.D. said...

Great vids, and even better reporting!

My only point of contention has to do with the way you characterized Palin's engagement with the library's director. Palin confronted her four different times about this same issue.

You're absolutely right in that Palin never asked the librarian to sensor books (or to burn books, or any of the other misrepresentations of this event that are circulating online).

But according to the librarian, with each meeting, Palin became much more direct as to her desire for the librarian to accept censorship in times of parental complaints--but without Palin's ever coming out and telling the librarian what to do. When the librarian maintained her position, Palin did initiate an attempt to get the librarian fired, only backing off due to the incredible support that rallied for the librarian.

In other words, the situation is a bit more problematic than "She inquired into the policy should a parent of a child in the Wasilla schools want a book banned."

But again, the rest of what you wrote is great reporting. And I love the vids!

September 14, 2008 5:14 PM
VH said...

The "McCain Calls Palin For Help" video was hilarious!!!

September 14, 2008 8:37 PM
Anonymous said...

hahaha... really funny! Thanks for the good laughs Matt! That's the power of technology! :D

--- Joanne Apat

September 14, 2008 11:28 PM
Vivek Barun said...

hey your blog has gone a terrific change. Looks stunning.keep it up

September 15, 2008 1:08 AM
Paul Eilers said...

My wife and I do not watch much of SNL anymore, but we love to see their political paradies! They are hilarious, and may have even had an impact on Al Gore's run for the presidency in 2000.

September 15, 2008 10:47 AM
Grandy said...

First of all...AWESOME SNL CLIP!! I missed it Saturday, but am so glad you posted it here.

Next...It irks me that the media has to taint the stories and interviews to fuel animosity in either direction. They are banking on the fact that people will just stop with the interview and not do their own research. It saddens me to say...for the most part...they are right, however.

September 15, 2008 11:38 AM
Grandy said...

First of all...AWESOME SNL CLIP!! I missed it Saturday, but am so glad you posted it here.

Next...It irks me that the media has to taint the stories and interviews to fuel animosity in either direction. They are banking on the fact that people will just stop with the interview and not do their own research. It saddens me to say...for the most part...they are right, however.

September 15, 2008 11:38 AM
Laura said...

Hilarious video of McCain calling Palin. OMG! :) I love Jib Jab and the SNL political skits. This one of Palin and Hillary was great.

September 15, 2008 1:03 PM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

Tashabud--I'm sure McCain and Palin are getting along famously, especially since she has given him a huge surge in the polls!

Marc--My pleasure...I'm glad the blogosphere brought us together. It seems as if we think along very similar lines. It's always a great feeling finding someone else who shares thought and values and you end up becoming friends. Thanks for stopping by.

Crazy--it's nothing new. The media has been misquoting or quoting out of context forever. Newspaper quotes have rarely been other than soundbites. Television news...just the shortest snippet possible. You always have to return to the original transcript for context and clarity.

Gray--thanks for all the kudos. They're much appreciated. Well, situations are usually more complex than they seem on face. But no book was ever banned in Wasilla, and that's the bottom line. Sarah Palin could have made it a crusade if she were that person. That she didn't make it a crusade shows that she's not going to make a crusade out of her personal beliefs if she gets elected to VP or the President if something happens to McCain. That's reassuring.

VH and Joanne-- thanks for taking the time to comment on them. I'm glad you got a laugh or two out of them. Thanks for sharing.

Vivek--thanks for the kind words....every quarter I'll have a new header graphic and new color scheme to go along with it. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness in taking the time to say so!

Paul--SNL isn't anywhere near what it used to be, but they've always excelled at political satire. This Palin/Clinton piece is among their best ever going back all the way to 1975.

Grandy--me too. I hate the ads televised every election cycle. They all contain snippets of truth, but in the same right, they are all distortions of truth and quotes made out of context. That would be yellow journalism if they weren't campaign ads. And millions of Americans always get fooled by them.

First rule of Politics: NEVER believe anything you see in a political campaign ad.

Laura, I couldn't agree with you more. JibJab always rocks the house, but because it gets circulated mostly by email, I didn't post it here with the others.

All, thanks for your comments and thanks for stopping by.


September 15, 2008 3:26 PM

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