One significant side effect of the McCain-Palin ticket is that the response to it spotlights the media bias in a way that can only be denied by the most adamant cool aid drinkers and party hacks. Examples are too numerous to cover adequately in this space. However, a good example is the media response to Charlie Gibson’s ABC interview with Governor Palin on Thursday Night.
The part of the interview that seemed to get the most attention on Friday was the part dealing with the Bush Doctrine.
GIBSON: “Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?”
GOVERNOR PALIN: “In what respect, Charlie?”
GIBSON: “Well, what do you interpret it to be?”
PALIN: “His world view?”
GIBSON: “No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated in September 2002, before the Iraq war“.
PALIN: “I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made, and with new leadership, and that’s the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.”
GIBSON: “The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?”
PALIN: “Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country.”
This exchange was used by commentators, pundits, bloggers, and even many news accounts to be proof that Palin did not have the foreign policy experience to qualify her for the position of Vice President. James Fallows writing in the Atlantic Online began his article this way.
“It is embarrassing to have to spell this out, but for the record let me explain why Gov. Palin’s answer to the “Bush Doctrine” question — the only part of the recent interview I have yet seen over here in China — implies a disqualifying lack of preparation for the job.”
The Associated Press had this to say;
“….[Governor Palin] Appeared unsure of the Bush doctrine — essentially that the United States must help spread democracy to stop terrorism and that the nation will act pre-emptively to stop potential foes.”
You will notice there are substantial differences between Gibson’s understanding of the Bush Doctrine and the AP’s. On Friday’s Hannity and Colmes TV show, Alan Colmes also used this exchange between Gibson and Palin as proof of Palin’s lack of experience in foreign policy.
I have e-mailed both Gibson and Colmes and requested they send me a copy of the Bush Doctrine so I could properly understand just what the flap is about.
When I type, for example, the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, or The Declaration of Independence into a search engine I get a number of links to specific documents with those titles. However, when I type “Bush Doctrine” into a search engine, I get pages of links to news articles, opinion pieces, and blogs related to the Bush Doctrine, but no links to a copy of it.
The reason no search engine can link to a copy of the Bush Doctrine is because none exists. The term is a media expression used to refer to any one of a number of Bush policies regarding the war on terror. Had I been asked about the Bush Doctrine, I would have immediately thought of the policy stated by Bush that State sponsors of terrorism would be held accountable in the same manner as the terrorists themselves.
My version, Gibson’s version and the AP version all refer to different Bush policies that have at various times been labeled the “Bush Doctrine”. All total, there are about five such policies that are given that label. Governor Palin’s question quoted above, “his world view?” is a pretty good summary of just what the Bush Doctrine is.
The fact that so many news outlets and commentators jumped on this exchange to undermine Sarah Palin”s qualifications to assume the role of Commander In Chief, if need be, is just one more example of the panic in the Democratic Party and their left wing media propaganda arm caused by McCain’s choice of her as his Vice Presidential running mate.
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