This week, Sarah Palin had her second test (the first being her acceptance speech at the Republican Convention): could she hold her own against an interviewer from the mainstream media?
Charles Gibson of ABC news was given two days to interview Palin on any and all subjects. ABC stretched out the interview segments over two nights and three different programs. I think they wanted ratings (from what I have heard, they succeeded in that).
How did it go? The first night, Palin was a little tense, but even most of her detractors had to admit she did not hurt herself or the Republican ticket. Some tried to make a gaffe out of her asking Gibson what he meant by the “Bush Doctrine,” but as numerous commentators have noted since, there are at least four different policies that have been labeled in that way. She had ample reason to ask for clarification.
The second night, she was practically a different person–casual, at ease, with answers that seemed to flow more from her heart. This is all the more impressive when you consider how she was treated by her prosecutor interviewer. Gibson’s attitude toward her was one of superiority, as if he were on a mission to let her know just how much she lacked the credentials for the position of vice president. I think one e-mailer to National Review’s “The Corner” expressed it well:
His glasses accentuated the sense that he was looking down his nose at her. I felt like he was treating her as though she were fresh out of community college, but interviewing to be president of Harvard. And he was humoring her by interviewing her — but hoping to show her, by his questions, that she had no business even applying for the job.
I don’t want to be one of those who sees conspiracy everywhere, but when you couple Gibson’s attitude with the overview of Palin’s life that ran on the 20/20 program just before the last part of the interview, you have to wonder. I thought I was past being surprised by how the media treats Christians and conservatives (combine the two and they really have heartburn), but this “hit piece” was startling. All accusation, no balance at all. The goal was to make you feel that this person is dishonest, untrustworthy, and an outright fraud.
If the intent of the media is to destroy Sarah Palin, it is not working. The over-the-top accusations and well-fed rumors have not turned people away from her. In fact, I think the opposite is happening: people are seeing the agenda on display and are turning on the media instead. A Scripture comes to mind:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
If Palin is maintaining her love of God, and if He indeed has called her for a high purpose, He will actively work to make good out of what others intend for evil.