Last week at the first presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama, McCain criticized Obama for saying that he would launch a mission into Pakistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. A couple days later, while talking to a voter, Sarah Palin said that she and John McCain would follow Barack Obama’s policy of pursuing Bin Laden into Pakistan, if that’s what’s necessary.
Intelligent voters, and a few reporters, noticed the contradiction between what McCain said and what Palin said. McCain said that it was outrageous to support the very policy that Sarah Palin said McCain himself supports. So, what’s the real McCain-Palin policy, and when was the McCain-Palin ticket wrong – when McCain-Palin opposed hunting down Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, or when McCain-Palin supported hunting down Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan?
In order to try to give a more coherent answer, John McCain and Sarah Palin turned to Katie Couric. Katie Couric had interviewed Sarah Palin last week, and Palin had, unable to answer any of Couric’s questions, been exposed as a babbling idiot.
So, for this week’s interview with Katie Couric, John McCain came along to help Sarah Palin answer whatever questions Couric might ask. Before a minute was through, John McCain was speaking for Sarah Palin, blocking Palin from speaking for herself.
Asking about Palin’s contradiction of McCain’s policy of not entering Pakistan in order to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, Katie Couric asked, “Are you sorry you said it?”
Sarah Palin did not answer. John McCain did. McCain interrupted before Palin had the chance to give an answer, and accused the contradiction of coming out as a result of “gotcha journalism” saying, “Wait a minute. Before you say, “is she sorry she said it,” this was a “gotcha” sound bite.”
Katie Couric pointed out, however, that it was a voter who had asked the question, not a journalist. So, how is it gotcha journalism when a voter asks the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, and the nominee gives an answer? Well, of course, it isn’t. Sarah Palin’s ignorance of her own supposed position was exposed by a voter, not by a journalist, and the question wasn’t at all an unfair one.
When Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin what she had learned from the experience, did Palin discuss the importance of carefully studying and thinking before speaking? No. Palin blamed the voter for asking her a question about American foreign policy.
“This is all about “gotcha” journalism!” Palin said.
In the world of John McCain and Sarah Palin, “gotcha journalism” means voters asking questions that McCain and Palin cannot respond to with a coherent answer. I hope we see more gotcha journalism in the weeks to come.
See the interview for yourself, and look carefully – do Sarah Palin and John McCain ever speak at the same time? I’m not saying that Palin is McCain’s ventriloquist dummy, of course. No, no. That would be gotcha journalism.