Sarah Palin’s face off with ABC’s Charles Gibson

It was Sarah Palin’s first unscripted sit-down interview with the news media. Link to video of the interviews ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson interviewed the Republican Vice-presidential candidate Thursday night. We have some of the media feedback. 

Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin was interviewed by Charles Gibson on ABC News this week.

Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin was interviewed by Charles Gibson on ABC News this week.

Here are some of the press reactions to Charles Gibson’s ABC News interview with Sarah Palin:

  • US News and World Report: Sarah Palin’s Charles Gibson Interview-We Know She Can Memorize the Talking Points, but Does She Understand Them?

Talking points will only take you so far.

Last night the governor of Alaska sounded less like the Palin-ator (an implacable political force sent to save the Republican Party) than a robot struggling to handle inputs for which it was not programmed. And that illustrates a critical aspect of the “experience” issue-being prepared to assume the presidency involves in part thinking through how to be president in a manner the goes beyond crammed talking points.

ABC misfires by grilling Sarah Palin in segments

Sarah Palin and ABC News anchor Charles Gibson kicked off the longest first date in history on Thursday night. By evening’s end, Palin and ABC seemed to have gotten what they wanted out of her much-hyped “first interview.”

Viewers got less.


Palin, who has been packaged and guarded like a rock star since her surprise vice presidential nomination gave the GOP a jolt of adrenalin, was composed and forceful even when she was clearly scrambling to bring a question back into her message zone.


Composed and forceful is how she wants to look. (more)

  • The Associated Press: “Palin said other than a trip to visit soldiers in Kuwait and Germany last year – ‘a trip of a lifetime’ that ‘changed my life’ – her only other foreign travel was to Mexico and Canada. She also said she had never met a head of state and added: ‘If you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you.’

“Pressed about what insights into recent Russian actions she gained by living in Alaska, Palin answered: ‘They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.’

“In the interview Thursday, 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.

“Asked whether she agreed with that, Palin said: ‘In what respect, Charlie?’ Gibson pressed her for an interpretation of it. She said: ‘His world view.’ That prompted Gibson to say ‘no, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war’ and describe it to her.”

  • The New York Times: “ABC News delivered the first glimpse of Ms. Palin without a script or a cheering audience, and it was a strained and illuminating conversation. Ms. Palin, who kept inserting Mr. Gibson’s nickname, ‘Charlie,’ into her answers, as if to convey an old hand’s conviviality, tried to project self-confidence, poise and even expertise: She let Mr. Gibson know that she had personally reassured the Georgian president and correctly pronounced his last name, Saakashvili. At times, her eyes looked uncertain and her voice hesitated, and she looked like a student trying to bend prepared answers to fit unexpected questions.

“Mr. Gibson, who sat back in his chair and wriggled his foot impatiently, had the skeptical, annoyed tone of a university president who agrees to interview the daughter of a trustee, but doesn’t believe she merits admission.”

Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin

Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin

Click here for even more on Palin’s interview with Charlie Gibson

About Bernard McCoy

My views are my own and not a reflection of my employer. I'm a professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I've also been a working journalist for the past 29 years. I have covered news stories in war zones, reported on human and natural disasters, presidential conventions, a presidential inauguration and the September 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. My career experiences include work as an award-winning documentary producer, television news reporter, photographer, producer, and anchor. I worked at WIBW-TV, Topeka, KS., KCTV, Kansas City, MO, WKBD-TV, Detroit, MI., WILX-TV, Lansing, MI. and WBNS-TV, Columbus, OH. I have also worked as a contributing reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, the Ohio News Network and lecture at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communications. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in telecommunications management from Michigan State University.
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