Charlie Gibson’s Big Mistake.

One thing I learned tonight is that neither Charlie Gibson nor anyone on his staff reads the Volokh Conspiracy (or Hot Air for that matter).

Outrageously, in his interview Gibson claimed that Sarah Palin had called the Iraq War “a task . . . from God.”

No she didn’t. She prayed that it was a task from God. As I said a few days ago:

I find it hard to believe that Anderson Cooper [and now, Charlie Gibson] does not understand the difference between praying for something you hope is true and stating that it is true.

Is praying for peace throughout the world the same as saying that there is peace throughout the world?

If I had prayed for the press to be fair to Sarah Palin that would not be the same as stating that the press is being fair to Sarah Palin.

Here was the exchange between Palin and Gibson tonight:

GIBSON: 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: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.

GIBSON: Exact words.

PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.

But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.

That’s what that comment was all about, Charlie. . . .

GIBSON: But you went on and said, “There is a plan and it is God’s plan.”

No, Charlie, she prayed that that was true.

The more I look at this, the more it looks intentional. How could Gibson and the staff have blown both quotes (not just one as Anderson Cooper did on CNN)?

Clearly, not enough is being done to debunk the myths that the press is spreading, and these debunkings are not being spread widely enough if the staff of ABC hasn’t learned that what they are saying is not true.

Again, rather than relying on competence and fairness to solve the problem, newsrooms need to be integrated politically.

Political segregation and lack of ideological diversity just doesn’t work, no matter how careful or how fair a newsroom tries to be. And this time, I am struggling to believe ABC was even trying to be fair.

Here was most of my earlier post, which includes a transcript of Palin's actual remarks in her former church:

DID PALIN ACTUALLY SAY THAT IRAQ IS "A TASK . . . FROM GOD"?

While searching for CNN's story on Troopergate, I came across a surprising statement of Palin's quoted by Anderson Cooper: that the war in Iraq was "a task that is from God":

[Palin] also talked to church members about “being saved” at the Assembly of God and suggested to them that the war in Iraq is a mission from God. Palin said, “our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

Wow! CNN caught Palin saying on tape that Iraq was a task from God. Ouch!

But then I listended to the clip. Palin actually said:

“Pray for our military. He's [Palin's son Trask] going to be deployed in September to Iraq. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do also what is right 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 we are praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.” . . .

I'm an atheist, but I'm not so old or out of touch that I don't know that Palin was doing what Christians often do: praying that what the country was doing was God's will. It's not strange for a Christian to hope that what you want to do or think is right is indeed God's will. . . .