Charles Gibson’s unexacting performance

In the interview with Sarah Palin broadcast on ABC last night, Charles Gibson tried to trip her up in the following exchange:

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.

As Allahpundit points out, however, what Palin actually said was this:

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

To borrow a Lincolnian formulation in honor of the Lincolnian formulation of Palin’s prayer: the difference between what Palin actually said and what Gibson quoted her as saying is akin to the difference between a horse chestnut and a chestnut horse. The distinction may nevertheless be too subtle for Gibson. Gibson got it wrong. He should be embarrassed.

But he’s in good company. Bill Kristol catches the Washington Post trying to distort Palin’s comments yesterday to soldiers (including her son) departing for Iraq. In addition, Richard Starr illuminates Gibson’s exchange with Palin on the Bush Doctrine.

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