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Gibson's Distortion of the 'Iraq Prayer' Question

6:45 PM, Sep 11, 2008 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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ABC has two clips up now, one in which Gibson asks her if she's ready to be vice president and possibly president. In the other, he asks her "if the Iraq war is a holy war."

The second question is based upon a misrepresentation of this clip of Sarah Palin speaking to a group at her former church in Wasilla, in which she asks that the group to, "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 them out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to be praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan. Bless them with your prayers."

As you can see in my transcription and the clip, she does not assert that Iraq is a "task from God" or part of "God's plan," but that people of faith should pray that God's will be done and that the mission would be blessed. It's a mainstream Christian sentiment, less presumptuous than some of Obama's own pronunciations about God's will, and entirely different from what Gibson presents to Palin.

The misrepresentation of the Iraq prayer has its roots in an AP report, which Gibson apparently took at face value. Disappointing.

Update: More excerpts, here.

Update: After watching the clip of Gibson ask her about the Iraq prayer, I was glad to see them run the video of her original words. I thought her response was forceful and personal, which is a combination that will work for the scads of normal Americans who see nothing wrong with praying for our mission in Iraq.

Another thought: Did Gibson just waste three follow-up questions in a finite interview with the most sought-after subject in America on whether she thinks she's "sending her son on a mission from God?" I'm sure the McCain campaign isn't smarting over the opportunity to talk about her family's faith and her son's service.