Fred Kaplan; News Comedian and Splitter of Hairs (Analysis of Palin Interview)


Fred Kaplan's painful attempt at splitting hairs and mindless ramblings about the Palin interview only proves its success. The shear weakness of his arguments is astounding and the fact that Slate let him run this piece is puzzling if not comical. I hate writing so much about PDS, Palin Derangement Syndrome, but it seems to be all consuming, especially when facts and truth get so distorted.

Fred's first ass-umption.

Gov. Palin was obviously briefed by Sen. John McCain's advisers, and briefed fairly well. [1]

I see Fred is now a psychic, can read tea leaves, and has a crystal ball. How does he know what she has knowledge of. I think what Kaplan is getting at is she hasn't gotten her information from Left news rags therefore she doesn't qualify as "knowledgeable." I saw evidence of discipline in her answers and poise. Was it the best response to a line of questioning I have ever seen? No, but it was far, far, far, from the worst. It was a really good first start and I commend her on it.

Fortunately, the whole issue is a nonstarter because, under NATO's charter, a nation must have firm and recognized borders in order for membership to be so much as considered. Georgia does not have such borders. (The status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has long been in dispute.) [1]

Oh really? Understand, Georgia's borders are recognized by the US, the UN, the EU and NATO. These two regions, although under dispute, have nothing to do with the still remaining Russian forces in Poti, as well as other locations inside of Georgia proper. So, Kaplan is not only incorrect about Georgia having "fluid borders," that is not the issue regarding Georgia's admission into NATO.

This was an eyebrow-raiser. Almost everyone, even Russia's harshest critics, acknowledges that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili did, in fact, provoke Putin—even if Putin might have been hoping for a provocation—by attacking South Ossetia first. [1]

This is news to me. He did not provoke Putin, that is insinuating that Saakashvili was thumbing his nose at the Russians and just went in with no reason. Actually, there have been attacks into Georgia proper for days, if not weeks, before the actual Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. Also, these attacks were mainly from areas that were under Russian "peacekeeping" control. Kaplan like most Leftist writers either have no grasp of the events which led up to this or they are omitting them because it is convenient. Palin was absolutely correct in her response, coached or otherwise.

Kaplan was somewhat fair to Governor Palin in this portion, although his analysis of why he is fair to her is wrong.
Then there was the moment that has caused many jaws to gape—when Gibson asked what she thought of "the Bush Doctrine" and she clearly didn't know what he was talking about. I must confess, this didn't bother me much. Her initial response—"In what respect, Charlie?"—was a fair point. So many Bush doctrines have been promulgated, proved wrong, and abandoned without comment. [1]

Kaplan is substantially wrong on why her response to Charlie Gibson was the correct one. The Bush Doctrine has 4 premises to it: 1) Preemption 2) Military Primacy 3) A New Multilateralism 4) The Spread of Democracy. This is according to the Bush NSS, or National Security Strategy published on September 22, 2002. This is what Palin was referring to, not the convoluted mutation the Press has "morphed" it into. Pailin actually demonstrated her ability to grasp this concept and gave a fair assessment of it. But, here is where ole Fred gets the axe out and starts splitting hairs.

What did bother me was that, after Gibson outlined the doctrine's meaning (the right to attack a nation in anticipation of a threat), she didn't answer the question. She said, "If there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend the country." This is true to the point of banality; no one would dispute it. The question is whether it's proper to take armed action not if a strike seems imminent but if preparations seem to be in the works for a possible strike sometime in the future. [1]

This was the most comical portion of his whole analysis. In the original article Kaplan has the words "anticipate" and "imminent" italicized. Now, Palin just showed she is not a devotee of the Bush Doctrine in Leftist terminology. The Left assumes it means, in anticipation of. Palin said there has to be an imminent threat. I can anticipate Canada is going to invade all day long and then attack them or I can wait until Canada gives a clear cut indication, like putting massive amounts of troops on our border, that they are going to attack. That is the difference between anticipate and imminent. Jesus, Fred, get a dictionary why don't you? This means she is not going to jump at every shadow that is perceived as a threat. If we have the the intelligence, motive, and there are clear indicators, let's go.

I am not going to get into the other two points that Kaplan raises about her religion, faith, and instinct because they are written by a guy chained to desk. He would never have any clue about leadership or following your gut in chaotic situations. Most of his audience wants to hear that garbage anyways, so there is no point.


[1] The Sorrow and the Pity



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