Neo has a very good post on how selective and misleading editing was used against Sarah Palin in her interviews with Katie Couric. Palin’s answers did make good sense, though it’s true she was nervous and not particularly straightforward. But ilift an answer out of context here and drop a sentence there and you can give a very different impression. Setting aside any malice, if the editors have already decided among themselves that you’re, say, a feebleminded religious fascist who hates gays they aren’t going to put much effort into making sure the transcript or the editing are fair or accurate.
The good news is that there’s less opportunity for deceptive editing in a debate since the whole thing is shown live. The sound-bite recaps will be sliced in all sorts of interesting ways, of course, but the full video will be available on the web, not hidden away in the newsroom’s archives. If questions arise people are more likely to watch video than read a transcript.
Unfortunately, as Ace points out here, there are other ways of manipulating a Q&A debate format if you happen to have a friendly moderator who’s not above being deceptive. Those sorts of tricks can be countered, or at least pointed out, but it takes a certain confidence and steely resolve Palin may not yet be able to muster.
I’m sure Sarah Palin realizes how important her debate performance is to the campaign. Fairly or not, this will probably define her in the minds of many undecided voters. Being aggressive, with a smile, is probably her best strategy. As the Anchoress muses here, the media rules have changed and it’s essential for both Palin and McCain to realize it and fight back hard. Much of the public distrusts the news media, so you win points with them. The news media already hates her and can hardly get any more pissed off. Hateful lefties will be pushed even further down the road toward total insanity. Everybody wins! What have McCain and Palin got to lose?