Gibson also pressed Palin on a statement she made in her church: "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." "Are we on a holy war?" he asked.
She dodged adroitly by saying she was essentially paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln.
But in the language of TV, the most important part of the exchange might have nothing to with Gibson or Palin or anything they said. It was instead the dark, grainy You Tube video the editors inserted to show her standing in the church talking about God and war in the rhetoric of George Bush.
Palin's worst moment came when Gibson asked if she agreed with the "Bush Doctrine." She clearly didn't know what the doctrine was, and after he let her blah,blah blah some platitudes, he told her and the audience what the Bush doctrine was (essentially American has the right to pre-emptive strikes against another country if it feels threatened).
A real professor probably would have failed her right there.
Never forget though the tremendous control ABC News has in its ability to edit the tape. At least twice, the seams showed and you could see that in the actual interview Gibson had let Palin filibuster a talking point. But in the version that aired, what you saw instead was an edit timed so that it came just as he asked what appeared a tough question, cutting her off.
A last thought: Some fans of the ususally genial Gibson will probably be reading all sorts of things into his stern demeanor. I thought it necessary, but we'll see how it plays.
This is fun. Can't wait for round two. See you and Gibson and Palin tomorrow.