Howard Rosenberg, writing in the L.A. Times:
Later, after Palin claimed that advocating energy independence somehow gave her national security chops, Gibson asked, “What insights into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks” — he meant the Russia/Georgia fracas — “does the proximity of the state give you?” She explained, “They’re our next-door neighbors,” then added, “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.”
Even my cat, who never laughs at my jokes, laughed at that.
More important to me than whether Howard Rosenberg’s cat laughed is whether that exchange fairly sets forth Palin’s response. As Allahpundit put it right after the interview: “Did she really give a non-answer that goofy or did they just smear her by editing it that way? I would have given them the benefit of the doubt earlier but not after botching the prayer quote.”
We now have the answer: they smeared her by editing it that way.
Let’s go to Newsbusters’ complete transcript, with the edited-out parts placed in bold type:
GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.
The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…
GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.
PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.
And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
If your brain isn’t already addled by hatred for Palin, you can easily see how the question and answer make a lot more sense when placed in the full context.
Someone read the whole passage to Howard Rosenberg’s cat and let us know if that changes anything for the little kitty.