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Kirsten Powers puts John Gibson on defense

Reported by Chrish - June 5, 2007 -

John Gibson teased a segment of the Big Story today 6/5/07 like this:

"Hillary Clinton says faith, yes, faith, saved her marriage to Bill despite his un-faith-ful-ness. Is Hillary just using religion to make sure her husband's extramarital flings don't hurt her politically?"
With video

The "Big Politics" segment featured Gibson and Kirsten Powers. After a pre-amble including a quote from HRC saying that her faith gave her the courage and strength to do what she thought was right vis a vis her cheating husband, Gibson asked "Can talk about faith and moral values help HRC win over voters in 2008, or will they be turned off by her so-called faith?"

Turning to Powers, Gibson stated that Clinton was a life-long member of the Methodist church, right? Powers immediately nailed him on the "so-called" comment and confirmed that she is a devout person who "often talked about her faith. Just because people like you weren't paying attention doesn't mean it wasn't happening."

Gibson wanted to focus on the latter part of Clinton's statement, a sentence fragment, "regardless of what the world thought." To Gibson, that means that there is still lingering doubts among Democratic women whether Clinton should have stayed with her husband or not. Powers pointed out (what the viewers had not been told yet) that the quote was taken from an answer to a direct question at a Sojourners' forum about faith and values, and warned Gibson to keep it in context.

Gibson, animated, wagged a gotcha finger at Powers and said that Clinton's first word was "infidelity"! Powers reitrated that it was in response to a question and chided Gibson for making it sound like Clinton brought it up because she is overly-defensive about it. Gibson persisted, asking if this isn't a problem that they have to overcome, a lot of women aren't sure about her and the decision she made?

Gibson put up the obligatory lame graphic that asked "Faith got her through or campaign maneuver?" He insisted that "it" is still an issue with female voters, and Powers said that it might be for some, but frankly she doesn't think it's anyone's business. She doubted that faith-voters or values-voters would be advocating that she should have divorced him, and Gibson interjected no, they're Democratic voters. Powers huffily replied that there are Democratic voters that are faith voters, and after a little more back and forth she asserted that Clinton didn't call a press conference to announce this, it was an answer to a question at a related forum. Phew.

Powers did a great job defending Clinton's answer and her privacy. Gibson said he agreed with Powers and would take Clinton's word at face value, but why then did he spend the segment trying to undermine her faith and insinuate multiple times that it was all a cynical ploy? Oh, right. FOX.