“Avuncular,” “Ambivalent” Gibson

By Chris Ariens 

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The NYTimesAlessandra Stanley writes about Charles Gibson‘s performance as debate moderator last night. “Mr. Gibson withdrew whenever the discussions grew heated. And by not intervening more forcefully early on in the Republican debate, he allowed much of their discussion to remain staid and uninformative,” Stanley writes.

Stanley surmises the debates were, “a test of the Gibson Doctrine” as she compared Gibson to his evening news competition:

Mr. Gibson faced low expectations when he became the ABC anchorman in May 2006. He seemed too old and rumpled to catch up with Brian Williams, NBC’s sleek, youthful anchorman, who held a comfortable, commanding lead in the ratings. Mr. Gibson didn’t seem flashy enough to compete with Katie Couric, who was noisily promoted by CBS as the face of the future. Instead, viewers turned out not to want change: audiences preferred Mr. Gibson’s easy, dignified style and comforting familiarity.

Related: World News tops Nightly News in 2007…