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How Gwen Ifill's Book on Black Politics Got Spun Into a Pro-Obama Tome
Blame Drudge

Sometime last night, link factory and cable news talking point shaper Matt Drudge posted a link to an article about Gwen Ifill, the PBS vet and broken legged moderator of tomorrow's VP debate, claiming she was coming out with a pro-Obama book on Inauguration Day. If true, an obvious favoring of Obama could jeopardize Ifill's plans for tomorrow night's session, since moderators are supposed to remain objective; any harsh questions aimed at Palin could then "justly" be labeled by the right wing as unfair and bias.

Except Drudge, to be sure, is not the nonpartisan link factory Fox News would have you believe. So it makes sense that the news outlet he linked to for the story would be the right-wing zealot website WorldNetDaily, a place where, much like Drudge, ordinary news topics get twisted ever so slightly to become slanted in such a way that the reader would be forgiven for realizing he bought into the spin. (For instance, an article about how Americans can relate to Obama is headlined, "Do Americans have anything in common with Obama?" See the twist?)

So is Ifill's book even about Obama? And if it is, is it really pro-Obama? You can take a guess.

Ifill's book, The Breakthrough, is a thought exercise on the "black political structure" of the civil rights movement, and outlines how that struggle led to today, where we're moving toward racial equality. Of course, it would be author's malpractice not to mention Barack Obama in that scenario, because he is the most visible result of that process: a black man able to run for president on a major party ticket.

WorldNetDaily even notes that, in a web video about her book, Ifill says the book focuses on four people, "one of them Barack Obama of course." (Colin Powell is also in there, as is Newark mayor Corey Booker, Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.) As Ifill rightfully argues, "They are changing our politics and changing our nation."

So might Ifill's book simply be about black politics, but not actually geared toward favoring Obama? Absolutely, and that's how we imagine the final product turning out. (The Inauguration Day release date? Pure publicity move, likely made by her publisher.) But because Ifill is black, and because she is writing about black politics, inevitably this gets spun by Drudge and WND as a "pro-Obama" book, when in fact it'll likely turn out to be a healthy chronicling of how we got here — to a place where Obama can even run for president, let alone have a book written about him running for president that supposedly supports him.

Oct 1, 2008 · posted by david · Link · 61 Responses
Comments (61)
No. 1 Mike says:

The full title of the book is "Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama." In my view Ms. Ifill does not have the credibility to remain objective as a moderator for the VP debate when she is about to release a book promoting Barack Obama. She may be uniquely qualified to speak toward the achievement of black Americans, but to undertake such a book at this time, and to still serve as moderator during a Presidential election is a conflict of interest. There is no way that many, many Americans will find this acceptable, and it was very poor judgement to either allow Ms. Ifill to moderate, or to publish such a book at this time.
Personally I believe Ms. Ifill is a tremendous journalist and has the capacity to serve as an effective moderator. But she has lost credibility in my view as an impartial and objective journalist based on the perception of bias.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 9:31 am
No. 2 mila says:

Gwen Ifill made a sharp statement against McCain! Everything is very consistent and clear! I SHOCKED!!!
Highly recommended for all to see:
http://tubedirect.net/index.ph.....erview-CNN
Perhaps, therefore, removed from the debate that it was for Thursday

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 9:52 am
No. 3 hoonbelly says:

the primary conflict is MONEY.

she's moderating a debate in which she ultimately makes more money if a particular one of the debaters is elected and not the other.

no further heated analysis is necessary.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:00 am
No. 4 david says:

@Mike - I agree, bad timing. I also think her publisher, Doubleday, came up with that title. Including Obama's name makes the book more salable. Should she have waited? Perhaps. But if she's expert enough to be chosen to moderate a VP debate, I would imagine she's expert enough to deliver a book she claims to be knowledgeable about.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:17 am
No. 5 GMoney says:

She is not neutral, you can pretend all you want, but she simply is not.

Dump Ifill…

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:23 am
No. 6 Constance says:

Ifill is one of the best at her job. She has the experience to be fair and objective in this format and to keep her own personal stuff out of the mix. If she, as a moderator, probes and tries to get the candidates to expand more on their answers this should not be seen as picking on someone or her being biased to the left or the right. It is good journalism and hopefully the point of the debate, to get more than one-liners on critical issues. If the candidates can't handle that, they shouldn't be considered for the second in command position.
I think folks fail to understand that anyone who moderates a debate has some type of bias towards or against the candidates. The only difference is that some are on record and others not. But the bias will always be there. The concern that one should have is whether or not that plays a significant role in the fairness of the debate.

When there is concern raised about moderator bias there are one or two things that potentially happen. One, it potentially impairs the moderators from asking the tough questions for fear of being seen as biased. It also potentially opens up calls of "foul" if either side feels that their candidate was treated unfairly.In the end, if moderators are not allowed to do what they do best, which is to put the candidates on the spot,as life will do, we are the ones who end up on the short end of the stick.

Finally, Ifill's books is about black politics. Don't you think it would be odd if she omitted Barack Obama despite what her own personal leanings are? It's a fact of history, not a declaration of anyone's political support. You can't fault her publisher, you strike when the iron is hot and you pick a time and a title that's going to sell books not necessarily support any particular political viewpoint.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:29 am
No. 7 Swibbie says:

So "Obama" appears in the title of the book, but the book is not about "Obama"? If the book is NOT about "Obama" then Gwen is a fraud and a liar. If the book IS about "Obama" then Gwen is a fraud for not disclosing the fact to the McCain campaign.

BTW, does the book include such notable black politicians as Michael Steele? Ken Blackwell? JC Watts? Colin Powell? Condeleeza Rice? Edward Brooke? Janice Rodgers Brown? Clarence Thomas? Eldridge Cleaver? Larry Elder? Roy Innis? Alan Keyes? Rod Paige? William T. Vernon? Walter E. Williams?

Didn't think so…

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:30 am
No. 8 Chuck Adams says:

Perfect. Another case of the right grinding off their noses to spite their faces. Replace Ms. Ifill now, I would say. The progressive blogosphere has been abuzz with concern about Ms Ifill's bias in the 2004 VP debates them seem to favor the GOP. That and her friendship with Condi Rice has caused much nervousness on the left. Please replace her. The left would love it.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:31 am
No. 9 Tom King in Houston says:

If the Presidential Debate Commission doesn't remove her by noon today for the most obvious conflict of interest, PBS will loose 25% ratings and all my financial support.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:46 am
No. 10 David EB says:

Swibbie,

Did you even read this article? It says Colin Powell is in the book. Think, then comment.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 11:03 am
No. 11 Harry B says:

Talk about spin!!! You think those rascally right wingers spinning Ms. Ifill's book as somehow pro-Obama? Oh, however could that be when we know the main stream media (as well as little known blogger like you) would never promote one candidate over another- right Hillary? And just because the book would sell more copies if he won? Posh! You lefties don't care a whit about money- only truth-right? You people are spinning so fast that you permanently dizzy.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 11:10 am
No. 12 StraightTruth. says:

"Politics and Race in the Age of Obama" is the subtitle.

If Ifill had written a book called "Great Fighter Pilots, the John McCain story", there would likewise be outcrys of bias.

http://www.amazon.com/Breakthr.....038552501X

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 11:25 am
No. 13 joe says:

test

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 11:36 am
No. 14 joe says:

Whether Ifill is biased or not, there is a clear perception of bias here, that the Repugs will play up for all that it's worth.

We've come to close to blow this thing by legitimize Repug whining about liberal bias.

Ifill needs to recuse herself.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 11:37 am
No. 15 Curt says:

And you are saying that you don't spin or ignore facts???? Have you brought up the fact that Obama has two former Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae CEO's as "advisors"?????? Pot meet kettle….

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm
No. 16 Howard says:

The nation already is skeptical about the fairness and objectivity of the mainstream media regarding election coverage … so, why in the world is Gwen Ifill the debate moderator, when she is writing a book about Obama? The moderator in a debate … especially one of this importance and magnitude … should be seen as completely fair, objective and above reproach. This is a terrible choice, and could easily have been remedied by choosing from hundreds of other more objective potential moderators. I can imagine the outcry if Michelle Malkin, or Ann Coulter was chosen as the moderator for the first Vice Presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. FURTHER MORE … Everyone knows that Roland Martin is in the tank for Obama … and regarding his call for Palin to either 'put up, or shut up' … for millions of Americans, we still feel that Obama never adequately explained why he chose to spend TWENTY YEARS, yes TWENTY YEARS, in Jeremiah Wright's anti-American, racist, black liberation church, which gave a life time achievement award to Louis Farrakhan, and Obama only quit the church due to public outrage and personal ambition.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 12:10 pm
No. 17 Don says:

Nice article. You are so intent on lying to your readership that you can't even admit to the real title of the book. LOL…Wow what a scam the liberal media is perpetrating on the people of the US.

Let's see, a woman who is writing a book entitled "The Obama Age" and has the book coming out on the day of the presidential inauguration. Gee Whizz, why would she ever want Obama to win? I am sure that her book titled "THE OBAMA AGE" would sell just as many copies if Obama loses and becomes a nobody again.

Is that really your stance?????

ROTFLMAO…wow you really are pathetic.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm
No. 18 Richard says:

If Shawn Hannity were the moderator, do you think the left would be screaming??

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 1:20 pm
No. 19 callcam says:

I've seen Ms. Ifill to be a splendid professional on PBS and in every other journalistic endeavor I've seen her in. I'm surprised that she wouldn't recognize the gross bias reflected in the timing of her new book and this debate.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 1:42 pm
No. 20 A. Pradco says:

I've never seen a deck stacked against a presidential candidate in all my 74 years. Liberals KNOW they can't win honestly because they know most of the country does NOT share their warped views. If Ms. Ifill is not replaced I PBS will loose my long time support.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 1:51 pm
No. 21 STEVE says:

ETHICAL STANDARDS ARE SUCH THAT SOMEONE WHO PUBLICLY EXPRESSES FAVORITISM FOR ONE PARTY OVER ANOTHER SHOULD NOT MEDIATE, OR IN THIS CASE MODERATE BETWEEN THE TWO. ETHICAL STANDARDS ALSO CLEARLY REQUIRE SOMEONE WHO STANDS TO HAVE FINANCIAL GAIN REMOVE THEMSELVES FROM THIS ACTIVITY BECAUSE THEY CANNOT BE IMPARTIAL.
SHAME ON THE DEBATE SPONSORS, SHAME ON GWEN IFILL.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:03 pm
No. 22 dojo625 says:

No 9 and No 20….fat lot of good PBS is doing either of you anyway. It's LOSE, not LOOSE.

Sheesh, that bugs the hell out of me.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:10 pm
No. 23 Coco Channel says:

Are you people on crack?

If the book is about blackpolitics, wouldn't it be normal to have Obama in the book? Especially since he can become president.

The book isn't about being Dem or Rep, it's about black politics. If wouldn't matter if Condeleeza, Hillary or this woman were writing it.

Nothing in that clip showed that this woman is leaning in any political direction.

Maybe you guys are just worried she might ask Sarah "KNOW NOTHING" Palin a real question.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:18 pm
No. 24 Coco Channel says:

@ #20, I highly doubt that you have ever supported anything as logical as PBS. Then you surely owuldn't be talking such nonsense.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:20 pm
No. 25 Coco Channel says:

That is a total LIE!!

~~~~~~~~~

No. 15 Curt says:
And you are saying that you don't spin or ignore facts???? Have you brought up the fact that Obama has two former Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae CEO's as "advisors"?????? Pot meet kettle???.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm
No. 26 Josh says:

Here we go again…you left wing apologists want to bury your collective heads when there is a clear case of conflict of interest. Don't blame the messenger (Matt Drudge) for informing the rest of us, as to significant monetary gains on hold for Ms Ifill — also, her book is to be released ON TEH DAY OF THE INAUGUARTION — when your Obama becomes President. Don't you dunces see that Ms Ifill make $$$$ on the day Obama gets elected?? Or, is this just another vast right wing conspiracy??? Idiots.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:29 pm
No. 27 SGM says:

NO 25 Coco (Loco) Channel,

Read something besides liberal gibberish…Barry Obama has two former CEOs from Frannie/Freddie that are economic advisors to his campgaign. Can only imagine how they'll cheat the tax payers if obama is elected.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:41 pm
No. 28 LaurenF says:

I would advise against throwing the conflict of interest stones…Rick Davis, ahem.
Brokaw will be doing the next pres. debate and then the democrats can claim the same bias exhibited here.

I don't think you can say that Ms. Ifill is promoting Obama by including his name in the title. The book has not been released and we have no idea what the text is. You seem to be under the assumption that this black woman is automatically in support of Obama. The title merely recognizes what a historic figure Obama is. Are you going to argue with that?

In other news, in Iowa today McCain said that he seeks to be a dictator. You can't say that while running for president can you? He's getting senile and I really miss Ron Paul: http://tinyurl.com/66o79q

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 2:46 pm
No. 29 Teri B. says:

They just think that if a MAN is the moderator, they can get away with more of the poor Palin delicate flower routine when she makes a fool of herself. How pathetic. Hillary had to work harder, and know more than all the men, and Palin has a lower bar? She's an abomination to women's equality.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 3:07 pm
No. 30 Joe says:

Has anyone actually READ the book? I find the uproar hilarious in the absence of actual evidence that Ifill–an exceptionally fair-minded journalist who routinely shows enormous sensitivity to the gravity of her duties as moderator–might be an Obama supporter. The McCain camp CLEARLY wants to make hay out of this alleged conflict but would you imagine they'd prefer someone else? No way. They are not getting a fairer shake from anyone else, not even a Brit Hume or a Tom Brokaw, and McCain knows it.

It's a straw man, just another thing to whine about when, in spite of the fairest possible moderator and the most Palin-friendly ground rules imaginable, she still manages to sound unqualified.

They're a campaign of whiners, and their Fox News surrogates ought to stop sounding so breathless about nothing. Can you just smell the Republican fear? It was like this in '92, and you never heard such yowling and catterwauling. Until now.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 3:10 pm
No. 31 Miriam Hoffmann says:

I think you should take yourself off the debate. You are apparently for Obama and will NOT be fair as the moderator of this debate, like most news reporters and TV reporters.
When you go after McCain and Palin, and do not show who Obama has associated with and how he made his money that is not fair.
Take yourself off as the moderator of the debate.
Shame on you!!!!

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 3:25 pm
No. 32 jeffrey says:

She should not be the host and I would be willing to bet that the book is comeing out on inaguration day because she probly refers to OBAMA in the book as PRESIDENT OBAMA the thing that gets me in this country is if the table where turned and you had a white host that wrote a book about MCCAIN you would here how racist the host was for doing that see that is the problem in this country you watch any news they will say anthing about a white person who runs for office but the second some one would be saying garbage about a black person that runs for office you would hear how racist they are and if any group of people are it would have to be black people because white people do not have all white schools white people do not have all white organizations like the NAACP this is what is wrong with this country look I am all for any race any person that wants to run for office because lets face it them jobs are thankless ever judgeing your every move but lets be fare about it lets all play nice in the sand box look I know how hard it is to find some one for the debate that will be fair because every one roots for the person they like and some times it is hard to be fair and thats why she should not be the host

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm
No. 33 Janet says:

She needs to be taken off of the DEBATE. She will not be a fair moderator. She should be ashame of herself for accepting the offer to be the moderator after writing a book about OBAMA whom she is for. I think its time for the MEDIA to ask OBAMA some of the same hard questions that they keep asking PALIN. I've never seen a deck stacked against a presidential candidate. Liberals KNOW they can't win honestly because they know most of the country does NOT share their warped views. Ms. Ifill needs to be replaced.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm
No. 34 Jim Mazziotti says:

No way! Send her down the road. This simply is not fair. I have had about all I can take of the bias at this point.
Give her a suitcase and say goodbye!

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 4:09 pm
No. 35 Jim Mazziotti says:

Wake up Joe! Get a grip. Your lib buddies would have a cow if the shoe were on the other foot. And your comment about FOX…..what the heck does that have to do with the discussion? It's always FOX and it's "If you Want Four More Years of Bush." Is that all you've got?

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm
No. 36 Monica says:

She (Ifill)really gives journalists a bad name! Unfair and bias, in it for her own good Just like Barack Hussin Obama!
Moderator" is a nonpartisan person presiding as an officer of a town meeting." But there is nothing "moderate" nor nonpartisan about where Ifill stands on Barack Hussin Obama. She's so far in the crack of the Democratic presidential candidate's ass that you can't tell were she starts or ends. How can she be allowed to be the moderator of the VP debate? Who made that choice?

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 4:51 pm
No. 37 Joseph Hunkins says:

Like the fine journalist she is you can be sure Ifill will conduct the debate fairly without partisanship. HOWEVER

Publication date is a legitimate red flag not a red herring. She's the key participant in a book that assumes Obama is going to win. By definition that is not an objective position.

Yes she can be objective, but should have disclosed this aggressively to everybody. If she did not she should offer to step aside, which McCain will refuse anyway.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 4:56 pm
No. 38 louisiana_diamond says:

Hell, I think that the man who was the moderator for the presidential election was BIASED he let John McLame talk forever

Leave Gwen alone she is the epitomy of perfection

"OBAMA 08"

YES WE CAN
I HOPE OBAMA WINS LOUISIANA

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 5:14 pm
No. 39 Gary Crary says:

Based on the perception of potential conflict of interests, Gwen Ifill should step down as the moderator of the vice presidential debate. The contest for this presidency is too close to allow such conflicts to add to the distractions the public faces in their decision-making process. Ms. Ifill has a lot to gain with the sale of her book and that casts a cloud over her credibility as an objective moderator.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm
No. 40 obamamatters says:

This go to show that McCain Campaign does not do its homework. His selection of Palin as a running mate and his handling of the bailout situation in Washington DC are profound indicators of what a McCain Administration would look like.

They are trying to lower expectations for Gov.Palin and orchestrate the story coming out of the debates. Mark my words, if Palin fumbles tomorrow, Gwen Ifill will be crucified by conservatives. She will be painted as an Obama surrogate. Her role will be redefined as a conspirator to destroy Palin). Watch!

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 5:58 pm
No. 41 spinnerfits says:

Get a life right wing attack dogs!

Gwen Ifill could not write a book on black america in politics without pointing out the obvious pinnacle in Obama. It's historic, and the historic timeline can be written about in an objective manner without being pro obama or anti obama. I don't sales of the book would be affected one way or another by the election outcome.

She reports regularly on Obama on the campaign trail, as she does on McCain on the campaign trail. She's a reporter! So she should be eliminated because she's a reporter?

The whole Fox crew should stop reporting, as they are so blatantly biased to the right they have no left. It's like a stroke patient. Fair and balanced? What a laugh. Iraq was involved in 911 according to a high percentage of Fox viewers even though it was long ago discredited. Loudmouth screamers, making it personal, it's an effective tactic but it's destroying the democratic process.

Since when is Catie Kouric a left wing attack dog? I was shocked when a co-worker said this to me. I had no reply. But I don't have cable or satellite, just a rooftop antenna. Just because the right make assertions doesn't make it true.

you are right obamamatters, if Palin falters it will be Ifill's fault. It's a preemptive strike, an outrageous fabrication, typical right wing character assassination, destroying democracy!

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 7:29 pm
No. 42 spinnerfits says:

If Fox and the right wing juggernaut are so upset about the CBS and NPR, why don't they interview Palin themselves? They could heave her all the softballs she could handle? But then they could't bitch about 'left wing bias'. You know it's true.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 7:32 pm
No. 43 spinnerfits says:

There aren't any books about Palin so far. Too bad, as the public knows so little about her. Very convenient, easy to make her to be whatever the right want her to be.

She's like the star high school basketball player. Is that player ready for college? Are they ready for the NBA? There's no way to tell until they get there and try. If you haven't seen Catie Kouric's interview of Palin last week, you need to watch the whole thing not just the bits and the commentators opinion. She repeatedly stumbled, bumbled and tripped. Not once but over and over.

I couldn't help but think "how would Condi Rice have done?" I've seen Condi get grilled by a house committee and then a senate committee, all day long. An interview by Catie Kouric would have been the easiest thing on Condi's schedule. Catie is no left wing attack dog, Palin is a nationally untested political lightweight.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 7:39 pm
No. 44 patricksarsfield says:

As Mike pointed out, the full title of Gwen Ifill's book is "Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama." And her book is supposed to come out on or about the day when the Age of Obama is supposed to begin: the day of his inauguration on January 20, 2009. So, if McCain wins, the song that day will not be about the Dawning of the Age of Obama. Rather, it will be: "It is the Dawning of the Age of McCain." Hardly an auspicious augury for the sales totals Ms. Ifill's now outdated book would achieve. In fact, she likely will be fighting with Nancy Pelosi for last place on the Amazon list.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 8:02 pm
No. 45 Pat Grace-Farfaglia says:

This is posted on Amazon announcing the publication of the book for January 20, 2009:

Product Description

In THE BREAKTHROUGH, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama???s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power.

Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, and also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the "black enough" conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.

THE BREAKTHROUGH is a remarkable look at contemporary politics and an essential foundation for understanding the future of American democracy.
______________________________________________

How come there was no mention of Condi Rice? Secretary of State and National Security Advisor has pretty stunning and awesome power. I hope it is part of her analysis, but Ms. Rice's conservativism may not fit into Gwen's conceptual framework for emerging black political leaders.
I teach Mass Media and Persuasion at a NE university. I hope her book on this historic election can be used to engage students about different political perspectives and social change.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 8:02 pm
No. 46 GA says:

There's no denying that she will have financial gain if Obama wins. That is a conflict of interest regardless of her bias or unbias or the contents of her book. For goodness sakes, the name "Obama" is in the title!

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 8:48 pm
No. 47 Joe says:

Jim Mazziotti makes a good point about my gratuitous dig at Fox News. Fair enough. It's for another discussion. I suggest only that McCain's campaign agreed to Ifill as moderator, not someone else less devoted to fairness or perhaps more sympathetic to Governor Palin, and so far they have yet to ask Ifill to step down. Why do you suppose this is the case?

And will the Ifill detractors here judge Ifill on her performance during the debate or even on her decades-long record of fair journalism on the NewsHour? It's hard to believe that anyone watching her respectful and impartial coverage of the conventions could possibly believe she was a partisan hack.

As for making money, I can tell you as a former book editor, writing a book isn't the way to riches. She could make as much from a couple of keynote speeches as she stands to make from the book, even if it's unexpectedly successful. Releasing the book–an act of journalism–on Inauguration Day suggests she is being painfully careful about not wanting to create even the appearance of conflict or to influence the election in any way.

And supposing Ifill is the partisan, compromised, liberal-leaning, pro-Obama hack, as is being suggested by many here, and further supposing she delivers a terribly unfair performance as moderator, doesn't she only generate sympathy for Palin? Doesn't she destroy her credibility?

I strongly suspect Ifill will do what she always does: ask tough, fair, meaningful questions and follow-ups, then get out of the way and let the debaters answer.

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:44 pm
No. 48 Joe says:

And in case you're wondering about the official position of the McCain camp, how about this from Senator McCain today?

"I think that Gwen Ifill is a professional and I think she will do a totally objective job, because she is a highly respected professional. Does this help that if she has written a book that???s favorable to Sen. Obama? Probably not. But I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ain-ifill/

Posted: Oct 1, 2008 at 10:55 pm
No. 49 Tony says:

Folks … Ifill's intention to write this book was announced - loud and clear - in late July. The McCain campaign approved her as moderator in mid-Agust. Thus we have two possible conclusions: 1) McCain knew about the book and decided there is no conflict here. … which tends to invalidate all the "outrage" at this late date. 2) McCain's campaign is incompetent … which means who moderates the VP debate is the least of their problems.

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 12:17 am
No. 50 realfamilyvalues says:

I found this on Wikipedia. It took me to 2 minutes with Google. If Senator McCain is tired of the incompetence in his campaign I am willing to offer my services for a discounted fee. HEHEHE.
First book
Ifill is writing a book with the title The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, which is scheduled to be released January 20, 2009, Inauguration Day.[8][9] The book is expected to deal with several African American politicians, by ???shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama???s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power???[10] as well as other up and coming black politicians such as Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker. Ifill did not inform the debate comission about her book.[11] [12] The publisher, Random House, says of the book ???Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the ???black enough??? conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.??? Republican Presidential Nominiee John McCain said he was confident Ifill would do ???a totally objective job,??? but stated, ???Does this help that if she has written a book that???s favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not.???[13]

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 12:53 am
No. 51 cmw says:

I need to address a few things. One…there is no such thing as an all black school, except in those public and inner city schools were no other ethnicities live in the district. Historically Black Colleges and Universities all have students who are Caucasian and other races and those students are given minority scholarships. The NAACP is not and has never been an all black organization, it was founded by a multi racial group including Caucasian men. Your ignorance proceeds you.
To the topic, Gwen Ifills book discusses African Americans influence in American politics including both republican and democratic African American politicians. Reading is fundamental…
This book was spoken of in the national press as early as July. I actually read about it back then as I am a political scientist, and love these books. McCain's campaign could have made hay of this moderator before they agreed to her. They could have easily discovered the existence of this book. Google brings it up. This woman has decades of journalistic integrity, how dare any of you try to sully it.

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 8:07 am
No. 52 Anthony says:

This is a less of an issue than McCain and the GOP are making it out to be. Many people have acknowledged the accomplishment that people like Colin Powell and Barak Obama have made. However, it is quite irritating that we have people like McCain attempting to diminish these accomplishment. There are words that can be used to describe this attitude, but being a distinguished person Gwen Ifill has not mentioned it. What is very respectable about this woman is that she is very strong.

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 9:06 am
No. 53 Uli Pele says:

"If Ifill had written a book called "Great Fighter Pilots, the John McCain story", there would likewise be outcrys of bias."

That would be impossible. It's my understanding he was a shitty pilot who only got the opportunity to fly in the Navy b/c of Granddaddy and Daddy Admirals. I highly doubt any other cadet with a D- average would be given their wings.

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 10:08 am
No. 54 Uli Pele says:

If Ifill had written a book called "Great Fighter Pilots, the John McCain story", there would likewise be outcrys of bias.

The proper analogy for a similar book would be: "The Dinosaurs:Outdated Power Structures and The Age of McCain"

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 10:11 am
No. 55 Trish says:

No, Zobambie. That woman has a vested financial steak in the sucess of Barak Obama in this election. Which is a conflict of interest. That's not spin, it's just common sense. Try some.

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm
No. 56 Pedro says:

Yeah, power to the people. Get Osama's (oops) Obama's ass out of here. Ifill can be his Ho.

That's all she really is anyway !!

Do not vote for Barack HUSSEIN Obama !!!

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm
No. 57 Smooch says:

So precisely how will Ifill be biased during this debate? Make sneering noses at Palin? Ask her about nuclear proliferation and then ask Biden about his recipe for barbeque chicken? They both get the same questions and have the same time frame in which to answer them. I have yet to see where anyone shows how her bias will affect this debate….. not one example.

Posted: Oct 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm
No. 58 postman606 says:

Someone tried to compare Gwen Ifill to Sean Hannity. One, Ms. Ifill is a journalist, Hannity is a circus act. In 1984 Lou Cannon published a book called "Reagan". He then went on to moderate a debate between Reagan and Mondale. ot a peep from anyone. Mr Cannon went on to write a string of books about Reagan. This is a racist assumption that because Ms. Ifill is black that there is no possibility of her continuing to do the kind of professional work she's been doing for years.

Posted: Oct 3, 2008 at 3:05 pm
No. 59 postman606 says:

You know what's so weak and pathetic about this, "oh she didn't tell the debate commision", whining. These campaigns are an audition to run the country. There was publicity for the book prior to Ifill being picked, it has been on pre-sale for a while. The McCain campaign, once again, show a disturbing trend of not being able to do their homework. How can they possible sit down with Putin? Think he's going to show his hand?

Posted: Oct 3, 2008 at 3:33 pm
No. 60 Joe Smo says:

I've seen many debates and the moderators have always allowed both speakers to finish their statements even if the time ran out. Last night Ifill cut Palin off mid sentence when she was answering one of her questions. I thought that was rude and not like all the other debates I've seen. Today I found out she's releasing a book that will sell more copies if Obama becomes President. I knew I was right to think she was biased.

Posted: Oct 3, 2008 at 4:51 pm
No. 61 postman606 says:

Really you've seen many debates. How about the 1984 debates between Reagan and Mondale. Lou Gordon moderated one of those debates. He also wrote several books about Reagan, before and after he moderated. Funny, do you remember any controversy. Gwen Iffil has been in the business over 25 years. She is the consummate professional. She followed the rules of the debate commision and as I have watched that debate three times now I noticed she cut Biden off more than once, but I guess some people can't be bothered with facts.

Posted: Oct 3, 2008 at 6:27 pm
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