Did You Know...

   

A debate “moderator” in the tank for Obama; Update: McCain campaign didn’t know about book; PBS and McCain shrug; Update: Ifill plays the race card

Share
By Michelle Malkin  •  September 30, 2008 10:13 PM

Scroll down for updates…race card-playing Gwen Ifill did not inform the debate panel about her book…

My first syndicated column of the week, filed this afternoon, shines light on PBS anchor Gwen Ifill, who will moderate Thursday’s only vice presidential debate. Try as she might to deflect questions about her impartiality, her biases — and her conflict of interest — are clear. But don’t you dare breathe a word about any of this. You know what will happen if you do…

RACIST!

Sidenote: TVNewser reports that Ifill has broken her ankle, but she’s still going to do the debate. But will she disclose her conflict of interest? Inquiring minds want to know.

Ask the Commission on Presidential Debates if she will acknowledge her conflict of interest: 202-872-1020.

And here’s the e-mail address of Janet H. Brown, Executive Director of the Debates Commission: jb@debates.org

Hopefully, their email system works better than the House.

Tons of readers recommend that Sarah Palin open her debate remarks by congratulating Ifill on her book and asking her to tell everyone the title.

***

A debate “moderator” in the tank for Obama
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2008

My dictionary defines “moderator” as “the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting.” On Thursday, PBS anchor Gwen Ifill will serve as moderator for the first and only vice presidential debate. The stakes are high. The Commission on Presidential Debates, with the assent of the two campaigns, decided not to impose any guidelines on her duties or questions.

But there is nothing “moderate” about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama. She’s so far in the tank for the Democrat presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out.

In an imaginary world where liberal journalists are held to the same standards as everyone else, Ifill would be required to make a full disclosure at the start of the debate. She would be required to turn to the cameras and tell the national audience that she has a book coming out on January 20, 2009 – a date that just happens to coincide with the inauguration of the next president of the United States.

The title of Ifill’s book? “Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” Nonpartisan my foot.

Ifill’s publisher, Random House, is already busy hyping the book with YouTube clips of Ifill heaping praise on her subjects, including Obama and Obama-endorsing Mass. Governor Deval Patrick. The official promo for the book gushes:

“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…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.”

Ifill and her publisher are banking on an Obama/Biden win to buoy her book sales. The moderator expected to treat both sides fairly has grandiosely declared this the “Age of Obama.” Can you imagine a right-leaning journalist writing a book about the “stunning” McCain campaign and its “bold” path to reform timed for release on Inauguration Day – and then expecting a slot as a moderator for the nation’s sole vice presidential debate?

Yeah, I just registered 6.4 on the Snicker Richter Scale, too.

Despite the protestations of her colleagues that she will be fair, Ifill has appeared on numerous radio and TV talk shows over the past several months to cash in on her access to the Obama campaign. She recently penned a fawning cover story on the Obamas for Essence magazine that earned much buzz. The title? “The Obamas: Portrait of an American Family.” A sample of Ifill’s hard-hitting investigative journalism, illustrated with Kennedyesque photos of the Obamas and children posing at home on the backporch and by the piano:

“Barack Obama is sitting in the back of his rented luxury campaign bus with its granite counters and two flat-screen TVs. The Illinois senator’s arms are wrapped around his wife, Michelle, whom he doesn’t get to see much these days. At this very moment he is, of all things, singing.”

During the Democratic National Convention, Ifill offered her neutral analysis before Michelle Obama’s speech on NBC News: “A lot of people have never seen anything that looks like a Michelle Obama before. She’s educated, she’s beautiful, she’s tall, she tells you what she thinks and they hope that she can tell a story about Barack Obama and about herself…”

During the Republican National Convention, the PBS ombudsman fielded numerous complaints about Ifill’s coverage of Sarah Palin’s speech. Wrote Brian Meyers of Granby, Ct.:

“I was appalled by Gwen Ifill’s commentary directly following Gov. Sarah Palin’s speech. Her attitude was dismissive and the look on her face was one of disgust. Clearly, she was agitated by what most critics view as a well-delivered speech. It is quite obvious that Ms. Ifill supports Obama as she struggled to say anything redemptive about Gov. Palin’s performance. I am disappointed in Ms. Ifill’s complete disregard for journalistic objectivity.”

Like Obama, Ifill, who is black, is quick to play the race card at the first sign of criticism. In an interview with the Washington Post a few weeks ago, she carped: “[N]o one’s ever assumed a white reporter can’t cover a white candidate.”

It’s not the color of your skin, sweetie. It’s the color of your politics. Perhaps Ifill will be able to conceal it this week. But if the “stunning” “Breakthrough” she’s rooting for comes to pass on January 20, 2009, nobody will be fooled.

***

Here’s the video clip of Ifill’s reaction to Palin’s RNC speech:

***

As Instapundit’s newsroom correspondent put it: “The fix is in, and it’s working.”

Bob Unruh adds:

Ifill declined to return a WND telephone message asking for a comment about her book project and whether its success would be expected should Obama lose. But she has faced criticism previously for not treating candidates of both major parties the same.

During a vice-presidential candidate debate she moderated in 2004 – when Democrat John Edwards attacked Republican Dick Cheney’s former employer, Halliburton – the vice president said, “I can respond, Gwen, but it’s going to take more than 30 seconds.”

“Well, that’s all you’ve got,” she told Cheney.

Ifill told the Associated Press Democrats were delighted with her answer, because they “thought I was being snippy to Cheney.” She explained that wasn’t her intent.

Uh-huh.

***

Greta Van Susteren reports that McCain didn’t know about Ifill’s book. “[T]he campaign (actually both) should have been told before the campaign agreed to have her moderate. It simply is not fair – in law, this would create a mistrial.”

***

Update: PBS and McCain agree: No big deal.

Update: Ifill plays the race card. Did I call it or what?

Ifill questions why people assume that her book will be favorable toward Obama.

“Do you think they made the same assumptions about Lou Cannon (who is white) when he wrote his book about Reagan?” said Ifill, who is black. Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, “I don’t know what it is. I find it curious.”

And note this:

The host of PBS'”Washington Week” and senior correspondent on “The NewsHour” said she did not tell the Commission on Presidential Debates about the book.

Update: Comic relief from Jim Treacher.

Update: Tim Graham at Newsbusters writes…

Gwen Ifill responded to questions about impartiality in an AP interview with David Bauder by suggesting the critics might be racist: “Do you think they made the same assumptions about Lou Cannon (who is white) when he wrote his book about Reagan?” Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, “I don’t know what it is. I find it curious.”

This is a curious complaint, since (a) Cannon was never the sole moderator or even a questioner in a Ronald Reagan debate in 1980 or 1984 and (b) Lou Cannon wrote at least five books about Reagan. Ifill is probably referring to President Reagan: Role of a Lifetime, released in 1991. An Amazon.com search also suggests the titles Ronald Reagan: A Life in Politics (2004), Governor Reagan (2003), Ronald Reagan: The Presidential Portfolio (with Michael Beschloss, 2003), Reagan (1982), and Ronnie & Jesse: A Political Odyssey (1969).

Heh: Obama warns decimated Dem Party that divisive politics is a dead-end street

October 20, 2017 02:51 PM by Doug Powers

Take it from him!

Schatz-Care? Because the ACA’s working GREAT, Senate progs push single-payer proposal

September 12, 2017 10:01 AM by Doug Powers

The Grubering continues

Is there a DACA in the House? The perils of Pen & Phone decrees exposed again

September 5, 2017 10:01 AM by Doug Powers

Another temporary legacy bites the dust

Confirmed: Iran president really misses previous administration

August 15, 2017 08:44 AM by Doug Powers

Uh huh

Obama’s birthday gives uber-objective media a chance to show how much he’s missed

August 4, 2017 08:57 PM by Doug Powers

Like this, but worse


Categories: Barack Obama, Media Bias