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A gift for Gwen Ifill

By Michelle Malkin  •  October 2, 2008 05:57 AM

An Ivy League prof responds to the Gwen “Age of Obama” Ifill controversy, no doubt with a tinge of regret in his voice, in an interview with the Boston Herald:

“It’s probably not the greatest thing on Earth that she is in that role and it’s probably going to really force her to be fully even-handed,” Thomas Patterson, professor of government and the press at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, told the Herald yesterday.

“Fully even-handed.”

As opposed to the usual partially (un)even-handed way the ogling Obamedia has operated the past 20 months.


Anyway, Professor Patterson better be careful.

As I predicted Tuesday night, expressing even the slightest criticism of Ifill’s vested financial and ideological interest in the outcome of the election will get you labeled a…RACIST!

Speaking of which: You won’t believe (nah, you will believe) the number of e-mails from incensed Obama supporters who complained about this sentence in my column:

“It’s not the color of your skin, sweetie.”

The reference to Obama’s dismissive use of “sweetie” when addressing a female journalist sailed right over their heads.

Ignorant of the allusion, the complainers’ immediately proceeded to attack me for…RACISM!

This one’s for you, Gwen Ifill. Like they say, membership has its privileges:


On a related note, several readers send word of another Ifill who’s using the phrase “Age of Obama.” Go figure! It’s Ifill’s cousin, Sherrilyn, (“my brilliant baby cousin,” gushes Gwen). Here’s her piece, “The Relevance of Nooses and Lynching in the Age of Obama.” A sample:

The challenge for 2008 and beyond is for us to embrace the hope represented by the widespread acceptance of public figures like Barack Obama and Colin Powell, while continuing the hard work of sorting through the lingering effects and reality of white supremacy in our society.

And Ifill’s “brilliant baby cousin” weighs in on Sarah Palin (hat tip – Chris R.), whom she calls “offensive to black women:”

The actions and remarks of Palin are something that caught the eye of Sherrilyn Ifill, a University of Maryland law professor who has taught voting rights, equal protection and restorative justice.

“From the first day, Palin presented herself as shooting a bear in the morning, field dressing it, cooking up the breakfast, diapering the babies, passing legislation in the afternoon, cleaning the house, satisfying her husband, etc., etc., etc. And it’s just not true,” she wrote in an e-mail interview. “It’s hard to be an average working mom, really hard. And when women who are privileged present as though they have it all together, it’s offensive to black women.”

She said, “black women are not easily confused by false claims to feminism. When women like Palin lay claims to ‘representing’ average women, I think that black women have a visceral reaction to it.”

Ifill added that Palin “missed her opportunity when she announced Bristol’s pregnancy to explicitly talk about how painful it was to her as a mother – instead of making it as though this too was also part of her perfect life.

“Hillary has the sympathy of women because of what she went through with Bill in front of the whole country. Michelle [Obama] takes pains to be self-deprecating and to talk about her concerns and fear about her girls. She insists that she couldn’t do what she does without the help of her mother. Most importantly, both champion issues that affect the lives of real, average women – universal health care, equal pay, choice, etc. To do so is a recognition that real working women (not political wives or politicians) need olicies that will help them maintain their families. What’s the point of Palin’s brand of feminism if it doesn’t translate into real returns for average women?”

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