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Gwen Ifill disappointed after not being chosen to moderate a debate

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By Doug Powers  •  August 19, 2012 09:30 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The presidential and vice-presidential debate moderators were announced last week, and notably absent were Fox News, MSNBC and anybody at PBS not named “Jim Lehrer.” Gwen Ifill was not happy:

In the suddenly gloomy meeting, some wondered if the list was legitimate. Others murmured that the selection of Mr. Lehrer was a setback for the “NewsHour,” which has been trying to show off younger stars like Ms. Ifill.

Ms. Ifill, in particular, was livid, according to several people present. “I was indeed disappointed,” she confirmed Friday.

Maybe she has another book to sell. Too bad, really — someone closed off to the influence of outside political unpleasantness to the point of not knowing the meaning of the word “teabagger” would have been just the splash of objectivity this year’s pool of moderators needed. I’m told Ifill’s so upset that she may secretly swap out Lehrer’s debate notes with lyrics from Sesame Street’s The Question Song and revel in the ensuing embarrassment.

By the way, the Obama and Romney campaigns nixed Fox News and MSNBC respectively:

Fox News, which is the only independent television network that has not been selected to have one of its anchors host a debate, made an aggressive push this year. The commission sent signals that the network was in strong contention, people familiar with the process said, but that changed in the last month. The Obama campaign raised questions about the network because of its conservative leanings. The Romney campaign objected to MSNBC because of its liberal bent and threatened to boycott if one of its anchors was selected.

(h/t Moe Lane)

**Written by Doug Powers

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