October 1, 2008

Oh my, it just never stops: In the tank for Obama

Donald B. Hawthorne

Gwen Ifill, moderator for this Thursday's VP debate, is in the tank for Obama.

From Instapundit:

A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

It just never stops, does it?


More on Ifill's questions about Palin at the RNC. The earlier link shows how she wrote a positive magazine article about the Obama family while she negatively questioned Palin. Also, Ifill appears not to have disclosed the existence of the book to the people selecting the moderator and the McCain campaign didn't know about the book. As Greta writes elsewhere, the failure to disclose would be reason for a mistrial in the legal world.

Even more:

The problem with the Ifill selection is not that she is for Obama (how could the media easily find any moderator who was not?), but that her Age of Obama encomium is, according to press releases, set to appear on January 20, Inauguration Day — the implication being that the book will sell far more copies as a timely analysis of Obama just as he assumes office. Yes, moderators are usually liberal, and yes, authors of books on contemporary politics usually try to find timing gimmicks to sell them; but in this case, the problem is that Ifill's book stands to do far better should Obama be elected, and her publishers seem in advance to have recognized, and thus counted on, that. That's the rub, and the result is that it will make it hard for her to seem unbiased when moderating a debate in which one side is trying to demonstrate to the nation why we should not have embrace an age of Obama. As a matter of ethics, this is a no brainer.


More from the Columbia Journalism Review.

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Not only do I suspect Gwen Ifill is an Obama supporter because of her very liberal point of view,there is something else here-she and Biden know each other very well from her being on the Washington political beat and they've been together how many times on Sunday programs?
Palin might as well wear a target on her back.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 1, 2008 5:56 AM

Donald B. Hawthorne

Why would we want real journalists like Gwen Ifill when we can get a right wing blogger such as "a reader at a major newsroom" At least Joe Bernstein uses Obama's name instead of O or The Obamanation, or Barry , or the Messiah or all the other appelations the political right uses. (Joe, I know you're sensitive so this does not apply to you.) Removing someone's name is an attempt to deny them their history and their identity. The slavemasters did that to the Africans they bound and chained two centuries ago. Maybe these right wing sources you all are so dependent on are just so traditional they can't help themselves.

Posted by: Phil at October 1, 2008 7:31 AM

Phil-I have used the term Obamillusion for what I consider Obama's totally unrealistic ideas that he has pushed regarding new programs without any specifics on how to pay for them.
Now,with regard to Gwen Ifill,it just broke on TV that she has a financial interest in the results of the election and consequently any debates leading up to it because she has a pro-Obama book being published on the day of the next Presidential inauguration.Nobody should moderate a debate in that situation-I would be as disturbed if the moderator had a pro-McCain book coming out.
I don't know why they couldn't have gotten CSpan to set up and moderate the debates.They don't seem to have any partisan baggage over there.
Making fun of Obama's name is a waste of energy-it is more productive to shed light on the facts of his politicl life.
Sarah Palin has come in for absolute ridicule on left wing blogs,including some right here in RI.I can only surmise that she scares them.
If Joe Biden can sound so utterly stupid after 36 years in the Senate,I find that really scary.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 1, 2008 8:17 AM

Phil, that's a reach. It's not attempt to deny him his identity. It's to make fun of him (and his supporters). Pretty simple. It's been done by both parties for a long time. Ronald Rayguns was always an oldy but a goody. Bela Pelosi, Bushitler, Algore are other current slang names.

So is this what we have to look forward to under Pres. Obama from his supporters? Every disagreement, perceived slight or joke will be assumed as being based on latent or active racism? Next thing you know, he'll be having lawyers and the police going after people.

Posted by: Marc at October 1, 2008 8:53 AM

Hey Phil: Besides your displaying the same lack of any sense of humor as the great Obama himself, are you saying that only left-wing journalists get to have anonymous sources? Besides, I doubt Glen Reynolds of Instapundit would consider himself right-wing. LOL!

Posted by: Donald B. Hawthorne at October 1, 2008 9:26 AM

Gosh, what a shocker!

Glenn Reynolds gets an email from an objective mole who has burrowed into an MSM newsroom . . . and you know what the mole revealed?

There's a left-wing bias in big media!

Look . . . it ticks me off as much as it does everyone else . . . but let's get over it!

Anyone running as a Republican (and especially a conservative) has to understand that they are subject to a double standard.

We can combat this bias by (1) holding our Republican candidates and elected officials to a higher standard than the Dems; (2) contributing to the independent operations that do the investigative work on our opponents that the MSM won't do; and (3) running candidates who aren't afraid to take the heat.

For any Republican candidate who can't stand the heat I have this advice:

Change parties. (Hello former Sen. Chafee!)

Whining about it gets us nowhere . . .
there is no crying in the Republican party!

Posted by: brassband at October 1, 2008 9:27 AM

Don, this is a non-story, despite all the heavy breathing on the right wing blogosphere. Ifill's book has been in the works for a long time and both campaigns knew about it before Ifill was selected as the VP moderator. Are you suggesting that the republican pols are so stupid that they would agree to her as moderator if they thought it biased her? You have a pretty low evaluation of your pros, in that case. Also the book is about the evolution of black political leadership from the Old Guard of the civil rights movement to the post civil rights leadership of today, focusing on Cory Booker, Deval Patrick and Artur Davis. Obama is not the subject, just one of many people she interviewed to portray the new black political class. The desperation on the right is becoming palpable. Why don't you just sit back and let Sarah and Joe debate like big boys and girls and we'll see what happens.

Posted by: observer at October 1, 2008 9:40 AM

observer (can't call you O without stripping your identity) - I would be delighted to see a real debate - with no moderator. Both sides agree to discuss a number of topics with rebuttals. That seemed to have worked as far back as Lincoln and Douglas. Given that Ifill probably can't mask either her bias or her disdain for SHP, the more undecideds who watch, the better for McCain/Palin.

Posted by: chuckR at October 1, 2008 11:00 AM

Sarah Palin is demonstrably dim !


Posted by: Acorn33+1 at October 1, 2008 11:47 AM

If we remove Ifill as moderator, we set a very bad precedent. What do we do next, dive through the entire works of every prospective moderator and disqualify them if they've ever written anything which has a pereceived, let along clear, bias?
Should've hired Carrot Top for the job.

Posted by: rhody at October 1, 2008 1:09 PM

Ifill could've called her book the "Age of Deval Patrick"I guess,but then she could expect it to sell like used snotrags.
I could deal with her political bias-it's easy enough to make allowances for;but the financial interest thing is just wrong.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 1, 2008 1:22 PM

Bring on Jim Lehrer!

Posted by: Monique at October 1, 2008 1:28 PM

"real journalists like Gwen Ifill"

"this is a non-story"

"disqualify them if they've ever written anything which has a perceived, let along clear, bias"

HELLO! Her book is called "Age of Obama"! You might as well have Keith Olberman serve as moderator. Someone with a bias, clear or perceived, SHOULDN'T be serving as a moderator.

Heck, Obama wouldn't give an interview to anyone on the FOX network (even registered Democrats) because of a perceived bias. But it's OK for a clearly biased individual to moderate a major debate?

OTL, rhody and observer: if you're being honest with yourselves, you know that you'd object to the involvement of a right-leaning moderator in this debate. And you'd be justified in objecting.

So why don't you acknowlege that moderators should be viewed as impartial?

I fear that our nation is getting ready to embrace a political orthodoxy that will prove to be antithetical to independent thought and where a desired outcome matters more than the process through which the outcome is achieved.

Posted by: Anthony at October 1, 2008 3:14 PM

If I was Gov. Palin, I'd ask Gwen Ifill tomorrow night if she's planning to dedicate her Obama book to Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Resko, or Saul Alinsky?

Read my blog post here: http://redgirlrising.blogspot.com/

Posted by: American Girl at October 1, 2008 5:15 PM


I think the Obama campaign is determined not to be "swift boated" by Republicans. You seem like a reasonable person. You have to break away from the crazy right wing voices like the one included with your comment.
I agree with your point that insult and name calling is part of the political dialogue. Don't you agree that in some quarters race will have a part to play in this campaign.

Donald B. Hawthorne

I glad that at least you recognize that your anonymous source is not worth much.
Who cares about Glenn Reynolds.
Has the moderator in thursday's Vice Presidential debate been accepted by both campaigns?

Posted by: Phil at October 2, 2008 7:30 AM

To answer your question, yes, the moderator in tonight's debate was accepted by both campaigns.

But during the discussions, Ifill never disclosed to the McCain campaign that her book headlining Obama was due to be released on Inauguration Day. It's highly likely that her book will sell better if Obama wins the election than if Obama loses the election and that Ifill's will benefit financially if Obama wins.

She should have disqualified herself on that basis alone or at the very least, disclosed the information to the McCain campaign.

Posted by: Anthony at October 2, 2008 3:01 PM
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