The fair and balanced government funded PBS will be supplying the moderator for tomorrow night's vice presidential debate. Meet Gwen Ifill, Obama groupie and author of the book Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Here's the summary of the book:
"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."
And here's Ifill talking about her book:
Now, I wonder if Gwennie could have just the teensiest interest in seeing an Obama victory... to bolster her book sales, perhaps? All she's done this election season is absolutely fawn over Barack Obama, whereas she couldn't have been more condescending and dismissive towards Sarah Palin. Her attitude was so obvious that PBS was flooded with complaints, and the ombudsman had to come to her rescue. Here's the video of Gwennie's idea of "objective" reporting:
Notice the whining over the attacking of Obama, the condescension over the chants of "Michael Steele!" and "Drill, Baby, Drill!". I also couldn't help but notice she was speaking over the Star Spangled Banner being sung in the background. Maybe that's no big deal to some people, but to me it is. I was a journalist before I started blogging; I did video reports all the time. And at every single sporting event I went to, the National Anthem was sung, and I would never have been talking over it. I always made a point to make sure I had stopped what I was doing so I could pay my respects. It may be petty for me to say that I find it distasteful, but I really do. They couldn't have waited the sixty or so seconds until it was over so that they could show some respect to our National Anthem? I don't know. Like I said, maybe that's just me.
In any case, perhaps PBS doesn't understand what exactly a moderator is supposed to do. A moderator is someone who is supposed to be neutral; someone who can show no bias between the two subjects, someone with no prejudice towards either of the candidates. Gwen Ifill does not fit that description. Not only is she quite obviously in the tank for Obama, she has a vested financial interest in seeing him win. Even left wing bloggers are puzzled over this:
My dear ladies and gentlemen, in Election '08 where partisanship is as thick as a the foundation of the Empire State Building, having a moderator that appears "so friendly" to Senator Obama just doesn't look right and opens the door to "the fix" talk. Although Ifill isn't one of those screaming political pundits, I've heard her on various radio shows (especially urban radio) where she just gushes about Senator Obama's historic run for the presidency. And with so much riding on Governor Palin's performance in this debate, why have someone with an Obama tilt moderate? While I'm hardly a conservative and/or Republican (I do have a smattering of some conservative views), they have every right to not like this situation. And I would say the same if the moderator was a person who gushed about a McCain presidency.
I have a hard time believing that Gwen Ifill will NOT be tougher toward Governor Palin than Senator Biden. She seems to have much vested in an Obama presidency. She is a professional. She may moderate fairly. But with today's political environment, couldn't PBS find someone who hasn't written a book and articles that are clearly positive to ultra-positive towards Senator Obama?
Of course, we've gotta be careful of criticizing her too heavily, or she'll play the race card. And of course, PBS apparently doesn't understand what all the controversy is over.
This, my friends, is just another example of why journalism is officially dead.