Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gwen Ifill Biased?

Gwen Ifill Biased?
for 24-Hours of Propaganda

The Goal--Destroy Palin!

PBS journalist Gwen Ifill, moderator of the upcoming vice presidential debate, dismissed questions about her impartiality because she is writing a book that is largely on Barack Obama. The book is titled "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," and is to be published by Doubleday on Jan. 20, 2009, the day a new president is inaugurated.

Ifill said addressing the criticism,"The proof is in the pudding. They can watch the debate tomorrow night and make their own decisions about whether or not I've done my job."

The trouble is, as this is the only Vice-Presidential Debate, a poor job by Ifill cannot be countered with a future event.

Two days ago columnist Michelle Malkin wrote in the New York Post about Ifill's book, saying "she's so far in the tank for the Democratic presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out."

"I can count on you to help me out, right? You know what I'm talking about..."

In its online description of the book, Doubleday says that 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."

The McCain campaign found out about Ifill's book in the last day or so, a spokesman said.

“Frankly, I wish they had picked a moderator that isn’t writing a book favorable to Barack Obama — let's face it," McCain said on "Fox & Friends." "But I have to have confidence that Gwen Ifill will handle this as the professional journalist that she is."

"I think that Gwen Ifill is a professional, and I think that she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly respected professional. Does this help that if she has written a book that is favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not, but I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job. And I have that confidence."

Ifill said the book discusses how politics in the black community have changed since the civil rights era. Among those subjects is Colin Powell, secretary of state in the Bush administration.

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.

Ifill's resume includes jobs at The New York Times, the Washington Post and NBC News. She moderated the 2004 vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards.

Palin's thoughts on Ifill, "You know, I'm not going to let it be a concern. Let me just tell you that John McCain has been in an underdog position before, and this ticket, I think it is safe to say, is in an underdog position. But that's what makes us work harder. It makes us want to communicate more clearly and profoundly with the electorate, letting them know what the contrasts are between these two tickets, It's motivating to me, even, to hear Gwen's comments there because, again, it makes us work that much harder, and it provides even more fairness and objectivity and choices for the voters on Nov. 4, if we try that much harder."

Ifill said it was the publisher, not herself, who set the Inauguration Day release date. It will be released then whether Obama wins or loses.

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

Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, "I don't know what it is. I find it curious."

Not surprisingly, Gwen Ifill has already written about the Obama's before, for Essence Magazine, back in July.

The Obamas: Portrait of an American Family
Gwen Ifill

Soon we will vote for our next president, and for the first time in history, one of the two candidates is a Black man. For a year, Essence pursued an interview with the entire Obama family‹to no avail. Finally, this summer ESSENCE became the only Black media outlet allowed a glimpse into the lives of Barack, Michelle and their two girls, Malia and Sasha, when we were invited to their South Side Chicago home. Weeks later, veteran political journalist Gwen Ifill was with the family as they campaigned in a small mostly White western town, and she flew with them to a Black church in the urban Midwest.

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.
I've just asked them how their lives have changed since he won the Democratic presidential nomination. There have definitely been changes, especially for Michelle Obama, who used to pride herself on campaigning by day and rushing home to her daughters each night. Now she is spending more of her days and nights on the road, but seldom in the same place as her husband. And when their daughters‹Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7 get to see their dad, they likely have to share him with thousands of adoring strangers. "Daddy's gone a lot," Sasha notes. "We don't see him that much."

But on this Fourth of July, everyone is together. Even though there are at least a half-dozen aides and family members on the bus with us, it feels intimate back here. Michelle and Barack are curled up on the beige couch, while the children are reading and coloring a few feet away. Michelle folds her long legs to her chin and leans into her husband as he explains the reality of their lives. When he pauses, she finishes his sentences.

Their ease with each other recalls the day several weeks earlier when ESSENCE arrived to photograph the Obamas at their large Georgian Revivial home on Chicago's South Side. Barack stood on the lawn playfully teasing his wife as she posed for our cameras. Now, as then, his customary public caution melts away when he is with his family. Under relentless media scrutiny, Barack Obama says his family is going the extra mile to "maintain this little island of normalcy in the midst of all this swirl of activity."

But family snapshots of this sort are rare, as are moments when the Obamas can just chill. "Michelle has done a heroic job of managing the house, the family and still finding time to campaign and be out on the road," he says, after directing staff members to turn off the television, which was tuned to Fox News Channel. "I'm always marveling at everything that she can do."

And then he sings.

"I'm every woman," he croons. She cringes. He laughs. "That's Michelle. It's like, Chaka Khan! Chaka Khan!"

"Don't worry, if racial cronyism has got us this far, who knows how much farther it can take us."