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Is VP Debate Moderator Gwen Ifill In The Tank For Obama?Moe · 10/01/08 11:35AM
PBS anchor Gwen Ifill has been a pundit for decades, but she shrewdly avoided controversy until the 2004 presidential campaign, when she moderated the vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards. Remember that? At first you maybe thought, "How nice, that America has found a black woman it deems sufficiently sedated to moderate a big debate!" But then she slipped. Edwards brought up Cheney's old company Halliburton's multibillion profiteering in the Iraq, and Dick Cheney told her he would need more than the allotted 30 seconds to respond, and Ifill told him, "That's all you've got" to audience laughter, and that exposed her deep boiling black rage. Well, somehow the Attention Deficit Democracy allowed this bitter partisan to come back to moderate another VP debate. And big surprise: it turns out she is completely in the tank for Obama.She's been writing a secret book about him! Well, not just him. It's called The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama and it's about "emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power." And by "secret" I mean "to no one who read the AP story about it weeks before the McCain campaign approved Ifill as a moderator", and by "bold" they of course mean "actually the total opposite of" because that phrase is code for "emerging young African American politicians who somehow manage not to scare white people." One can only imagine Ifill, as the embodiment of PBS's quiet, sober, studiously inoffensive approach to covering the news, finds this topic personally interesting, because as a black woman she actually has to be significantly more boring than boring Washington establishment white guy pundits like Tom Brokaw or the late Tim Russert to prove that she does not have a chip on her shoulder or a loose cannon or anything remotely suggestive of an overly keen belief that slavery was wrong, and politicians can't be boring all the time. But whatever: now she's been exposed. Writing a book about a politician is practically the same as being on that politician's payroll, just ask Jerome Corsi. Is the McCain campaign trying to turn the obvious "shoot the moderator" tactics it just pulled on Katie Couric into a full-blown strategy? If so, as Media Matters points out, it's got some holes, not least because recent years have seen debates moderated by the likes of Bob Schieffer, a close personal friend of George W. Bush whose brother was a business partner of Bush's before the Supreme Court voted him president. Also, Tom Brokaw loves John McCain. But at the end of the day, would either of those guys make Sarah Palin sound any readier to navigate the collapse of our banking system or any number of our fragile Middle Eastern frenemy states? Yeah: no.