Ifill challenges viewers on her bias

Rick Moran
This is either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid.

Gwen Ifill, who is writing a book about the new generation of black leaders, using Barack Obama's "stunning" campaign as a glowing example of a new kind of candidate, not only refuses to recuse herself from moderating tonight's VP debate but has now challenged viewers to "make up their own minds" whether she is biased or not after watching. From an
AP dispatch:

PBS journalist Gwen Ifill, moderator of the upcoming vice presidential debate, dismissed conservative questions about her impartiality because she is writing a book that includes material on Barack Obama.

Ifill said Wednesday that she hasn’t even written her chapter on Obama for the book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” which is to be published by Doubleday on Jan. 20, 2009, the day a new president is inaugurated.

“I’ve got a pretty long track record covering politics and news, so I’m not particularly worried that one-day blog chatter is going to destroy my reputation,” Ifill said. “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.”


Do you know what the really scary and depressing thing is about this situation? Ifill is dead serious. She actually believes herself to be impartial. She actually thinks that her career, which included her obvious distaste for Dick Cheney during the VP debate in 2004, is a spotless record of even handedness and professional competence.

There are reporters out there who are very good at keeping their biases from tainting their work. Others are not so good. Ifill is in the latter group. She has proven it on numerous occassions over the years, not just during the Edwards-Cheney debate.

One possible bright spot: Despite her protestations to the contrary about not caring about the blog chatter, I think it entirely possible that she bends over backward to give tough questions to Joe Biden about his recent gaffes. If so, that should be entertaining if not enlightening.

I like this quote appearing on
Instapundit from former reporter Michael Silence:

There's some discussion about whether this is ethical. Seems to me if you have to ask the question, then you know the answer.

Back in my reporting days, had I been covering two candidates and writing a book on one of them, it's quite possible I would have been fired. At the very least, I would have been removed from ANY contact with that race.

Sometimes I think the MSM checked its ethics at the turn of the century.

And yet, we have the spectactle of Ifill's colleagues in the MSM rushing to her defense. It is mindboggling. Can you imagine if the entire situation were reversed - that a reporter was writing a positive portrait of John McCain?

The question answers itself.
This is either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid.

Gwen Ifill, who is writing a book about the new generation of black leaders, using Barack Obama's "stunning" campaign as a glowing example of a new kind of candidate, not only refuses to recuse herself from moderating tonight's VP debate but has now challenged viewers to "make up their own minds" whether she is biased or not after watching. From an
AP dispatch:

PBS journalist Gwen Ifill, moderator of the upcoming vice presidential debate, dismissed conservative questions about her impartiality because she is writing a book that includes material on Barack Obama.

Ifill said Wednesday that she hasn’t even written her chapter on Obama for the book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” which is to be published by Doubleday on Jan. 20, 2009, the day a new president is inaugurated.

“I’ve got a pretty long track record covering politics and news, so I’m not particularly worried that one-day blog chatter is going to destroy my reputation,” Ifill said. “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.”


Do you know what the really scary and depressing thing is about this situation? Ifill is dead serious. She actually believes herself to be impartial. She actually thinks that her career, which included her obvious distaste for Dick Cheney during the VP debate in 2004, is a spotless record of even handedness and professional competence.

There are reporters out there who are very good at keeping their biases from tainting their work. Others are not so good. Ifill is in the latter group. She has proven it on numerous occassions over the years, not just during the Edwards-Cheney debate.

One possible bright spot: Despite her protestations to the contrary about not caring about the blog chatter, I think it entirely possible that she bends over backward to give tough questions to Joe Biden about his recent gaffes. If so, that should be entertaining if not enlightening.

I like this quote appearing on
Instapundit from former reporter Michael Silence:

There's some discussion about whether this is ethical. Seems to me if you have to ask the question, then you know the answer.

Back in my reporting days, had I been covering two candidates and writing a book on one of them, it's quite possible I would have been fired. At the very least, I would have been removed from ANY contact with that race.

Sometimes I think the MSM checked its ethics at the turn of the century.

And yet, we have the spectactle of Ifill's colleagues in the MSM rushing to her defense. It is mindboggling. Can you imagine if the entire situation were reversed - that a reporter was writing a positive portrait of John McCain?

The question answers itself.