October 01, 2008
Ifill's book was no secret
Michelle Malkin and World Net Daily have made a lot of noise today about the fact the Gwen Ifill, the moderator of Thursday's debate, has a new book coming on Inauguration day about Barack Obama and the politics of race -- leading to the front of Drudge.
Fox's Greta Van Susteren reports that the McCain campaign didn't know about it.
"I am stunned….the campaign (actually both) should have been told before the campaign agreed to have her moderate. It simply is not fair -- in law, this would create a mistrial."
But one didn't have to go the lengths of oppo research to find out about a book that was hiding in plain sight on Amazon. Not to mention, She discussed it with Howard Kurtz last month in the Washington Post, in the only profile she's done before the debate. (And I'd imagine someone in the campaign should have read it).
To the extent she can carve out any spare time, Ifill is working on a book called "Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama." She focuses on the Democratic nominee and such up-and-coming black politicians as Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
"We're very lazy when we think about race in this country," Ifill says. "We try to put it in a box. It's Jesse versus Al, or Jesse and Al versus everyone else," she says, referring to Jackson and Sharpton. "We love simplistic conflict. There's a whole group of people who have Ivy League degrees and immense accomplishments who actually benefited from the things their parents were fighting for."
Regardles, the story's getting major play on cable, especially Fox News.
Speaking with Bill Hemmer, Fox analyst Juan Williams spoke admirably of Ifill as a journalist but admitted that "it looks like she has some investment" in the outcome of the election, and that "there's a perception problem." The FoxNews.com headline: "VP Debate Moderator Pens Pro-Obama Book."
I think Malkin and other critics have a right to raise questions about whether Ifill should be moderating, but at the same time, it's not as if the veteran PBS journalist has been keeping the book under wraps until now. It's also a logical question to ask whether an Obama book would sell better or worse depending on the outcome of the election. I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that if Obama's sworn in on the Jan. 20 pub date, it will likely sell more copies.
So why is this coming up less than 36 hours before Palin and Biden hit the stage?
By Michael Calderone 09:44 AM