Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Giving an Earful About Ifill

My favorite nemesis (and you know who I mean) is churning a story on his blog that Gwen Ifill is unfit to moderate the VP debate on Thursday night because she has an Obama "tribute" book coming out in January that he calls "The Age of Obama."

Here's the problem. The REAL title of the book is The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.

Since Obama is not even the sole focal point of the book, why not truncate the title and make it seem that way?!? The Amazon description offers the rebuttal:

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.

Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, and also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. 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.

If people want to say Ifill is not neutral, they can do so. I believe she bore an almost disgusted look after Sarah Palin's speech at the convention. People interpreted it as anti-Palin. I interpret it as her being offended about a belittling remark toward "community organizers." In truth, Ifill has been upfront about her view of Obama: "I still don't know if he'll be a good president."

If Ifill were shilling for Obama, she would have NEVER made this comment, and the notion she has a financial interest in the outcome is preposterous. People who are going to read a book about racial politics and Obama will do it independent of whether he wins. What idiot goes, "OH, I wasn't going to read about presidential nominee Obama, but now that he's "as seen at the White House" Obama, give me three copies!"

The McCain campaign agreed to Ifill, and nothing about the fact she's written a book partially about Obama should change their view of her now.

In short, we already see the excuse making for Sarah Palin coming from Republican-Land, and she hasn't even failed yet. This is a measure of how little faith even some stalwart Republicans have in her. It has never occurred to them that she could hold her own on Thursday night.



Anonymous said...

Atmospherics are a major factor in book sales. That's why authors and publishers rush topical books to print as quickly as possible.

If Obama wins, books about him - or, in this case, the "breakthrough" he spearheaded - will sell far more briskly than if McCain wins. The authors of those books (assuming they are being paid a royalty based on sales) will benefit accordingly.

People like to read books about winners. Books about losers typically end up on the discount shelf pretty quickly.

Your suggestion that Ifill has no financial stake in an Obama win is silly.

If I were Biden, I'd ask for a different moderator. If I were Palin, I'd stick with Ifill. No matter what Palin says now, she'll have a built-in excuse. This plays perfectly into Palin's contention that the media has - and will - treat her unfairly.

Wilson46201 said...

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

But Gary Welsh, the David Duke of the Hoosier blogosphere, knows better!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine who your favorite nemesis could be!!!

Wilson46201 said...

Gary is obviously a subject of the Queen of England because his last name is "Welsh". The poor guy picked up on Rush Limbaugh's ridiculous claim that Barack Obama is ARAB-American because of his African family's name.

Gary is not only scared of American Blacks, he also has never read anything about Arabic names being common throughout wide swaths of "Darkest Africa". Arabs have the skin color of Wilson Allen or Chris Worden, Sub-Saharan Africans look like Abdul Hakim-Shabazz or Darla Y Williams. None of us are Arab-Americans. Names do not the race make.

Perhaps ignorant Gary Welsh has confused religion with race? The majority of Muslims in the world are not Arabs and not all Arabs are Muslim (ask Welsh's Man Mitch).

Anonymous said...

Wilson, of course McCain is sticking with Ifill. That serves his purpose perfectly. As I said earlier, this can only hurt Biden.

Chris Worden said...

Anonymous 2:14:

Some excellent comments, and I appreciate you saying my comment was "silly," which sounds better than "idiotic" or the like. Also, I think "atmospherics" is going to be my cool word of the week.

I guess when you get down to it, I don't see Ifill tanking it to rev up the tank. Whatever she makes on the book will never be enough to cover the cost of her lost credibility, and now she knows everybody is paying attention, which is what I think McCain wanted to accomplish. So, yeah, I agree with you. If anything, this might actually HURT Obama because she'll subconsciously bend over backward to avoid appearance of bias.

Anonymous said...

Gary is now claiming that Barack's father is African American. His father did attend school here but his father is African not African American. Otherwise, Fulbright Scholars could claim to be British Americans.



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