Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blogging Bias: Consevatives criticize debate moderator

Since the airing of the VP debate a couple of weeks ago, a vast number of blogs have criticized moderator Gwen Ifill, claiming her moderation was "biased." This criticism stems from her work in progress, a book to be titled "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the age of Obama."

The following are links to a couple of blogs questioning Ifill's fairness during the debate:

According to these and many other conservative bloggers (and unsurprisingly, a Fox News Report), Ifill's book is pro-Obama and its economic success depends upon the results of the election. They've also claimed that Ifill failed to disclose the potential conflict of interest.

The truth: Ifill's book is not pro-Obama. The success of the book is not dependent upon the success of the election, as much as it is Obama's candidacy. And Ifill didn't fail to disclose the book.

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the age of Obama is about the roll of minorities in politics during recent history. According to Random House Publishing the book "sheds new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introduces the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political to power."

In September Gwen Ifill uploaded a video from Washington Week to Youtube, in which she openly talks about her book: "it's taking the story of Barack Obama and extending it to talk about a whole new generation of politicians..." said Ifill.

Furthermore, The book was reported on in the Washington Times and appeared in trade catalogs in July 2008. This was before she was selected to be moderator. It's not Ifill's fault the debate commission wasn't aware of her writing the book. The committee didn't do its homework.

And even if Ifill is pro Obama, does that make her incapable of being fair? No. Wouldn't you expect every Journalist to have an opinion? Yes. Ifill is the managing editor and moderator for a Washington Week and senior correspondent The News Hour on PBS. She is a respected Journalist with a long track record of covering politics and news, fairly. She should be judged only by her performance, not her interest in the candidacy of Barack Obama.

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