Facts And Opinions About This Gwen Ifill Drama

I put myself on a political diet this week, but wouldn’t you know it – there HAD to be a story that made me turn my back on my one-politics-post-a-week promise to myself. It all started with Matt Drudge posting his main story about Gwen Ifill today. All last night and most of today, there was Gwen’s smiling face as a target for right-wing hatred, being accused of bias before she’s even had the opportunity to moderate the debate. But here’s the thing — there were quite a few facts about the Gwen Ifill story that Drudge got wrong. So allow me to speak my piece. Because I sincerely respect and admire Gwen Ifill like that.

Fact – Gwen Ifill’s book is called The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Drudge’s blaring headline referred to it simply as the “Age of Obama” book. An obvious attempt to start a fire, fan the flames, and enjoy watching a useless blaze while real news takes a backseat.

Fact - Gwen Ifill’s book is not a “pro-Obama book,” and it isn’t even entirely about Barack Obama.

Lo, from Amazon: “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.” In the book, Ifill profiles Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama. She interviews former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and Senator Obama to add context to the changing face of African American politics. “We’re very lazy when we think about race in this country. We try to put it in a box. It’s Jesse [Jackson] versus Al [Sharpton], or Jesse and Al versus everyone else… 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,she is quoted as saying in this CNN article.

Fact – Barack Obama’s candidacy is undeniably historic. He is the first African-American ever nominated for president by a major political party. He’s changed the face of political history, and even his political rivals have acknowledged the signficance of that. Because of this, there are going to be many, many books written about him. As a close observer of politics, Gwen Ifill makes a great candidate to really analyze the significance of his rise to prominence. However, that doesn’t mean that her writing about him reveals an immediately positive bias. See, this goes back to what I was writing about in my previous political post this week — the assumption that because you’re black, you’re backing Barack.

Gwen addressed that with CNN as well: “I‘m in great demand — everyone wants to talk to me — but I’m not speaking for the whole race,” Ifill said. “My job is to be a reporter. I cannot be the great interpreter. It’s not my job to be on someone else’s air telling them what black people think.”

Ifill told Kurtz that as Obama accepted his party’s nomination for president, a white television reporter asked her: “Aren’t you just blown away by all of this?” She said she was not.

Kurtz also points out that “on one level, Ifill says, she views this moment as the daughter of a black minister who marched in civil rights demonstrations and who she wishes were alive to see what Obama has achieved.”

Ifill told Kurtz, “I still don’t know if he’ll be a good president. I’m still capable of looking at his pros and cons in a political sense.” Besides, Ifill says, “no one’s ever assumed a white reporter can’t cover a white candidate.”

Seriously.

Fact – Gwen Ifill’s book isn’t complete yet. In fact, she hasn’t even finished her chapter on Barack. So folks are up in arms about a cake that hasn’t even been fully mixed yet.

Opinion- I really, really, REALLY need to stop reading The Drudge Report, and find a news site that is impartial and honest and ABOUT THE ISSUES. I finally managed to cleanse myself completely of Perez Hilton. Drudge, you are next. First Oprah, and then Gwen Ifill? Your true colors are showing, and they ain’t pretty.

Fact – man oh man, is this election season dredging up the disgusting racist underbelly of American society. The comments on Gwen Ifill’s Amazon page read like the kind of trash that I imagine people spewed openly in the Jim Crow era. I don’t even want to directly link to this stuff, it’s so hideous to me. I read some really, really dark comments today.

The book hasn’t been released, won’t until January. But already it’s been tagged on Amazon as being related to “biased,” “racist,” “traitor,” and “affirmative action.” The “discussions” below paint an even grimmer picture. “Sarah Palin should completely ignore Ifill at the debate,” one shrieks. “Honestly if only 1% of Blacks vote Republican, I say screw ‘em,” says another. The most popular discussion is, “Email the debate commission and ask for Gwen’s removal.”

Opinion - I respect and admire Gwen Ifill. I think she’s an incredible journalist, and has demonstrated intelligence and grace, undercut with a keen nose for BS and a questioning nature. I like that in a journalist. I think she was the ideal candidate to moderate this debate. I say was, because I’m not sure she is anymore. Oh, not because I don’t think Gwen Ifill can do a great job, I know she can. And she will! But she’s damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t. Her critics have the scent of blood in their flared nostrils, and they’re ready to come out guns a-blazing at the slightest sign of nothing at all.

For example, Gwen has been put on blast for having less than enthusiastic facial expressions during her coverage of Sarah Palin speech to the GOP Convention. I am thinking these are people who don’t often watch Gwen Ifill — she frequently has what Caribbean people call a “screw face” on. That was also explained by Ifill in the CNN article: — “We are all subject to that kind of scrutiny. If you’re frowning to think after a long night on your feet … you’re not even aware that your face is frowning to think. You’re just thinking.” “I know where my head was,” the Washington-based journalist also told the AP. “So that’s what counts.”

Which brings me to one final fact — Gwen doesn’t really give two hoots what people on the internet think of her. Look at that photo at the top of this post. Does she look like she cares?

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,” she says in this AP article.

John McCain expressed confidence in Ifill’s abilities to Fox News: “I think that Gwen Ifill is a professional and I think that she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly respected professional,” McCain said during an interview at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. “Does this help…if she has written a book that’s favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not. But I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job and I have that confidence.”

And even Sarah Palin said this controversy will make her bring her A game. This will be a fascinating evening for politics junkies.

So, debate on! Will you be watching? I will, and I’ll be posting my opinion in the comments. I love that we all have different, passionate, informed opinions — so feel free to stop by and share your thoughts throughout the evening, bellas and fellas!

There’s been some really insightful blogging about this Gwen Ifill hubbub. Click here to read opinions from The Daily Voice, Write Black, and Stereohyped. Carmen from Racialicious discussed it on NPR today, too!

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Comments

  1. It doesn’t matter if she’s finished the chapter or not. And it’s not about race, although it IS ironic that THE LEFT and GWEN jump automatically to that conclusion. It’s about the fact that Best Sellers sell at least 100,000 copies, and when all is said and done, the author walks away with approximately $3.50 for each copy sold. If Obama wins, chances are very good that her book will be a best seller. If he doesn’t, her chances of having a best seller are not nearly as good. So she stands to PROFIT financially if he wins. Therefore, she is NOT an unbiased moderator, she has a stake in this. AND it was her responsibility to inform all parties involved about the book. That’s what an ethical person would’ve done. She needs to step down.

  2. Hey Bella,

    We may have differing viewpoints politically (at least from what I can gauge from your support of Obama) but I agree completely on this Ifill thing.

    It’s also interesting to me that Gwen was accused of being pro-Republican back in 2004 due to her close friendship with Condi Rice. *Some* people felt that because she and Condi were friends, she obviously wanted Cheney to do well in the debate. Utterly ridiculous but that’s politics.

    The only credible argument I can think of is that Gwen stands to gain more financially if Obama wins. I mean, the sales of her book would definitely increase with Obama’s historic win. So that’s really the only potential conflict I see. But even if you were to admit that an Obama win would favor her financially, that doesn’t mean she would purposely throw her journalistic integrity out the window in a nationally-televised debate.

    But this whole controversy is stupid because Gwen’s book has been planned for months now. It’s even been on Amazon for a few months (and I know because I saved it in my favorites before Obama was even the nominee!). So any idiot with a laptop could have found out about the book – why all the noise 36 hours before the debate? This is just another way for the Palinites to excuse what will most likely be a poor performance tomorrow. VP debates are BORING because all they do is talk about the guy at the top of the ticket so all Sarah will do is talk about McCain and what he’s done. Biden, and his verbal diarrhea, will probably bomb too. Although I admit that his performances on Meet the Press and other news shows is pretty impressive. He’s a bully to reporters so he definitely has to watch his tone with Palin.

    I too was on Amazon today and had to send them an email because I was so disgusted by what I read.

  3. @ Colleen,

    I agree completely with the financial benefit aspect. She can’t deny that an Obama win will most likely mean more book sales for her. Because in reality, who the hell is going to want to read a book about post-racial politics if Obama loses? An Obama lost will most likely be blamed on racist Americans by the MSM so her book will be moot.

    However, I don’t think Gwen has brought up race at all. In fact she has a pretty tough skin in regards to this issue. Remember her “spat” with Don Imus after he said she was a “cleaning lady” allowed to cover politics for the NYT? She didn’t call Al and Jesse and hold a press conference and demand $$$ and blah blah blah. She reacted with dignity and brushed the haters off.

  4. Bella,
    I agree with you on a lot of your points but lets also give credit where credit is due. These are very historic times we are in politically and economically and I think that Gwens book will be a best seller win or lose. Let us not forget Obama has accomplished so much and that is something that cannot be taken away from us. If Gwen moderates the debate and Sarah Palin actually comes across as the idiot that she is then somehow it will be Gwens fault or Obamas fault. Somewhere we all became so relaxed with ourselves and the people around us that we tend to forget that RACE has everything to do with everything. So book or no book they would have come up with something. Lets face it; if the country is ready for a lipstick wearing, moose killing, airhead,soccer mom(no I do not think that all soccer moms are airheads)may the best person win

  5. Her book will do well regardless of Obama winning or losing. This is about the the McCain campaign trying to protect Palin.

    Palin is the one who needs to step down not Ifill.

    Notice how when some conservatives say Palin is a joke, McCain spins it as those people are just “Georgetown” republicans. They are ridiculous. No one is allowed to question McCain’s terrible decision?

  6. “no one’s ever assumed a white reporter can’t cover a white candidate.”
    Gwen said it right!

  7. edessedesigns says:

    Yeah, what Gwen said:

    “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,” she says in this AP article.

    Seriously.

  8. edessedesigns says:

    Okay…let me explain one thing though. There IS a conflict of interest, you can’t deny that. However, I’m not calling for Gwen’s head because:

    She knows what she is doing.

  9. “less than enthusiastic facial expressions” translates into Ifill wasn’t showing her teeth to suit those fools.

    And accusations of “affirmative action” are rich, esp. considering this election. Palin is the most prime example of the certain demographic that has benefitted the most from AA, and they want GWEN to step down? Why aren’t those Amazon critics talking about how the GOP fought to have the format of tonight’s debate revised, because they acknolwledged Caribou Barbie’s lack of debating expertise?

    It must really suck for these kinds of people to be so filled with bitterness they are always trying to convince themselves they are superior.

  10. When I saw this news story, I was like, these people are KIDDING. They need to suck it up and bring their a game (or in Palin’s case, her C-/D+ game).

  11. And Bella I forgot to mention, one very good site is huffingtonpost.com.

  12. WARRIOR11209 says:

    I will definitely be watching the debate . Although I agree that Ifill has a financial stake in the success of her book ( a point that I had not considered ) I do not think Ifill should step down as moderator. No one requested that Stephanopolous step down when he moderated the Democratic debate between Obama and Clinton and he was part of the Clinton White house.
    Tonight should be interesting -Palin I think has the least to lose – expectations of her are low and as long as she does not say something really inaccurate she will be deemed the winner.
    I’m a little worried about Biden – and his “foot-in-mouth” disease!

  13. Huemanity, you brought up an EXTREMELY valid point that I knew, but forgot to add to my list of facts. Off to edit this post, bc it’s that pertinent.

  14. Actually – nevermind. Huemanity, I was gonna amend my Gwen Ifill post to mention that this book didn’t pop up overnight, it’s been mentioned on her bio for at least 2 months. But then I visited Drudge, and saw he’d linked to her Essence article, then read the comments on Essence.com. Racism & ignorance, pure & simple. I am too through with these distractions, and the venom and bile I’m seeing online. I’m still looking forward to tonight, but all I expect later on is more spin spin spin.

  15. Viva La'Fro says:

    My comments are semi to totally unrelated to the topic…

    Bella- How were you able to wean yourself off Perez??? He’s equal parts absurd and entertaining!

    All- It’s such a breath of fresh air to read dissenting viewpoints in a RESPECTFUL, INFORMED tone.

  16. edessedesigns says:

    I’m glad the regardless of our political affiliations, we can come to the consensus that this is being blown waaay out of proportion.

    The funny thing is, is that of all the journalists out there, Gwen is the least biased. There is no evidence for the republican party to think that she would somehow “rig” this debate for Obama. Gwen has integrity. She always has. In my opinion, she is one of the last of the truly good journalist. The republican party should be happy that it is her and not anyone else.

    Also, as a side note, how many of us have been in the situation where you have had to perform in the face of TRUE adversity. You know, take a course with a professor who thinks that you should not be there because of your sex or your race?

    If Palin bombs, it because she bombs (key word here is SHE), not because Gwen is writing a book about Obama. As my mom says–in the face of adversity (and I’m using adversity here not because Gwen is an adversary but because she is a democrat and likes Obama and Palin is a republican) you RISE above it, not whine about it. You prove them wrong.

    However, being fair, I can see an argument for the other side in the sense that debate moderators represent a neutral stance. Bear with me here as I am a debater and was the debate team in both high school and college (got my a## kicked, but still know the protocol). This neutrality is one of the many layers of fairness that must be established in order to maintain the integrity of the debate and its outcome. So they do have a point.

    My concern (as well as many others’ concerns is that they are trying to find anyway to soften the blow if Palin bombs). Regardless, according to protocol, Gwen does represent a bias.

  17. edessedesigns says:

    Viva La’Fro:

    Your post was really funny! I used to be addicted to Perez too! That was until I found out that he was just…mean. He reminds me of those unpopular kids in high school who vow to one day avenge themselves by turning exactly into the evil they deplore. I think he gets some kind of sick pleasure from being mean. That’s not funny, that’s the trademark of a sociopath!

  18. So totally off the main purpose. Blogs. I love a blog, I never got into Perez Hilton I didn’t like his stalking people until they came out of the closet thing ( did you care about Lance Bass, or Neil Patrick Harris not sharing EVERYTHING? yeah)
    but I love quite a few. Try another blog, I like try to fill my work day breaks ( as mandated by federal law) with Blogs closer to the Afrobella side there are more our there with fun fluff not hate ,or as my sister tells me all the time. “Read a book”…. A blog is a hard thing to quit! Bon Chance!

  19. This whole thing is much to do about NOTHING! I’m kind of a news JUNKIE….and so far, I haven’t heard anyone mention it today. Change is in the air and there are people who do not want to see it happen. I
    have watched Gwen Ifill for a while now and she has always been professional. And I expect no less from her tonight.

  20. I’m guessing many of your readers are well-informed, leading-edge thinkers, but may I take a moment to remind them of all of the others out there who don’t have internet access, BlackBerries, or even cell phones? You who are reading this are among America’s business and technological leaders. Have you reached out to anyone who is shut in? Have you checked myobama.com or voteforchange.com to see how you can help? Sure, you’re voting for Obama (thank God), but I beg you to make an extra effort to find someone else who isnt already decided or able to get registered and to get to the polls. You know, it takes a lot for our seniors to get out there. As much as they may desire, ensuring registration and getting to the polls becomes a greater challenge with each year of age. Just so you dont’ forget, please check out “The Power of A Dream” at http://obamastuff.wordpress.com/vote-for-change/

  21. edessedesigns says:

    Okay, I just read some of my prior posts. Please forgive me! They are grammatically terrible! I’m posting while working so please cut me some slack!

    *looks over shoulder*

  22. I think Ifill should recuse herself from the debate. She has a book that is going to print with one of the current participants. Definitely sounds like a bit of conflict of interest. Following Ifill’s work, I have no doubt about Ifill’s ability to behave in an unbiased way, but why give McPalin any excuses for failure? When Palin falls flat on her face, I want everyone to know it was because that’s what unprepared, ignorant people do. I don’t want anyone snapping back that Ifill wasn’t asking the questions right, or was smirking, or whatever lame excuses they’ll devise.

  23. Hi Bella! Love your blog!

    I think Gwen hasn’t written Barack’s chapter yet because she’s waiting to see what’s going to happen on Nov. 4! Ever thought that maybe she’s hoping race won’t be an issue? We all know how the exit polls come in describing all race/class voting. Middle class whites, lunchbucket whites, all blacks just lumped into one big group then split into ‘elite’ blacks, single moms, etc…. There are VERY few reporter who come across as totally nonpartisan and Gwen is DEFINITELY one of them! You would never know who she supports which is how a reported should be! Faux News or should I say NOISE is sooooo anti-Obama its a disgrace! You can totally not agree with a politician’s beliefs without being personal. They have ripped the Obamas a new one every single day since Barack announced his candidacy. Sean Hannity is really evil! Rush too!

  24. I find it very amusing that a ruckus is raised right before the debate when: 1. her book is CLEARLY NOT ABOUT OBAMA and 2. the selection of her as moderator occurred AFTER her book and its title were pretty much known by both parties (or whoever sets these things up). Gwen’s book will sell well because she is a respected journalist and political commentator, so I disagree about her having a financial stake in the debate itself, per se (if that makes any sense). For all we know, Gwen could be a Republican, a Libertarian or a member of the Green party. And PLEASE stop assuming that every Black person is for Obama. Some aren’t. And they are entitled to that opinion. (This black girl is for him, though, lol)
    Obama is not the first popular, successful, respected Black politician that ever ran, for crying out loud.

    I’d be really interested to hear what all the nay sayers have to say after the debate.

    Bella, I love love love your blog.

  25. Viva La'Fro says:

    @ edesse
    Sigh. You’re so right. Sometimes it’s MAD obvious that he has personal vendetta against certain celebs (Samantha Ronson, Jessica Alba).

    @nolagirl
    I actually stopped reading several blogs because of their hateration (yb&f got a little too snarky for me, and though I sincerely applaud the intent behind What about our daughters, the author strikes me as slightly nuts). I’m considering cutting out bossip as well, but where would I get my gossip news?? Damn you blogs! Damn you!

  26. I love Gwen Ifill, but I agree with Edesse and Jenene about the conflict of interest. Although, I totally beileve in Ms. Ifill’s ability to do her job well and be impartial…this will give “them” (the horrible naysayers in this country) too much fodder to play with.
    I was listening to NPR’s News & Notes yesterday with your girl Farai, ‘Bella, and one of her guests suggested that she be the moderaotr. i thought that was a great suggestion….

  27. Okay, I wanted to add that this was a very well-written post AFROBELLA and that a good site to visit is theRoot.com. There’s a well written piece about this tom-foolery on there. It happened to mention that Ms. Ifill moderated the 2004 VP debate, too. I didn’t remember that, but that should be enough to shut the naysayers mouths—it won’t be, but it should be because it shows that she apparently was good enough to be fair the last time around, so she can be fair this time too. On a positive note, I just went to CNN’s site and at first glance, i didn’t see any mention of this wannabe controversy. Tonight will be interesting.

  28. Bella,
    I am a political junkie and style junkie on also. I am hoping that Gwen moderates them much better than moderator in the first Presidential last week.

    I didn’t know she had a new book but will add it my must reads.

    and other thing Palin better bring it style wise or I am going to send her a fashion ticket.

    alicia
    http://todaystyle.today.com/

  29. I think tha controversy is more about how Sarah Palin will do at the debate than Gwen Ifill’s ability as a moderator. The McCain camp and his surrogates are once again trying to use the “race card”, but it’s not going to work. Gwen Ifill is a professional. She will be fair.

    Obama has sat down with several members of the media that we know are pro McCain/Palin. Can you say the “Sly Fox” network? We didn’t hear the Obama camp crying foul.

    I also don’t see anything wrong with Gwen Ifill writing a book. Look at how many people from the Bush Administration have written books for profit. The Republicans cried about that too. I think I see a trend here folks. The Republicans are like a bunch of whining babies. Grow up!

    Tonight will be interesting. I’m sure Sarah Palin will hold her own as long as she doesn’t have to go into detail about her position on various issues. They’ve crammed her head with everything she doesn’t know (a lot), but her best bet is to start being honest with the American people. I’ll respect her if she just honestly says she doesn’t have the answer. Stop trying to be a ‘Maverick” like McCain, and just be yourself!

    This debate is for Palin to shore up the Republican support that is waning. I doubt it will sway Democrats and Independents to consider a McCain/Palin ticket.

    Stop worrying about Biden too. He’s going to do just fine at the debate. I think his gaffes are minor compared to “I shoot from the hip” McCain.

    At least Biden is smart. Obama/Biden are two men who understand Constitutional law, foreign policy, the economy,etc. McCain/Palin….not so much. They’re trying to rewrite the laws (we’re Mavericks and we want to blaze new trails to put government on the right course…yeah right).

    I want a smart President and Vice President this time.

    Obama/Biden 08

  30. McCain & cohorts are running scared….check Palin’s response to easy Couric questions about what neswpapers & magazines she has read to inform her on foreign policy or which Supreme Court decisions she finds favour with – all stuff that any serious VP candidate would/should know.

  31. Katherine says:

    My ma is recording the beginning for me because my classes aren’t over until 9, then the family will watch it togethor. When I heard about this controversy on Countdown, I immediatly thought of you because of your piece on Gwen replacing Tim. It saddens me and Kanye said it best,”Racism still alive they just be concealing”. But I know that she will be objective and fair. Anything to take the focus off the fact that Palin and those awful interviews. ::sigh::

  32. Watching the debate. Biden sounds confident and in charge. So glad he mentions the deregulation.

  33. Christine says:

    Gwen was wonderful, as anyone who actually gave real thought to it, knew she would be.

    As much as I try to be fair, whenever Palin says “Joe Six-Pack” or “hockey mom” I kind of want to kick her in her shins a little. With any luck and lots of voting, come November 4, she will go back to Alaska and I will never hear the term “hockey mom” or “pitbull with lipstick” again.

  34. OK, I watched the debate. I thought Gwen was nothing but professional. Ms Palin was ok, just ok. This was definitely NOT a game changer. She answered some questions, but there were two or three others that she did not answer. She also talked about herself way too much. I thought Joe Biden showed a LOT of restraint, a whole lot. Again, this was not a game changer. She was simply ok.

    Obama/Biden 08!

  35. So all that hallabu about Gwen for nothing. Even though I did see her moderation as a conflict of interest (but more of a standpoiint that the naysayers would have exploited it) not a darn thing can be said about her moderation. After watching the debate, not a darn thing had to do with Ms. Ifill, as it shouldn’t, and it all had to do with the candidates. Good job! And thank God Biden was strong, but strategic and not too harsh like he could have been with Palin.

  36. flygyrl72 says:

    Watched the debate. Gwen, as expected, was the consummate professional. Very unbiased. Almost too tame, in my opinion. Cause you know, she coulda dug down & shook ole girl, but she didn’t go for the easy kill…well done, Ms. Ifill.

  37. William Berry says:

    There is nothing that amuses me more than to read a bunch of gabage posted by ignorant Liberals. You should all be put on a boat and floated out into the middle of the Atlantic and sunk.

  38. As soon as I got home from class at 9pm last night I tuned in to the debate. Gwen was professional from beginning to end. I just don’t understand how Palin decided to give a “shout out” during the debate….is that even possible??!…
    Every time I hear her speak I cringe, every other word was maverick this or maverick that…..wow. Biden held himself together and I’m proud.

  39. LOL at “William Berry,” comments from people like you crack me up. Very insightful! *& golf claps *
    Now I am sure I won’t be ever seeing a comment from you again. Why? Because you spend your time looking online for blogs with opinions that differ from yours, just so you can be insulting and juvenile. Talk to me on November 5, mmmkay?

    Olivia – my mouth dropped open when she wanted to give a “shout out.” I was like hey – this isn’t 106th and Park. Just imagine the response if Barack had said that… but overall, I agree with p1tey1 – this was not a game changer. I thought Joe Biden performed admirably. Governor Palin spoke her piece well enough, I could have done without the gotchas and betchas and heck of a’s…. but that kind of aw shucks just us folks lingo got Dubya in office. I think Biden won, but of course people who don’t feel as I do, think exactly the opposite.

  40. edessedesigns says:

    I thought the shout-out was cute. It reminds me of the time when my dad gave the opening pitch at a baseball game and looked into the camera just before going out onto the field and said, “This is for my girls, Erica and Lorrie), I nearly died and became the class hero the next day!

    It may not have seemed appropriate but for a kid, it is priceless!

  41. co-sign with edesse i smiled when she said the shout-out. She’s never pretend to act as a tough-cookie who’s making it in the old boy’s club (ref: hockey mom)

    Overall though, I think Biden shot her down three times for every shot she tried to level on him. Overall, she did not do well, I know people are comparing her performance to her katie couric gaffe. But this is like going from F to C-. There’s an improvement but it sure isn’t stellar.

  42. excuse my typo! it’s pretended not pretend

  43. WARRIOR11209 says:

    I agree the debate was not a game changer – anyone that was voting for Obama is still for Obama and the same for McCain, undecided voters are still undecided.
    Palin’s shout-outs were not appropriate (JMO)- remember how the “bumpand Biden was restrained because there were times that he really could have verbally sliced and diced her but he didn’t .
    Ifill was professional – as to be expected.
    On to the next Presidental Debate

  44. Girl, I wrote this on my blog yesterday before the debate even happened.
    Why the Debate?
    Share
    Yesterday at 2:04pm | Edit Note | Delete
    You all know about the Controversy about Gwin Ifill, the moderator of tonight’s vice-presidential debate right? Well if you don’t, read this for a brief synopsis.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/01/gwen.ifill/index.html

    Anyway. She wrote a book entitled “Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”. The public hasn’t even read this book, nor have critics, so essentially no one knows exactly what’s in the book beyond a ridiculously general description. But that’s beside the point. Basically certain people are claiming she shouldn’t be moderating the debate because she’s a supporter of Obama and will thus show her bias in her moderating duties tonight.

    This is ridiculous. I think that most people in the country have, by now, decided who they support. What were they supposed to do, find someone with no opinion at all? She is a journalist who has a very solid reputation and no past history that would imply an unprofessional performance tonight. Why the controversy? Is it the book? Is it her support for Obama? For enforcing the moderation rules in previous debates? Why is this even an issue? I really wouldn’t care if someone who wrote a book about McCain and the political history surrounding him was the moderator. Since when are people not allowed to have opinions? Since when does having an opinion limit your ability for critical thinking, your ability to be fair and professional?

    I also love how there’s no complaining about her being a woman…if you’re going to imply that her support of Obama means that she has liberal political views and will thus bash on the conservative candidate, why can’t we just even the score and say that her being female means that she will be harsh with the male, liberal candidate?

    I am so tired of all of this stupidity. People are just trying to preemptively come up with excuses for Biden’s predicted win, or Palin’s mistakes that lead to her loss. What if Palin wins and Biden loses? Then what scrutiny will Ifill’s performance be under? Will she suddenly have become the “perfect person” to have moderated the debates, as far as McCain supporters are concerned? I am so sick of everything that is going on I can’t wait until this is all over. Whatever happens is going to be a disaster anyway. Whoever gets elected has quite a bit on their hands, half of which they won’t have much direct responsibility for, but will face blame regardless. If McCain wins and things go well, at least he has the luxury of the blame going to his own stupidity, or his ties to the Bush administration or his party in general. If Obama fails, it won’t just because of the typical claims of stupidity, or because he’s a Democrat-everything from his race, his culture and the different ideologies that stem from that. And If it was Hillary, it would have been just like this comic.

    White people, males especially have a lot of autonomy in the country, whether they want to admit or not. This is not a 50 years ago issue. When you’re white in America, there’s alot you get to take for granted-you get to be the standard to which others are compared. You get to be the first thought when someone says “American” They don’t have to tack on “white” like you have to with Asian American or Black/African American to it in order to come up with a mental image for them. I never really wished I was “white” or anything when I was younger, but I was always envious of White autonomy. I always felt like they could do pretty much anything they wanted without being put up to this huge magnifying glass or it seeming unusual. Besides maybe being a rapper or something, they are just allowed to be themselves most of the time. They can be good at things or bad at things, fail and succeed, and not have their performance indirectly reflect a group of people on a larger scale. I realize that of course individuals are all subject to some kind of scrutiny on a personal level but socially it’s undeniably different. Sure, it’s ultimately a personal choice if you have this mindset that you have to be/are a constant representative of your race or gender-no one forces that- but circumstances are generally such that to do different or productive things, it’s hard to abandon that notion because you are going to be a de facto representative half of the time.

    I really don’t know how I got all the way there but basically I can’t wait until November 4th passes so we can at least argue about different things.

    Let’s see what happens tonight.

  45. I think it’s great that all of this controversy is going to help with her book sales when it does come out.

  46. so i watched the debate and it wasn’t the train wreck that i expected. i just kept thinking she went to debate camp and that is the best she could do. Biden was more than gracious with her and STILL came out on top.

    Style wise: Is it me or her bangs too long? I just want to clip about 1/2 inch and even them ouch.

    Go Obama/Biden!!

    alicia

    http://todaystyle.today.com

  47. and Gwen was great, she kept them honest and to the freakin’ questions.

  48. Hmm, I thought Gwen could have done a better job moderating. I thought a lot of the questions were pretty softball questions and she let the candidates get away with completely ignoring the questions (mainly Palin). And so far, some issues have been ignored like immigration.

    I thought Palin did a pretty well for not knowing too much about the issues. She set the bar pretty low though. She has some pretty impressive political skills. I find it quite amazing that someone no national TV experience before a month ago plays it so well in front of such a large audience.

    Biden was solid as I thought he would be. I would have liked to see him be more aggressive in challenging Palin. Although, when you’re ahead in the polls, it’s better to play it safe.

  49. Thanks so much for the link!

    Although I wish she hadn’t asked such predictable questions, I’m delighted Ifill didn’t let all the hullabaloo affect the way she did her job.

    As I mentioned in my post, she is a true professional, one of the best our industry has.

  50. Um…Gwen Ifill was terrible. I don’t know if it was the unfounded book “controversy” or her broken ankle (or both), but the sister was completely listless. Ifill repeatedly allowed Palin to completely disregard her questions and answer on whatever topic she chose. Ifill never called her on it! She is so much better on PBS…I wonder what happened?

  51. Damn, can we do ANYTHING without our motives being questioned? Ms. Ifill did a good job, in my opinion.

    And people still believe that we’re just a big ole rainbow-loving bunch. :-/

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