Does Gwen Ifill's upcoming book suggest a biased moderator?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cleverboy, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #1
    What do you think?

    Gwen Ifill, moderator for the upcoming Vice Presidential debate on Thursday has had a book on black political leaders (The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama) announced for sometime, but days before the debate, this fact is receiving more and more scrutiny.

    Fox News story (renamed "In the Tank" in newsfeed):
    VP Debate Moderator Pens Pro-Obama Book
    http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/01/vp-debate-moderator-pens-pro-obama-book/
    CNN story:
    Controversy brews up around VP debate moderator Ifill
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/01/gwen.ifill/index.html
    So, is this a "jaw-dropping" double-standard? It's clear this is getting increased attention due to the immense attention on Palin's performance. Worth noting, Ifill's PBS cohort, Jim Lehrer, moderator of the preceding presidential debate last week wrote a novel called "The Last Debate: A Novel of Politics and Journalism" with this perhaps timely suggestion at its fictional heart:
    Ifill recently made the news for breaking her ankle during an instance in which she was carrying exhorbitant amounts of debate prep material.
    ~ CB
     
  2. floyde macrumors 6502a

    floyde

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    #2
    Is there such a thing as an unbiased moderator? They might not all be so vocal about it, but everyone's got a preference underneath.
     
  3. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #3
    Exactly the type of person we need moderating this debate. Hopefully she'll get Palin to say something that makes sense.

    EDIT: Really though, I hope everyone sees this "news" for what it really is: a last attempt by the McCain campaign to postpone the debate. We've known for quite a while now who the moderator would be, and her book was no secret either. Since McCain's attempt to "suspend" his campaign failed, he's trying to get the moderator booted one day before the debate. He knows that a replacement moderator won't be found in one day, so the debate will be indefinitely on-hold.

    EDIT2: Looks like "in the tank" has become the new right-wing mantra, and I'm already sick of it. Thankfully I only have to hear it come out of every Republicans mouth at least 5 time each interview for only a month.
     
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #4
    Right on schedule folks. The right leaning media puts the idea in the public's head so they watch the debate with that bias. Karl Rove at his finest.
     
  5. donga macrumors 6502a

    donga

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    #6
    Does Gwen Ifill's upcoming book suggest a biased moderator?

    "No."
     
  6. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #7
    No - republicans are preparing that in case Palin flops.

    Having right-wing mouthpiece, Tom Brokaw on the second debate clearly is.

    Having Bush crony Bob Schieffer for the third debate clearly is.

    The McCain has so stacked the debate deck in their favor, it is beyond laughable. I am sure most republicans are secretly ashamed by what they have become - a party too ashamed to be honest and truthful. How long can their youth continue 'living the lie'? Maybe as long as their parents keep homeschooling them, or sending them to private schools, so they are never exposed to the 'real world'.
     
  7. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #8
    i would imagine that brokaw, an almost official representative of the McCain campaign, would be more troublesome, but i think both of them will be professional.
    it won't spare us from the usual republican whining, though.
     
  8. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #9
    Yes.

    But who cares? No one can be completely unbiased. The fact that she's writing a book doesn't mean she's more biases then someone who's not writing a book.
     
  9. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #10
    The moderator is black. Senator Obama is black. Yep, she's biased.
    someone had to say it

    Shouldn't matter, anyway. Mrs. Palin has to hold her ground regardless of the moderator. She blows this the election is over.
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    The moderator has a vagina. Mrs. Palin has a vagina. Yep, she's biased. Someone had to say it.
     
  11. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #12
    So which trumps which? Gender or race? :D Does he have a book on female political advancements?
     
  12. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #13
    Exactly. I'm surprised there hasn't been more flap about that. :p
     
  13. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #14
    Yes I would say this is biased. If she has written a book that is Pro Obama then I would consider that a conflict of interests.

    Whether it has an affect on the whole scenario is debatable but surely they can find someone who hasn't written a book about on of the presidential candidates.

    We shall see what happens.

    jon
     
  14. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #15
    This was known by both campaigns months ago, and she announced the book before Obama had won the nomination.

    The McCain campaign kept her in place for this very reason. So they could make an issue about it the day before. They were never worried about her being bias, but they knew that they could save this info until the last minute to play it to the public when it would have the greatest effect.

    So, was it a good plan? It worked on you, so I'd say it was at least somewhat effective. :eek:
     
  15. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #16
    Since none of us have actually read the book, it's much too early to suggest that the book is "pro-Obama". As far as I'm concerned, that's just right-wing spin.

    All we really know his that the book covers the history of Afro-American politics up to and including Obama. For all we know, she's going to call him an arugula eating race traitor.
     
  16. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #17
    I think its more an issue, because she's black.
    Here's a hypothetical.

    I honestly think that were this Tom Brokaw, who wrote the strongly nostalgic books "The Greatest Generation" and "Boom! Voices of the Sixties" and whom served as laison between NBC and the McCain campaign, and who is an older Caucasian gentleman... there would be NO hubbub (or at least very little). ( Taps, chin... oh, hold on... that's right... Brokaw IS moderating the Oct 7th 2nd presidential debate. Interesting.)

    I remember being startled that Brokaw ended his recent interview with Obama advisor David Axelrod and McCain advisor Steve Smidt on such a partisan note.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhJvpXo89FE
    The way he leaned into Axelrod was more than a bit unseeming, and I'm not sure how this ending note is "in all fairness". But, what are ya gonna do? He's professional.

    ~ CB
     
  17. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #18
    Agreed, none of us have read the book. On the other hand, just reading Amazon's synopsis of the book is enough to know she isn't shooting down Obama.

    I'm not pro Obama or McCain but I still feel that having the moderator being the author of a book primarily focusing on Obama is a conflict of interests.

    Either way her credentials are good and she seems to be very knowledgeable in her line of work. I'm sure we will get good answers out of both VP candidates despite who the moderator is.

    jon
     
  18. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #19
    I have a great solution. Type the questions up, get a Macbook Pro, and have it speak the questions aloud in the Fitter Happier voice.

    Though I'm sure the right would claim liberal bias due to the MBP's exceptional aesthetics.

    Joking aside, she hasn't written the chapter on Obama yet, right? I don't have a link or anything, I was just lazily listening to CNN while playing my guitar, and the talking heads were on about this.
     
  19. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #20
    I've been watching Gwen for years, and this thread does her a disservice.
     
  20. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #21
    I am watching Olbermann on MSNBC right now and he pointed out that this book was announced before both campaigns approved her as a moderator. It wasn't an issue then...why is it now?
     
  21. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #22
    I'm not sure if this is just mispeaking, but I would think a reasonable person would say "despite the possibility of bias". Saying "despite who the moderator is" implies that Gwen Ifill is an uneven biased person. "Who she is" is not someone that deserves the word "despite" (like an Keith Olbermann, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, Sean Hannity, or Bill O'Reilly would deserve a "despite who (s)he is"), unless you're simply referring to her race, which would of course... be an unworthy thing to suggest. Ifill has a record of professionalism that deserves the best expectations.

    I think this whole thing is mostly about empty perception (which is a distinct problem) and NOT a character study on bias (with a book that has not been published). No one has anything negative to say about Ifill's objectivity that holds much water.

    Honestly, people have resorted to criticizing her "facial expressions" after Palin's acceptance speech (not being excited enough) and an affirmation of the 30 second time-limit during the Cheney/Edwards debate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiG_WFmZxaw

    ~ CB
     
  22. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #23
    It is mispeak. I wasn't stating anything as deep as your described. I was simply saying that whether she does the event or if she somehow steps down we will still get a good debate. Both candidates will speak their mind and everyone will make their own educated decision.

    The fact that the whole nation is now talking about this situation is exactly why this can be a problem. We shouldn't even be discussing this scenario but now it's the talk of the town. I would assume she wouldn't sell nearly as many books if Obama doesn't win. That's just my opinion but I don't think that's reaching too far.

    Now that everyone is talking about it, it might force her to be harder on Biden since there is the perceived Obama bias. I would love to see this forum and it's responses if the moderator had just come out with a McCain or Palin book.

    Either way at the end of the day I really don't care. The debate will obviously go on but this is a unnecessary distraction that the American public shouldn't have been faced with in the first place.

    jon
     
  23. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #24
    Ok. Sorry 'bout that.
    That's what the Fox News commentator rightly suggests in the link above.
    Like the quoted line I bolded in my first post... but honestly? I don't think there would be a double-standard on this if it were the opposite (as I've pointed out with Brokaw and his generationally biased book). People can write about something that interests them objectively without it being a "partisan" book. A black Republican could write a book that says Obama has changed the political landscape for rising young black politicians, while disagreeing with his politics and planning not to vote for him. The proof is in the pudding. I think this "problem" is more about the success of these last-minute negative stories and the "feelings" they're successfully evoking.

    ~ CB
     
  24. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #25
    Due to the situation we can only guess what would have come if it was the opposite.

    The way I look at it is out of all the people who could be considered for the job, we have chosen one that happens to have a book with Obama being a major focus. Now in all fairness no one has read the book but from the videos I've seen of her talking she hasn't seemed to have any negative things to say about Obama.

    This so called person may also have a monetary gain depending whether Obama gets elected. Again, we'll never know either way.

    With all the people that could be considered for the job surely we could have gotten someone who doesn't have a future book coming out on the candidate. I know I'm not the only one too who feels this way.

    Like I said earlier, it has no direct effect one me, it's just good to discuss it with some other people. I'll be curious to see what adjustments she might make as of tomorrow. if this debate is anything like the Presidential one I may stop watching it after the first commercial, Yawn...

    jon
     

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