But, surely, it’s fair to ask whether Ifil is objective here. Presumably, Democrats would raise similar questions if a pro-McCain moderator had been chosen. Goodness, the Democrats canceled primary debates that were hosted by Fox News because they’re viewed as pro-Republican even though there were not going to be any Republicans in the debates!
Indeed, any network anchor aside from Fox’s Brit Hume would be presumed to be biased in favor of the Democrat — and he’d be presumed to be based in favor of the Republican. Perhaps the answer is to get someone other than a network answer to do the job? Or, perhaps, get someone like C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb who’s scrupulously neutral?
BTW my wife, the registered republican, doesn’t like Hume. The way he talks drives Leonita up the wall more than anyone on television with the possible exception of former CNN weather woman Valerie Voss.
Back to the topic, James is right. Finding a reporter who isn’t a supporter of one of the two parties is just about impossible. It reminds me of when the local newspaper editorializes in favor of a non-partisan commission to do reapportionment. Where are those committee members supposed to come from, Mars?
BTW, Ifil being an author of a Obama book and a future moderator, was reported last July 23rd at the Washington Times–
“We have an awkward history about how to talk about race in the nation and in newsrooms,” says Gwen Ifill, senior correspondent for PBS’ “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer” and author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” slated for publication early next year.
Howard Kurtz also writes that it was reported at the Washington Post last September 4th.
Also Sen. John McCain told Fox News today “Does this help if she has written a book that’s favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not,” McCain said. “But I have confidence Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.”
I haven’t shaked my head in befuddlement so much since the Rachael Ray brouhaha. What will be the next storm be on the conservative blogosphere? and the one after that? and the one after that? The second line of the song I refer to in the title of my post comes to mind when I think of these ‘controversies’.
“Is it just for the moment we live?” If not this moment, this minute, or hour or day etc etc.
Now the countdown begins for when the first Wizbang commenter takes exception to what I wrote. I love punishment, remember my home blog is The Florida Masochist. And no, I don’t belong at Wizbang Blue. I disagree more with Lee over there than Cassy here.
Update- Doug at Below the Beltway writes—
Frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is here. I don’t think that Ifill should be the moderator either, but that’s based on the fact that she did a horrid job at the Cheney-Edwards debate four years ago and she just doesn’t strike me as a very good reporter. But the CPD picked her, so my opinion on that point doesn’t really matter. Moreover, even before news of the book was released, it was really quite apparent that Ifill is a reporter who lets her biases shine through her reporting. Now, personally, I don’t have a problem with that, but if the McCain campaign did, then they shouldn’t have agreed to have her as the moderator. And, finally, I’m not sure what the people complaining about this the day before the debate are looking for — do they really think that they’re going to find a network news anchor who isn’t biased ? And wouldn’t have Ifill been “in the tank” for Obama regardless of whether or not she wrote a book about him ?
Frankly, it seems to me that the McCain campaign partisans are raising this non-issue at the 11th hour so that there will be a ready-made excuse in case Palin does poorly tomorrow. If that happens, she’ll have nobody to blame but herself.
Not necessarily a ready made excuse but for the whole McCain-Palin ticket after it loses in November. I’m voting for it, but am clear headed enough to see that only a major miracle is going prevent Obama from winning.