Commentary Magazine


Gwen Ifill 101

That will be the name of a course one day in “J” school as professors discuss the implications of acting as moderator in a key vice presidential debate while publishing a book, the success of which largely depends on one particular candidate prevailing. A book entitled Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama is destined for the bargain bin at bookstores unless, you know, Barack Obama wins. And if there is any doubt of how she feels about her subject this should erase it.

While I agree that this is an ethics debacle for her I think it is a godsend for Sarah Palin. What better way to ensure hyper-attention to fairness and to keep the moderator on the straight and narrow? And should Ifill stray and convey her obvious affection for Obama’s candidacy, the McCain camp will of course scream bloody murder. Now the latter is becoming an everyday occurrence, but the prospect of undergoing a debate moderated by someone with an obvious ideological and financial interest in the success of one ticket really is grounds for complaint.

But it will make for good class discussion one day, I am sure

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