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Gwen Ifill: Debating the moderator
Will Ifill’s upcoming Obama book taint the Palin-Biden debate?
G

wen Ifill, the moderator of the sole vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, is “in the tank” for Biden’s running mate, said Michelle Malkin in RealClearPolitics. She has a book coming out on Inauguration Day about black politicians in “the Age of Obama.” It will sell much better if Obama wins, so how can debate viewers expect her to “treat both sides fairly”?

The “conservative blogosphere” is raising a stink over Ifill’s book, said Elyas Bakhtiari in The Moderate Voice, so they can blame her if Palin flubs the debate. This isn’t about the book, which is a historical look at changes in the black political structure, but just a move to “intimidate Ifill (and others) into taking it easy on Palin.”

The right had “political motives” for flagging Ifilll’s book, said John Riley in Newsday online, but it still raises “not absurd” perceptions of bias.

Ifill already showed “her thoroughness and fairness as a moderator” in the 2004 VP debate, said Jack Shafer in Slate. And she will bring the same “completely professional—and boring—manner” to this one, too. But if the debate is trite and bland, it won’t be Ifill’s fault—the two campaigns came up with the format.

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