Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Ifill Distraction

The right wing is up in arms that tonight’s debate moderator, Gwen Ifill, is working on a book about the change in politics because of the impact of Barack Obama running for president. The claim is that she cannot be impartial and are demanding that she pull out of tonight’s debate or at least confess up front that she’s in the tank for the Democratic ticket.

Since the book hasn’t been published yet, that’s a bit of a conclusion to jump to, and the assumption that because a black journalist is writing a book about black politics and including a chapter — as yet unwritten — on the first black candidate to be nominated by a major political party in the nation’s history is automatically favorable to him is presumptuous and, to be blunt, a bit racist: they all stick together, y’know.

What’s obviously happened is that the right wing knows that Gov. Palin is a disaster waiting to happen so they are inoculating her against any poor performance by saying that the questions from the moderator were all “gotcha” questions. This is a standard “look at the kitty” diversion, and it doesn’t matter who the moderator is. If it isn’t Ms. Ifill, they’d find something wrong with any other choice except, perhaps, one of their own like Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity. Except sanity dictates that the Commission on Presidential Debates had to choose someone with actual journalistic experience.