CJR: Yes, Ifill has a conflict of interest

posted at 11:40 am on October 2, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The Columbia Journalism Review takes up the matter of Gwen Ifill serving as a debate moderator while preparing to publish a book about Barack Obama.  Liz Cox Barrett calls much of the controversy “the usual political noise”, but agrees with me on the core point — that Ifill stands to benefit financially from Obama’s election.  That, Barrett notes, should disqualify Ifill from moderation duties:

Conflict of interest is often about appearances. There appears, to us, to be a conflict in Ifill moderating tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate. Here’s why:

- Ifill’s upcoming book is called “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” It, apparently, “surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians [like Newark Mayor Corey Booker and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick] forging a bold new path to political power.”

- The book apparently will be published on January 20th, 2009, Inauguration Day.

- It stands to reason that a book with such a title would sell better if a certain person is inaugurated on that day.

Yes, it does, as the “Age of Obama” would have no meaning otherwise.  Barack Obama has been on the national stage a shorter period of time than John Edwards, who managed to win only one Senate race and no national contests.  Obama at least won his party’s nomination for President, but has two fewer years than Edwards in office at the national level.  What exactly is the “Age of Obama” if Obama loses in November?  And how would that impact Ifill’s sales?

Barrett then asked Newshour for Ifill’s response to the financial conflict of interest charge.  They sent two spokespeople to talk to Barrett, neither of whom would address the issue at all.  They insisted that Ifill had shown herself to be “fair and balanced” in the past, and was too busy with debate prep to answer Barrett.

Barrett shrugs off other questions even as she raises them, trying to focus on the issue of financial conflict of interest.  One of these, though, deserves a more extended analysis: why didn’t anyone object to Ifill from the beginning?  A couple of news sources had reported on her book project earlier this year, and apparently no one thought to Google Ifill.  That may be true, but does the CJR mean to take the position that it is the responsibility of the campaigns to investigate journalists for potential conflicts of interest, rather than have the journalists themselves disclose their interests?  Ifill never bothered to inform the CPD of her project.  Is that a failure of the CPD to investigate her, or is it an ethical failure of Ifill to disclose?

If it’s the former, then I can say with confidence that the blogosphere operates on a higher ethical plane than the mainstream media, and we hold each other more accountable for it, too.  We demand disclosure when bloggers write on topics on which they have financial interest or connections, such as Michael Brodkorb at Minnesota Democrats Exposed, who puts his disclosure statement on every applicable post.  On those occasions where others had to root out conflicts of interest, deluges of scorn and criticism followed.

Let me point to another example.  Armstrong Williams wrote columns supporting Bush administration policies while accepting money from them.  Did the media blithely accept that and note that it was the responsibility of his critics to find that out, rather than Williams’ duty to disclose it up front?  That’s not the way I recall it — and I agreed that Williams acted unethically in that instance and sharply criticized both him and the administration for that breach of trust.

The mere fact that Ifill kept that information from the Commission should be disqualifying in and of itself.  Had she disclosed that, then the responsibility would have rightly fallen to the Commission and the McCain campaign for not raising the objection at the time she was selected for this role.  As it is, Ifill failed to disclose what CJR acknowledges as a financial conflict of interest, and that responsibility was hers alone.


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NNtrancer on October 2, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Should they just ban black moderators when a candidate’s black? Just sayin.

Akzed on October 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM

lfill has already proven that she is corrupt when she did not disclose a conflict of interest that the average 8th grader could understand.

Anyone who would defend that is just as likely corrupt as lfill.

Why should we expect anything else from the msm?

kam582 on October 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Gwen Iffel’s wet dream.

uh…. i was about to have lunch here!

max1 on October 2, 2008 at 12:37 PM

I liked the suggestion on another hotair thread that if Ifill fails to disclose her conflict, Governor Palin should address it in her opening statement. She could refer directly to the book, its release date, the fact that Ifill stands to lose a lot money if McCain/Palin win but then take the high road and express confidence that Ifill will be a pro in how she conducts herself.

Of course there’s no doubt she’ll do a professional job tonight. It’s just a question of whether that profession is journalism or the world’s oldest one.

EconomicNeocon on October 2, 2008 at 12:38 PM

How would Democrats feel if Romney was the candidate and Hugh Hewitt is the moderator? Why can’t they have someone like Brit Hume? Gee the liberals are indeed gaining strength due to media.

mariloubaker on October 2, 2008 at 12:38 PM

but…..but….but…..she’s black.

wildweasel on October 2, 2008 at 12:40 PM

The Ifill tower is leaning left…should have subbed Thomas Sowell for Ifil…see how the Obama campaign liked that.
BTW, there is only one debate, so Ifill can throw anything she likes with the chance that Obama will get elected.

“The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.”, Hitler

right2bright on October 2, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Call your local PBS station and remind them that they will be interrupting This Old House next month (or is it every month) begging for your donations.

slug on October 2, 2008 at 12:46 PM

This is a gift for Sarah: Any question or follow up she does not like can be dismissed, noting that Ifill is not ethically qualified to moderate a debate.

Call Ifill a “ref who bet on the game” and other methaphors for Ifill’s conduct.

Use the time to bash Obama, dems who caused our financial crisis, and other topics.

Right_of_Attila on October 2, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Affirmative Action has produced some of the most extreme examples of tax dollar un-American behavior on record. If we ever get to Mulligan, we should bring in the same number of people from Third World countries as are expecting their post acre and a mule pass, and possibly wind up with some people that love this country and have an inkling of ethics.

Prisons are filled with people who operate under their own sense of justice, and this babe fits the bill. Obama and his gangstah’s just keep playing America as the fool, and getting a pass on it. If America wakes up to find them in power, good luck with that.

Hening on October 2, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Prediction: Iffel will ask tougher questions of Biden than Palin so all the MSM can point to how fair she was and how racist it was for anyone to suggest otherwise. Of course giving Biden the questions in advance…

BitterClinger on October 2, 2008 at 1:27 PM

Akzed at 12:33PM

What brought you to spend a day with him?

America has teetered on the brink between toast and life for the last 2 elections. It’s literally a fight to the death and that’s why the viciousness.

Most people recognize the media as having more power than anything a campaign does. In some ways it’s the Shire versus Isengard and Mordor. But the Shire still exists and every time I hear a solder speak of the America he/she defends it reminds me that the good people of Middle Earth are still producing heroes. We just need to find a way to rise up.

justincase on October 2, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Check out this lesson in objectivity offered by Ifill’s cousin who’s a college professor.

Palin is a priviled women!

dmann on October 2, 2008 at 1:31 PM

twoarmman on October 2, 2008 at 12:03 PM

I think her suggesting a racial motive for people criticizing her just shows another bias she has and yet another reason she shouldn’t be there.

Never happen. Protected class, protected thoughts, protected speech, protected. “I’m persecuted by others because I’m black, gay, a woman, fill in the blank” can’t be criticized, at least not in a way that will reach the ordinary person. I so wish it could be criticized.

Paul-Cincy on October 2, 2008 at 1:41 PM

VodkaPundit has Gwen Ifill after Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech. Teaser: she uses the word “belittle”.

tree hugging sister on October 2, 2008 at 1:44 PM

The sensation of whether someone is for you or against you can be intense. So right away it’s 2 against 1. Palin isn’t one to complain, but she should. Even her dry wit is really quite kind. When she compares small town mayors to community organizers, she said nothing at all bad. She just had a little scamp in her voice. If in her introductory remarks she were to say “Good luck on your book, Gwen”, that too is really quite kind on the face of it. I’m sure she DOES wish her well on her book.

Paul-Cincy on October 2, 2008 at 1:51 PM

dmann on October 2, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Palin’s life is “offensive to black women?” And that comes from a Soros-connected Ifill woman?

It would be hilarious if Sarah quoted that tonight and put it back on Gwen for a response. She could ask if she thinks her cousin’s remarks are irrationally racist and offensive to all Americans.

econavenger on October 2, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Should they just ban black moderators when a candidate’s black? Just sayin.

Akzed on October 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Why stop there? We could jst take away their franchise rights completely. Hell, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Can an I ink you in as a volunteer?

The Race Card on October 2, 2008 at 2:08 PM

The Ifill tower is leaning left…should have subbed Thomas Sowell for Ifil…see how the Obama campaign liked that.

Thomas Sowell? Really? As moderator?

Is that the only other Black person qualified to do anything in Republicans’ minds? Shees. The man has no demonstrated efforts on a national scale as a moderator. But here you are suggesting him as the antidote to the left’s biases.

You are a master of identity politics. You don’t need to complain about the left. You are your own apt pupil.

The Race Card on October 2, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Gwen Ifool

The Race Card on October 2, 2008 at 2:15 PM

Bradky slapped me around last night for appearing to desperately defend the indefensible sloppiness of Palin’s recent interviews. Guilty.

The MSNBC poll on the AP story about Ifill and Obama’s beanstalk seems to find many on the left in the same predicament: over 70% at last glance saw a clear conflict of interest. On MSNBC.

Think they need to break her other ankle so she can be a last minute scratch.

Jaibones on October 2, 2008 at 2:20 PM

VodkaPundit has Gwen Ifill after Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech. Teaser: she uses the word “belittle

Code word that Palin is “uppity!”

wepeople on October 2, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Ifill released a statement saying these new relevations in no way constitute a conflict of interest. Her second book, due to be released shortly after “The Age of Obama” is titled “My journey from the Scranton Scrotum”.

darwin on October 2, 2008 at 12:27 PM

Way to sell that book- Insult your potential readers by making it clear you think they are complete idiots.

highhopes on October 2, 2008 at 2:48 PM

What is the deal with Gwenn Ifill’s hair? It looks like a road apple.

Why isn’t she home taking care of babies?

Right_of_Attila on October 2, 2008 at 2:53 PM

No problems here. Just more liberal “nuance”. The Williams thing was “different”.

GarandFan on October 2, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Just another example of the new American tripple standard. She is a woman, is black, and a liberal. With a rap sheet like that, she can say and do anything without being held the slightest bit accountable.

Imagine the uproar if a white male conservative was in a similar position…….Holy Hell would be raised.

saiga on October 2, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Should they just ban black moderators when a candidate’s black? Just sayin.

Akzed on October 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM

It has nothing to do with race, it has to do with money and a huge monetary conflict of interest since her book is sue to drop on inauguration day, If Ifill didn’t have a book coming out in January there really wouldn’t be a problem..(other then she an Obama supporter)

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Should they just ban black moderators when a candidate’s black? Just sayin.

Akzed on October 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM

It has nothing to do with race, it has to do with money and a huge monetary conflict of interest since her book is due to drop on inauguration day, If Ifill didn’t have a book coming out in January there really wouldn’t be a problem..(other then she an Obama supporter)

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Just think how wonderful the country would be if everyone had to pull their own weight on their own. No welfare, no free pass, one would be completely responsible to earn the money to pay their own way. If you coudn’t hack it, you could move to Canada or Mexico so long as you were gone from here.

Now that would get this country moving again. But instead, Obama will bring us the welfare state that is forced to drag along all the dead wood and pay them to be dead wood.

saiga on October 2, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear take care of business in teh woods? Is Gwen Ifill biasly conflicted?

CynicalOptimist on October 2, 2008 at 3:51 PM

awww she has a hurt foot. Leave her alone. Let her conflict.. pfft

johnnyU on October 2, 2008 at 3:55 PM

I look at this story and think … “How dare she?”. She has inserted herself into this debate and become a PART of the story now. That’s not journalistic ethics … it’s selfishness. She wants a million dollar book deal and also to moderate a VP debate. Cake and eat it too. Pretty disgusting.

HondaV65 on October 2, 2008 at 4:09 PM

The CJR says, Conflict of interest is often about appearances.

Wasn’t that the flawed logic behind the Supreme’s upholding the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold? There are plenty of reasons to disqualify Ifill which don’t require us going down that road.

FWIW, here’s a reminder of how biased Ifill is; her reaction to the Palin convention speech.

Buy Danish on October 2, 2008 at 4:09 PM

New article by GWEN IFILL in Essence Magazine called “The Obamas: Portrait of an American Family”
Excerpt: But on this Fourth of July, everyone is together. Even though there are at least a half-dozen aides and family members on the bus with us, it feels intimate back here. Michelle and Barack are curled up on the beige couch, while the children are reading and coloring a few feet away. Michelle folds her long legs to her chin and leans into her husband as he explains the reality of their lives. When he pauses, she finishes his sentences.

Barack stood on the lawn playfully teasing his wife as she posed for our cameras. Now, as then, his customary public caution melts away when he is with his family. Under relentless media scrutiny, Barack Obama says his family is going the extra mile to “maintain this little island of normalcy in the midst of all this swirl of activity.”

But family snapshots of this sort are rare, as are moments when the Obamas can just chill. “Michelle has done a heroic job of managing the house, the family and still finding time to campaign and be out on the road,” he says, after directing staff members to turn off the television, which was tuned to Fox News Channel. “I’m always marveling at everything that she can do.”

And then he sings.

“I’m every woman,” he croons. She cringes. He laughs. “That’s Michelle. It’s like, Chaka Khan! Chaka Khan!”

Well ain’t she sumptin else!! She revealed her book plans MOMENTS AFTER THE DEBATE SCHEDULE WAS FORMALLY ANNOUNCED.
B O Y C O T T
T H E
D A M N E D
D E B A T E .

NightmareOnKStreet on October 2, 2008 at 4:11 PM

From the 3rd printing forward to “The Age of McCain: Politics for a New Generation” by Ann Coulter, Mirror Universe Publishing Co., January 2009:

… many liberals objected to my moderating the vice-presidential debate, given my scholarly work documenting the amazing, transformational nature of the McCain campaign. However, my reputation for scrupulously impartial journalism, gained during my many years as a Fox News contributor, was enough to satisfy all but the most blindly partisan critics.

It was interesting to note how many of my critics thought I should have asked Sarah Palin about ridiculous, irrelevant matters, such as her long-ago firing of an out-of-control state trooper, or absurd conspiracy theories about the true parentage of her son Trig. Obviously these critics were deeply shaken by the probing questions I asked Biden, about his controversial vote on the Alaskan pipeline project, now almost universally regarded as one of the most foolish Senate votes ever cast, or his string of embarrassing gaffes concerning FDR, the Great Depression, and basic economics. Certainly his image was not enhanced by the world-famous video, played day and night by all major news networks, of Biden shouting at a crippled man to “stand up” from his wheelchair. His image as an out-of-touch lightweight was well cemented by 24-7 media coverage of his countless misstatements, long before he suffered that historic debate loss to Sarah Palin.

Some have looked back on the swarms of reporters combing through Chicago during the 2008 campaign season, unearthing a series of incredible scandals about Barack Obama’s ties to the Weather Underground, radical SDS, communist groups, and corrupt Chicago money men, and wondered why I didn’t uncover more dirt on John McCain during the writing of this book. Certainly the major networks could not have been expected to dispatch huge teams of investigators to tiny Wasilla, Alaska, to comb through Sarah Palin’s trash and review every line of her medical records. Nor would it have been reasonable of us to call for investigations into McCain’s shady fundraising, including obviously fraudulent contributions from cartoonishly silly aliases… or investigate his ties to CHESTNUT, the conservative community organization and shelter for abused women, children, and kittens, which was dealing with allegations of vote fraud in seven states. It would have been equally unreasonable of us to report on the elaborate theories, held in some circles, that the Republican initiative to give free guns to all violent prison inmates in the 90s had any relationship to the wave of shootings in 2008. Those shootings happened on President Kerry’s watch, so they were obviously his fault, and our reporting proceeded accordingly.

I have also been criticized for my failure to notify the debate commission that I was writing this book, which I began a year before the 2008 debates…

Doctor Zero on October 2, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Remember the good ol’ days when parents would say, “I’ll give you something to cry about!”

Ifill and her ilk want to make this about race. Maybe we should march on Washington to repeal the Civil Rights Act. That’ll give ‘em something to cry “racist” over. Enough is enough.

NightmareOnKStreet on October 2, 2008 at 4:15 PM

gwen I-FOUL

wildweasel on October 2, 2008 at 4:22 PM

McCain would have Objected to Coulter, she said she was voting for Hillary! LMAO!

McCain can’t get a break!

the guys still getting tortured..

Sheesh..

No wonder when he says, “I have been though worse.. ”

he really means it..

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 4:24 PM

gwen I-FOUL

wildweasel on October 2, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Gwen Awful

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 4:25 PM

The fact she didn’t disclose this information also serves her best interest financially as well.

In creating controversy regarding her apparent conflict of interest and the debate, she has increased public exposure for her future book as well as essentially getting free marketing from the blogosphere and the press.

cryptojunkie on October 2, 2008 at 4:25 PM

Gwen Eyesore already gave plugs all the questions.

It is all an elborate trick to keep rural red state america from voting 11/4.

If all they read and hear about is how BHO is inevitable maybe they can actually sneak that race baiter into the white house.

DeweyWins on October 2, 2008 at 4:33 PM

The more biased Ifill is the more books she will sell on inauguration day, more left wing loons will lineup to buy her book..

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 4:37 PM

Karma’s a bitch. Gwen I-full-of-sh*t already broke her ankle. Maybe she’ll get stomped to death by the crowd rushing the stage when she starts asking Gov. Palin for the shoe sizes of our founding fathers… just sayin’…

NightmareOnKStreet on October 2, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Karma’s a bitch. Gwen Imfill-of-sh*t already broke her ankle. Maybe she’ll get stomped to death when the crowd rushes the stage tonight after she asks Gov. Palin to list the shoe sizes of all the founding fathers… just sayin’…

NightmareOnKStreet on October 2, 2008 at 4:52 PM

meant to say Gwen Imfill-of-sh*t

NightmareOnKStreet on October 2, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Is that the only other Black person qualified to do anything in Republicans’ minds? Shees.

The Race Card on October 2, 2008 at 2:14 PM

I think he was stretching to find a black conservative – or any black was is not a liberal Democrat – in the MSM, who might credibly be considered to moderate a debate.

Odd, I can’t think of one either. Who have you got?

Jaibones on October 2, 2008 at 4:58 PM

The only way to solve this is to have Ifil make a disclaimer before every question:

Before this question to Mr. Obama the audience should know that I stand to gain financially if he answers it well. Mr. Obama tell me how wonderful America is.

Before this question to Mr. McCain the audience should know that it will limit my book sales if he answers this question well. Mr. McCain when did you stop beating your wife?

petunia on October 2, 2008 at 5:14 PM

I think he was stretching to find a black conservative – or any black was is not a liberal Democrat – in the MSM, who might credibly be considered to moderate a debate.

Odd, I can’t think of one either. Who have you got?

Jaibones on October 2, 2008 at 4:58 PM

How about Larry Elder?

Libertarian.

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Ifill says it is not a conflict, and you are a racist for asking…

right2bright on October 2, 2008 at 5:18 PM

Odd, I can’t think of one either. Who have you got?

Jaibones on October 2, 2008 at 4:58 PM

Thomas Sowell

right2bright on October 2, 2008 at 5:18 PM

Armstrong Williams

right2bright on October 2, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Actually Larry Elder is a Republitarian.

Q. What is a Republitarian?
A Republican with libertarian leanings.” In other words, a member of the Republican Party who holds libertarian ideals.

http://www.larryelder.com/faq.html

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 5:23 PM

Having quotas isn’t a good thing..

Why not have an American-Indian Moderator?

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Having quotas isn’t a good thing..

Why not have an American-Indian Moderator?

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Or a moderator with heritage to south east Asia, or a Moderator with heritage to Latin America?

Why does it have to be an African-American moderator?

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 5:32 PM

I seriously doubt there would be this last-minute consternation of she was white and wrote a book praising McCain.

philnewkirk on October 2, 2008 at 5:59 PM

“Actually Larry Elder is a Republitarian.

Q. What is a Republitarian?
A Republican with libertarian leanings.” In other words, a member of the Republican Party who holds libertarian ideals.

http://www.larryelder.com/faq.html

Chakra Hammer on ”

In other words, a talk show host that makes his living criticizing others and by being a pseudo republican by calling himself a republitarian, he can switch hit as it suits his ratings and such. And doesnt have to live in the real world.

Roger Waters on October 2, 2008 at 6:07 PM

I want to know how much longer we’re all supposed to just go along with a nation and a system of government in which the rules only apply to some of us.

I don’t think Ifill hosting the debate is worth going to war over; I do, however, think that the systematic application of rules to one side but not to the other that this incident illustrates, is a clear indication that the power of the system resides with those who intend to use it to the harm of their opponents. There is little point in continuing to operate in such a system as though we’re actually part of it.

I’m sick of this, and I’m preparing for the coming civil war, whatever that looks like. If they think I’m going to sit here and let them play me for a fool, they’re badly mistaken.

philwynk on October 2, 2008 at 6:23 PM

I seriously doubt there would be this last-minute consternation of she was white and wrote a book praising McCain.

philnewkirk on October 2, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Of course not. In that case, she would have been exposed by the press weeks before the debate, and forced to step down by the media circus long since.

You know, it would have gone down the way they forced the debate away from Fox News back in January, claiming that Brit Hume was too biased to host a Democratic debate. Only, Hume didn’t have a financial conflict of interest.

philwynk on October 2, 2008 at 6:26 PM

The conflict is financial gain. Release on inauguration day will make more sales only if Obama wins. Release on inauguration day and Obama loses means fewer sales and less money. Direct conflict of interest and anyone that makes it into racism, feminism, etc. is whistling past the grave yard.


GO SARAH!!!

Herb on October 2, 2008 at 6:42 PM

The people on that show (except Hasselbeck) are Soooooooo
UGLY!

Herb on October 2, 2008 at 8:02 PM

In the wake of the controversy over Gwen Ifill acting as moderator for tonight’s debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, Ms Ifill has now, while acknowleging that she had not informed the Commission on Presidential Debates about her forthcoming book, is now implying racism.

“Do you think they made the same assumptions about Lou Cannon (who is white) when he wrote his book about Reagan?” said Ifill, who is black. Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, “I don’t know what it is. I find it curious.”

I find it curious that Ifill brought up the name of writer, Lou Cannon, who never moderated a debate involving Reagan/Bush 41. Had he been asked to do so, there would have been justifiable complaints from the Democrats.

I am sorry to see Ifill go down this path. In my limited glimpses of her on TV, she always seemed professional. Yet, she cannot see the conflict of interest involved with her moderating this debate. That others see it, according to Ms Ifill’s implication, means that there is racism involved.

I beg to differ. Ifill’s book, due to be released shortly, is entitled: Breakthrough-Politics and race in the age of Obama. First of all, the sub-title seems a little presumptuous to me. “…the age of Obama”? He has only been on the national scene for four years-or perhaps Ms Ifill is already convinced that President Obama is a done deal. What happens to “the age of Obama” if he loses? What happens to her book sales if Obama loses? In that case, does Gwen Ifill have an financial interest (if not personal desire) in seeing Obama and Biden win in November? If so, then that is a clear conflict of interest.

Ms Ifill may not think she has a conflict of interest, but perception is just as important as reality-at least in this case. Americans need to be assured that their elections are fair. This situation hardly gives me comfort.

And for Ms Ifill to go down that path of playing the race card makes this even worse in an election that has scratched our racial wounds open again-and that was just in the Democratic Primary. In bringing this up again, she is doing a disservice to her fellow citizens as they try to come to an informed voting decision.

She also does a disservice to Barack Obama. He doesn’t need another race issue to enter into this election.

With only a couple of hours to go before the debate begins, Ms Ifill is not going to step down or be replaced. It would, however, have been the classy thing to do.

It’s bad enough when the candidates/debaters put their foot in their mouths. Lately, we see a lot of moderators doing the same thing.

gary fouse
fousesquawk

gary fouse on October 2, 2008 at 8:30 PM

How about Larry Elder?

Libertarian.

Chakra Hammer on October 2, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Sorry, I was occupied.

Actually, when I said I didn’t have one, I was thinking about Elder. He’s actually the only black conservative I know of who’s a true media creature. Maybe Armstrong Williams, but I don’t think he’s a conservative, is he? Really?

And, yes, Elder’s a libertarian. And no, Roger, he doesn’t “switch hit”; that’s for you butt-boy libs. He’s a libertarian who leans GOP, which is a pretty natural thing in a two party system.

There are black guys who are a lot more conservative, and a lot more impressive than either of them, but they’re not media types. John McWhorter. Shelby Steele. Ward Connerly :-) is a courageous groundbreaker.

It’s easy to really like Sowell, too, if you like economics, and I do. McWhorter is brilliant and accomplished. I’d put this group up against the much-ballyhooed black liberals any day of the week. So very much more intelligent and accomplished than any of them.

Jaibones on October 3, 2008 at 12:11 AM

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