« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

Serious cause for concern about bias in VP debate moderated by Gwen Ifill

Surprises will never cease...Ms. Ifill's book, *The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama" will be released on Inauguration Day, 2009

Can anyone explain to me how this clear conflict of interest doesn’t matter? I am bewildered.

Here’s why.

The banner on Drudge right now reports that the VP Debate Moderator, Gwen Ifill, is releasing an “Age of Obama” book on Inauguration Day. Here’s a link to the article on WorldNetDaily.

Doesn’t that make it obvious that Ms. Ifill will have a financial interest in one of the candidates winning? Is there something that I am missing?

I believe that Janet H. Brown, the Executive Director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, needs to hear from us. What to say? At least that the potential for bias has been noted, that there should be a disclaimer, and perhaps even a replacement of the moderator to someone truly neutral. (Am I being fanatical? Sorry if I am…it’s late and I’m tired.)

My not-100%-reliable sources say that Ms. Brown can be emailed at jb@debates.org. I will offer you some sample text below…this was the email that I sent. Feel free to improve upon it; you can be much more insistent and disgruntled than I chose to be.

Dear Ms. Brown:

I am writing to express my sincere concern about the potential for bias in Thursday evening’s Vice Presidential debate, to be moderated by Gwen Ifill. I will say that I have felt that she has done well in the post in past debates, and I would not have been concerned until I learned today that Ms. Ifill’s book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, is due to be released on Inauguration Day.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but Ms. Ifill clearly stands to benefit should Sen. Obama be the one inaugurated on Inauguration Day.

The publicly available description says that, “drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the “black enough” conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.”

Is there something that the Commission on Presidential Debates can say to the public to explain why this should not be of concern?

I appreciate the great work of the Commission. The whole country relies on these debates as perhaps the best source of information from the candidates.

I expect at the very least that there will be a disclaimer, if not a replacement of Ms. Ifill, given her financial interest in the outcome of the debate she is to moderate.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

(My name and email address)

Get Alerts