Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Gwen Ifill Can, Should and Must Resign Immediately

Gwen Ifill can, should and must resign immediately as the moderator of tomorrow night's Vice Presidential Debate. Her conflict of interest is the size of the Grand Canyon. Ifill is writing an iconic Obama book that is pre-planned to release on the very day Obama will be inaugurated as President in 2009 (yes, Obama will win; stop worrying about it).

If, somehow, McCain were to win, Ifill's bookn would be an publishing and financial disaster. Ifill has a huge financial interest in insuring that Obama wins the election.

To make matters worse, YouTube has gone viral with Ifill videos that prove beyond any doubt that she is in the tank for Obama, and that Ifill is not capable of being fair to Palin.

Ifill won't resign, of course, and so everybody loses. Well, everybody except perhaps, Sarah Palin. This is a virtual get out of jail free card for Palin. No matter how badly Palin does in the debate, it will be easy to argue that Ifill was unfair. That's because Ifill lacks any professional journalistic ethics. Because if Ifill had one ounce of integrity, this would never have happened.

At this point I have virtually no remaining respect for Gwen Ifill. And frankly, she deserves no respect. I would be hopeful that PBS would actually discharge her for her astounding lack of professionalism.

If Gwen Ifill cares at all about her reputation, she will immediately apologize and resign as debate moderator.

If Gwen Ifill cares at all about journalistic ethics, she will immediately apologize and resign as debate moderator.

If Gwen Ifill cares at all about fairness, she will immediately apologize and resign as debate moderator.

And finally, if Gwen Ifill cares at all about Barack Obama, she will immediately apologize and resign as debate moderator.

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UPDATE: October 2, 2008 - Mary over at FREEDOM EDEN forgoes her usual rant and has posted a thoughtful and restrained review of Gwen Ifill's Omission.


shoo said...

Not a chance she would resign at this late date. Maybe if the heat were turned up a week or so ago. The problem is these lefty media hacks actually believe they are unbiased.

Sometime back a major news figure (I forget who) was asked if the media could be unbiased when 90% of them were liberal. He said "of course". He was then asked what if the reporters were 90% conservative. "Then it would be biased," hbe said.

Stella said...

Wizard, I completely disagree. My comments are over at madmikes. Jim Lehrer is also a liberal and in the tank for Obama. Both parties had a chance to vet her three weeks before her book publication. Surely, this information was disclosed. I would hardly refer to Lehrer and Ifill as "media hacks," shoo. Along with bias, O'Reilly and Limbaugh fit that definition more closely.

The Rethugs had their chance to dismiss her: they didn't. They waited until the last day to make a political sham issue. They used this opportunity to feign outrage and mischaracterize a journalist whom they initially approved for the debate. Their complaints against Ifill strike me as fraudulent.

Ifill's book if (God forbid) McShame wins will still reflect a fascinating and unprecedented period of American politics.

What's the real issue here? Bigotry? Sexism? The only person who must resign immediately, based on her bias, is the Killa from Wasilla.

Lee said...

Stella, Shoo was referring to the MSM as lefty media hacks, their near refusal to even report this as story. Professionalism in journalism is dead while liberal activism has taken its place.

Bill O'Reilly is a commentator As is Rush Limbaugh, Not Journalists.

Your comment here itself is most revealing. Demonize the enemy propoganda by name calling. Then your closing which is bigoted in and of itself. In short, your comment is laughable.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

I appreciate the lively dialog and debate here in Wizardland.

Stella, as the New York Times, the Washington Post and others have reported, Ifill DID NOT DISCLOSE her book deal.

And, as Lee correctly pointed out, Limbaugh and O'Reilly are commentators. Neither was ever considered for debate moderator, nor should they be.

Ifill should have politely removed her name from consideration.

But what really frosts me as a liberal is that WE WOULD ABSOLUTELY NEVER, EVER TOLERATE a reversal of this situation. We would absolutely go ballistic IF a moderator failed to reveal she was writing a book about "The New Age of McCainian Politics."

When we so gleefully discard our ideals, or morality and our ethics we are not fit to lead.

This situation is disgusting. Gwen Ifill is a disgrace. As is the MSM and their dereliction of duty in this election.

We will live to regret that no one took any kind of a critical, let alone objective, look at Obama. After the election the press will finally wake up.... they always do..... and there will be hell to pay.

Beverly J. said...

Wizard, I have solid facts to the contrary. I've always enjoyed reading you, and appreciate your comment When we so gleefully discard our ideals, or morality and our ethics we are not fit to lead. You are absolutely right. However, I don't think this is one of those situations.

Lee, you demonize Ifill, who I assume you consider enemy propaganda. What's the difference? I just googled the results and found 996 articles relating to Ifill. Much of the media covered this story. That's an uninformed comment.

It is to the GOP's advantage or planning that this issue did not surface until tonight. The Ifill's book dilemma is sheer Republican political chicanery. They complained at the last minute to denigrate the debate and make Palin look like a victim. That's sexist, in that Palin can't take care of herself, not to mention ethically questionable.

And, Lee, and Wizard, I also agree with your point about Limbaugh and O'Reilly and retract my comment calling them journalists. Of course, they aren't. However, many people don't know that they commentators and believe they deliver news. If I made that mistake, how many others might?

There is nothing laughable about this issue. I stand by my comment about Palin. This is a woman who doesn't believe in abortion even in cases of incest. Lee, your comment typifies condescending remarks when someone doesn't agree with them. Instead of an attack, how about a dialog?

Soros commented as follows on Vig's blog:

"Journalist" Greta van Susteren [from Fox News] says the McCain campaign didn't know about Ifill's book until midnight, Oct 1st when she called them.

[The Ifill matter] just shows the McCain campaign's incompetence. The debate moderators were agreed to on August 6. Ifill's book was reported in the Associated Press two weeks earlier. This goes to the effectiveness of a campaign organization as a predictor of the competence of its candidate's eventual administration. Bush and Cheney were not prepared for attacks on NYC, civil wars in Iraq, hurricanes in New Orleans or crashes on Wall Street. McCain's not prepared for this?

Now what about the conservative media that reports inaccuracies? I'm not name calling, but surely they can do a better job researching issues than that. Are you trying to tell me that Fox News doesn't have a conservative bias? It doesn't matter: I'll be watching the debate from the only political source, warts and all, that I trust: CSPAN.

If one can only credit "a major news figure" and cannot cite specifics or poll from which those figures were taken, perhaps one should refrain from commenting. I hope, shoo, that you would kindly reference your source. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to see your point of view.

Such perspective would hardly mark me as bigoted, as I am always willing to learn other people's perspectives.

Lee said...

"Lee, you demonize Ifill, who I assume you consider enemy propaganda. What's the difference?"

Beverly, I did nothing of the kind. Rather, I limited my retort to the comment, nothing against the person at all.

FYI, "Demonize the enemy" is a recognized style of propaganda.

Finally, Beverly YOUR calling for dialog over attack made me do a spit take.

Vigilante said...

Your negative comments about Gwen Ifill do not surprise me, Wizard. I'm just speculating about other, undisclosed reasons you don't like her. For one thing, I don't think you've ever forgiven Ifill for skewering your great patron saint, Don Imus. No surprise here. Grudges are your strong suits.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Vigilante rather strangely said, "Grudges are your strong suits"

How odd. I've never ever had a "grudge" against anyone. I'm sure you must have several examples of my grudges. You would never, ever write something like that without evidence. Perhaps you can point to a blog post or two or ten.

Odd. very strange. I'm sure you did a search and noticed I've never mentioned Ifill's name at any time tine the ten year history of this blog. After all, it's all on line. Every word.

As to the Ifill quote about Imus, I'd never heard or read it before. Keep in mind I don't live in a city where I can hear Imus. Therefore I never heard him before the MSNBC years. His joke, apparently from a long time before that, at least as repeated in your link, is tasteless and boorish and racist. But then it does prove that Gwen Ifill and I have something in common. We have both condemned Don Imus.

No, my problem with Ifill certainly isn't Don Imus. It's that she lacks the kind of integrity I expect from a journalist of her (supposed) stature. I remain terribly disappointed you don't also roundly condemn her. Her actions here are indefensible.

By the way, as you personally know I don't ever have any grudges against anyone. As often as you have castigated me both here and in your blog, as often as you have called me names and accused me of drinking the kool aid, I continue to read your every word, often compliment you, often link and direct my readers to your work from my blog.

I have never, ever once called you a name and never once accused you of drinking the kool aid. Nor will I ever, under any circumstances do any of those things. You are always welcome here and you will ALWAYS be treated with the utmost respect.

Vigilante said...

Some good points, here. Wizard. You are a gentleman and I can behave boorishly. I apologize.

Stella said...

Well, Wizard, would you concur that Ifill conducted herself professionally? Note that she never once said, "Governor Palin, will you please answer the question." I felt that she demonstrated remarkable restraint and professionalism.

Neither most conservatives nor liberals would have blamed Ifill, who demonstrated equanimity in her questioning. I'm even more convinced that her scouring by the McCon campaign was just another tactic. And no wonder: Palin was abysmal. Ah, but that's your next post.

I am not quite the gentleman that Vig is. May I follow his lead in extending my apology. I, too, can be boorish and shrill.

shoo said...

"This is a woman who doesn't believe in abortion even in cases of incest."

Uh, OK. But Obama believes in abortion even in the case where a living baby is actually born.

Stella said...

Shoo, instead of knee-jerk reactions, do your research.

Obama: On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that.

The Conservative MSM managed to twist his statements. And, shoo, what would you say about the 1.2 million Iraqis, almost 4,200 troops, and 20,000 injured veterans due to Iraq.

Hardly pro-life.

shoo said...

Sorry Stella. Did my homework. Yes, he said that. He has said many things, and often mutually contradictory. But his votes say something completely different than his words.

It was your knee-jerk reaction that I was goading. Honestly, what on Earth did abortion have to do with this post and why did you bring it up? In fact, what on Earth does abortion have to do with anything in this campaign. Do you honestly believe electing Palin as VP will doom abortions in this country? Being pro-life doesn't necessarily mean you want abortions outlawed.

And 1.2 million Iraqis...please be serious. Nobody actually believes those numbers. Well, maybe the kool-aid drinkers. You look at all those deaths and say that is bad. But how many deaths would there have been without our action? We will never know for sure, but we can look at the history of Iraq and conclude it might be much higher, and certainly in the same realm. And the current figure would have been substantially lower if liberals had gotten on board and actually supported victory. By dividing and weakening America, the Left emboldened the enemy, just as they did in Vietnam. I didn't agree with going into the war either: but at least I have the intelligence to realize that since we went in, winning is far preferable to losing.

Vigilante said...

Shoo, if Stella doesn't answer you, don't misconstrue her nonresponse as you having stumped her; rather it's that you are such a stump, that she'll find having a conversation with her dogs more intellectually stimulating. Same with me: your last paragraph is so packed jammed full with non-sequiturs and fiction that any one would have to give up his/her day job to serve as your tutor. And I'm thinking you surely cannot afford Stella's retainer fees. Nor mine. Maybe you should rely on Wizard's solicitous assistance.

Stella said...

See, shoo? We can be friends. You're right, of course. All politicians contradict themselves in word and vote on both sides of the fence, and even in the middle. I keep thinking of Skip, who calls politics a dog and pony show. The more I see, the more I subscribe to his perspective.

I was indeed knee-jerk liberal and hope you will bear with me while I explain my concerns. Abortion and birth control are issues that clearly underscore this election. McCon and Killa want to fall in line with Bushit to overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing people who don't believe in birth control to refuse to sell the pill to women, and anti-stem cell research (due to using fetal tissue). These are all well-known facts.

(I commonly use these epithets: please indulge my ire—helps me get through the political maelstrom.)

I do absolutely believe electing Palin as VP, or (~shudder~) maybe President, will stop abortions in this country based on her beliefs. I agree with you that being pro-life doesn't necessarily mean you want abortions outlawed, just like pro-choice doesn't mean you want to force women to get abortions if they don't believe in making that choice.

The problem is that making abortions and birth control illegal is a violation of the Separation of Church and State because many religions do not adopt a pro-life view and should not be subjected to Christian beliefs they don't share. I feel the same way about stem cell research which would, ironically, help cure Palin's child with Down's Syndrome.

Killa from Wassilla would, in fact, stop abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Read Huffpo: In November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped. She also stated, The explicit sex-ed programs," she added, "will not find my support. This perspective horrifies me.

Here's my issue: if you aren't going to teach sex ed and want to outlaw abortions and the pill (yes, even the pill), how logical is that view point? She's so pro-life that her views are dangerous to women's liberties. In Pre-Roe days, many women died in back alley abortions. I categorically believe that this is a central issue to the election. Are grown women's lives less important than a fetus? How does Killa rectify her perspective as pro-life?

OK, maybe you're right, but it was good kool-aid neverthless. :)

I checked Iraq Body Count, a site an ongoing human security project which maintains and updates the world’s largest public database of violent civilian deaths during and since the 2003 invasion.
I discovered that IBC documents 87,955-96,008 deaths.

However, the 1.2 million number may is based on October 2006 statistics from the bbc Data has been exchanged between the two organizations.

As Stalin noted, A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. To even conceptualize 100,000 deaths overloads the human mind.

Your comment on war, sadly, makes sense. I am reminded of Hiroshima and Truman. One could argue that many lives were saved: but I am still horrified by the decision. I still don't know if I agree with that rationalization.

I believe troops in Afghanistan first would have made a better target and saved far more lives. I believed that in 2003, and I agree with Obama now. I don't know how you can say "if the liberals have gotten on board" with the war. We capitulated to Bush and invaded the wrong area.

Bush was and is inept at running this unnecessary war. He got everything wrong and never even bothered to listen to the chief military officers. He never put enough troops in to save lives, and our soldiers were given shoddy equipment manufactured by Halliburton, KBR, and Bechtel, among other military contractors. These are precisely the people about whom Eisenhower warned us.

I must point out that even Bush Sr. refused to go into Iraq because he knew the consequences. Well, shoo, we've gone far afield from Ifill, but I've very much enjoyed this exchange and hope Wizard is amenable and not too mad. If I only blog to people with whom I agree, I learn nothing.

Vig, you flatter me: it's just my addiction to research! Thank you so much.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Stella and shoo Excellent posts both!!

I really appreciate a good argument, even a heated argument when we primarily stick to issues and avoid the name calling and insults. You two are both great!

Why does anyone ever think they will either win an argument or convince an oppponent by bombarding them with insults?

In this case of this argument (between stella and shoo) I must agree with shoo on several key points. First I can vote for Palin wihtout any fear at all that a woman's right to choose will be diminished or restricted, let alone abolished. It ain't gonna happen I don't care if the Pope himself is elected. It's a scare issue and a non-issue.

[[[[[ Gun control is the reverse "scare issue and also would never affect my voting decision. The NRA uses it to raise money and to scare voters. ]]]]]

I also must concure with shoo on the Iraqi death toll. This bizarre liberal number won't stand up to even the most cursory review.

Beyond those points, I tend to naturally side with stella almost always. We share most serious liberal values. We especially agree that Bush has screwed up this adventure beyond belief. I can't agree with shoo on his outlook or his attack on liberals as having weakened out war on terror. Bush has done so much damaage, no liberal can possibly compete with his failures.

Ifill should have stepped down. I really have to laugh out loud at the current Democrat blog posts that talk about how "fair" Ifill was by not demanding that Palin "answer the questions."

That is EXACTLY WHY IFILL NEEDED TO STEP DOWN!!!! A journalist without the conflict of interest hanging over her head would have been much tougher.

Ifill didn't hurt Palin, she actually gave Palin a free pass, just as I told you she would.

Stella said...

Wizard, you are terrific. The abortion and birth control issue are very much on the table. We have a Supreme Court that's has not overturned Roe v. Wade only because no one has brought it before the court.

The best case scenario: they turn the issue to state's right. That's not good either. I envision all of the South and most of the Midwest outlawing abortion. In addition, there is legislation at the ready stating that states that allow abortion cannot perform the surgery on women who are not residents.

McCain has stated Roe v. Wade should be overturned. His position is on his website and in Time.

On I can vote for Palin without any fear at all that a woman's right to choose will be diminished or restricted, let alone abolished. It ain't gonna happen I don't care if the Pope himself is elected. It's a scare issue and a non-issue.

I must respectfully agree to disagree with you. This is an issue. If we weren't dealing with a fundamentalist fanatic who wants to stop all abortions, then certainly a pro-lifer would not be dangerous to overturning Roe.

More recently, Huffpo notes A McCain Court Could Overturn Roe In "Maybe A Year". Then, there's the statements he's made against abortion, even though in 1999, he supported Roe.

Alternatively, Obama is a pro-lifer, but I feel safe that he would act fairly and not try to impose his beliefs on others. In this case, you are absolutely correct. I feel absolutely comfortable voting for Obama because he keeps his personal beliefs personal. I greatly respect his position, a pro-lifer who would support pro-choice.

Ifill didn't hurt Palin, she actually gave Palin a free pass, just as I told you she would. She did indeed. And let me rethink my position: if we'd had someone who could dig their claws into the non-answers Killa give, perhaps we would have had a more lively debate. For that reason, we could have watched Biden really go after Killa.

Ah, but Biden's body language spoke volumes, didn't it? I found Killa's "Joe Six-Pack" comment, like many of her statements, extremely insulting. Biden could have chewed her up and spit her out in a heartbeat if he'd chosen to do so.

I really appreciate a good argument, even a heated argument when we primarily stick to issues and avoid the name calling and insults. No one wins insulting others. I'm with you 100% on that one, Wizard. I have two conservative sites on which I blog. If one doesn't approach another with acrimony, s/he does not receive it.

Thank you for being a great host.