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Gwen Ifills book is about black politicians.

Gwen Ifill's book is about black politicians.

First Charlie Gibson was a problem, then came the interview with Katie Couric and it was she who was a problem – now it’s the moderator of the VP debate – who posses a problem – when are the Republicans going to admit Sarah Palin is the problem!

Palin’s philosophy is that the facts and figures don’t matter – and when pressed for them she looks like a fish out of water – and that she does – is no one else’s fault besides Sarah Palin’s and John McCain for picking an unvetted VP candidate as his running mate.

Several conservative bloggers are accusing Gwen Ifill, the moderator of tonight’s vice presidential debate, of being biased because she is working on a book about up-and-coming African-American politicians that features Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin complained in an online column that “there is nothing ‘moderate’ about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama. She’s so far in the tank for the Democrat presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out.”

Ifill, a veteran journalist who is senior correspondent for “The NewsHour” on PBS and moderator/managing editor of “Washington Week,” dismissed the criticism. She said that she started the book when it looked unlikely that Obama would win the Democratic nomination and hasn’t written the Obama chapter yet. She said the book will be published whether Obama wins or loses.

“I’ve got a pretty long track record . . . so I’m not particularly worried that one-day blog chatter is going to destroy my reputation,” Ifill said yesterday. “The proof is in the pudding. They can watch the debate . . . and make their own decisions about whether or not I’ve done my job.”

Republican John McCain’s campaign has not publicly criticized Ifill’s role. “I think she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly respected professional,” McCain said yesterday on Fox News Channel. “Does this help . . . if she has written a book that’s favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not. But I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.”

Ifill, a 1977 graduate of Simmons College in Boston who moderated the 2004 vice presidential debate between John Edwards and Dick Cheney, was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates. She said she did not tell the panel about the book, but noted it had been publicized in Time magazine and The Washington Post. The commission, the bipartisan panel organizing the debates, had no immediate comment.

The promotional blurb on Random House’s website says the book is to be published Jan. 20, the day of the inauguration. “In ‘The Breakthrough,’ veteran journalist Gwen Ifill 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 forging a bold new path to political power,” the blurb says.

Source: Boston Globe

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