Gwen Ifill—A Debate “Moderator” in the Tank for Obama

My dictionary defines
as "the
nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting."

On Thursday, PBS anchor

Gwen Ifill
will serve as moderator for the first and
only vice presidential debate. The stakes are high.
Commission on Presidential Debates
, with the assent
of the two campaigns, decided not to impose any
guidelines on her duties or questions.

But there is nothing
"moderate" about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama.
She`s so far in the tank for the Democratic presidential
candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out.

In an imaginary world where liberal
journalists are held to the same standards as everyone
else, Ifill would be required to make a full disclosure
at the start of the debate. She would be required to
turn to the cameras and tell the national audience that
she has a book coming out on Jan. 20, 2009—a date that just happens to coincide with the
inauguration of the next president of the United States.

The title of Ifill`s book? “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”
Nonpartisan my foot.

Random House, her publisher, is
already busy hyping the book with YouTube clips of Ifill
heaping praise on her subjects, including Obama and

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick
. The
promo for the book gushes

"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.
. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Sen.
Obama, former Secretary of State

Colin Powell

Vernon Jordan,

Rev. Jesse Jackson
and many others, as well as her
own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues
as generational conflict and the `black
` conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal
moment in American history."

Ifill and her publisher are banking
on an Obama/Biden win to buoy her book sales. The
moderator expected to treat both sides fairly has
grandiosely declared this the
"Age of Obama."
Can you imagine a right-leaning journalist writing a
book about the
McCain campaign and its
"bold" path
to reform timed for release on Inauguration Day—and then
expecting a slot as a moderator for the nation`s sole
vice presidential debate?

Yeah, I just registered 6.4 on the
Snicker Richter Scale, too.

Despite the protestations of her
colleagues that she will be fair, Ifill has appeared on
numerous radio and TV talk shows over the past several
months to cash in on her access to the Obama campaign.
She recently penned a fawning cover story on the Obamas
for Essence
magazine that earned much buzz. The title?
"The Obamas:
Portrait of an American Family."
A sample of
Ifill`s hard-hitting investigative journalism,
illustrated with

photos of the Obamas and children
posing at home on the back porch and by the piano:

"Barack Obama is
sitting in the back of his rented luxury campaign bus
with its granite counters and two flat-screen TVs. The
senator`s arms are
wrapped around his wife, Michelle, whom he doesn`t get
to see much these days. At this very moment he is, of
all things, singing."

During the Democratic National
Convention, Ifill offered her

neutral analysis on NBC News
before Michelle Obama`s
speech: "A lot of people have never seen anything that looks like a Michelle
Obama before. She`s

, she`s beautiful, she`s tall, she tells you

what she thinks
and they hope that she can tell a

about Barack Obama and about


During the Republican National
Convention, the

PBS ombudsman fielded numerous complaints
Ifill`s coverage of Sarah Palin`s speech. Wrote Brian
Meyers of

"I was appalled
by Gwen Ifill`s commentary directly following Gov. Sarah
Palin`s speech. Her attitude was dismissive and the look
on her face was one of disgust. Clearly, she was
agitated by what most critics view as a well-delivered
speech. It is quite obvious that Ms. Ifill supports
Obama as she struggled to say anything redemptive about
Gov. Palin`s performance. I am disappointed in Ms.
Ifill`s complete disregard for journalistic

, Ifill, who is black, is quick to play the
race card at the first sign of criticism. In an
interview with the
Washington Post
a few weeks ago, she carped:
one`s ever assumed a white reporter can`t cover a white
a Historic Year, Ifill Has One Thing to Do: Her Job
By Howard Kurtz, September 4, 2008]

It`s not the color of your skin,
sweetie. It`s the
of your politics.

Perhaps Ifill will be able to
conceal it this week. But if the
she`s rooting for comes to pass on
Jan. 20, 2009
, nobody will be fooled.



Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click

for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.