Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Question: how does one promote and sell a book called “The Age of Obama” if Obama loses in November?

Answer: well, you can still point out that Obama almost made it. But the theme – not to mention the title: “Politics and Race in the Age of Obama” – are far better marketed following an Obama win in November.

Clearly, the author of this book has a stake in the outcome of the election. So why is she – Gwen Ifill, a TV journalist with PBS – moderating tomorrow night’s vice presidential debate between Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden?

By the way: guess when the book is scheduled to be released. January 20, 2009. Yep: Inaguration Day. It'll sure take the wind out of those marketing sails if Chief Justice Roberts is swearing in President-Elect McCain, instead of President-Elect Obama.

This isn’t just an instance of a reporter who’s shown bias in the past. One can always change one’s stripes, if only for a single evening.

This is worse: this is a woman who has money riding on the outcome of this election. An Obama win could translate to a lot more book sales – a lot more money – in Ifill’s pocket than a McCain win will.

Yeah, I changed my verbs in that sentence from “could” to “will,” and I’ll stick to that: an Obama win will mean more money – a lot more money – for Ifill than a McCain win will.

Could she still do the job fairly and objectively? Sure. But should a media outlet allow someone with such an obvious conflict of interest to do that job?

That’s not just a no. That’s a hell no.

This has been all over the internet today, but I saw it first at Sweetness & Light.

This from Michelle Malkin:

Tons of readers recommend that Sarah Palin open her debate remarks by congratulating Ifill on her book and asking her to tell everyone the title.

Ed Morrissey notes that four Republicans on the Commission on Presidential Debates signed off on Ifill. Watch out, Democrats! The fix is in! A built-in excuse!

This is a good point going around: it’s true, Ifill was hardly hiding the fact she’d written the book, the title, or the publication date. It wasn’t a secret. Not at all.

But if Ifill is a highly-respected professional (as John McCain called her when asked about the conflict) then she should have disqualified herself. She never should have accepted the job, knowing she had such an obvious conflict of interest.