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Gwen Ifill's Book Makes Her Partial? - Much Ado About Nothing

All this talk about Gwen Ifill's objectivity being compromised because she has a soon to be released book entitled, "Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama" sounds a lot like much ado about nothing.

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I did a little searching and found that PBSs Jim Lehrer, moderator of several consecutive presidential debates dating back twenty years is quite a prolific author. According to Amazon.com, Jim Lehrer has authored at least 17 novels. In fact, his newest release, "Mack to the Rescue (Stories and Storytellers)" was released in hardcover in May 2008. Although fictional, it is a political satire that pokes fun of such things as privatization.

In September 2000, Lehrer's book "The Last Debate" was released. This too, is a fictional account of a debate where, according to Amazon.com, the "Republican is a born-again racist, while the Democrat is not too swift but a decent fellow."

Tom Brokaw's book, "Boom!: Talking About the Sixties: What Happened, How It Shaped Today, Lessons for Tomorrow" will be released in paperback on Oct 14, 2008 according to Amazon. The editorial review says of the book , "it is held together by Brokaw's own biographical time line and opinions."

It's common for journalists to author books. Their personal opinions may come through in the text. This does not render them incapable of remaining any more or any less objective during a debate than they would have been had they not written a book. It is preposterous to put forward the idea that journalists can't do their jobs because they have their own personal opinions.

The table below contains a list of debate moderators from 2008 through 1988.

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2008 ....1st-Jim Lehrer.....2nd- Tom Brokaw.......... 3rd-Bob Schieffer.......VP Gwen Ifill.
2004.....1st-Jim Lehrer.....2nd-Charles Gibson........3rd-Bob Schieffer........VP Gwen Ifill
2000 ....1st-Jim Lehrer.....2nd-Jim Lehrer.............. 3rd-Jim Lehrer............VP Bernard Shaw
1996.....1st-Jim Lehrer......2nd-Jim Lehrer................VP Jim Lehrer
1992 ....1st-Jim Lehrer......2nd-Carole Simpson....... 3rd-Jim Lehrer...........VP Hal Bruno
1988.....1st-Jim Lehrer......2nd-Bernard Shaw...........VP Judy Woodruff

Source: Commission on Presidential Debates

Note: There were only two presidential debates in 1996 and 1988

I think this assertion about Gwen Ifill is an absurd ploy to get more buzz going about Palin and possibly give the right an excuse for Palin's inevitably poor perfomance at tonight's debate.

The Brown Paper Bag Test

by Sharon Kyle--

Sharon Kyle is the Publisher of the LA Progressive.