Of the three morning shows on Wednesday, only "Good Morning America" highlighted the growing controversy regarding the disclosure that PBS reporter Gwen Ifill, the moderator of Thursday's vice presidential debate, has authored a supportive book about Barack Obama and other African American politicians. CBS's "Early Show" and NBC's "Today" both skipped the subject.
GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo mentioned the book during the 7am hour and actually observed that it "has some conservatives claiming she will be biased tomorrow night." The ABC journalist added, "Ifill has said, though, she's only concerned about getting straight answers from the candidates." And although Cuomo did not repeat the story during the 8am news brief, at least ABC brought the issue up.
[UPDATE, by Brent Baker: Wednesday evening, of the broadcast network evening newscasts, only the NBC Nightly News mentioned Ifill. Andrea Mitchell ended a story by citing an unidentified "one conservative critic" and how colleagues and McCain say she's not biased:
As the stage is set for tomorrow night, one conservative critic challenged the moderator, Gwen Ifill of PBS because Ifill is writing a history of a generation of black politicians titled Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Palin said tonight that's motivating her to work harder. Ifill's colleagues and the McCain campaign say she is a respected professional.]
Ifill's book, "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama" will also feature the Democratic governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, and the Democratic mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Corey Booker.
See a MRC Reality Check for more examples of Ifill's liberal tilt
A transcript of the news brief, which aired at 7:16am on October 1, follows:
CHRIS CUOMO: An upcoming book by Gwen Ifill, who is moderating tomorrow's vice presidential debate, is drawing fire this morning. The PBS journalist, seen here at the last VP debate, is promoting a book about Barack Obama and other young African-American politicians. That has some conservatives claiming she will be biased tomorrow night. Ifill has said, though, she's only concerned about getting straight answers from the candidates.