Sarah Palin at Monday's Tea Party rally in Reno, Nevada, told attendees, "Don't be thinking that we've got victory for America in the bag yet...We can't party like it's 1773."
Clearly not understanding that was the year of the famed Boston Tea Party, history challenged media members, including PBS's Gwen Ifill and Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas, mocked Palin via their twitter accounts (screencaps follow with video of Palin's remarks courtesy Right Scoop, h/t Perfunction):
How phony is Barack Obama? PBS Washington Week host Gwen Ifill reviewed New Yorker editor David Remnick's new Obama book The Bridge in the Washington Post Outlook section Sunday, and she kept finding Obama is a Slick Barry, a "shape shifter." Obama even admitted to rhetoric what should be obvious -- how he changes "dialects" depending on the audience he's talking to:
Obama cops to this. "The fact that I conjugate my verbs and speak in a typical Midwestern newscaster's voice -- there's no doubt that this helps ease communication between myself and white audiences," he tells Remnick.
"And there's no doubt that when I'm with a black audience I slip into a slightly different dialect. But the point is, I don't feel the need to speak a certain way in front of a black audience. There's a level of self-consciousness about these issues the previous generation had to negotiate that I don't feel I have to."
PBS Washington Week host Gwen Ifill was featured Friday on the Romenesko media-news site for her "Gwen’s Take" blog post dismissing the Eric Massa groping scandal as a silly distraction (echoing Rachel Maddow, and Nancy Pelosi). She compared Washington to Dug the talking dog in the cartoon movie "Up" chasing a squirrel.
But in 2006, Ifill’s show almost screamed with hype that the Mark Foley internet-message scandal was "a Watergate-kind of meltdown" for Republicans, as Ifill asked "Why didn’t [Speaker] Dennis Hastert resign?"
Ifill wrote that she loves the movie "Up," and finds the talking dog a scream:
NBC's Today show, on Monday morning, invited on former Democratic liberal Congressman Harold Ford Jr. and PBS' liberal Washington Week moderator Gwen Ifill to discuss whether Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should step down for his "Negro dialect" comments about Barack Obama and not surprisingly neither guest suggested Reid should go.
Both Ford and Ifill dismissed any comparison to when Trent Lott was forced to resign for racially insensitive comments as Ford claimed "I don't believe in any way that Harry Reid had any animus, racial animus," and with Lott there were "other allegations and even proof of racial comments that he had made before." For her part Ifill claimed the two cases were "apples and oranges," as seen in the following exchange with Today co-host Matt Lauer:
The roundtable members on Sunday's This Week derided or dismissed Sarah Palin, with David Brooks, the putative conservative columnist for the New York Times, declaring “she's a joke” and insisting “Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host” -- leaving it to PBS's Gwen Ifill, of all people, to come to her defense as a fellow woman.[MP3 audio available here]
Left-winger David Corn yearned for how she will damage Republicans while the Washington Post's Bob Woodward agreed with Brooks and George Will wondered: “Some conservatives think they have found in Sarah Palin a Republican William Jennings. Why they would want somebody who lost the presidency three times I do not know.”
The derogatory take from David Books on the November 15 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:
Yeah, she's a joke. I mean, I just can't take her seriously. We've got serious problems in the country. Barack Obama's trying to handle war. We just had a guy elected Virginia Governor who's probably the model for the future of the Republican Party, Bob McDonnell. Pretty serious guy, pragmatic, calm, kind of boring. The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters just are not going to elect a talk show host.
The White House has berated Fox News for days now for purportedly pushing an agenda and calling it news. So Americans may have been surprised when, as reported by Noel Sheppard, Obama invited two of MSNBC's most divisive liberal pundits--Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow--to the White House for an off-the-record briefing.
As it turns out, Maddow and Olbermann were only two of the left's heavyweights at the briefing. Yesterday, TVNewser received from the White House a complete list of names. Virtually all of them have their histories of shilling for the administration or Democrats generally, and of bashing conservatives.
Let us review the colorful histories of these pundits, and the reader can decide whether they "have a perspective," in the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (in the context of a Fox News attack).
On Tuesday night, PBS’s NewsHour discussed the Sotomayor nomination with a panel including Jenny Rivera, a former Sotomayor clerk and head of the Center on Latino and Latina Equal Rights. You could hear the latest buzz words on diversity being used. The addition of Latina diversity brings a certain "integrity" to the Supreme Court, which suffers from an "insularity," from being encased in a bubble:
GWEN IFILL, anchor: Jenny Rivera, how much is there -- is there a just concern about identity politics beginning to define the day for picks like this? Here we have another first.
RIVERA: Well, I think the president didn't make a choice based on identity politics. He made the choice based on the merits of her intellectual capabilities, on the experience that she brought to the court.
And you heard David Axelrod say, you know, the fact that she happens to also be Latina and be a woman, it's wonderful that we can bring that to the court. But this was a choice based on the strength of her background, her experience, and her intellect. And, certainly, that's important.
CBS Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer held his fifth Schieffer symposium at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth on Wednesday, and his panel was completely chosen from the set of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: anchor Gwen Ifill and columnists David Brooks and Mark Shields. Associated Press covered it, but not so much on the issue of liberal bias. The headline was "Media panel says constant Obama coverage warranted."
Are the news media biased toward President Barack Obama?
David Brooks, a conservative columnist for The New York Times, said yes before a sold-out crowd of about 700 Wednesday at Texas Christian University. Mark Shields, a nationally syndicated liberal columnist, said no.
Brooks said : "I think the press is pro-Obama. Most of my colleagues are extremely committed to the craft of journalism. So I think most of the bias is unconscious — in framing the issues and what gets paid attention to."
During a segment on the “Reliable Sources” hour of CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, PBS’s Gwen Ifill and Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson agreed that it was fine for President Obama to call on Sam Stein of the Huffington Post at his first press conference, and that the correspondent’s left-wing question on a proposed “truth committee” investigation into the Bush administration was “perfectly reasonable.” Carlson also agreed with host Howard Kurtz’s assessment that the “White House press corps not exactly rolling over for the new president.” Her response: “Never do, do they?”
Ifill and Carlson participated in a panel discussion with The Washington Times’ White House correspondent Christina Bellantoni at the beginning of the 10 am Eastern hour of the CNN program. Kurtz brought up the topic of the first presidential news conference, and specifically, how Stein was one of the reporters who asked a question: “So is this a new era for bloggers, in terms of the White House recognition?”
To the trend-setters on the set of The Daily Show, white-mocking prayers are adorable, and experience in race-baiting churches is an "enormous advantage" for Barack Obama. When liberal PBS Washington Week host Gwen Ifill showed up on Tuesday to plug her "Age of Obama" book, Jon Stewart suggested Rev. Joseph Lowery was "maybe the most adorable man I’ve ever seen." Ifill suggested "Isn’t he the cutest civil rights leader ever?" That’s a strange reaction for a preacher who prayed at the Obama inauguration that one day the clueless Caucasians will be enlightened: "white will embrace what is right." Ifill and Stewart were discussing how Obama’s victory changes the black civil rights movement:
STEWART: Where does it leave the old guard in that movement?
IFILL: It depends on which ones are the old guard. Joe Lowery, who gave the benediction, that great benediction at the Inauguration –
If you were dying to know what Gwen Ifill was thinking when the controversy arose about her so-called Obama book and how that might have effected her ability to moderate the 2008 vice-presidential debate - now's your chance.
In that appearance, Ifill claimed she didn't believe the book inhibited her ability to moderate that debate and pointed out her ability to overcome racism as how she dealt with the controversy - by strapping on her "blinders." She also took a couple of passive jabs at former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin - commenting on her "thin" biography and remarking on Palin's debate performance.
The liberal media elite piled into David Bradley's Embassy Row mansion in northwest Washington DC on Monday night to celebrate PBS anchor Gwen Ifill's book The Breakthrough, touting the ascent of black Democrats in the Age of Obama. (FishBowl DC has a nice photo of the hope-and-change Barack Obama cookies at the party.)
So didn't writing this book taint her as a debate moderator? Ifill told the book party crowd no, the "truth" won out and the question-raising conservative bloggers (like NewsBusters) lost. From the New York Observer:
Back in September on the eve of the Vice Presidential debate, conservative bloggers had attacked her impartiality as a moderator, alleging that her book about Mr. Obama would bias her in the Democrats’ favor.
"Of course, there was the moment when everyone decided they knew what the book was about before I had even finished writing it," said Ms. Ifill on Monday night. "I thought, 'Well that’s fine. Truth will out. I will just survive it.' And I did."
PBS Washington Week host Gwen Ifill participated in her monthly Internet chat at washingtonpost.com on Thursday, and committed at least one noticeable error. When someone asked Ifill about the "revolving door" between the media and politics – now symbolized by Time Deputy Washington Bureau Chief James Carney working for Vice President-elect Biden – she claimed that it’s "more often the other way" – more often between Republicans and the media.
For many years, MRC’s Brent Baker chronicled the Revolving Door, and it was dominated by Democrats, about three Democrats for each Republican – and that included liberal Republicans like Sen. John Chafee.
Ifill also mysteriously suggested Illinois qualified as the South when one chatter complained Obama had no cabinet picks from the South:
Breaking News: WaPo says Ron Kirk (Dallas) for USTR -- does that satisfy the South?
Gwen Ifill: Texas works for me. And some parts of Illinois(Ray LaHood) might too.
Ray LaHood represents Peoria, which doesn’t exactly border Kentucky.
Here's the question about Jay Carney and the Revolving Door:
As Americans across the fruited plain worry about their jobs and how they're going to make ends meet during the current recession, Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman showed Sunday morning just how separated from reality and the common man he actually is.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week," the New York Times columnist said that he wasn't worried about how expensive president-elect Barack Obama's economic rescue plan might get, but instead that the problem will be "finding enough stuff to spend on."
How'd you like to have that problem this holiday season?
With total disregard for what Americans are going through, and an almost unthinkable ignorance of the government's current budget, Krugman responded to host George Stephanopoulos's question about whether he's sticking to the $600 billion economic recovery spending projection he offered on the program a month ago:
In the midst of a discussion about President-elect Barack Obama's national security team, Washington Week host Gwen Ifill on Friday night's program sought confirmation for her theory that “what people are beginning to say is that this President-elect should be President now” as “people are saying why isn't Barack Obama leading the fight about the auto-makers?”
New York Times reporter Peter Baker agreed: “That's right, exactly.” He proceeded to fret over how “people voted for change and this strange, odd 77-day waiting period that we impose...between our election and our inauguration” just isn't compatible with the “hyperactive 24/7 fast-moving culture that we have today.” Baker admired how “Obama is trying to find some balance between respecting President Bush,” whom Baker conceded is “still in charge,” and “finding a way to assert leadership.”
There was one player on the stage in St. Louis on Thursday night that really failed to meet the standard of professionalism and national leadership: moderator Gwen Ifill. Her questions often failed the first journalistic test: they failed to press the candidates to take or defend a stand, instead of letting them unload their talking points. One came across as just plain incoherent: "Governor, on another issue, interventionism, nuclear weapons. What should be the trigger, or should there be a trigger, when nuclear weapons use is ever put into play?" That unfairly put Gov. Palin into a stumbling mode as she tried to figure out: what on Earth was bumbling Ifill trying to say?
While she offered a pile of liberal-tilting questions, Ifill offered Biden only one question from the right, about raising taxes on people making over $250,000 a year: "Why isn’t that class warfare?" Sadly, she didn’t let the sharp question stand. In the next sentence, before Biden could answer, she then went on to slam McCain’s health-care tax proposal as possibly "taking things out on the poor."
But the worst, most politician-indulging questions came at the end. This was the most distasteful question of the night: how would you abandon your running mate’s legacy if he croaked?
This morning, Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, appeared on Fox News's Fox & Friends to answer a few questions about tonight's vice presidential debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden.
Grabbing the headlines the past few days has been the news that Gwen Ifill, debate moderator, has written a book subtitled "The Age of Obama" which is set to be released on the day of the inauguration of the next president in January. A win by Barack Obama could positively impact book sales and have caused some to question the impartiality of Ifill.
Surprise! Joy Behar thinks Gwen Ifill, with her conflict of interest, should step aside from moderating the vice presidential debate. Could it be Joy attempting to establish herself as an independent thinker? Not likely. Joy explained, on the October 2 edition of "The View," that Ifill should not give "Palin’s side any excuse to not step up to the plate."
Earlier in the broadcast, when each panelist posed their hypothetical questions to Senator Biden and Governor Palin, Joy Behar claimed "according to what I [Behar] read" Palin allegedly supported forcing rape victims to pay for their kit due to opposition to the "morning after" pill. Surprisingly, Whoopi Goldberg countered Joy with "it’s not true" and thoroughly explained that Sarah Palin had no say in the rape kit matter.
While the networks scrutinize Republican Sarah Palin’s every comment for evidence that she’s a dimwit unqualified for the vice presidency, there’s been barely any discussion of how alleged foreign policy expert Joe Biden was dreadfully wrong in 2006-2007 in his fierce objection to the troop surge strategy in Iraq, which has led to a massive reduction in U.S. and Iraqi casualties and prevented a complete collapse and civil war.
When Biden was picked in late August, the networks touted Biden’s “wealth of experience” and “long record of accomplishment” on foreign policy (CBS); his “deep foreign policy experience” (NBC); and “foreign policy expertise” (ABC). But only NBC’s Tom Brokaw, interviewing Biden on the September 7 Meet the Press, actually confronted the Democratic vice presidential nominee with his strident opposition to the surge, telling Biden: “All the indications are the surge has worked up to a point.”
Everyone knows how the media hates stonewalling politicians. We all saw it last week when they stomped around over Sarah Palin's photo-ops at the United Nations. So why is it okay for Gwen Ifill and the Commission on Presidential Debates to try the "no comment" defense on Ifill's conflict of interest with the Obama "Breakthrough" book? (That is, other than telling AP conservatives are racist to raise questions.) Columbia Journalism Review's Liz Cox Barrett tried:
A Newshour spokeswoman returned my call to Ifill. The spokeswoman said that “as a journalist, Gwen has to focus on the task at hand: preparing for the debate” (adding that “way before this issue came up, [Ifill] decided not to do interviews” in advance of the debate). I asked the spokeswoman about the appearance of conflict and she replied that Ifill had “proven herself to be fair and balanced and no doubt will be” tomorrow night.
I was then bumped up to the spokeswoman’s boss who said that Ifill had “set this aside,” was focusing on debate prep, and that he didn’t “think Gwen is in a position” to talk to me about this but that he would try to reach her and ask.
It is still a ways to go until Christmas but the lyrics certain song from that season will ring through your head while reading this Essence magazine article authored by Gwen Ifill: "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him!" The "Him" in this case being Barack Obama. You have probably heard how the PBS moderator of tonight's vice-presidential debate, Ifill, appears to have a big conflict of interest due to her book, with the publication date of January 20, 2009, titled "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama." An obvious conflict of interest since her interest here is an Obama victory to boost her book sales. However you probably don't know about her adulatory Essence magazine article which serves to reinforce just how much she is in the tank for Obama. Here is the introduction to that saccharine laced story:
For someone who doesn't know something as obvious as the fact that—given her upcoming book—Gwen Ifill has a financial stake in an Obama win, Maggie Rodriguez has an awfully high opinion of the knowledge level of ordinary Americans. Rodriguez interviewed a feisty Fred Thompson on today's Early Show. During the course of the contentious exchange:
Questioning Thompson on Sarah Palin's inability to name a Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade with which she disagreed, Rodriguez claimed that “everybody” and “ordinary Americans” can cite Supreme Court cases.
When Thompson stated that Palin would be dealing tonight with a moderator with a financial interest in an Obama win, Rodriguez retorted “I don’t know about that.”
Here are more signs Sarah Palin could face an uphill battle with PBS host Gwen Ifill. Professor Sherrilyn Ifill of the University of Maryland Law School, whom Gwen Ifill has lauded as "my brilliant baby cousin," has written that black women are not buying Sarah Palin’s "false claims to feminism" and is portrayed as too perfect: "when women who are privileged present as though they have it all together, it’s offensive to black women." (Photo from Soros.com)
The Community Times, a suburban Maryland newspaper, found Professor Ifill was ardently opposed to the Alaska governor when they did an e-mail interview:
"From the first day, Palin presented herself as shooting a bear in the morning, field dressing it, cooking up the breakfast, diapering the babies, passing legislation in the afternoon, cleaning the house, satisfying her husband, etc., etc., etc. And it's just not true," she wrote in an e-mail interview. "It's hard to be an average working mom, really hard. And when women who are privileged present as though they have it all together, it's offensive to black women."
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.]
Friday’s Washington Post carried an ad from PBS touting their two TV debate moderators: "Objective. Impartial. Independent. The NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer and Washington Week’s Gwen Ifill bring PBS’s tradition of integrity to the most important conversations in America – so you can make up your own mind."
Sadly, that ad is not accurate. Even before addressing whether "independence" is demonstrated by Ifill writing a new book celebrating Barack Obama’s bold "Breakthrough," Ifill’s questions in the vice presidential debate in 2004 displayed an undeniable bias against Vice President Cheney.
There's one good reason Gwen Ifill, the host of the PBS show Washington Week, is moderating the vice-presidential debate: she has a forthcoming book about Barack Obama (and other black Democrats) called The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Ifill talks about the book project on YouTube here.
In addition to her portrait of Obama, Ifill will also investigate Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a close friend of Obama's; Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who Ifill describes as "very charismatic" in the video; and Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama. "They all chose to get into politics for the most upstanding of reasons, and they all have achieved much more than their parents could have hoped." It doesn't hurt that it's made Obama a mega-best-selling multi-millionaire author.
Live from Denver, Colorado, on Monday, Brian Williams hosted the 1 p.m. hour of MSNBC's "News Live" and featured guests Gwen Ifill of PBS and Michele Norris of NPR to talk about Michelle Obama’s upcoming primetime speech at the Democratic National Convention. The segment turned out to be a love-fest of Michelle Obama and her humble roots.
Williams started off the segment by asking the typical question of "what does Michelle Obama have to do tonight in this hall?" Ifill immediately went into gushing mode, first about Senator Ted Kennedy and then about Obama:
Michelle Obama has to find a way to bemore amazing and more emotional than Ted Kennedy. If it looks like Ted Kennedy actually walks across that stage tonight and appears in some fashion in person and speaks, it’s gonna be an emotional highpoint. Michelle Obama, however, also has to deal with preconceptions about who she is. A lot of people have never seen anything that looks like a Michelle Obama before. She’s educated, she’s beautiful, she’s tall, she tells you what she thinks and they hope that she can tell a story about Barack Obama and about herself.