Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ifill's Book on Amazon

Product Description

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. 

Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, and also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the "black enough" conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history. 

You have got to be kidding.  How much money do you think she loses if Obama doesn't, well, "break through" and usher in the "Age of Obama?" Now, Nykils, listen to the sound of the crickets coming from the mainstream media and tell me there is no bias in favor of an Obama presidency.  Does anyone really think this would not be the lead story everywhere if the shoe were on the other foot?   


  1. First of all, let's wait and see if the story runs in the papers tomorrow. The Post and the Times wouldn't print "VP Moderator Biased" they would print "VP Moderator Accused of Bias". We'll see tomorrow morning. The Journal is considered conservative leaning, did they run the story? Maybe it's just not all that interesting a story to people who do not follow politics closely.

    But, I don't want to avoid the question.

    If the debate moderator was accused of conservative bias, would the mainstream media (i.e. Times, Post, Journal, CNN, BBC, etc) be more likely to highlight the story?


    Yes, I don't like to admit it, but yes. Not much more likely, or with much for vigor.

    I think it would be a different story, or at least perceived differently by their readers. At this time in history, the conservatives are seen, more than progressives, as under-handed, untrustworthy and corrupt. Because of these perceptions, the story of a conservative bias becomes a story of conservative "conspiracy."
    Thus it is a more interesting story.

  2. >>>"Not much more likely, or with much for [sic] vigor."<<<

    They would be screaming bloody murder, perhaps for the reasons you state; but they would be screaming nonetheless. And if your logic is correct, then it is a great example of how concerns about correcting perceived power inequalities have eclipsed our commitment to principle. Whoever is weaker gets to cheat. Whoever is disempowered gets to blow up buses. Welcome to post-modernism at its finest.

  3. Sorry, Peri; it may be that Ifill just wants to cash in on an Obama presidency. But why not let her demonstrate her huge bias? The fallout would, I am sure, not help Obama. Ifill's job will be performed in public; and she is not going to decide who "won," unlike Mr. Scalia & friends.

    And by the way, if money were her primary objective, why is she still on PBS?

    But, Pericles, if it is true that "Whoever is weaker gets to cheat. Whoever is disempowered gets to blow up buses," how does that square with the right-wing narrative, now so familiar as to be virtually part of the cultural wallpaper, that it is the conservatives who are so demeaned, so cheated, so unfairly robbed of ... well, I haven't ever been able to figure out what they are robbed of.

    And about that "blow up buses" comment: are you referring to Weathermen? Tim McVeigh? Palestinians? Irish Protestants? the Irgun? Or is that just a throw-away characterization? And, for the record, I don't agree that (perceived) conservative bias would receive substantially different treatment in the press.

    But you could do us a favor, at this point: identify the journalist who, having spent the past, let's say six months, writing a book about this campaign, the burden of which was the discovery of a sea-change in American politics, who was then asked to moderate a debate, would say, "Father, if it be your will, let this cup pass from before me?"

    Why don't we all save our (1) hand-wringing, or (2) outrage, until after the fact? Then we can argue about the specific points in the debate when the treacherous Ifill subtly stuck the knife in.

  4. No moderator, other than Ifill, has both written a book about one of the candidates and has been asked to moderate a debate. Consequently (or even resultantly!) I cannot oblige your request for an analog. I will tell you this, however. We each could devise a long list of journalists, from Cronkite to Morrow, who would have passed the cup.


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