National Journal Blogometer: Sarah Vs. Joe

National Journal Blogometer

Sarah Vs. Joe

VP DEBATE III: Awful Ifill

Many liberal bloggers thought that Gwen Ifill did a poor job as moderator, since she allowed Palin to frequently ignore her questions and rarely asked follow-ups:

  • Yglesias: “I’m not sure if Gwen Ifill was cowed by the rightwing mau-mau brigade or what, but I thought Ifill’s handling of the debate was pretty disappointing. Palin was clearly operating with a game plan that involved simply refusing to answer certain questions in order to drift over to her pre-prepared text, and Ifill didn’t ask any followups or challenge either candidate to address the questions she was asking. Indeed, at times Ifill was barely even asking questions — just suggesting topics.”
  • Open Left‘s Matt Stoller: “Palin was able to filibuster and repeat talking points without being pressured by Gwen Ifill. I suppose the mau-mauing worked.”
  • The Atlantic‘s James Fallows: “Ifill [was] terrible. Yes, she was constrained by the agreed debate rules. But she gave not the slightest sign of chafing against them or looking for ways to follow up the many unanswered questions or self-contradictory answers. This was the big news of the evening. Katie Couric, and for that matter Jim Lehrer, have never looked so good.”
  • AMERICAblog‘s Joe Sudbay: “Gwen Ifill got bought off by McCain before this debate. He played her and she rolled over. What a sad excuse for a reporter. I’ve always liked Ifill in the past, but what has she done tonight that a 5th grader couldn’t do? She’s read questions. That’s it. Palin doesn’t answer them, Ifill moves on to the next question.”
  • Obsidian Wingspublius: “[Ifill]’s been absolutely awful. Her questions are terrible. And more importantly, she’s let Palin ignore every single question. Just flat out ignore them. They got in her head.”

The Atlantic‘s Andrew Sullivan: “There was only one loser: Gwen Ifill. She was intimidated, peripheral, neutered. The rules didn’t help. But Ifill put in a dreadful performance.”

VP DEBATE IV: Fair And Balanced?

After criticizing her ferociously for the past 48 hours, most conservative bloggers thought that Ifill did a reasonably good job as moderator:

  • Malkin: “As for Gwen ‘Age of Obama’ Ifill, she behaved herself for the most part. She was duly chastened. But the questions and the controversy and the double standards don’t go away. […] As I noted in my liveblog, Gwen Ifill failed to disclose her book and financial conflict of interest at the start of the debate. It’s a travesty.”
  • Carpenter: “Going into this debate there was concern moderator Gwen Ifill may not treat the candidates fairly because of the financial stake she has in a yet-to-be released book about Obama’s impact on race and politics. I did not detect any outright bias and believe her questions were fair at first blush.”
  • NRO‘s Stephen Spruiell: “Ifill didn’t ask any obviously loaded, leading or ‘gotcha’ type questions, and all in all she played it pretty fair.”

Other righty bloggers were more critical of Ifill:

  • Erickson: “Ifill herself did wind up showing her bias. She rarely gave Palin the last word. By the end of the debate it was almost 3 to 1 with Biden getting the last word. She also tried to disrupt Palin’s relationship with evangelicals by framing gay marriage around Alaska, mischaracterizing it too. Likewise with global warming.”
  • Geraghty: “Gwen Ifill’s questions were not glaringly biased, but it was ridiculous that she didn’t feel the need to acknowledge her book on ‘The Age of Obama’ at the beginning of the debate. It was the third time in this process that she has behaved dishonorably. The first was not disclosing the book to the Commission on Presidential Debates. The second was dismissing the criticism out of hand, and not acknowledging that debate moderators ought to not have a financial incentive to see one side win. And thirdly by refusing to acknowledge these facts during the debate, information that the viewers at home are entitled to take into consideration.”
  • NRO‘s Andy McCarthy: “I think [Ifill] did an appalling job. The job is about more than the asking of the questions. And the overall context here…is that the media is in the tank for Obama.”
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    One Response

    1. ifill was biased, in favor of the left. The left is crying because their attempt to rig the debate for Obama was not a total success. What a tragedy, he will have to face real questions in a real debate.

      Michelle Obama IS uppity. That is not racism. Racism is refusing to criticize people just because they are black.

      Barack Obama is a gasbag that loves the smell of his own rumpus, no different than Al Gore or John Kerry.

      Obama is Paris Hilton, but with less substance. He is Barack Hannah Montana Obama.

      If black liberals truly worry about racism, they would stop throwing oreo cookies at Michael Steele and stop insulting Clarence Thomas.

      They can stop trying to ban vanilla extract, which is brown, and stop claiming that the phrase “black hole” is racist.

      They would be more offended by real racism, and stop worrying about “code words.”


      eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

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