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Opinion: Uproar grows over Gwen Ifill, debate moderator and Obama book author

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(UPDATE ADDED BELOW)

As if enough delicious edginess already didn’t surround Thursday’s Sarah Palin/Joe Biden debate, conservative consternation is rising over concerns that moderator Gwen Ifill brings an inherent self-interest favoring the Democratic ticket to the table.

News reports about a broken ankle suffered by the PBS newswoman served to spotlight a political book she’s written that’s due to publish on inauguration day. Its title: ‘The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.’

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The Amazon.com blurb touting the book says 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.’

Presumably, an Obama victory in November would improve the book’s marketability. By the same token, as can be attested by scores of D.C.-based journalists who have put their reporting and observations into book form, it’s the rare political tome that even comes close to best-selling status.

Those raising questions about Ifill’s objectivity include well-known conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. In a Tuesday night posting that includes her column on the matter, she relates that ‘tons of readers’ have recommended that Palin ‘open her debate remarks by congratulating Ifill on her book and asking her to tell everyone the title.’

Now that would get the proceedings off to a roaring start.

(UPDATE: John McCain just told Fox News that he has no problem with Ifill moderating the debate. ‘I think that Gwen Ifill is a professional and I think she will do a totally objective job, because she is a highly respected professional,’ he said.)

-- Don Frederick

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