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Olbermann: Attempt to ‘pre-blame’ moderator ‘pure racism’

By David Edwards
Thursday, October 2, 2008 7:22 EDT
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Keith Olbermann comments on buzz coming from right-wing media that Gwen Ifill will not be an impartial debate moderator.

“To all the geniuses lead by WorldNetDaily and Michelle Malkin and Greta Van Susteren and the other pea brains like Bill O’Reilly who breathlessly reported last night and this morning and tonight about a farcical conflict of interest with the moderator of the vice presidential debate, Gwen Ifill of PBS, where have you been?” Olbermann asked. “The story broke in July.”

Olbermann added, “I mean, this desperate attempt to pre-blame Palin’s performance tomorrow night on something — anything — is bad enough. In fact, it’s pure racism. But it has this added element of supposed surprise.”

Raw Story has more on the criticism against Ifill, along with liberal concern about Tom Brokaw at this link.

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast October 1, 2008.

Download video via RawReplay.comPartial transcript

To all the geniuses lead by WorldNetDaily and Michelle Malkin and Greta Van Susteren and the other pea brains like Bill O’Reilly who breathlessly reported last night and this morning and tonight about a farcical conflict of interest with the moderator of the vice presidential debate, Gwen Ifill of PBS, where have you been? The story broke in July.

Gwen Ifill is writing a book that will be out in January called , “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” It’s about african-american’s in politics. This also somehow disqualifies her to moderate a debate.

Republican mouthpiece Rich Lowry insisted on Fixed News that “at the very least she should disclose that she’s written this book so that all the viewers will know it.” Well, I’m sure she’d be delighted to do that but it would increase sales by a couple of million copies. Maybe they could put up to toll free number for orders.

Should Ifill also make a disclaimer for all the hearing impaired viewers that as a woman she might be biased toward Governor Palin or that she should make another disclaimer for those of you having trouble precieving reality, she has previously shown a marked bias towards facts?

I mean, this desperate attempt to pre-blame Palin’s performance tomorrow night on something — anything — is bad enough. In fact, it’s pure racism. But it has this added element of supposed surprise.

“I confirmed for us here on Gretawire,” writes Greta Van Susteren of Fox Noise (between delusions of grandeur.) “The McCain campaign did not know about Gwen Ifill’s book (I think I told them when I made my efforts – emails about midnight – to find out!) I am stunned… the campaign (actually both) should have been told before the campaign agreed to have her moderate. It is simply not fair. In law, this would create a mistrial.”

No, it would get the lawyer fired.

The Associated Press ran a story on July 23 quoting Gwen Ifill and identifying her as “senior correspondent with PBS’ the Newshour with Jim Lehrer and author of ‘The Breakthrough: Politics in the age of Obama” slated for publication early next year.” That AP story was even posted on — is still posted on — the website of the ultraconservative Washington Times. July, 23, this was.

The two campaigns formally agreed on the debate after their negotiators had agreed on the moderators — Gwen Ifill included — on August 7th.

“Time Magazine” printed an article by Gwen Ifill about the book on August 21st. And as we know Governor Palin has a vast variety of sources where she gets her news. She may have even read that article. Governor Palin was not selected to be McCain’s running mate until August 29th.

And this thing. This is Doubleday’s trade catalog for its new books for early 2009. It was printed in the second week of September and sent to every bookstore and news paper in the country. Ifill’s book is also been available not just in here, but online, preorder for weeks.

And this gets belched into the right-wing echo chamber 24 hours before the debate and it’s been picked up by clowns like Michelle Malkin and sheep like Greta Van Susteren. And if the McCain campaign — which could have found out it at anytime over the last two months and nine days by simply googling her name — if that campaign really did not know anything about the book until Greta Van Susteren emailed them last night, they’re morons.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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