Gwen Ifill, vp debate moderator

Gwen Ifill, moderator of PBS’ “Washington Week” and a senior correspondent on “The NewsHour” will be moderating the vice presidential debate, which will be held on Thursday, October 2.

Ifill hits jackpot in moderating VP debate


NEW YORK (AP) — Being selected the moderator for a vice presidential debate is something like opening a suitcase on “Deal or No Deal” and finding $1,000. Nice prize, but it’s no jackpot.

Not this year. The Oct. 2 showdown between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin will likely put Gwen Ifill before the biggest TV audience of her life.

Given the extraordinary attention paid to the campaign and Palin’s surprise selection as John McCain’s running mate, it stands a strong chance of becoming the most-watched vice presidential debate ever. The standard was the 56.7 million viewers in 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman ever selected for a major party ticket.

Ifill, moderator of PBS’ “Washington Week” and senior correspondent on “The NewsHour,” is repeating her role from the 2004 debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards. She had never done a debate before that, and admitted she was nervous about the large audience and all the people scrutinizing her performance.

The article also includes this:

PBS’ ombudsman, Michael Getler, received some letters from viewers complaining about Ifill’s facial expressions following Palin’s speech to the Republican convention. Even though Ifill said that GOP delegates “exploded with excitement” over Palin’s speech, those viewers apparently believed Ifill didn’t seem sufficiently excited herself.

Huh? Her facial expression?

So is Ms. Ifill suppose to be cheesing and grinning to make some folks comfortable and happy?

Check out the entire article here.

5 responses

  1. The nation already is skeptical about the fairness and objectivity of the mainstream media regarding election coverage … so, why in the world is Gwen Ifill the debate moderator, when she is writing a book about Obama? The moderator in a debate … especially one of this importance and magnitude … should be seen as completely fair, objective and above reproach. This is a terrible choice, and could easily have been remedied by choosing from hundreds of other more objective potential moderators. I can imagine the outcry if Michelle Malkin, or Ann Coulter was chosen as the moderator for the first Vice Presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

  2. In follow-up to the earlier comment. Please do not allow either candidate to replace an answer with talking points from a staffer! This election, unlike any in my lifetime, is critical to our future and it is important that these debates fairly and completely represent the positions, the knowledge and the capabilities of the candidates. Your questions need to allow each candidate to clearly and precisely present themselves relative to their ability to think and analyze for the unexpected rather than memorize and re sight! There is no room for a lower standard of performance from anyone who represents themselves as ready to lead, regardless of how incapable they are!

    If they get off the question – interrupt them, stop them. Do not allow them to promote issues that are not related to the issue you are addressing!

    Thank you

    Thomas Parker

  3. Gwen Ifill should allow this modern day Cicero the opportunity to debate.
    Palin has the ability to turn every dull reasoning to scintillating presentation of bullet points.
    Palin can be favoroably compared to the greatest Roman orators – the famed Marcus Tulius Cicero. Cicero came to the forefront of Roman debate during his stay of office as the Quaestor of Sicily. Rising from the Equestrian class, Cicero developed a strong disdain for government corruption. The abusive and underhanded governor, Verres, had become quite unpopular with the Plebian population. They appealed to Cicero for the prosecution of the tyrant. Verres hired Hortensius, the greatest lawyer of the time, for his defense. In a brilliant display of debating prowess, Cicero easily defeated Hortensius and became the greatest debater of the Roman Republic. Later in his career, Cicero put down the Catalinarian conspiracy almost single handedly. As his fame grew, Cicero refined the debating process, transforming the labored arguments into eloquent points and rebuttals.
    Biden is modern senator, prone to verbosity and verbal jousting – and ocassional gaffes.
    Let us see how Gwen hasndles these two.
    Mo Ahmed

  4. Ms. Ifill, I hope the format will allow for points and counter points, as I’m hearing that not to be the case. In order to understand a candidate’s position, the American people need to see them in action defending their position with substance, not rhetoric or script. Should there not be an ability for one candidate to call another one out on an issue, we will never understand their own positions and how they go about defending those with reasons.

  5. Just a short comment on the upcoming VP debate on Thursday. Please, Please DO NOT let anyone get away with a non answer to a question posed by the moderator. Ask the question in a pointed way AGAIN, but do not give the evading person extra time. Time should be balanced between the two candidates.

    This is important to the thousands of us out here watching!

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