“…as a journalist I have this affection
for facts and accuracy.” – Gwen
Ifill on Meet
the Press, June 27, 2004.
Gwen Ifill is a journalist? That is news to
any thinking person who watches her closely. It is true that
she is a News Hour anchor
on PBS, and the moderator of Washington Week in Review and of a
Vice Presidential debate. Her journalistic credentials shouldn’t
be called into question, but her own words betray her claim.
Of course her credentials have been questioned
by racist white people who are always unhappy when black people
rise further than
they think is proper. Don Imus has called Ifill “the cleaning lady.” A
New York Times columnist mused about her “substantial salary” and
wondered how much PBS was paying her and her colleague Ray Suarez.
Salaries tend not to be an issue where white people are concerned.
No matter what black people accomplish we are considered undeserving
of accolades, money or decent treatment. Gwen Ifill is no exception.
She is also no exception in contributing to the hack journalism
that is now the rule rather than the exception in this country.
Like her buddy Condi Rice, she can’t be let
off the hook. Media insiders like Gwen Ifill who call themselves
journalists, but act
like anything but, are making life easier for the powerful evildoers.
Regardless of anything Imus has to say, they must be called to
Journalists are supposed to be objective, ask
tough questions, give the public information they can’t access, and use that information
to minimize lying by the powers that be. They are not supposed
to get cozy with the subjects of their coverage. Gwen Ifill is
unfamiliar with all of those do’s and don’ts.
On April 25, 2005, Ms. Ifill interviewed Democratic Senator Richard
Durbin and Republican Senator John Kyl. The subject of discussion
was the use of the Senate filibuster in the judicial confirmation
The Republicans are so committed to total control
that they and their allies have advocated the “nuclear option,” eliminating
the right to filibuster judicial nominees unless Democrats agree
confirm whomever Bush sends their way.
When it became obvious that the public recoiled
at the image of mushroom clouds, the Republican propaganda machine
ordered an end
to the words “nuclear option” but they also began telling a huge,
easily provable lie. They said Democrats coined the phrase first,
and then backtracked by saying “constitutional option,” a nicer
sounding version of the same thing.
The right wing have trained the corporate media
so well that they know their lies won’t be revealed. Right on
cue, the New York Times, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, and all
the television networks repeated
mantra that the term nuclear option was a Democratic invention.
The fact loving Ms. Ifill had a golden opportunity to tell her
viewers the truth when she interviewed Senators
Kyl and Durbin.
GWEN IFILL: Does Sen. Frist have the votes in order to force this
SEN. JOHN KYL: Well, I'm not going to characterize it as a nuclear
option. That's what the opponent....
GWEN IFILL: Or a constitutional option. Whatever term
we're using today.
SEN. JOHN KYL: It is a constitutional option because the Senate
has the right to provide its own precedents. That's what would
be done. I won't predict the vote, but I don't think we'd go forward
unless we thought we had the votes.
GWEN IFILL: How about that? Sen. Durbin, what's your nose count
SEN. DICK DURBIN: Well, I can tell you it's very close; it's down
to one or two Republican senators. And they understand the basics.
First, this term nuclear option was coined by Trent Lott, a
Republican. It's not a Democratic way to try to color this
Senator Kyl didn’t say anything about the constitutional option.
Ifill stopped him in his tracks and helped give him the Republican
talking points. Senator Durbin did Ms. Ifill’s job for her when
he pointed out the Republican threat to blow the Senate to kingdom
It was not the first time that Ifill sucked up to the right wing.
She had this to say on Meet
the Press on the subject of the film "Fahrenheit 9/11":
Of the many commentators she had at her disposal,
Ifill went straight to a powerful conservative pundit for a "Fahrenheit
Brooks out to be the font of all wisdom is awful enough. Not
content to make a fool of herself once, Ifill then questioned
our right to say what we want, wherever we happen to be, regardless
of world events.
Dissent is more important in war than at any other time. Truth
is the first casualty of war because of people like her, who
put accommodation to the powerful ahead of honesty and integrity.
Gwen Ifill is not the only guilty party. While her colleagues
in the United States spent countless hours covering a crazy runaway
bride, their counterparts in Great Britain used a national election
to reveal that their Prime Minister lied to get their nation
into war. In contrast the New York Times spiked the
story of Bush’s electronic cheating during the presidential debates.
They feared publishing a story “too close” to Election Day. In
Britain the press knew that an election was a perfect time to
reveal a leader’s lies.
Like the rest of the media club, Ifill knows the rules. Staying
connected with the powerful is the first order of business. Perhaps
that is why Condi Rice gets the softball treatment on News Hour.
Rice returned the favor, revealing a very comfy relationship
with a journalist who is so supposed to hold people in power